[Haifux] Pulseaudio: Sounds good in theory

Eli Billauer eli at billauer.co.il
Fri Jan 14 02:30:05 MSK 2011


Thanks for your answers (all of you, that is).

It looks like I blamed pulseaudio, when the problem is really in the 
ALSA driver. As a matter of fact, there are several complaints by 
pulseaudio in the log file about ALSA misbehaving, and that there is 
probably a bug in the snd_hda_intel kernel module, but since ALSA is a 
good old friend, and pulseaudio is new and annoying, it's obvious who 
one should blame.

There is a related bug report: 

And also some explanation about the glitch-free (ha!) feature in 
pulseaudio (the term coined by Microsoft, just to poke a bit more on 
pulseaudio): http://0pointer.de/blog/projects/pulse-glitch-free.html

I tried the tsched=0 workaround, and it made things just worse.

So the solution is to upgrade my kernel. Which I shall. But first I have 
to verify that the TTY-related bug in 2.6.36 has been fixed so I can log 
into my computer.

In the meanwhile, I found "pacmd" which is a swiss-knife general 
command-line interface for digging into what pulseaudio is up to. Much 
of my antagonism vanished when I found this little utility, as it gives 
me a chance to debug things. I don't know how useful it really is, but 
at least it gives me an illusion of understanding what's going on. pactl 
is its little brother.

Among silly amusements, one can play samples in the pulseaudio cache. 
The only sample found on my computer was the desktop's default bell 
sound, but hey, I can play it without Gnome asking for it! Is that 
exciting or what!

As for breaking dependencies by stealing Fedora-14 RPM and installing 
them on my FC12 -- surprisingly enough, I installed a bunch of 
audio-related RPMs with a simple rpm -i and all the dependencies were 
OK. The bad news and the good news are that nothing changed.

So I'll bare with these pulseaudio restarts for a while, and then make 
my hopefully last kernel upgrade, and hope everything ticks like a 
clockwork (am I optimistic or what?)


Oron Peled wrote:

> On Wednesday, 5 בJanuary 2011 15:57:07 Nadav Har'El wrote:
> > I've been using "pavucontrol" (I don't know what is "padevchooser"),
> > and used it successfully to select between the sound card's 
> microphone, and
> > a USB-plugged microphone.
> "MeToo", but notice that it's not needed anymore with modern desktops.
> Since Fedora-13 (I now user 14), both GNOME and KDE mixers are fully
> pulseaudio aware and show the required controls natively.
> So pavucontrol remains for people that use other (less common) desktops.
> -- 
> Oron Peled Voice: +972-4-8228492
> oron at actcom.co.il http://users.actcom.co.il/~oron
> "Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly."
> (H. Spencer)
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Web: http://www.billauer.co.il

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