[pulseaudio-discuss] Pulseaudio system wide mode design

Pali Rohár pali.rohar at gmail.com
Thu Oct 17 10:56:21 UTC 2019


there are repeated problems related to fact that pulseaudio is running
under user session and every user spawns own pulseaudio process.

Only one process can have exclusive access to specific ALSA card.

Also only one process can create connection to bluetooth A2DP device.

Looking at pulseaudio design, which should abstract audio device and
sound cards which are "shared" resources, it looks for me that it is
something which should be managed by (central) point. And not by many,
for every user one.

So what are the main problems which prevent usage of pulseaudio in
system-wide mode. When in system would be running only instance of
pulseaudio and all users would connect to that one instance?

I know only problem related to security, that any process which has
access to pulseaudio socket can control audio settings of all other
processes connected to pulseaudio. And also can load or unload any
pulseaudio module.

But this can be easily fixable by implementing access control, e.g.
users in pulseaudio-admin group would be able to control everything like
before (including module loading) and users in pulseaudio-access group
would be able to see and modify only streams which they created and
would not be able to see other strings (or modify other properties).
And also would not be able to load/unload modules.

Is there anything else which prevents moving pulseaudio into proper
system wide mode?

Pali Rohár
pali.rohar at gmail.com

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