[pulseaudio-discuss] Question about Pulseaudio hardware abstraction

Georg Chini georg at chini.tk
Thu Apr 30 06:06:13 UTC 2020

On 29.04.20 10:57, Jim Kent wrote:
> I have a question about how Pulseaudio functions between sound 
> hardware and applications in Linux and spins. I noticed both Firefox 
> and Chromium internally report many hardware details, including the 
> sound output chipset and connected Bluetooth devices (with unique 
> identifiers).
I am not sure this information is taken from pulseaudio. If you do 
"pactl list sinks", you can
see what is exposed to clients.

> I assumed that Pulseaudio behaved as an opaque interface between 
> software and hardware, in other words, applications send and receive 
> inputs and outputs to Pulseaudio, which in turn mixes and exclusively 
> communicates with sound hardware. Instead, I have noticed many 
> instances where browsers exhibit unintended control over sound 
> outputs, for instance, playing a youtube video will sometimes abruptly 
> disconnect a Bluetooth headset.
This sounds weird and I never heard about such a behavior. If the 
browser is doing such things it is certainly
not through PA. A disconnect may happen if there are issues with the 
bluetooth connectivity, but in that case
the problem should not be application related and is below the PA level.
> Is this behavior by design? Is it possible to sandbox applications 
> from the sound hardware so that they only communicate and have a view 
> of Pulseaudio, rather than the underlying hardware? Could something 
> like Jack accomplish this?

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