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PulseAudio fixes and workarounds

by fenris02 last modified Nov 26, 2010 09:04 PM
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A collection of fixes and work-arounds for PulseAudio: This page has hints for if you are having some sound, but it is choppy, skips - or is too quiet.

Applicable to Fedora Versions

  • Fedora 9-14+
  • This guide is based around the default set of tools, so if you do not have Gnome - the commands may be slightly different.  (Particularly related to sound properties and volume controls.)

Doing the work 0: Volume adjustment

Explanation of requirements.
  1. Run "cat /proc/asound/cards" and verify that your audio hardware shows up.  If it does not, that issue needs to be resolved first.  Another command to verify that your sound drivers are loaded is "/sbin/lsmod | grep -c snd".  This command should print a number greater than 6.   If either of these commands does not have proper output, then your sound driver is not loading.
  2. If you have an Intel-HDA card, see the note at the bottom.  ("lspci" or "lsusb" will tell you what specific audio card you have.)
  3. You have already run "gnome-sound-properties" and select your default output devices.  As this is no longer found in Fedora 11, use "yum install gst-mixer" and run it instead.  If you have Fedora 12, use "gnome-volume-control". 
  4. For multimedia, look in "gstreamer-properties".  Set the output devices to PulseAudio.
  5. Frequently - the PCM device is muted.  Unmute it with these commands.  Adjust the volume upwards to somewhere between 80-100%.  Be sure  you unmute PulseAudio, and Hardware levels for Master, PCM and Speakers.   Certain cards default the Speaker volume to 0.
    • [GUI] GNOME users: You have already run "gnome-volume-control" and un-mute all devices.
    • [TUI] Install alsa-utils ("yum install alsa-utils") if you have not done so already, and then you can adjust your sound controls with "alsamixer -c 0" as well.  Another command to try is "alsamixer -D hw:0".  A third option here is to run "alsaunmute".
    • [GUI] Install and run pavucontrol ("yum install pavucontrol") and adjust your volume levels.
    • [GUI] XFCE users: You have already installed ("yum install xfce4-mixer") and run "xfce4-mixer" and un-mute all of your devices.
  6. You have run "yum update" and applied all the system-updates before continuing.  If you updated your kernel, you will need to reboot before moving onward.
  7. You have reviewed the document in "yum install kernel-doc ; more /usr/share/doc/kernel-doc-*/Documentation/sound/alsa/ALSA-Configuration.txt" and made any adjustments need.  (Example here is for laptops that have sound output on both speaker and headphones) See also:

Doing the Work 1: Changing audio priority

Install the base PulseAudio tools from a Terminal window.

  1. Install the Jack Audio Connection Kit:
  2. su -c "yum install alsa-plugins-pulseaudio pulseaudio pulseaudio-module-jack alsa-plugins-jack jack-audio-connection-kit tuned"
  3. Add your user-id to the proper audio groups:
  4. # Releases prior to F12:
     su -c "usermod -aG pulse-rt,jackuser,audio username"
    # F12-F13 users:
    su -c "usermod -aG pulse,pulse-access,jackuser,audio username"
  5. Apply the changes:
  6. From the System menu bar, Select logout.  Log back in to apply the changes above.

Doing the Work 2 (only if #1 above did not resolve the issue)

You have tried the first part, and it did not help enough - this section covers additional cases.  Most people will probabily not need this section, but it has helped a number of individuals.

  1. Change the scheduler default (Caution, this step can cause high-CPU usage on some systems.  You can undo this step if it causes you problems. This disables time-scheduling.)
  2. su -c "nano -w /etc/pulse/"
    If you have F10 or F11, Skip down to about line 48, where it reads:
    load-module module-hal-detect
    Change this to:
    load-module module-hal-detect tsched=0

    If you have F12, on about line 53, where it reads:
    load-module module-udev-detect
    Change this to:
    load-module module-udev-detect tsched=0

    Save and exit nano.

  1. Modify the use of the real-time scheduler
    su -c "nano -w /etc/pulse/daemon.conf"
    Skip down to about line 34 where it reads:
    ; realtime-scheduling = no

    Change this to:
    realtime-scheduling = yes

    Skip down to about line 76 where it reads
    ; default-fragments = 4
    ; default-fragment-size-msec = 25

    Change this to:
    default-fragments = 8
    default-fragment-size-msec = 5

    Save and exit nano.
  2. Edit "~/.asoundrc" and add the following lines if they do not exist:

    pcm.pulse { type pulse }
    ctl.pulse { type pulse }
  3. Install additional audio tools:

  4. su -c "yum install pavucontrol pavumeter paman padevchooser paprefs alsa-plugins-pulseaudio gstreamer-plugins-pulse pulseaudio pulseaudio-core-libs pulseaudio-esound-compat pulseaudio-libs pulseaudio-libs-glib2 pulseaudio-libs-zeroconf pulseaudio-module-gconf pulseaudio-module-x11 pulseaudio-module-zeroconf pulseaudio-utils xine-lib-pulseaudio xmms-pulse"

