Pulseaudio/Wireplumber conflict

I know there have been a lot of topics about the wireplumber hotfix this past week, but I'm needing advice. Over the last day I've been researching and narrowed down reproducing the problem.

I know many installations, like mine, have pipewire and pulseaudio servers running at the same time. I've also read that some applications require pipewire, and some require pulseaudio. This is where my confusion is coming from, as I'm nervous to remove one.

inxi -Faz |grep Sound
Sound Server-1: ALSA v: k5.14.16-zen1-1-zen running: yes
Sound Server-2: JACK v: 1.9.19 running: no
Sound Server-3: PulseAudio v: 15.0 running: yes
Sound Server-4: PipeWire v: 0.3.39 running: yes

I applied the hotfix via update, and I also have garuda-maintenance installed.

I have wireplumber, but not pipewire-media-session installed:

sudo pacman -Qi pipewire-media-session wireplumber

error: package 'pipewire-media-session' was not found
Name            : wireplumber
Version         : 0.4.4-4
Description     : Session / policy manager implementation for PipeWire
Architecture    : x86_64
URL             : https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/pipewire/wireplumber
Licenses        : MIT
Groups          : None
Provides        : libwireplumber-0.4.so=0-64  pipewire-session-manager
Depends On      : gcc-libs  glibc  lua  libgio-2.0.so=0-64  libglib-2.0.so=0-64
libgmodule-2.0.so=0-64  libgobject-2.0.so=0-64  libpipewire-0.3.so=0-64
Optional Deps   : wireplumber-docs: for documentation
Required By     : gst-plugin-pipewire  kwin  pipewire-alsa  pipewire-jack  pipewire-v4l2
Optional For    : pipewire
Conflicts With  : pipewire-media-session
Replaces        : None
Installed Size  : 1894.14 KiB
Packager        : David Runge <[email protected]>
Build Date      : Mon 25 Oct 2021 06:16:01 PM EDT
Install Date    : Tue 26 Oct 2021 02:25:28 PM EDT
Install Reason  : Installed as a dependency for another package
Install Script  : Yes
Validated By    : Signature

The actual issue I'm having is that, at random, all output devices will vanish and I'm left with no sound until a full system restart. After digging, I've come to realize wireplumber is stealing control of all my sound devices, but I get no sound.

fuser -v /dev/snd/*
USER        PID ACCESS COMMAND
/dev/snd/controlC0:  steve     116591 F.... pulseaudio
steve     116920 F.... wireplumber
/dev/snd/controlC1:  steve     116591 F.... pulseaudio
steve     116920 F.... wireplumber
/dev/snd/controlC2:  steve     116591 F.... pulseaudio
steve     116920 F.... wireplumber
/dev/snd/seq:        steve     24768 F.... pipewire

I can restore sound by :

kill 116920
systemctl --user restart pulseaudio

And now wireplumber is gone:

fuser -v /dev/snd/*
USER        PID ACCESS COMMAND
/dev/snd/controlC0:  steve     116591 F.... pulseaudio
/dev/snd/controlC1:  steve     116591 F.... pulseaudio
/dev/snd/controlC2:  steve     116591 F.... pulseaudio
/dev/snd/pcmC0D0p:   steve     116591 F...m pulseaudio
/dev/snd/pcmC1D3p:   steve     116591 F...m pulseaudio
/dev/snd/pcmC2D0c:   steve     116591 F...m pulseaudio
/dev/snd/pcmC2D0p:   steve     116591 F...m pulseaudio

If I restart wireplumber from this point, sound dies again until I kill it and restart pulseaudio. Sometimes wireplumber will just start running on its own, and it seems to happen when I launch some games via steam. Not an exact science here, I'm just happy I was able to narrow it down.

Also, in garuda assistant, only ALSA and PulseAudio support are ticked under Audio. This has been applied, and system restarted.

The advice I need here is, what do I do? Do I get rid of wireplumber? Do I get rid of pulseaudio and go full pipewire? Does the hotfix address this, and if so, why is it still happening?

Yes. There's no need to have both, and PipeWire is rapidly becoming the better option (for many people it already is).

Just

sudo pacman -S pipewire-pulse

will do it.

4 Likes

Thank you, jonathon, this did the trick. I had to manually remove some packages that depended on pulseaudio, but nothing seemed to break.

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