Proper PulseAudio installation for KUbuntu 10.4, (Reinhold Rumberger)

Mark Greenwood captain_bodge at
Sat Jun 26 14:06:45 BST 2010

On Saturday 26 Jun 2010 10:10:03 Brian Wootton wrote:
> On 26/06/10 03:12, kubuntu-users-request at wrote:
> snip
> > You pretty much have two choices:
> >   a) Use Lucid the LTS and forget about pulse.
> >   b) Use Maverick and be able to use pulse.
> >
> > If you absolutely need pulse you're going to have to go with option
> > b, otherwise there is nothing stopping you from using Lucid with
> > alsa.
> >
> >    --Reinhold
> >
> >    
> As I've said previously, I have lucid on an amd64 and am quite
> happy to use alsa and forget PulseAudio,
> but....
> 1) in skype only, my voice gets totally distorted when using any
> microphone, Audacity record/replay works fine with the same
> hardware set-up.

If Skype works with pulse but not with ALSA then this can only be a sound level issue. I think I suggested previously that you will need to experiment with the mixer controls in KMix to find the correct settings. It took me quite a while to find the right settings on my laptop but I did eventually.

You need to make sure, in KMix, you go to 'Settings->Configure Channels' and make sure everything is visible. Then try adjusting things until you get the sound level you need. Note that the names of the sliders in KMix may be misleading, so try everything and see what it does. If it might help I can send you a screen grab of my mixer settings to give you an idea.

Also, make absolutely sure that Skype is not adjusting your mixer levels automatically. There is an option for this in Skype.

> 3) skype worked perfectly with karmic

Same here. I think some kernel changes confused things.

> 4) if I attempt to remove all packages which reference Pulse-
> Audio, kpackagekit wants to delete 120 odd dependencies,
> which seems to include most of KDE.

That'll be libpulse-mainloop-glib0 and libpulse0. KDE is compiled against them because there is notional pulseaudio support in KDE, even if it doesn't quite work yet. Having those libraries present on the system does NOT mean pulseaudio is running or in any way affecting your system, it's just the way package dependencies work. The only thing you need to remove to ensure that pulseaudio is not running is the 'pulseaudio' package - but if you want to be 100% confident, remove all packages which reference pulseaudio except those two.

If you're really desperate to try it with pulseaudio, you can install 'pulseaudio' and 'pavucontrol'. This will pull in all the necessary dependencies. I think you may have been sidetracked and misled by reading the instructions on the pulseaudio website, those are rather developer-oriented. After a reboot you might find that it all works. Remember what I said about using the Xine backend for Phonon. Remove *everything* to do with gstreamer (except libgstreamer0.10-0 and libgstreamer-plugins-base0.10-0 because openoffice depends on them) and make sure you have phonon-backend-xine installed.

To safely remove pulseaudio if it doesn't work
apt-get remove pulseaudio pavucontrol
apt-get autoremove
(the last command removes all packages which were installed as dependencies once the things they depended on have been removed).

I can vouch that this install/remove will work, because I've done it many times while debugging the Lucid pulseaudio issues.

> Can you offer any thought which I might pass on to skype,

Actually Skype have made a good decision to standardise on pulseaudio, because it is rapidly becoming the standard user audio system for Linux. The problem here is that Kubuntu released Lucid just to early take advantage of the recent developments in KDE that would have made all this so painless.

I know you won't like this, but to see how it should be done install Mandriva. Their pulseaudio/KDE integration is absolutely spotless.


> otherwise I guess I'll have to use win7  to phone all my skype
> contacts which is a pain.
> Apologies for binding on so much
> brian

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