How To: Remove PulseAudio & replace it with ALSA (Mint 10)

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How To: Remove PulseAudio & replace it with ALSA (Mint 10)

Postby mads on Sat Apr 16, 2011 6:28 am

The following How To was originally posted on the thread: Is Pulse Audio the worst tragedy in the history of Linux?

Please note:
- There is no reason to remove PulseAudio unless you are having some issues with it.
- This how to is only for Linux Mint 10 users. (May work with earlier or later versions, not tested.)
- LMDE users: please refer to this guide.

Disadvantage:
As far as I know there is no "clean" way to completely revert the changes made in step F and G.
However you can skip these steps (and step 'I') and see if you are satisfied with the results. If yes, then do steps F-I.


Completely remove PulseAudio & replace it with ALSA (Mint 10):

A. Before proceeding, please use Update Manager to install the latest updates (click mintUpdate tray icon to open Update Manager > Refresh > Install Updates)
B. Menu > Preferences > Startup Applications > uncheck "PulseAudio Sound System" and "PulseAudio Sound System KDE Routing Policy"
C. Remove pulseaudio, related packages and configuration files

Code: Select all
killall pulseaudio
sudo killall pulseaudio
sudo apt-get purge pulseaudio pulseaudio-utils gstreamer0.10-pulseaudio libpulse-browse0 paman pavumeter pavucontrol
sudo mv /etc/asound.conf /etc/asound.conf-bak
rm ~/.pulse-cookie
rm -r ~/.pulse

D. Restart your computer
E. Install libalsaplayer0 and esound packages

Code: Select all
sudo apt-get install libalsaplayer0 esound

F. To enable Volume Control for Gnome Panel (Volume Applet), you need to add Dave Lentz's PPA to your system

Code: Select all
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:dtl131/ppa
sudo apt-get update
exit

G. Now click mintUpdate tray icon to open Update Manager. Click Refresh. Click Install Updates
(You should see 10 level 3 packages: libcanberra-gtk-module , gnome-media , gnome-settings-daemon ,
gnome-session-canberra , libgnome-media0 , gnome-media-common , libcanberra-gtk0 , libcanberra0 ,
gnome-applets , gnome-applets-data)

H. Restart your computer
I. Right click Panel, select "Add to Panel" and add "Volume Control" to Panel


Here are some reasons why you might want to remove PulseAudio:

...this fix has made all of my sound issues disappear. Even running World of Warcraft in wine has less sound issues now for me.

...It solved the audio lag I had in veetle. Pulse gives fits for a lot of people.

...I removed pulseaudio and got rid of three annoying problems:
1) sound settings reset at boot even having alsactl restore at startup applications
2) mic working randomly
3) first call in Skype was always garbled

...Just what I needed to know. Got pSX working properly now.


Suggestions are welcome!
Last edited by mads on Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:06 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: How To: Remove PulseAudio & replace it with ALSA (Mint 1

Postby Halzen on Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:58 am

Great guide. I pretty much always end up removing PulseAudio from my install (which is why my next Debian setup won't be installing it at any point), but this is definitely cleaner than anything I did.

You might consider throwing in a note that a quick alternative to MintUpdate (which I think a lot of us have disabled) would be to just "sudo apt-get upgrade". For me, none of the updates were dist-upgrades or anything, so that was all I needed.

Thanks again. :)
Acer TimelineX: 13" LED, Intel Core i3 2.53Ghz dual-core, 4GB DDR3 RAM, Intel HD GMA graphics
Arch Linux + Openbox
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Re: How To: Remove PulseAudio & replace it with ALSA (Mint 1

Postby sespela on Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:39 pm

mads, you're a saviour!
My friend which I mentioned in the Debian guide now have a working volume control and the keyboard shortcuts work perfectly for adjusting the sound level again, which again made Skype fully functional!
This is just great!
Thanks again for your great and easy to use guide.:)
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Re: How To: Remove PulseAudio & replace it with ALSA (Mint 1

Postby mads on Sun Apr 17, 2011 2:07 pm

@ sespela, thanks. :)
Once we found out that it was a Mint 10 vs. LMDE issue in the Debian guide, the rest came by itself. Well, almost. :lol:


Halzen wrote:You might consider throwing in a note that a quick alternative to MintUpdate (which I think a lot of us have disabled) would be to just "sudo apt-get upgrade".

