Re: I am so royaly @&%$ OFF at Debian that it's not even fun…

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Author: Michael Butash
To: Main PLUG discussion list
Subject: Re: I am so royaly @&%$ OFF at Debian that it's not even funny...
Pulse can and does serve a purpose that alsa never was able to really do
easily - mux audio inputs and outputs effectively.

Can alsa do it? Yes. Does it do it effectively and automatically? No.
This is what pulse does.

Long-term linux users have probably had to setup alsa dmix devices, it was
never fun or intuitive unless you understood audio sampling, bitrates, and
codecs like that. Most did not because of pulse eventually, luckily I have
an affinity toward such things to setup dmix prior, but it was far from
intuitive. Pulse has been more good than bad from the dark ages of alsa

Pulse as software is doing some stuff probably best served by hardware, but
such things don't exist when routing between hardware devices in the first
place. In experiencing probably 8-9 years of pulse evolution now, there
have been issues, but it is still more good than bad lest you love dealing
with alsa directly. I do not.

Pulse issues these days are more codec and hardware related, I wouldn't gut
pulse since most things just assume and presume it is default and there in
the first place these days. Last time I tried that, it ended worse than

Install pavucontrol and ensure your audio is routing properly to begin with
between devices as this shows you the response to the input/output feeds
real-time. KDE sound and even Cinnamon do a lack-lustre job at best
replacing pulse controls, I still prefer to use the pulse client
pavucontrol to do the sound management, same as alsa people bust out amixer
as a common denominator.


On Sat, Sep 23, 2017 at 12:30 PM, Steve Litt <>

> I have an idea that might work.
> First, get rid of Pulseaudio. That thing has too many hard to find
> mutes, and its interrelationships with ALSA and hardware are too
> convoluted to easily troubleshoot. Run pure ALSA, using apulse for the
> occasional thing that *must* have pulseaudio.
> Now, exclusively use aplay, arecord, amixer and sound-test, every one
> of which is CLI, to configure your sound. I'm assuming you have some
> sort of way to read terminal output, because you participate on this
> mailing list.
> If you absolutely, positively refuse to get rid of Pulseaudio, the
> following article might (or might not) be of service:
> pulseaudio-command-line-tools
> I've been using Void Linux for about 18 months, and find it an
> excellent distro to do things my way, which is usually the simple way.
> With Void, I'm able to do all necessary sound stuff with ALSA and the
> occasional invocation of apulse. Void does an excellent job of letting
> you configure your machine your way.
> HTH,
> SteveT
> Steve Litt
> September 2017 featured book: Manager's Guide to Technical
> Troubleshooting Brand new, second edition
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