How to debug PulseAudio problems

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More PulseAudio-specific advice is also given at: http://pulseaudio.org/wiki/Community#BugsPatchesTranslations
 
More PulseAudio-specific advice is also given at: http://pulseaudio.org/wiki/Community#BugsPatchesTranslations
  
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Revision as of 15:24, 23 October 2009

This page explains information that should be included when filing bugs related to PulseAudio. Problems involving PulseAudio should be filed against pulseaudio. Cross-distribution PulseAudio bugs can be reported in the upstream bug tracker, but reporting them in Fedora's Bugzilla is standard procedure.

It is important to note that not all sound problems relate to PulseAudio. See the general sound issues bug information page for instructions on determining whether a sound problem involves PulseAudio, and what component to file a report against if it does not.

Contents

Hardware information

See this section of the sound bug information page for instructions on generating a file containing detailed information about your sound hardware. You should include this information with any PulseAudio bug report.

General advice

It is helpful to determine whether the problem you are experiencing is being caused by PulseAudio, or by the specific application you are using. Useful facts to know:

  • Do different applications cause the same problem?
  • If the application supports multiple backends, do other backends have the same problem?

The answers may not be conclusive one way or the other (some audio bugs may affect only one particular application, even if they aren't that application's fault), but the results of any testing you do with respect to these questions would be good information to add to your bug report.

Sometimes it will be unclear which code is at fault until an expert diagnoses the problem, so don't worry about reporting against the wrong component. The important thing is to get your bug into the system if it hasn't already been reported.

The output of pulseaudio -vvvvv, run on the command line, might be helpful. PulseAudio is normally started by the desktop environment, so you will probably need to kill the existing server first, with the command pulseaudio -k.

High CPU load

See http://pulseaudio.org/wiki/HowToDebugCPULoadBugs for helpful information.

Playback problems, crackling or skipping

The PulseAudio sound server was rewritten for Fedora 10 to use timer-based audio scheduling instead of the traditional interrupt-driven approach. Timer-based scheduling may expose issues in some ALSA drivers, often resulting in skipping audio.

If you are experiencing playback problems, try the following workaround, which turns off timer-based scheduling.

Replace the line:

:load-module module-hal-detect

in /etc/pulse/default.pa with:

:load-module module-hal-detect tsched=0 

Please file a bug report, and note whether or not the workaround fixes the problem.

Crashes

Please see StackTraces for help on getting useful debugging information in the event of a crash.

More PulseAudio-specific advice is also given at: http://pulseaudio.org/wiki/Community#BugsPatchesTranslations