How to get output devices to appear in PulseAudio?

Colin Law clanlaw at
Mon Dec 31 08:44:52 UTC 2012

On 30 December 2012 22:56, Chris Green <cl at> wrote:
> On Sun, Dec 30, 2012 at 04:45:48PM -0500, Ric Moore wrote:
>> On 12/30/2012 08:40 AM, Chris Green wrote:
>> >I am slowly getting to understand what's going on with sound on my
>> >little Acer Revo.  However I still *don't* understand why sometimes
>> >PulseAudio can see some output devices and sometimes it can't.
>> >
>> >When it has no output devices not surprisingly I can't get any sound out
>> >of it, I then curse it for a while, run various things to see if I can
>> >understand what's going on, and at some point it works - but I can never
>> >understand why!
>> >
>> >So, how does one get output devices to appear?  Then, further, how does
>> >one do this from the command line, because I want to run this headless
>> >and will only have ssh access.  (Running X remotely doesn't work with
>> >modern applications as they use DBUS which breaks X)
>> If you don't install pavucontrol, you cannot get the full benefit of
>> pulse. Just use apt-get to install it. I usually create a tool bar
>> icon to summon it, if one isn't auto created. You'll enjoy it. Ric
> This is a headless system, I can't use GUI apps.
> I have finally got it all working by removing pulseaudio and using alsa
> directly.  The fundamental problem is that it's very difficult indeed to
> get pulseaudio working on a non-GUI system.

If the headless system has a GUI installed, but no monitor, then you
can use desktop sharing to control it from another machine.  I use
x11vnc which can be started remotely over ssh, with vinagre as the vnc


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