Why are Pulseaudio and Pipewire both enabled by default?

For example, on a fresh install:

If Pipewire is running with pipewire-pulse installed then all Pulseaudio applications will output via Pipewire.

Is there a reason to have Pulseaudio running separately?

Pipe wire won’t remove pulse unless you install pipe wire pulse. Until that point they can coexist without issues as far as I know.


Yes - the question is, is it (still?) necessary to have both? Why not just let Pipewire (+ pipewire-pulse) do its thing?


There are also other inxi reports with only pipewire running.
Maybe it depends on other system settings/apps, per ISO date, per ISO DE, user installed pacakges etc.?


Pipewire is a dependancy of something
So it gets installed and is unavoidable
When pulseaudio is default.
I think kde barebone gnome barebone and kde gaming has pulseaudio as default

When pipewire-pulse is installed there is no pulseaudio.

Rest of the iso's has pipewire as default


Off the top of my head, both kwin and xdg-desktop-portal require it. Probably others too.


Nah, on a fresh KDE Plasma in Arch today, Pipewire is a dependency of of Kwin and pipewire-pulse a dependency of plasma-workspace (and a whole bunch other). KDE is seeking to replace pulseaudio with pipewre at some soon-to-be date.

Pulseaudio is a required dependency plasma-pa.

It's not too difficult to kill the pipewire soundserver and replace it with pulseaudiio's.

Think of it in terms of when Systemd, Wayland, etc. were first implemented. It's not quite ready for primetime, but soon.

My pactl info:

c00ter:~ $ pactl info
Server String: /run/user/1000/pulse/native
Library Protocol Version: 35
Server Protocol Version: 35
Is Local: yes
Client Index: 49
Tile Size: 65472
User Name: c00ter
Host Name: baked-coffee
Server Name: pulseaudio
Server Version: 15.0
Default Sample Specification: float32le 2ch 44100Hz
Default Channel Map: front-left,front-right
Default Sink: ladspa_output.mbeq_1197.mbeq
Default Source: alsa_output.usb-Logitech_Logi_Z407_00000000-01.analog-stereo.monitor

As you can see, only pulseaudio is running. I prefer it for the efficient equalizers to produce decent sound for my home desktop machine. You can achieve those same effects in Pipewire, but Pulseaudio is what I am used to. And I am lazy! :wink:

More copy/pasted Pipewire info (thank you, Google):

Why is PipeWire better than PulseAudio?

PipeWire was designed to be able to accommodate both use cases, delivering very low latency, while at the same time not wasting CPU resources. This design also makes PipeWire a much more efficient solution than PulseAudio in general, making it a perfect fit for embedded use cases too.

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Is Pipewire the default on KDE Dragonized? If it isn't, then from what I've researched, I think it really should be. Would there be any good reason for it not to be?

It is already.


Pipewire provides for minimal-latency response and other valuable features.

Developers are constantly improving Linux subsystems, and have replaced multimedia frameworks several times throughout its history. Pipewire is just the newest, replacing but still working with such frameworks as pulseaudio, jack, and alsa. I'm an old fuddy-duddy who prefers working with pulseaudio, and pipewire even accommodates me.

It's kind of funny, in a way. I have special modifier configs I insert into places like modprobe.d that kind of duplicate some of pipewires new features by modifying or autostarting some of pulseaudio's, and I'll bet I'm not the only one. It will be nice to be able to properly configure those in pipewire. I hope. :wink:


Actually, I'm pretty sure pipewire, or something included in pipewire-support (possible pipewire-pulse) provides that dependency. Look, on my system I have:

extra/pipewire-pulse 1:0.3.33-1 [installed]
    Low-latency audio/video router and processor - PulseAudio replacement
extra/plasma-pa 5.22.4-1 (plasma) [installed]
    Plasma applet for audio volume management using PulseAudio
extra/pulseaudio 15.0-1
    A featureful, general-purpose sound server


inxi -Faz | grep Sound
           Sound Server-1: ALSA v: k5.12.19-hardened1-1-hardened running: yes
           Sound Server-2: JACK v: 1.9.19 running: no
           Sound Server-3: PulseAudio v: 15.0 running: no
           Sound Server-4: PipeWire v: 0.3.33 running: yes
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pipewire-pulse provides pulseaudio