How to use ALSA sound with applications that depend on Pulseaudio

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Who's this page for

This page is for those of us that for whatever reason prefer not to have PulseAudio on our systems - or - have to remove PA & use the underlying kernel's native ALSA sound to be able to get working sound on our systems.

Some applications are being created to use PulseAudio only

Due to this PA only situation (which I expect to only get worse), it can be a real pain when we want to use such an application on our ALSA only systems.

Many of us may have found this out since Firefox version 52.+. has gone PulseAudio only with apparently no chance of that changing in the future.

Fortunately there is a way around this problem that is pleasingly simple

Install apulse from the AUR. Apulse has only 2 dependencies - alsa-lib & glib2 , & is also only 141KB in size.

When installed via the terminal you will see the following:

For using PulseAudio emulation (ex. in skype):

1. create a proper .asoundrc
  $ cp /usr/share/apulse/asoundrc.sample ~/.asoundrc

2. run apulse <program-name> [parameters]
  $ apulse skype

So once you have used the command in no 1. above (you don't have to edit anything, just do the copy) you can test apulse by entering a command that will call your PulseAudio only application, & test its sound as seen in 2. above using skype as an example.

I did the following, as I have manually installed Firefox(ESR) on my system. So, due to my running Openbox, I entered the following in OBMenu, to add a call for Firefox to the Openbox menu that would call Firefox & use apulse to emulate PulseAudio sound & therefore give me sound in Firefox:

apulse /opt/firefox/firefox-bin

Then I loaded the Steam web page & had it play one of the game videos. When I did this I had sound, & I was/am VERY happy about that, as I am one of those who would personally rather not have PulseAudio installed on my machines.



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