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It would be intresting[edit]

to read the names of the responsible persons of this software here. Hella — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:02, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Polypaudio -> PulseAudio[edit]

Polypaudio has been renamed to Pulse Audio. riffic 21:03, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Was it called Polypaudio or PolypAudio? I've seen it spelled both ways. :-/ Sam 19:04, 20 July 2006 (UTC)


Definitely needs a criticism section. Just had Debian install this garbage as a 'recommended' package, sound started breaking up in mplayer afterwards. See for plenty of negative comments about this software. (talk) 20:55, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

Shouldn't this contain a criticism section? The central problem that arts and esd were designed to overcome, was the limitations of poor hardware support in linux & other free systems. These limitations made it impossible for multiple processes to have an open handle on the sound device. With the inclusion of ALSA in the kernel for Linux, this became a non issue, however the kde and gnome camps were reluctant to give up any ground, and their daemons, now nothing more than wasteful sound proxies, lived on: solutions for a problem that no longer existed. Considering PulseAudio was designed as a replacement for esd/arts, it falls in to the same category: a solution for a non-existent problem. (talk) 16:49, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

PulseAudio does a lot more than allow multiple processes access to the sound stream - it also allows you to fine-tune the audio output of all your processes, including varying left and right channels individually. Also, the ability to set up dmix (the mixer for multiple channels in ALSA) is not exactly easy, whereas PulseAudio provides this from the offset. Yes, a lot of "older" (and some recent programs) have been broken by PulseAudio, but as far as I am aware, the developers are working to fix these issues (and seem to mainly relate to programs using broken or older sound systems). ~~ [Jam][talk] 19:58, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Further you'd need reliable sources, what you have written reads very much like WP:OR. --Falcorian (talk) 04:35, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Not to mention that ALSA is notoriously difficult to configure correctly and does not offer to sync multiple outputs to a single stream. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:07, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
Sound latency and seldom crashes of the PulseAudio daemon are the main reason for criticism, the problem is that adobe flash player is using PulseAudio for sound output thus making it inevitable for most users. most distributions are compiling pulseaudio with gconf module which adds lots of unneeded runtime dependencies like gvfs. in some cases Pulseaudio genarates crackling noise while more clients are in use on nvidia nforce chipsets (talk) 17:46, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
I wonder where you got that idea. Adobe Flash 9 and 10 can certainly use ALSA directly (when PulseAudio is not available). -- intgr [talk] 14:47, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
How about breaking just almost everything that was working fine with Alsa? I'm not against the improvements Pulse Audio purports to seek. But the way it was forced onto users before readiness really rankles.Crosslink (talk) 23:42, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
There should definitely be a criticism section. Currently pulseaudio is using as much as 20% of my Athlon 64 3700+ machine when I play games!! Can you believe that? There must be something *VERY* big broken in it because ALSA took 0% CPU time. Henu (talk) 09:32, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Honestly people, Wikipedia talk pages are for discussion on improving the article, not for ranting or posting your anecdotal problems. Content on Wikipedia must be verifiable, i.e., come from other reliable sources, not some observation you made yourself the other day (and no, mailing lists/forums/blogs are not reliable sources). -- intgr [talk] 13:55, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

PulseAudio is a bit special. It has been problematic from day one, and continues to be problematic to this day. It is uncanny how the decision makers continue to be in denial about this, up to this very day. I'm sorry that me too, can not offer anything beyond anecdotes. But I've installed many Linux systems, and I have never seen PulseAudio not cause problems - ever. Audio cutting out. Audio not working. Something screwing up. It's the same, over and over and over. There has never been a demand for what PulseAudio offers over ALSA. Who needs network based audio? Sorry that I'm also ranting here, and I normally never do this on a Wikepedia Talk page. But this module is just absurd. What needs to be happen is that someone should create a section how the community does not perceive PulseAudio well at all. It is possible to disable/bypass PulseAudio using "autospawn=no". Uninstalling PulseAudio is a bad idea because it destroys all kinds of things doing that. This is by far *the* most awful component in Linux that I have ever seen, bar none. I would love for Ubuntu to simply stop shipping this component out of the box. If someone wants network based audio, install it then. But don't push it on the majority that simply would never need or want this. ps. I'm writing this in March of 2016. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:07, 28 March 2016 (UTC)

Lennart Poettering[edit]

Main author of this GREAT audio server isn't even mentioned in the article?! I think he more than deserve credits!--Popski (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 09:55, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Great author? Great Software? Well, well... "beauty lies in the eye of the beholder". I Think this should be an objective article about a pice of software, not a hymn to a programmer. And btw, there are also other opinions, about the author as well as about the software. (talk) 16:06, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

