This page is dedicated to installing the new Pulse Audio sound server in Ubuntu, and getting it working under LTSP thin-clients.

The content on this page was taken directly from the Ubuntu wiki URL listed below and modified to fit the needs of LNS specific client installations. I would assume these instructions are mostly portable to anyone wanting to install PulseAudio in LTSP environments, but YMMV.

PulseAudio is a sound server for POSIX and Win32 systems. A sound server is basically a proxy for your sound applications. It allows you to do advanced operations on your sound data as it passes between your application and your hardware. Things like transferring the audio to a different machine, changing the sample format or channel count and mixing several sounds into one are easily achieved using a sound server.

It's a drop in replacement for EsounD. PulseAudio is the standard sound server in Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04.

Here's how to install it, as of Dec-08-2007, on Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon 7.10, with PulseAudio 0.9.6


Installing PulseAudio

Open a Terminal window.

Type the following:

sudo apt-get install libasound2-plugins "pulseaudio-*" paman padevchooser paprefs pavucontrol pavumeter

This will install the ALSA Pulse plugin, the PulseAudio daemons and the PulseAudio tools.

ALSA Configuration

Now, type the following:

sudo gedit /etc/asound.conf

This will open /etc/asound.conf in a Text Editor as the root user.

Normally on Ubuntu 7.10, this file will not exist, so we're creating it.

Paste in the following:

pcm.pulse {
    type pulse
ctl.pulse {
    type pulse
pcm.!default {
    type pulse
ctl.!default {
    type pulse

The top two will create new output and input definitions for PulseAudio, and the bottom two will set PulseAudio as the default audio device for programs using the ALSA interface.

Save and exit Text Editor.

Configuring PulseAudio

Now, go into Applications -> Sound and Video -> click on PulseAudio Preferences.
* Checkmark all three options under Network Access. This will allow other computers on your LAN with PulseAudio to access this computer's sound devices.
* Checkmark Enable Multicast/RTP Receiver. This allows receiving multicast streams from other systems on your LAN.
* Checkmark Enable Multicast/RTP Sender. This allows sending multicast streams (One source sends packets, all others may receive them simultaneously)

Leave the other options alone for now, unless you want to loop outgoing streams through the local speakers.

Next go into System -> Preferences -> Sound and make sure that Enable Software Sound Mixing is checked.
Also, under the Sounds Tab, I set devices to Autodetect.

* Install the necessary gstreamer plugins to work with Gnome sound/volume control:

sudo apt-get install libgstreamer-plugins-pulse*

* Reboot your machine to enable the PulseAudio server.

Getting Adobe Flash to work with PulseAudio

See FirefoxFlash on this wiki regarding installing libflashsupport to get the Adobe Flash plugin working with PulseAudio.

PulseAudio Removal

If you decide you no longer like PulseAudio and would like to disable it:
Remove the added lines to /etc/asound.conf
If /etc/asound.conf did not exist when you installed PulseAudio, you may remove /etc/asound.conf entirely.

After this, you may remove all of the installed PulseAudio packages.


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