  5. Ensure that you're using PulseAudio as your default audio:

  6. System > Preferences > Hardware > Sound for "Sound Playback" 
    set to PulseAudio Sound Server.

    (F12 users) Sound and Video > Pulseaudio Device Chooser

  7. Apply the changes:

  8. From the System menu bar, Select logout.  Reboot to apply the changes above.


How to test

Explanation troubleshooting basics and expectations.
  1. Verify that your user-id is a member of "pulse-rt" (F10-11) and "jackuser" (F10-12):  (Your output may look different)
  2. $ id user1
    uid=500(user1) gid=500(user1) groups=500(user1),10(wheel),100(users),497(pulse-rt),490(jackuser)
  3. Restart PulseAudio (as your own ID, not root):
  4. pulseaudio -k
  5. Test without using flash, mp3 or anything special:
  6. If you are unsure how to test audio, run "cat /dev/urandom > /dev/dsp" and press Ctrl-C to stop.  You should hear noise/static if it is working.

    You can also use something like "aplay /usr/share/sounds/ekiga/ring.wav" and it should play a ringtone.

Common problems and fixes

If the above does not work there are several things you can try

  1. To temporarily disable PulseAudio for a given application, in this example wine, in a terminal (as your user) run:
  2. pasuspender wine

    padsp wine mygame.exe

If you receive a "permission denied" message when audio was working before try

  1. To re-add your user permissions to sound devices run:
  2. su -c "setfacl -m u:${USER}:rw /dev/snd/*"

If you have an Intel HDA card, try

  1. If you hear a clicking noise, see this link:
  2. Disable power management for audio by running this as one long line, and then reload the module, or reboot.  This may reduce the amount of popping noises.  (This will ask for root's password.)
  3. su -c 'echo "options snd_hda_intel power_save=0" > /etc/modprobe.d/snd_hda_intel.conf';
    su -c 'echo 0 > /sys/module/snd_hda_intel/parameters/power_save';
  4. Reboot to Test and verify if the problem is resolved.
  5. If you still have problems with sound, read and find your specific module option.  You might be able to find the correct section by running "cat /proc/asound/cards" and looking for matching headers on mjmwired's site  (Ex: STAC92xx).  Replace the '<MODEL>' item below with the model found in the link:
    su -c 'echo "options snd_hda_intel model=<MODEL>" >> /etc/modprobe.d/snd_hda_intel.conf'
  6. Example output for an HP laptop that previously had problems:
    # cat /etc/modprobe.d/snd_hda_intel.conf
    options snd-hda-intel model=hp
    options snd_hda_intel power_save=0
    options snd-hda-intel enable_msi=1
    options snd-hda-intel single_cmd=1
  7. Reboot to Test and verify if the problem is resolved.
  8. If problem persists, Install reporting tool:
    su -c 'yum install alsa-utils; alsa-info'
  9. 'File a bug report under "Fedora" and "Alsa-lib" to explain the problems you were having and attach the output of alsa-info:   and

To remove PulseAudio from being used by default:

  1. Remove the plugin that calls PulseAudio:
  2. su -c "yum remove alsa-plugins-pulseaudio"
  3. Apply the changes:
  4. From the System menu bar, Select logout.  Log back in to apply the changes above.
  5. 'File a bug report under "Fedora" and "PulseAudio" to explain the problems you were having and attach the output of alsa-info: and

If you are running Fedora under VMWare, and it reports unable to open /dev/dsp (starts with sound disconnected):

  1. Install pulseaudio-utils and run vmware under padsp to provide backward compatability:
  2. su -c "yum install pulseaudio-utils" ;
    padsp vmware

If you are experiencing problems with Firefox + Adobe Flash:

  1. If you are not using the Fedora provided version of Firefox, see:
  2. If step 1 does not solve it, try:
  3. LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libv4l/ firefox

To really remove PulseAudio for some reason:

  1. See
  2. Remove PulseAudio and all of it's dependencies:
  3. su -c "yum remove alsa-plugins-pulseaudio pulseaudio padevchooser pavumeter paprefs pavucontrol"
  4. Create a file ~/.asoundrc with these contents:
  5. # For details, see
    pcm.!default {
    type plug
    slave.pcm "dmixer"

    # cat /proc/asound/cards to see which hardware device
    pcm.dmixer {
    type dmix
    ipc_key 1024
    slave {
    pcm "hw:0,0"
    period_time 0
    period_size 1024
    buffer_size 4096
    rate 44100
    bindings {
    0 0
    1 1

    ctl.dmixer {
    type hw
    card 0
  6. Logout or reboot.
  7. File a bug report under "Fedora 12" and "PulseAudio" to explain the problems you were having and how this helped:

The volume goes down to 0 while playing different applications:

  1. Disable volume adjustment
  2. echo "flat-volumes = no" >> /etc/pulse/daemon.conf

There are known conflicts with kernel- and Intel Audio cards.