PulseAudio on by default in Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04.[edit]

The latest Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04 distro has PulseAudio on by default (see [1], replacing the ESD and slotting in between a number of apps. It all seems quite well integrated *except* that there are problems with clicks and pops on audio with high CPU. I get this on one of my machines (a trash/dumpster found machine that runs a PIII 433 Mhz processor and 384 Meg of memory). I think it's fixed in kernel 2.6.24-17-generic (which isn't yet out for me). The point being that lots of people use Ubuntu so this'll probably attract more traffic to this article. Ttiotsw (talk) 23:29, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

CPU usage[edit]

On a low-end machine, such as a 600 MHz C3, the pulseaudio server can use 30% of the CPU. This converts a silent media-server from one which can (just) play DVDs into one which can't. Most pulseaudio-compliant applications such as mplayer will happily fall back to using ALSA natively if p.a. is uninstalled. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:48, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Sound in Unix -> PulseAudio??[edit]

Why does Sound in Unix redirect to here? --antilivedT | C | G 09:21, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

It appears the article - which was created in March this year - originally redirected to the Open Sound System, which has now been more or less deprecated by PulseAudio. I suspect the redirect should really be deleted, because it implies that PulseAudio is the only sound system available to *nix operating systems. ~~ [Jam][talk] 10:06, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Reads like an advertisement[edit]

This page reads like an advertisement to me, especially since it's overly positive and overly critical of the one alternative listed. (ALSA has used dmix by default for quite a while now.) Can we use the "reads like an advertisement" banner at the top of this page until it has a more NPOV? DannyKitty (talk) 01:45, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

For example a claim is made that pulseaudio is low latency, a claim made in so many places that it becomes hard to filter results from google when trying to figure out how to adjust the latency of pulseaudio. The latency on my install (hardy 8.04 ubuntu) is reported as:
I: sink-input.c: Created input 0 "ALSA Playback" on alsa_output.hw_0 with sample spec s16le 2ch 44100Hz and channel map front-left,front-right
I: protocol-native.c: Requested tlength=500.00 ms, minreq=124.99 ms
I: protocol-native.c: Final latency 624.99 ms = 250.02 ms + 2*124.99 ms + 124.99 ms
624.99ms is high (more than 1/2 second).
Rextanka (talk) 00:15, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
And are we to use your personal recollection as a reference? No. The article should contain only material backed up by reliable sources. Feel free to remove anything which does not fit that criterion. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 12:21, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Not that my opinion matters to the wiki lawyers, This doesn't really read like an advert to me. It seems to have pretty bare bones facts. The feature list is a bit much but then again it's useful to have. Bios Element (talk) 03:59, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Rextanka's figures are interesting. They're obviously from a non-realtime kernel, but that's not a criticism. They demonstrate that low-latency claims are kernel-dependent and that PulseAudio's claims are dependent on external factors. AFAICT the PulseAudio developers are still working on making their software rt-safe and non-intrusive. Btw, there has been considerable controversy over PulseAudio and its intentions. See the recent archives of the Linux Audio Developers mail list and various Ubuntu forums for an overview of the problems it's caused for serious recordists. Note, however, that it's true that Ubuntu really dropped the ball when it came to PulseAudio's implementation in recent releases of that distribution. I don't think they could have done worse if they had planned to. (talk) 10:41, 23 June 2009 (UTC)


WP:CSECTION is not justification to outright delete/revert cited criticism of PulseAudio, no matter how much you may wish to whitewash this article. I quote:

This does not imply that criticism should be removed from the article; only that the current organization of content on the page results in an unbalanced presentation.

As it stands, criticism in its own section is consistent with many other articles; if you object, feel free to fit it into prose more comfortably, but currently the article does not have such a body IMO. If someone fixes the (templated-marked) list->prose problem, that may work. LionsPhil (talk) 17:23, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

"Whitewash". Hilarious. I've retitled the section, which will do for now, although quite why including gossip cribbed from developer blogs is so vitally important to this article is beyond me. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 20:56, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Introduction and Alternatives[edit]

From the first paragraph of the introduction I have the impression that PulseAudio is an alternative to Alsa. But then from the first paragraph under Alternatives I have the impression that PulseAudio is a mixer which can serve in place of dmix. Well, I guess neither of these statements is correct. Will someone please try to improve the introduction so that the function of PulseAudio is apparent. Thanks, PeterEasthope (talk) 05:07, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

