Another idea for comments (Len Ovens)/Pulseaudio removal

Luke Kuhn lukekuhn at
Tue Jul 31 17:49:32 UTC 2012

I always remove Pulseaudio because I have never been able to get full performance in Kdenlive with it running (choppy with AVCHD based files). I have Jack if I need a mixer, and my small machines (both netbooks and all my Pentium III /low resource experiments) have video playback issues with pulseaudio using so much CPU. I've played with Pulse, never been able to get it to cooperate with these demands.

About "unremovable packages" remember that there is no way to make any package unremovable to anyone with root/sudo access. The binary can have its permissions changed to disallow running or simply be deleted, then the package pinned to prevent reinstallation. In fact, I used to turn Pulseaudio on and off that way (to stop it from respawning if killed)  until I found a volume control that worked. That was volti, thanks to another contributor on this list. Of course, someone who understands video editing but not the Linux file system would be stopped by this if APT won't let you pull the package without ripping out a lot of other stuff. 

Making too many other packages depend on Pulseaudio is a bad idea. Things focussed on pulseaudio obviously would, but such dependancy on, say, an audio editor, would have the effect of making that package incompatable with Kdenlive if AVCHD files are to be used, and with all video players, even Flash, on low resource boxes.

Not such a big deal with a meta-you can install the meta, then remove it and anything it brought in you want to remove. Still, that adds complexity that can stop end users dead in their tracks and for that reason alone should be avoided. Dedicated machines are just one reason for this, the fact that everyone's workflow is different is another.

> Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2012 07:18:49 -0700
> From: "Len Ovens" <len at>
> To: "Ralf Mardorf" <ralf.mardorf at>
> Cc: Ubuntu Studio Development & Technical Discussion
> 	<ubuntu-studio-devel at>
> Subject: Re: Another idea for comments
> Message-ID:
> 	<905ccfe84c81ace2535e987d108d4b27.squirrel at>
> Content-Type: text/plain;charset=iso-8859-1
> On Sun, July 29, 2012 10:37 pm, Ralf Mardorf wrote:
> > On Sun, 2012-07-29 at 22:18 -0700, Len Ovens wrote:
> >> A fair number of people remove pulse rather than learn how to use
> >> pulse and jack together well.
> >
> > I wouldn't use a distro that won't allow me to get rid of Poettering's
> > crap. If a distro would force me to use pulseaudio or systemd at the
> > current state of development, I wouldn't use this distro.
> Choice is king. Making a package non-removable is not something I want to
> start doing. For a one use box many things can be removed. In a
> professional or serious amateur setting, I would expect a one use box. A
> second multi-use box for desktop use is always an option and someone
> serious enough to have a one use box, likely has an extra older box around
> they can use for that. In a professional setting, accounting (with an sql
> server running) would not be done on a recording box, but on another box
> anyway.
> As there is a move to combine the live dvd and alt style install on one
> ISO (somehow without doubling the size) I am hopeful we will be able to
> allow just installing one workflow. From your comments and those of
> others, I am thinking that there is one more workflow meta we need to
> offer. I am not sure what to name it, I had thought desktop-tools, but
> that may confused with desktop we already use. Whatever the name it would
> include the packages we ship now as standard to combine normal desktop use
> with studio use. Things like pulse, auto-update, CUPS, firefox (not sure
> about this one, some applications use a browser for docs... dillo
> instead?), any of the media playback options that require gstreamer (and
> pulse). That is a list off the top of my head, so neither complete or
> correct.
> Another project in the works is a mode switch that turns off services
> harmful to audio (or whatever) use such as cron and friends, pulse (or at
> least bridging) and set cpu-freq to performance (or perhaps a user
> selected speed... I haven't tried that yet... it is a lot harder as the
> config utility would require finding out what speeds are supported) Even
> unload bad-for-audio kernel modules (like the wireless module on one of my
> machines). I am actually using this on my netbook for audio work now and
> it works very well. It takes hardware that has no serious audio
> application and makes it into a quiet solid audio machine. Right now the
> files are hand configured, the next step is a gui configuration tool with
> suitable documentation. The way I use it is as a tray icon with a
> click-select to select the mode. It can also be setup to change modes on
> jackd startup/shutdown. I have not looked at session managers doing so as
> yet, but if they can run a command they could.
> There are a lot of options. I don't think we should limit Studio to only one.
> -- 
> Len Ovens
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