[pulseaudio-discuss] High CPU Usage in System Mode

jtharkey jtharkey at protonmail.com
Wed Jul 1 16:32:53 UTC 2020

In the source I found this in daemon/main.c:

if (conf->system_instance && !conf->disable_shm) {
pa_log_notice(_("Running in system mode, forcibly disabling SHM mode."));
conf->disable_shm = true;

I commented that out and built it, things seemed to work and work faster. Will commenting that out have some side effect I'm not aware of?

‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐
On Monday, June 29, 2020 9:59 AM, jtharkey <jtharkey at protonmail.com> wrote:

> We're using PA 11.1
> All sinks and sources are SUSPENDED except for the main output sink.
> In user mode there is no noticeable latency. In system mode there's about 0.5 sec of latency.
> ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐
> On Saturday, June 27, 2020 4:01 AM, Georg Chini <georg at chini.tk> wrote:
>> On 25.06.20 21:32, jtharkey wrote:
>>> Hello,
>>> We have an embedded device that we're switching from straight ALSA over to PulseAudio. There are no users on the system other than root so we have pulse running in system mode. It works, but has unusually high CPU usage. The device has a 2.6GHz Dual Core CPU. At idle, pulse is using about 15-20% of the CPU. Every now and then it spikes up to 80-90% CPU usage. However, on our dev machines running on the same hardware and under XFCE with pulse in user mode, this doesn't happen. The idle usage is less than 1% and it can get up to 3-5% max.
>>> This makes me think pulse is setup differently on our dev machines, but looking at the configuration files that doesn't seem to be the case. Could this have something to do with running in system mode? If so, how do I fix it?
>>> Thanks,
>>> JT
>> Which PA version are you using? What does "idle" mean exactly? All sinks and sources suspended?
>> Can you check with "pactl list sinks" and "pactl list sources" if really everything is suspended?
>> If "idle" only means no sound (but sinks/sources still in RUNNING or IDLE state), can you compare
>> the latency in system and user mode?
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