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Thread: HOWTO: Fix all PulseAudio-related issues in 2 minutes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Lightbulb HOWTO: Fix all PulseAudio-related issues in 2 minutes

    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:
    1. 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.)
    2. Open a terminal window (Applications > Accessories > Terminal).
      Enter the following commands:
      Code:
      sudo apt-get remove pulseaudio
      sudo apt-get install esound
      exit
      -- or --
      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.
    3. Restart the computer.


    Remarks:

    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.

    Reminder:

    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.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by eye208; April 24th, 2009 at 01:07 PM.

  2. #2
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    Apr 2006
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    Question Re: HOWTO: Fix all PulseAudio-related issues in 2 minutes

    Just FMI, why the need to disable system sounds?

    They wont play without pulseaudio installed?

  3. #3
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    Re: HOWTO: Fix all PulseAudio-related issues in 2 minutes

    Quote Originally Posted by T_W View Post
    Just FMI, why the need to disable system sounds?

    They wont play without pulseaudio installed?
    Even after choosing ALSA as the default device, Gnome will still try to play system sounds through PulseAudio. This will cause freezes on login and/or logout when the sounds are about to be played, so you have to disable them during the absence of PulseAudio.

    There may be a way to fix this and keep the system sounds, but I didn't bother looking for it. Don't apply these changes if you cannot live without system sounds.

    I've been using this setup for several weeks now, and it's the only side effect I found. Everything else works.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2008
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    Re: HOWTO: Fix all PulseAudio-related issues in 2 minutes

    Thank you very much. I've been incredibly frustrated trying to get my songs to play in media players, all other sounds were working fine. This fixed my problem, although I only followed the first steps, changing the devices to ALSA. I didn't need to uninstall PulseAudio.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Boston, MA
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    49
    Distro
    Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

    Re: HOWTO: Fix all PulseAudio-related issues in 2 minutes

    beautiful, i dont know why my sound magically stopped working, but this fixed everything.

    Thank you

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Auckland, NZ
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    Distro
    Xubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: HOWTO: Fix all PulseAudio-related issues in 2 minutes

    If you really want the login sound, you can do this:

    Create a script file with the following lines:

    Code:
    #!/bin/bash
    aplay /usr/share/sounds/login.wav
    Name it anything you like (within reason ). Make it executable.

    Open Sessions Preferences (System -> Preferences -> Sessions)

    Under Startup Programs you can add your script file to the list of additional startup programs.

    Not sure what to do about logout sound. It hasn't been working on my Hardy install, anyway.


    I have been having problems with Thunderbird locking up if I have the Gizmo client and Firefox running, I download a new message and new mail notification sound is on. I'm wondering if removing Pulseaudio will fix this also...

    Edit: I think it has fixed this last problem

    Irihapeti
    Last edited by Irihapeti; August 17th, 2008 at 06:00 AM.
    Please, people, remember to BACKUP before you install that new system. Same if you're upgrading.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    53

    Re: HOWTO: Fix all PulseAudio-related issues in 2 minutes

    Thank you for this! I couldn't get Banshee to play nicely with other programs that tried to use the sound device, but this did the trick. I didn't know it had anything to do with PulseAudio, though.

  8. #8
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    Jul 2008
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    Re: HOWTO: Fix all PulseAudio-related issues in 2 minutes

    I followed your steps, but I still cannot get flash sound. I'm sure it relates to my USB sound card. My system board sound doesn't work; so, I bought a small USB sound card which works fine under Windows. I get no sound at all with ALSA set in my sound preferences as described. When I switch back to USB sound, my sound works again except for flash sound in Firefox. I did complete the pulseaudio removal and esound installation.

    Thanx - Charlie

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Re: HOWTO: Fix all PulseAudio-related issues in 2 minutes

    This is what I'm looking to do - simply go back to 7.10 sound. When I try this fix, I get error messages in sound setup saying that the device is already being used. Example:

    audiotestsrc wave=sine freq=512 ! audioconvert ! audioresample ! gconfaudiosink: Could not open audio device for playback. Device is being used by another application.

    I was toying around with the settings before, so that could be the cause of this problem. Is there a way to remove ALL sound handling and then install the things that were in 7.10?

    Thanks,
    Kristian

    PS: I'm on Mint Elyssa now which should be the same as 8.4...right?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    13

    Re: HOWTO: Fix all PulseAudio-related issues in 2 minutes

    Thanks! After a quick reboot the sound is good

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