how to disable pulseaudio

H.S. hs.samix at
Thu Dec 18 15:47:06 UTC 2008

Sonal Santan wrote:
> Hello,
> You can try the following two steps to /sideline/ pulse audio on 8.10
> [1]
> Open /etc/pulse/ in an editor. Look for lines similar to the 
> following two commented out lines:
> #load-module module-alsa-sink
> #load-module module-alsa-source device=hw:1,0
> Add the following two lines after these two lines:
> load-module module-alsa-sink device=dmix
> load-module module-alsa-source device=dsnoop
> The above change will force PA to use dmix/dsnoop and not take exclusive 
> control of sound hardware.
> [2]
> Open /usr/share/alsa/alsa.conf in an editor. Comment out the line which 
> says /usr/share/alsa/pulse.conf by inserting a # in the beginning. After 
> the change, the @hooks section would look something like the following.
> @hooks [
>     {
>         func load
>         files [
> #           "/usr/share/alsa/pulse.conf"
>             "/usr/share/alsa/bluetooth.conf"
>             "/etc/asound.conf"
>             "~/.asoundrc"
>         ]
>         errors false
>     }
> ]
> This will prevent PA from presenting itself as default output/input for 
> all sound applications. Hence the other applications can continue to use 
> ALSA as if there is no PA.
> The above two changes fix all PA nuisance and all my sound applications 
> work fine. You will need to select ALSA as sound device in 
> System->Preferences->Sound. With these changes PA is rendered useless 
> but it continues to run though nobody would use it. It doesn't consume 
> any system resources. I still do not know what needs to be changed so 
> that PA is not even started.
> Sonal

Interesting. I will give this a shot. Though I note that doing the above
stuff to pulseaudio would still require a user's intervention to change
everything in Preferences->Sound to Alsa. I find this uncomfortable in
the sense that Ubuntu is supposed to be user friendly. Just choosing
"Default" should work when pulseaudio is deactivated. Again, all these
kludges just make Ubuntu the same as Debian. Debian is my default OS but
I always push Ubuntu for novice users who want to try Linux trumpeting
its easy of use.

BTW, when pulse audio is running, is alsamixer (the console level
controls) supposed to work? In a laptop running Intrepid, it works, but
on a computer running Hardy it doesn't. On the hardy machine, I get
something like this:
$> alsamixer
*** PULSEAUDIO: Unable to connect: Connection refused

alsamixer: function snd_ctl_open failed for default: Connection refused

So how does alsamixer related to pulseaudio?



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