Sound Server/Sound System[edit]

There seems to be some confusion about the two terms. PulseAudio is a sound server, ALSA is a sound system. Without a backend audio system such as ALSA or OSS you can't have a functioning artsd, PulseAudio, JACK, or any other sound server. (talk) 12:38, 21 June 2009 (UTC)


I know this is a touchy issue, but I am reverting the use of GNU/Linux... please read the rationale before blindly re-reverting it: PulseAudio is not dependent on a GNU user space to operate. For example, we use PulseAudio on an embedded Linux platform with pretty much no core GNU tools at all (BusyBox and uclibc, etc).. PulseAudio is written against Alsa which is not a GNU project and all its other dependencies are not necessarily dependent on GNU artifacts. Dammitall097 (talk) 04:35, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

and it's not dependant on Linux to operate either. Hence it should be reverted, PulseAudio needs a userspace element to run on whether that is BSD, GNU or a proprietary UNIX userland.... (Anonymous) 19:39, 30 September 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

OK, you are of course totally right. Pulseaudio is quite modular, and so is very much a multiplatform tool (not really platform independent, just multiplatform). However, I think it is ok to at least mention Linux because, let's face it, that's the only platform where Pulseaudio has even made a dent in marketshare. (I know I know, you have pieces for client side that would be run on windows, and those are becoming common)... In fact, writing about this would be a great idea. (Sorry I am not up to it right now) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dammitall097 (talkcontribs) 17:34, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

I think "Linux Kernel" should be removed from this structural diagram. Currently it says "ALSA/OSS hardware drivers", etc. It should say "OS kernel" and "OS drivers" since PulseAudio works on BSDs, Solaris, MacOS and Windows too. Yurivict (talk) 21:57, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

I believe that pulseaudio bug came from a "support-war" between red hat and chronical. I believe this due the fact a bug was created by a red hat dev and therfore would look bad for them, and to counter-balance this. I sincerly hope not, as I have been going to wikipedia for years for the fact of it being a non-profit, free, and mostly un-bias source of information. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:52, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

PulseAudio bug not mentioned.[edit]

On Ubuntu, some programs will only work with sound if you close all other programs first. For example the Linux version of Kega Fusion will only play sound when all other programs are closed first. Why does this happen with PulseAudio? I'm not an expert at this subject, but maybe someone who is an expert can explain the technical details and maybe put this onto the main page. TurboForce (talk) 11:44, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

WP is not a bug tracker. This probably does not belong in this article riffic (talk) 12:51, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
Okay, Wikipedia articles about software shouldn't list bugs, but I think major problems or limitations deserve a mention. TurboForce (talk) 20:58, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
By reading the article, I don't understand why a "sound server" like PulseAudio is needed. Does Microsoft Windows use a sound server or does it just use "the" sound card driver? I still have the problem occasionally of a few programs that will only work with sound when you close all other sound programs in Ubuntu. Why not "just" use ALSA? Please clarify. Thanks. TurboForce (talk) 21:18, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
ALSA alone, even with dmix, does not provide a sufficient level of abstraction expected from a modern desktop sound system, nor can it reroute streams from legacy APIs into the mixer. Before PulseAudio came along, it was not uncommon for "ill-behaved" Linux applications to exclusively lock the sound card. As for Windows and Mac OS X, IIRC, they also use userspace mixer processes, they just don't have a special name. - Sikon (talk) 10:22, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Blog post about pulseaudio latency[edit] talks about low latency in Pulseaudio. (talk) 15:16, 21 October 2011 (UTC)


"PulseAudio is used in recent versions of several major linux distributions" could be better worded as "PulseAudio is available in recent versions of several major linux distributions". The phrase "is used" implies that it is a required component, or at least a component that is installed by default. On Debian, it is neither. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:39, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

Seconded Krushia (talk) 16:56, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

AMD TrueAudio[edit]

Poettering talked in his blog about software effects rather using SIMD in the CPU, e.g. MMX, for calculations than a distinct sound card with sound processors. What about AMD TrueAudio? Does support for it belong into PulseAudio or into the kernel (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture)? User:ScotXWt@lk 15:16, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Mac OS X[edit]

OS X is listed as a supported platform on this page, but I can't find any reference to OS X on the project's homepage and not anywhere else yet.

Elronxenu (talk) 06:57, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

Self-published sources[edit]

Almost all of the references to this article are from self-published sources. NotYourFathersOldsmobile (talk) 02:28, 4 March 2017 (UTC)