Sunday, February 22, 2009

pulseaudio and Fedora 10 don't get along

Working with my Fedora 10, x86-64 VM running under Fusion on my MacBook Pro was an exercise in frustration today:
- pulseaudio was spitting out noise and I couldn't uninstall it
- VMware Tools wouldn't compile
- I was running out of disk space in the VM

PulseAudio Problem
The problem with PulseAudio and Fedora 10, x86-64 is that when you use any multimedia application that has sound, the pulseaudio driver just creates noise in your speakers. Also, any video stream associated with the audio stream will be corrupted or at a minimum, sped up or slowed down and generally unwatchable.

Solutions that should work, don't
Under System -> Preferences -> Personal -> Sessions, I unchecked the PulseAudio Sound System. Even with this change, my apps in Gnome kept using Pulse. I'm wondering if this problem is related to Gnome in the last three Fedoras not saving session information properly?

Also, reading the man pages for pulse-daemon.conf, pulse-client.conf and pulseaudio wasn't much help as it did not yield a simple solution for disabling it.

I couldn't remove pulseaudio, because the beast has hooks into everything:
[sodo@ogre ~]$ sudo yum remove pulseaudio*
compiz-gnome x86_64 0.7.8-7.fc10

control-center x86_64 1:
gdm x86_64 1:2.24.0-12.fc10
gdm-user-switch-applet x86_64 1:2.24.0-12.fc10
gnome-applets x86_64 1:
gnome-panel x86_64 2.24.3-1.fc10
gnome-session x86_64 2.24.3-1.fc10
gnome-session-xsession x86_64 2.24.3-1.fc10
gnome-settings-daemon x86_64 2.24.1-7.fc10
gstreamer-plugins-good x86_64 0.10.11-4.fc10
libcanberra x86_64 0.10-3.fc10
libcanberra-gtk2 x86_64 0.10-3.fc10
mencoder x86_64 1.0-0.103.20080903svn.fc10
mjpegtools x86_64 1.9.0-0.6.rc3.fc10
mjpegtools-gui x86_64 1.9.0-0.6.rc3.fc10
mplayer x86_64 1.0-0.103.20080903svn.fc10
orca x86_64 2.24.3-1.fc10
plymouth-gdm-hooks x86_64 0.6.0-0.2008.11.17.3.fc10
totem x86_64 2.24.3-1.fc10
totem-gstreamer x86_64 2.24.3-1.fc10
totem-mozplugin x86_64 2.24.3-1.fc10
totem-nautilus x86_64 2.24.3-1.fc10
vlc x86_64 0.9.8a-1.fc10

A Working Solution!
The pulseaudio* removal wasn't going to work, as it was going to remove a helluva lot of dependent programs. However, a different syntax for the removal of pulseaudio seemed to work a little better:
[sodo@ogre ~]$ sudo yum remove pulseaudio

Without the asterisk (*), yum removed only pulseaudio programs and not any dependencies. So it was just a tweak to the yum remove syntax that did the trick. Thank God. Now my videos don't break up!

FYI - As a last resort, if none of these removals work, just rename the binary to something else:
sudo mv /usr/bin/pulseaudio /usr/bin/paudio

That way, the system won't be able to find it. Of course, this isn't the preferred method of disabling pulseaudio!

An untested solution:

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