Phonon problems in Debian

Pedro Lopez-Cabanillas pedro.lopez.cabanillas at
Sun Jan 23 18:31:04 GMT 2011

On Sunday 23 January 2011, Colin Guthrie wrote:
> 'Twas brillig, and Thiago Macieira at 23/01/11 13:44 did gyre and gimble:
> > On Sunday, 23 de January de 2011 13:18:31 Colin Guthrie wrote:
> >> 'Twas brillig, and Thiago Macieira at 19/01/11 23:05 did gyre and gimble:
> >>> On Wednesday, 19 de January de 2011 22:12:32 Colin Guthrie wrote:
> >>>>> How do you detect if PA is used?
> >>>>
> >>>> I just attempt to connect to the PulseAudio daemon. If I get a
> >>>> connection it's there, and if not, it's not. It's quite simple really.
> >>>
> >>> Except, of course, when PulseAudio is running (it starts itself) but
> >>> audio routing is done via ALSA straight to the kernel.
> >>
> >> Not sure I follow your point here...
> > 
> > I mean systems like mine, where ALSA is configured to go to the kernel, not to 
> > pulseaudio.
> > 
> > But pulseaudio is running. It's unused and useless.
> There is very, very little point in configuring a system where PA is
> running and ALSA is not directing the "default" device to PA. To do so
> would be an exercise in frustration and strange errors.
> If you don't want to use PA then fine, but don't configure it to run. If
> your distro behaves itself, then it'll offer easy ways to configure
> this. If not then you'll have to do it yourself (disable autospawn and
> stop the XDG autostart files from firing).

There may be good reasons to keep the PA daemon running, even when you don't need it all of the time. For instance, to avoid a problem like this
If there are problems when the PA ALSA plugin is too bored because programs are not using it, this should be addressed and fixed.

On the other hand, the "default" device is only that, a default setting. Most ALSA enabled programs can be configured to open one device name or another. Only when the user didn't bother to provide some other device name the default device is used. In addition to the ALSA plugin, PulseAudio has also a native API that may be supported by some programs as a configuration setting, and it requires the PA daemon running.


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