[xubuntu-users] Bluetooth/Pulseaudio

Tigerwolf tigerwolf at tigerden.com
Wed Apr 20 01:23:38 UTC 2016

Has anyone EVER gotten external bluetooth speakers to work RELIABLY with 
Xubuntu 14.04LTS?

I have noted the following:

  - Despite being told to do so in the PA config file, the BT-pulseaudio
    module is NEVER installed.  You have to do it manually from a root
    login with every boot.

  - When the BT speakers are activated, BT *sees* them, and will connect in
    'headset' mode (very tinny mono sound)...sometimes.  Attempt to switch
    profiles to HiFi audio (A2DP) fails with "Failed to change to profile..."
    BT error.  This problem has been noted in BT-related forums FOR AT
    LEAST 3 YEARS!  Things that SOME found to work in older Ubuntu
    or other distro versions no longer do in later ones.

-  There is speculation the above may be due to LIGHTDM claiming and
    hogging the A2DP stream.  I had some minor success *FOR A WHILE*
    by cleaning out all the cruft LightDM left behind in
    /var/lib/lightdm/.config/pulse/*   This method ceased to work about
    2 software updates ago.  When it did work you had to do the following:
        - Boot cold with all external BT devices powered OFF
        - As root, clean out LightDM directory.
        - As root, load PA Bluetooth module.
        - Turn on ONE speaker (2 speaker sets are required).  That will
          claim both headset and A2DP drivers/profiles, though it defaults
          to only using the 'headset/telephony' one.
        - In BT 'devices', manually turn OFF the Audio Sink (A2DP) driver.
          Leave the speaker turned on and connected as a 'Telephony'
        - Turn on the SECOND speaker.  It will now see ONLY A2DP driver
          as available.
        - Do BT 'setup' on the second device.
        - With luck, it will appear in the PA device list.
        - If the second speaker works as A2DP, then, in BT, disconnect the
          'telephony' speaker.
        - If the second speaker has an 'off' profile, or won't connect,
          the machine must be cold booted to try again.

- Cleaning out the LightDM config, BT will see a speaker, claim to connect
   to it as A2DP, but it never shows up in the PA volume controls, and the
   profile is listed as 'OFF'.  Again, you can't change the BT profile.  In
   PA, it can APPEAR to change the profile on the GUI, but it never actually
   takes effect.  Again, this issue is subject of MANY complaints and
   remains unresolved.

- SOMETIMES, on VERY RARE occasions, BT will see the speaker, and starting
   from scratch 'setup' will cause it to work in A2DP hi-fi mode.  However,
   this is so maddeningly rare, usually requires several reboots, that it
   is nothing more than PROOF that it CAN work.

- On the rare occasions where the speakers do work, the mere ACT of
   opening the PA volume control GUI (whether or not you actually *touch*
   any settings) will, within few seconds, TOTALLY freeze and crash the
   running audio application.  If you have the PA volume controls up when
   you start the application, then closing the window will crash it.

If anyone has any insights, please pass them on.

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