Halzen, thank you for your reply. :)
You are right. I am sure that users with some Linux experience prefer to use "sudo apt-get upgrade", but at the same
time I've worked hard to make this tutorial as newbie-proof as possible (to save myself from future headaches). :lol:
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Re: How To: Remove PulseAudio & replace it with ALSA (Mint 1

Postby project25.01 on Thu Apr 21, 2011 2:58 pm

I've tried this as a solution for my crackling, noisy internal mic, in my aspire one, and now: mic isn't working at all :cry:
I'm too newbie, even for this anti-newbie tutorial :(
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Re: How To: Remove PulseAudio & replace it with ALSA (Mint 1

Postby mads on Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:07 pm

project25.01 wrote:I've tried this as a solution for my crackling, noisy internal mic, in my aspire one, and now: mic isn't working at all :cry:
I'm too newbie, even for this anti-newbie tutorial :(

Anti-newbie? :lol: Who said that? I said newbie-proof! However I'd have said newbie-friendly if I knew you were comin. :lol:

Anyway, I don't know why your mic doesn't work. Please open a Terminal (Menu > Terminal), run the following command and post the output.
Code: Select all
cat /etc/linuxmint/info
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Re: How To: Remove PulseAudio & replace it with ALSA (Mint 1

Postby project25.01 on Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:58 pm

Here is the output:

RELEASE=10
CODENAME=julia
EDITION="Gnome 32-bit"
DESCRIPTION="Linux Mint 10 Julia"
DESKTOP=Gnome
TOOLKIT=GTK
NEW_FEATURES_URL=http://www.linuxmint.com/rel_julia_whatsnew.php
RELEASE_NOTES_URL=http://www.linuxmint.com/rel_julia.php
USER_GUIDE_URL=http://ftp.heanet.ie/pub/linuxmint.com/stable/10/user-guide/english.pdf
GRUB_TITLE=Linux Mint 10

Alsa mixer now shows the "microphone" device in the "Reproduction" list.
I suppose it should be in the "Recording" devices list.
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Re: How To: Remove PulseAudio & replace it with ALSA (Mint 1

Postby mads on Thu Apr 21, 2011 4:10 pm

project25.01 wrote:Alsa mixer now shows the "microphone" device in the "Reproduction" list.
I suppose it should be in the "Recording" devices list.

Thanks.
Yes, maybe (I don't use mic myself). Also see in Volume Controls Preferences. Maybe you should add the mixer manually.
Right click Volume applet tray icon > Open Volume Control > Preferences.
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Re: How To: Remove PulseAudio & replace it with ALSA (Mint 1

Postby project25.01 on Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:15 pm

Microphone is still available for reproduction devices only.
Here is what I get:
Image


And here are all available devices:
Image

Sorry, it's localized in Italian language
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Re: How To: Remove PulseAudio & replace it with ALSA (Mint 1

Postby mads on Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:51 pm

project25.01 wrote:Microphone is still available for reproduction devices only.

Please open a new thread because this issue is specific to Acer Aspire One. I hope you understand that
this is my last reply.

You might have to manually set the model in "/etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf".
Run the following command:
gksudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf

Add this line to the end of the file. Save the file. Reboot.

Code: Select all
options snd-hda-intel model=MODEL

Note: Replace MODEL by your sound cards model. (Try model=acer and see if it works. If not, you have to search
for your Acer Aspire One model and spesifications and then use "HD audio models list" to find the right code for
your card.)

PS! You might find the model by running:
cat /proc/asound/cards
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Re: How To: Remove PulseAudio & replace it with ALSA (Mint 1

Postby Brunoboy on Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:20 pm

A Real Big Thank you to Mads ! I am mainly a KDE boy. Been using the same kde distro since 2007. I like to download and check out the pro's and con's of some of the other Distro's from time to time. Some times i get a bit lost in the gnome environment, the way most distro's virtually lock you out of root. All have their pro's and con's. I am so grateful to Mads for this fix on Pulse Audio as i and my family now use Skype for all our land line calls here in Australia. We find it great, save heaps on our phone line bill! I am no expert, far from it, but for the life of me, it has got me stuffed(bit of Aussie lingo!, got to remember im writing to people from all nations possibly) (bewildered in other words), why it is that Ubuntu which is a distro with plenty of financial backing by the way, insists on offering only ISO's to download with Pulse only audio! Lets face it, Mint is a nice distro and a credit to the developers/team who put it together and continue to hone it, a derivative from Ubuntu to a degree. Saw and kept the good aspects of it, expanded and improved on it greatly, in my opinion. But sadly, still stuck with Pulse Audio!! Just one example, Skype has become huge internationally, i would expect to be able to download Skype(which is at least available from the Mint repo's, unlike Ubuntu), go to the sound settings and just like my favorite distro or Windows, hit the drop down boxes for input and output and choose which device i want to use! Not have to go back into the bloody sound settings every time and change things in there!! Mostly i use for land line / cell phone calls my wireless Logitech headphone and mic. If in a video call to some mate, one is in the USA, i choose to use my Logitech Pro 9000 mic input and main Nvidia ck804 speakers for output. Scenario > i have been using Skype for a land line call, a mate comes around. I want to show him some great video clip I've downloaded. I stat VLC, AHHH POOP!!! Thats right, i forgot i was on skype an hour ago. Have to go into the sound settings, stuff about and change it back again!! With Mint now fixed sound wise, Pulse Gone! i no longer have to worry about that annoying issue. Sound is better in EVERYTHING, Skype sound, send and receive is great. Music, music video's is now great!! Ubuntu Ultimate 2.8 is another distro, a credit to - THE Mahnn, and his team. Same issue again. For those who have given it a run, its got a really distinctive , catchy boot up bit of music. Sadly all distorted because of Pulse !! I ran the exact same commands in Ubuntu Ultimate and, Hey Presto!! Sound is perfect, Skype is now configurable. Music boot theme now perfect! No more distortion!!
Now i am not a distro basher, and no whizz Kid, but even i can see that this all comes back to Ubuntu's ISO's distro's made available for download. Could not Ubuntu make available for download, 32 Bit with Alsa Sound Setup -- 32 Bit with Pulse ? Likewise the same choice with 64 bit. It would make it far easier for the guys/girls who develop Mint, Ultimate and the likes to do the same!! ????? My mind boggles?? God knows they have the money, resources, paid employee's to be able to do it!!! If it had not been for this fix thanks to Mads, and wherever he got it, i would have said " Nice distro Mint ! Pitty about the bloody Pulse !", and wiped it again. This time its staying on the hard drive ! Same as Ultimate! I have multiple large SATA drives and am slowly learning more about the gnome desktop environment. Surely i cannot be the only bloody person on this planet who is of the same line of thinking ? Any way, i have had my say. A big thanks to the Mint team, credit to you blokes and possibly some shiela's on the crew, forum members and all who put in their tow bobs worth to help with fixes, improvents, and newcomers. Thanks for hearing me out. :) Brunoboy.
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Re: How To: Remove PulseAudio & replace it with ALSA (Mint 1