  • To see if this includes you run the following:
  • uname -r ;
    lspci |grep Audio ;
    lsmod |grep snd_hda_intel
  • If it does match, update and reboot your system:
  • su -c "yum update" ;
    shutdown -r now
    (At this time, kernel- is current, and has this problem resolved.)

More Information

Any additional information or notes.
  • If you are unsure how to test audio, run "cat /dev/urandom > /dev/dsp" and press Ctrl-C to stop.  You should hear noise/static if it is working.
  • If the problem you are having is with Flash, See
  • If you are attempting to play audio from MP3 or other sources, first add rpmfusion ( ), then try "yum install audacious-plugins* gstreamer-plugins* gstreamer-ffmpeg xine* mplayer* vlc* --exclude=*-devel".  KDE users may also need "yum install phonon-backend*". Logout/Login may be required.  You can instead use "yum install @sound-and-video" if you want the complete set.
  • If you are still having problems, consult this page to see if there is a work-around for your card:
  • Possible work-around for choppy audio while using Adobe Flash:  (Ref: and )


We test this stuff on our own machines, really we do. But you may run into problems, if you do, come to #fedora on

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One more trick if everything else fails ...

Posted by laadidaa at May 09, 2009 01:51 PM
This is from ubuntu forums and fixed my missing sound problem.

Fix is to add "model=auto" option to snd_hda_intel module

My /etc/modprobe.d/snd_hda_intel.conf file:
options snd_hda_intel model=auto

After that sound works (with pulseaudio).

One more trick if everything else fails ...

Posted by fenris02 at Jul 28, 2009 12:49 PM
This may work for some, but is not ideal. It is better to read[…]/HD-Audio-Models.txt and find the specific model instead of using =auto.

Thanks for the suggestion.

One more trick if everything else fails ...

Posted by hellork at Apr 09, 2010 03:36 PM
That link did not have my model listed!
I got the model number from lspci -vv
Subsystem: Micro-Star International Co., Ltd. Device 7309
So I made a file /etc/modprobe.d/snd_hda_intel.conf
options snd_hda_intel model=7309

It would be good to see how PA is supposed to work

Posted by timcoote at May 25, 2010 05:11 AM
Good page: it helped me a lot when building a mythtv device on a cheapo acer revo 3610. In the end, I had to rip out PulseAudio as I couldn't see how to get PA to drive the sound through hdmi. What I do find quite frustrating is that it's not at all easy to work out what PA is supposed to do, how it's supposed to behave and what should happen. This means that you've got to invest a lot of effort trying to work out what's going on, and then identifying tests to confirm your view of what should happen and digging around, possibly in the source code of many different components to run the tests to show what's the source of the problem you've got - in a couple of cases, it turned out that the problem I had was down to the hdmi on the tv.

That may sound like a rant and probably too broad for here, but really I'd like to contribute, and this is one of the more authoritative pages that I've found: how can I document in some sort of authoritative way, my experience without too much effort. If possible, I'd also like to influence the distro to make it more testable/implementable with better separation of the components, and simpler management of changing structure - it's getting much too much like Windows where stuff just happens in the background and it's really hard to separate the components and work out what's going on.

Any suggestions, at least to drop in some of the key lessons with the acer?

It would be good to see how PA is supposed to work

Posted by fenris02 at Nov 11, 2010 11:06 PM
The homepage for PulseAudio explains how it is supposed to work. If you find that PA is doing something other than what the referenced urls indicate, ideally you would file a bug and include the specific details.

That being said, myth really does not work well with PA. It works much better if you do not install any desktop at all really. The fewer items installed, the more cleanly myth operates.

default-fragments / default-fragment-size-msec

Posted by igorkatalnikov at Feb 03, 2011 01:04 PM
I just found out that man pulse-daemon.conf says now about those options:

"Modern drivers that support timer-based scheduling ignore these options."

That should be probably the case because

resample-method = auto
default-fragments = 1000
default-fragment-size-msec = 1000

do work perfectly for me on hda-intel and ca0106. That makes changing them somehow obsolete while resample-method does make a lot of difference.

Can somebody, please, verify?

If you're in Fedora 14, read this first!

Posted by jlumpkins at Feb 06, 2011 04:06 AM
Hi All,

I spent an hour or so reading through this article, and trying the changes to /etc/modprobe.d/snd_hda_intel.conf to no avail.
The problem is explained in detail, and the resolution (albeit, hopefully soon to be unnecessary) is provided in the link already mentioned in this article, but in a rather obscure way.

Please read the article below if you are getting choppy audio out of Flash in Fedora 14:

It worked flawlessly for me.


Jerry Lumpkins
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