News article

PipeWire has gained a new USE flag "sound-server" for enabling/disabling its sound server capabilities.

This change is needed to avoid PipeWire and PulseAudio conflicting over control of audio devices. Before this change, OpenRC users were in some cases accidentally migrated to PipeWire which was difficult to override without manually editing launcher files.

For non-audio purposes, PipeWire is installed in many configurations as more and more software depends on it for e.g. screensharing, sandboxing, and window previews, so users will need to act based on their preferred setup rather than simply avoiding installing PipeWire, as it is increasingly required as a dependency.

Packages needing PulseAudio's APIs will be migrated from the now-meta package media-sound/pulseaudio to depending on media-libs/libpulse. The runtime PulseAudio server can be provided by either PipeWire (media-video/pipewire) or the original PulseAudio (media-sound/pulseaudio-daemon).

The new sound-server USE flag for PipeWire allows easily controlling this behavior.

There are several options available:

1. To use PipeWire for sound, users should enable USE=sound-server for PipeWire:

Place the following entries in /etc/portage/package.use: ``` media-video/pipewire sound-server media-sound/pulseaudio -daemon ```

First, sync: # emerge --sync

Deselect media-sound/pulseaudio-daemon: # emerge --deselect media-sound/pulseaudio-daemon

Then perform a world upgrade with PipeWire on the command line to add it to the world file: # emerge --ask --update --changed-use --deep @world media-video/pipewire

Then depclean: # emerge --ask --depclean

OpenRC users on an XDG-compliant desktop which respects autostart files will not need to take any further action.

OpenRC users using a minimal desktop which does not respect autostart files will need to run `gentoo-pipewire-launcher &` in e.g. `~/.xprofile`.

Users who want to switch to PipeWire providing a PulseAudio daemon may need to `emerge --deselect` packages in their world file which hard-require media-sound/pulseaudio-daemon. There are only a handful of these. A non-exhaustive list: * media-sound/paprefs * media-sound/pasystray * media-sound/pulseaudio-modules-bt (shouldn't be needed anyway) * net-misc/pulseaudio-dlna

If not using any of those packages anymore, please emerge --deselect them. If still using these, PipeWire as a PulseAudio is not an option at this time.

(Note that media-libs/libpulse (which PipeWire will be using, don't emerge libpulse manually) provides 'pactl' which can be used as a replacement for e.g. media-sound/pulseaudio-ctl, so personal scripts can be adapted to this if desired.)

systemd users will also need to run the following commands: $ systemctl --user --now disable pulseaudio.service pulseaudio.socket $ systemctl --user --now enable pipewire.socket pipewire-pulse.socket $ systemctl --user --now disable pipewire-media-session.service $ systemctl --user --force enable wireplumber.service Root user may replace --user with --global to change system default configuration for all of the above commands.

2. To use PulseAudio's daemon for sound, users should disable USE=sound-server for PipeWire, enable USE=daemon on media-sound/pulseaudio, and add media-sound/pulseaudio-daemon to their world file:

Place the following entries in /etc/portage/package.use: ``` media-video/pipewire -sound-server media-sound/pulseaudio daemon ```

Add media-sound/pulseaudio-daemon to @world: # emerge --noreplace media-sound/pulseaudio-daemon

Then perform a world upgrade: # emerge --ask --update --changed-use --deep @world

Then depclean: # emerge --ask --depclean

OpenRC users on an XDG-compliant desktop which respects autostart files will not need to take any further action.

OpenRC users using a minimal desktop which does not respect autostart files should consider adding `gentoo-pipewire-launcher &` in e.g. `~/.xprofile` but it's not strictly required in terms of audio handling. It may be required in future for the non-audio usecases described above.

systemd users will also need to run the following commands: $ systemctl --user --now enable pulseaudio.service pulseaudio.socket $ systemctl --user --now disable pipewire.socket pipewire-pulse.socket

Alternatively, systemd users can run the following commands as root to change the default for all users: # systemctl --global enable pulseaudio.service pulseaudio.socket # systemctl --global --force disable pipewire.socket pipewire-pulse.socket

(If taking this option, the services must be started manually as a one-off as a user.)

3. For users without sound on their system, those using JACK without PipeWire, or those using pure ALSA without PipeWire, the following steps are recommended:

Place the following entries in /etc/portage/package.use: ``` media-video/pipewire -sound-server media-sound/pulseaudio -daemon ```

Then perform a world upgrade: # emerge --ask --update --changed-use --deep @world

Then depclean: # emerge --ask --depclean

OpenRC users on an XDG-compliant desktop which respects autostart files will not need to take any further action.

OpenRC users using a minimal desktop which does not respect autostart files will need to run `gentoo-pipewire-launcher &` in e.g. `~/.xprofile`.

systemd users will also likely want to run the following commands as a user, again for the purposes of non-audio PipeWire use: $ systemctl --user --now enable pipewire.socket $ systemctl --user --now --force enable wireplumber.service

Alternatively, systemd users can run the following commands as root to change the default for all users, again for the purposes of non-audio PipeWire use: # systemctl --global enable pipewire.socket # systemctl --global --force enable wireplumber.service

(If taking this option, the services must be started manually as a one-off as a user.)

Further resources: * https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/PipeWire

Applies to

  • media-video/pipewire
  • media-sound/pulseaudio
  • media-sound/pulseaudio-daemon
  • media-libs/libpulse