Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-features (263 mails)

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[openFATE 311362] Remove pulseaudio from default installation again
Feature changed by: Adam Williams (whitemice)
Feature #311362, revision 13
Title: Remove pulseaudio from default installation again

openSUSE Distribution: Unconfirmed
Requester: Mandatory

Requested by: Dean Hilkewich (deanjo13)
Partner organization:

Since having pulseaudio again activated as default not one of the
systems that I have installed 11.4 had a working audio system. Remove
pulse from the default installation again as it does nothing but break
working installations. This has been verified across multiple sound
cards and setups. Don't get rid of the pulseaudio packages, just take
them out of the default installation pattern.

Business case (Partner benefit): Pulse audio is supposed to deliver several high level
features like network transparency, etc. Most users do not need those
features so for them pulse just add another layer of complexity. It is
necessary to install several libraries to gain complete control of the
sound system (the same control that those users have since years
through alsa and kmix, for example), and that for someone who only need
to listen his/her local music collection is too much.
Default systems must be simple , with the ability to add (also in a
simple way) the advanced features. Unless some "patterns" are set to
use during install (one for "normal" users who do not need pulse, other
for those who want it out of the box) to NOT force new users to face
the more complex scheme (i.e., to not install pulse by default but
leave it as a choice) is a good solution.

#1: Walter Forbes (wforbes) (2011-02-27 03:28:48)
Removing Pulse from the default installation would be perhaps the
wisest choice for opensuse 11.4. There is no point in subjecting users
to the absolutely frustrating punishment of distorted and often
sporadic sound as a result of pulse audio. Until pulse is reliable and
bug free ALSA is a wise choice - it works!

#2: Ricardo Gabriel Berlasso (rgbsuse) (2011-02-27 15:59:52)
Just added a "user benefit" entry. I understand that there are people
who would like to use pulse (on the net you can read praises and
attacks almost on the same measure), but I think an easy "switch" for
those who do not want to use it is important.

#3: Carlos Mafra (crmafra) (2011-03-07 12:40:57)
I agree. The default should be as simple as possible, with the
possibility to add fancy stuff if needed.
Someone who needs network transparency will know how to get it, there's
no need to force that upon users for which 'sound' means just being
able to control the volume.

#4: José Simón (simon37) (2011-03-09 18:36:00)
I haven't been able to get it working properly in two different
machines with different hardware. And there's no point in having to
uninstall it and lock the package, because it's part of the default
installation. I think the project is not mature enough to be shipped
with a distro which is supposed to be stable. Although in my opinion
the whole idea of pulseaudio is great, it still needs some time,
especially in KDE.

#5: Kay Schubert (kayschubert) (2011-03-10 03:23:12)
Actually, for me pulseaudio was the only way to make audio playback
reliable across flash, skype and KDE apps. My experience is this: most
apps now support pulseaudio natively (even skype), and for ALSA-
consuments it provides software-mixing out of the box, without any
tweaking of ALSA configs. With pure ALSA I had to manually edit
/etc/asound.conf to incorporate dmix, and seldom got it right.
Since I enabled pulseaudio (

) I have not once experienced distorted audio.

#6: Roger Luedecke (shadowolf7) (2011-04-11 10:04:20)
Pulse is too glitchy. I get sound, but every system I have installed on
has inconsistencies. On one system I defaulted to Ubuntu (which I do
not like) just to get the sound to work properly. I do not feel pulse
is mature enough to be default at present. Further, I would like a
simple way to remove it so I can have a reliable sound system again.

#7: Peter Gumbrell (gumb) (2011-04-11 12:00:27)
I'm inclined to somewhat agree having spent a good while trying to
figure out audio problems on a machine that I upgraded from 11.3 to
11.4. It turned out that some switches in Alsamixer (swap surround,
line jack sensor, etc.) had to be changed and then voilà, as if by
magic it all worked, but I'd already removed PulseAudio by this stage
having tried everything else I could think of.
This may have been due to existing config files in the user directories
for 11.3 (with no PulseAudio) clashing with the new default
configuration for 11.4 (where it is enabled), though that perhaps
indicates a bug that should have been addressed prior to release. For
KDE users, this is more of a problem since no PA volume control is
installed by default (at least not from my DVD installation) and
messing with either KMix or YaST's various sliders achieves nothing if
it is actually the Alsamixer settings that are at fault, so one
naturally first assumes a hardware or PulseAudio issue. Indeed, with PA
enabled there are few sliders visible that one can adjust because the
pavucontrol is needed instead. I'm sure many of the dozens of forum
posts from users having sound problems after 11.4 installations are
because of this. In addition, KDE users have Phonon which is able to
control separate outputs perfectly well without the need for the extra
layer of PA, although the KCM interface isn't as intuitive in managing
that as it could be.
However, by the time the next oS (12.1?) is out, it's possible to
improve on all these things which is why I'll suspend voting this up
for the moment. I know the argument from some devs will be that there
already IS a switch to enable/disable PulseAudio in YaST's sound
module, though it is obscurely located and there is often advice to
users with problems to completely remove pulse files from the system.
Since it should probably be an administrator-controlled setting, my
best suggestion would be relocate the on/off switch on the main page of
the YaST Sound module clearly visible as a simple check box, ensure
that unchecking it completely decouples all PA configurations in the
system, and if it is to remain on by default in the next release,
ensure that default underlying Alsamixer levels are well considered and
not likely to mute any channels on a fresh or upgrade install.

+ #8: Adam Williams (whitemice) (2011-06-28 17:37:42)
+ PulseAudio has been perfectly stable and worked well on the numerous
+ laptops and workstations I manage. The features provided by Pulse are
+ critical to delivering a 21st century desktop.

openSUSE Feature:

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