[arch-general] PulseAudio in [testing]

Ng Oon-Ee ngoonee at gmail.com
Sun Nov 28 01:22:53 CET 2010

On Sat, 2010-11-27 at 13:01 -0600, C Anthony Risinger wrote:
> On Sat, Nov 27, 2010 at 1:47 AM, Philipp Überbacher
> > Gnome isn't Linux, Gnome is primarily a DAU-top. I don't see why gnome
> > should govern the direction of every distribution. Yes, ubuntu decided
> > that they want to follow and build on gnome, their release cycle etc.,
> > but we're not ubuntu.
> yes i'd agree 100%; to clarify, i'm not asking about gnome/.../... in
> particular, my inquiry was based on the observation that only one
> "sound server" (or user-space library) can comfortably run per system,
> and i was curious as to how that would unfold in terms of pacman/etc.

This has nothing to do with pacman. You can have many sound servers
installed, you just have to choose yourself which to run. And ALSA is
not a sound server. Pulseaudio and JACK are. I run both, at varying
times, on the same machine.
> > The piece you miss: PA depends on alsa, it builds on alsa, it can't
> > replace it. At hardware-near levels there's still alsa at work. If you
> > use alsa via PA, then you go alsa-PA-alsa.
> ok, i was thinking that PA was eventually going to have new kernel
> bits included as well.  i know (IIRC) that ALSA is a kernel API, and
> also a userspace API... distinctly separate.  programs are normally
> linked against the userspace API vs. using the kernel directly,
> correct? and PA has no intentions of ever reaching the kernel in any
> way shape or form?

Refer to your own comments below. How does the kernel even come into a
discussion on Pulse anyway?

> > Btw., last time I checked it was not recommended to program using the PA
> > API, so unless this changed, developers are still supposed to write
> > their programs for alsa or whatever else.
> ok, i suppose i will need to do some more research on all of these
> components and how they interoperate, thanks Philipp.

Yep. Simple version, ALSA manages the hardware itself (a tough job, and
causes most breakages currently, hardware support on Linux, same old
story), pulseaudio plugs in on top of that to manage ALL apps, so it
sits between apps and ALSA. In the same way JACK does.
> my only concern is that 99% of the negative feedback is based on
> ubuntu this or that, usually from years past... ubuntu pretty much
> jumped the gun; i really like the growing trend of services with DBUS
> unification, and i think this is a Good Thing for
> management/security/flexibility.

Yeah, what does Ubuntu have to do with Arch anyway?

> PA appears to be quite stable at this point, and it's great that apps
> work with or without.  somewhat unrelated, but these same questions
> will rise again, and more fiercely, once systemd is stable and
> mainstreamed (which is slated for fedora, and IIRC being considered by
> debian/ubuntu)... the landscape is changing for the better.

I've been following systemd as well, looks good (though BSD-style init
is what we're all used to here). Will perhaps try it out soon. PA is
stable, and IMO has been for more than a year.

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