[lubuntu-devel] Needs feedback: Firefox and ALSA on Lubuntu 16.04 LTS

Nio Wiklund nio.wiklund at gmail.com
Wed Mar 22 19:12:55 UTC 2017

Den 2017-03-22 kl. 18:05, skrev Simon Quigley:
> Hello,
> You may be aware of a major bug[1] we have in Lubuntu that surfaced after
> Firefox 52 was released into xenial-updates. Upstream Firefox no longer supports
> the ALSA audio framework, which is what Lubuntu 16.04 uses as it's primary audio
> framework. This is a major regression that needs to be fixed as soon as
> possible. People depend on Lubuntu 16.04 LTS to be a stable release that has
> long term support, and that won't break their audio in their web browser after
> an update.
> While I'm unsure there was anything that could have been done to prevent this
> (practically, Firefox is a large package...), as I don't know upstream made this
> change clear, it is something that needs to be fixed. But, since this is a
> stable, LTS release, any change we do at this point needs to be carefully
> thought out. Here are some options that we could explore:
>  1) Re-enable ALSA in Ubuntu's Firefox package, and find somebody to maintain
> it. This would be a large amount of work because it's essentially giving us a
> lot of work maintaining something that only Lubuntu 16.04 users will use. I
> don't think we should take this route.
>  2) Change the audio framework in Lubuntu 16.04 to use Pulseaudio instead. This
> would be a good amount of work guarding against any regression, and it would
> have to be a seamless migration. This would take a lot of work, but I think it's
> doable. I vote this solution.
>  3) Switch off of Firefox in Lubuntu 16.04 altogether. This would probably make
> many users angry, as they will have to migrate everything off of Firefox to get
> working audio, but it would be the easiest solution for us, the maintainers.
> Whatever solution we take, this will break a good amount of rules we have in
> place regarding not introducing new things into stable releases. But unless we
> can somehow reverse the version of Firefox in xenial-updates (which is also
> doable but that would take some work as well), we have to do something.
> Thoughts from anyone?
> [1] https://pad.lv/1671273

Hi Simon and all everybody else,

Thanks for bringing this problem to the surface! I want to add that 
Lubuntu 16.10 and Zesty (17.04) come with pulseaudio (and pavucontrol).

During several releases I have been installing pulseaudio and 
pavucontrol into my Lubuntu systems because it gives me better control 
of the audio systems. My experience is that it works well both in 
16.04.x LTS where alsa is present, and in 16.10 where alsa is not present.

I suggest your alternative

2) Change the audio framework in Lubuntu 16.04.x to use Pulseaudio instead.

I have not been very active lately with Lubuntu, but I think I can help 
testing this in various computers (of different age and with different 
audio hardware).

Best regards

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