Postby mads on Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:26 am

@ Brunoboy, thanks a lot for your post. Glad this how to was of some help to you. :)

I have also seen some disappointed users on the forums that can't get their Skype function properly with PA, and a few other users that experience Poor sound quality using PA.

By the way, have you seen this thread: Is Pulse Audio the worst trajedy in the history of Linux?. Nice title or what? :lol:
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Re: How To: Remove PulseAudio & replace it with ALSA (Mint 1

Postby Enna on Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:59 pm

This guide also works perfectly for Mint 11

Thank you Mads!

Cheers,
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Re: How To: Remove PulseAudio & replace it with ALSA (Mint 1

Postby mads on Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:02 am

Enna wrote:This guide also works perfectly for Mint 11
Thank you Mads!
Cheers,
Enna

Enna, thank you so much for your feedback! :)

Mint Community user 'iveen' has also reported the same (here):
iveen wrote:Just tried it with my Katya 64-bit install, and it worked like a charm. I had issues with my Sound Blaster X-Fi Audio card, since Helena, and had to replace audio with OSS, which crippled some functionality, now with this hack, everything works fine.
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Re: How To: Remove PulseAudio & replace it with ALSA (Mint 1

Postby Enna on Thu Jun 16, 2011 3:28 pm

Sorry, I think I was wrong - PA isn't as comprehensively removed with your guide in 11 as I thought. The main reason why I wanted to get rid of PA is to not have it in Skype any more, but it is still there and so Skype microphone doesn't work...
We need to find a different way...

Thank you mads!
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Re: How To: Remove PulseAudio & replace it with ALSA (Mint 1

Postby watchman on Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:17 pm

Enna wrote:This guide also works perfectly for Mint 11

Thank you Mads!

Cheers,
Enna


I guess I'm in the minority, but it didn't work for me using Mint 11. I had audio but no mic working before uninstalling PA, and now I don't have any audio from Skype at all. All my other audio is fine, system sounds, videos, music, etc., but Skype is totally silent.

Edit: Nevermind, I did have some sounds, but now they're gone as well.
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Re: How To: Remove PulseAudio & replace it with ALSA (Mint 1

Postby Skalman5 on Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:48 pm

Thanks!

I had problems with pecking sound (or dinted sound if that's the more correct term) while using the linux native spotify client.

Following this guide made it work flawlessly for me afterwards.

Running Mint 11 on my LG LW75 Express for your information.

Thumbs up!
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Re: How To: Remove PulseAudio & replace it with ALSA (Mint 1

Postby akavir on Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:02 pm

This guide solved the imidiate problem I had in Mint 11 playing Fallout:NV with wine. The sound and other glitches went away removing pulseaudio. Now, how do I get banshee and movie player to play mp3s and such?
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Re: How To: Remove PulseAudio & replace it with ALSA (Mint 1

Postby mads on Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:27 pm

akavir wrote:Now, how do I get banshee and movie player to play mp3s and such?

I guess you should open Preferences/Options for banshee and/or movie player, find the section for Audio and then select ALSA
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Re: How To: Remove PulseAudio & replace it with ALSA (Mint 1

Postby lucky_linux on Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:56 am

Apologise for being silly
- but I just installed mint 11, sound did not work. spend a whole day removing pulse, installing alsa, reinstalling pulse because the preferences->sound disappears once you remove pulse. Right now I have both - but
had forgotten to connect the speakers (rather I thought the cabinet has speakers !). Its now working well, just dont want to go back and check if it will work with the original instal
Linux Mint 11 works with
00:14.2 Audio device: ATI Technologies Inc SBx00 Azalia (Intel HDA)
Subsystem: ASUSTeK Computer Inc. M4A785TD Motherboard
no issues - for whomever it concerns
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