Pulseaudio dependency, if Debian can do it ...

rosea grammostola rosea.grammostola at gmail.com
Mon Jun 27 14:08:03 UTC 2011

On 06/27/2011 03:30 PM, David Henningsson wrote:
> On 2011-06-27 13:44, rosea grammostola wrote:
>> On 06/27/2011 12:44 PM, David Henningsson wrote:
>>> On 2011-06-26 10:04, rosea grammostola wrote:
>>>> "In Fedora pulseaudio is pulled in as a dependency of gnome-shell.
>>> ...and in Ubuntu it's a dependency on ubuntu-desktop, so no difference
>>> there.
>> There might be a small difference, but it isn't the same... Gnome-shell
>> is some kind of an application, ubuntu-desktop is an metapackage. This
>> looks surely like a design difference to me.
> In practice there isn't, because should ubuntu-desktop not depend on 
> pulseaudio,  ubuntu-desktop would still depend on gnome-volume-control 
> (or gnome-control-center) which would depend on pulseaudio.
>>>> By default pulseaudio hands over control to jack via D-bus.
>>> AFAIK this works equally well in both distros.
>> Could be, but till now Fedora seems do it always a bit better then
>> Ubuntu in this area (maybe because the Pulseaudio and JACK dev are using
>> Fedora?).
> Would it be possible for you to actually research this issue and point 
> to the actual difference?
I don't know if the difference in quality still exists, but at least in 
the past (pre gnome-shell / unity) there was this difference.
>>> Making pulseaudio easier to remove is not a priority, but if any
>>> volunteer wants to work with that functionality (and it doesn't end up
>>> breaking something else), I don't see why we wouldn't take such a 
>>> patch.
>>> For me the priority would be rather to fix the issues people have with
>>> PulseAudio, rather than making it easier to remove. Audio drivers as
>>> well as PulseAudio have improved over the last three years it's been a
>>> part of Ubuntu, maybe it's worth another try?
>> It's true that PulseAudio has been improved, (all though when having
>> pulseaudio installed, the often recommended proaudio soundcards from
>> M-audio (Delta series) doesn't work OOTB)
> Ok, let's take M-audio, I'm assuming you mean bug 178442. It was 
> fixed/improved in Ubuntu 11.04, with a patch to alsa-lib. They still 
> have non-standard mixer control names, which is a driver issue.
Good to hear that there are improvements in this area finally.

>> and they will be working
>> further to improve the coexistence of both PulseAudio and JACK. But no
>> matter how well PulseAudio works, there will always be people who prefer
>> to have it not on their system. So it would be good if you could remove
>> it easily (like is possible on Debian and Fedora atm).
> Sure; but for most of the those people stopping PulseAudio will be 
> enough to keep it out of the way (in terms of CPU usage and sound card 
> access things), and that is already possible.
> Again, can you please research what happens if you remove PulseAudio 
> on Debian and Fedora, and what way resulting user experience will 
> differ from Ubuntu?
I have Debian running here. You just can totally remove and the system 
uses another sound system for Desktop sound (ALSA and/or KDE stuff for 
I tried Fedora a while ago. It was pretty simple to remove Pulseaudio 
and to switch to ALSA (you had to add or remove a package for that iirc).

>> Also looking at the waste of system resources Unity suffers with, it
>> might be wiser for 'us' proaudio engineers / music producers to look for
>> something else, Xfce maybe...
> Just a wild guess, but maybe Unity 2D could be sufficient for these 
> purposes?
Probably. But with Unity you keep being busy making adjustments when you 
want a user friendly stable system without wasting too many resources. I 
think Unity is a total different direction then audio engineers like to 
see it going I think.



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