What you will get:
- Fully functional audio in all applications, including those currently incompatible with PulseAudio (e.g. Audacity, Blender, Skype, Second Life + voice chat, Flash)
- The ability to use these applications side by side (using software sound mixing provided by ALSA or ESD)
What you will lose:
- Ubuntu's login and logout sounds (and any other system sounds you may have added to the default set)
To implement the fix, perform the following steps:
- Open the sound configuration panel (System > Preferences > Sound).
On the "devices" tab, set all devices to "ALSA".
On the "sounds" tab, disable "play system sounds".
Leave "software sound mixing (ESD)" enabled.
Close the panel.
(See the attached picture for details.)
- Open a terminal window (Applications > Accessories > Terminal).
Enter the following commands:
-- or --Code:sudo apt-get remove pulseaudio sudo apt-get install esound exit
Open Synaptic (System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager).
Search for the package "pulseaudio" and mark it for removal.
Search for the package "esound" and mark it for installation.
Apply the changes, then quit Synaptic.
- Restart the computer.
This will remove PulseAudio and replace it with ESD. The resulting sound setup will be similar to Ubuntu 7.10 and previous versions. Any issues unrelated to PulseAudio will not be affected in any way.
To restore the original setup, install the packages "pulseaudio" and "pulseaudio-esound-compat", then re-enable system sounds. Or just install the "ubuntu-desktop" metapackage. The latter is recommended anyway before doing a full system upgrade.
If you configure ALSA for the PulseAudio sink and then apply this guide, don't be surprised about ALSA not working properly. This should be a no-brainer. Remove /etc/asound.conf and ~/.asoundrc to restore ALSA's default configuration.
April 2009 Update:
The latest version of the Second Life client has proper ALSA support. It no longer requires ESD to work with voice chat. Unless you still need ESD for something else, I recommend uninstalling the "esound" package and going for a pure ALSA setup.