how is pulseaudio supposed to work?

Will Woods wwoods at
Thu Dec 13 20:01:08 UTC 2007

On Thu, 2007-12-13 at 21:42 +0200, Pekka Savola wrote:
> I'm using gdm (default config), but /dev/dsp, /dev/audio and don't 
> give me perms, I guess this is a problem:
> crw-rw----+ 1 root root 14, 3 2007-12-12 20:14 /dev/dsp

1) /dev/dsp is for the deprecated OSS interface. The ALSA stuff lives
in /dev/snd/. 

2) the '+' indicates that there are ACLs on the file. Try:
$ getfacl /dev/dsp
and you should see something like this:
getfacl: Removing leading '/' from absolute path names
# file: dev/dsp
# owner: root
# group: root

Notice that my user (wwoods) has rw access, so that's OK.

> > 3) When GNOME/KDE/etc start up, they start pulseaudio.
> > - Actually, GNOME starts ESD, but /usr/bin/esd -> esdcompat
> > - esdcompat is provided by pulseaudio-esound-compat
> > - kde-settings-pulseaudio provides /etc/kde/env/
> Right -- I''m using XFCE so I think I'm hosed.

Not really - you just have to start pulseaudio yourself, in one of the
various startup scripts.

> I guess  in the xfce rpms should start up something like this in their 
> init scripts (but don't).

Yeah - same for fluxbox and other such windowmanagers.

> I wonder if there could have been some Conflicts: or other magic in 
> the RPMs that would prevent making pulseaudio default if the user has 
> a setup which is known not to work.

Fixing it in the packaging system seems like the wrong way to approach
it. It'd be best to fix the ALSA config so pulse is only the default
*when it's running*. 

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