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Remove pulseaudio from default installation again

Feature state

openSUSE Distribution
Rejected Information


Since having pulseaudio again activated as default not one of the systems that I have installed 11.4 had a working audio system. Remove pulse from the default installation again as it does nothing but break working installations. This has been verified across multiple sound cards and setups. Don't get rid of the pulseaudio packages, just take them out of the default installation pattern.

User benefit:

Pulse audio is supposed to deliver several high level features like network transparency, etc. Most users do not need those features so for them pulse just add another layer of complexity. It is necessary to install several libraries to gain complete control of the sound system (the same control that those users have since years through alsa and kmix, for example), and that for someone who only need to listen his/her
local music collection is too much.

Default systems must be
simple , with the ability to add (also in a simple way) the advanced features. Unless some "patterns" are set to use during install (one for "normal" users who do not need pulse, other for those who want it out of the box) to NOT force new users to face the more complex scheme (i.e., to not install pulse by default but leave it as a choice) is a good solution.


icons/user_comment.png W. F. wrote: (3 years ago)

Removing Pulse from the default installation would be perhaps the wisest choice for opensuse 11.4. There is no point in subjecting users to the absolutely frustrating punishment of distorted and often sporadic sound as a result of pulse audio. Until pulse is reliable and bug free ALSA is a wise choice - it works!

icons/user_comment.png R. G. wrote: (3 years ago)

Just added a "user benefit" entry. I understand that there are people who would like to use pulse (on the net you can read praises and attacks almost on the same measure), but I think an easy "switch" for those who do not want to use it is important.

icons/user_comment.png C. M. wrote: (3 years ago)

I agree. The default should be as simple as possible, with the possibility
to add fancy stuff if needed.

Someone who needs network transparency will know how to get it, there's no need to force that upon users for which 'sound' means just being able to control the volume.

icons/user_comment.png J. S. wrote: (3 years ago)

I haven't been able to get it working properly in two different machines with different hardware. And there's no point in having to uninstall it and lock the package, because it's part of the default installation.
I think the project is not mature enough to be shipped with a distro which is supposed to be stable. Although in my opinion the whole idea of pulseaudio is great, it still needs some time, especially in KDE.

icons/user_comment.png K. S. wrote: (3 years ago)

Actually, for me pulseaudio was
the only way to make audio playback reliable across flash, skype and KDE apps. My experience is this: most apps now support pulseaudio natively (even skype), and for ALSA-consuments it provides software-mixing out of the box, without any tweaking of ALSA configs. With pure ALSA I had to manually edit /etc/asound.conf to incorporate dmix, and seldom got it right.

Since I enabled pulseaudio (
http://kayschubert.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/flash-and-pulseaudio-in-opensuse-11-3/ ) I have not once experienced distorted audio.

icons/user_comment.png R. L. wrote: (3 years ago)

Pulse is too glitchy. I get sound, but every system I have installed on has inconsistencies. On one system I defaulted to Ubuntu (which I do not like) just to get the sound to work properly. I do not feel pulse is mature enough to be default at present. Further, I would like a simple way to remove it so I can have a reliable sound system again.

icons/user_comment.png P. G. wrote: (3 years ago)

I'm inclined to somewhat agree having spent a good while trying to figure out audio problems on a machine that I upgraded from 11.3 to 11.4. It turned out that some switches in Alsamixer (swap surround, line jack sensor, etc.) had to be changed and then voilĂ , as if by magic it all worked, but I'd already removed PulseAudio by this stage having tried everything else I could think of.

This may have been due to existing config files in the user directories for 11.3 (with no PulseAudio) clashing with the new default configuration for 11.4 (where it is enabled), though that perhaps indicates a bug that should have been addressed prior to release. For KDE users, this is more of a problem since no PA volume control is installed by default (at least not from my DVD installation) and messing with either KMix or YaST's various sliders achieves nothing if it is actually the Alsamixer settings that are at fault, so one naturally first assumes a hardware or PulseAudio issue. Indeed, with PA enabled there are few sliders visible that one can adjust because the pavucontrol is needed instead. I'm sure many of the dozens of forum posts from users having sound problems after 11.4 installations are because of this. In addition, KDE users have Phonon which is able to control separate outputs perfectly well without the need for the extra layer of PA, although the KCM interface isn't as intuitive in managing that as it could be.

However, by the time the next oS (12.1?) is out, it's possible to improve on all these things which is why I'll suspend voting this up for the moment. I know the argument from some devs will be that there already IS a switch to enable/disable PulseAudio in YaST's sound module, though it is obscurely located and there is often advice to users with problems to completely remove pulse files from the system. Since it should probably be an administrator-controlled setting, my best suggestion would be relocate the on/off switch on the main page of the YaST Sound module clearly visible as a simple check box, ensure that unchecking it completely decouples all PA configurations in the system, and if it is to remain on by default in the next release, ensure that default underlying Alsamixer levels are well considered and not likely to mute any channels on a fresh or upgrade install.

icons/user_comment.png A. W. wrote: (2 years ago)

PulseAudio has been perfectly stable and worked well on the numerous laptops and workstations I manage. The features provided by Pulse are critical to delivering a 21st century desktop.

icons/user_comment.png R. D. wrote: (2 years ago)

Having never had Pulse installed in past, my 11.4 & 12.1 M2 installs with Pulse had fine Audio out of the box.
In order for Linux Audio to improve, developers need a safe set of features to target, so having Pulse Audio as ubiquitous allows the "safe ALSA" set to be "standard" and improve things from OSS.

For 12.1 there's still 4 months for bug fixing of any remaining Pulse issues; time to forgive past "Pulse Audio broke my sound!" indiscretions

Last change: 2 years ago
Score: 10
  • Negative: 11
  • Neutral: 1
  • Positive: 21

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