[Wine] Re: Wine 1.3.25 kills sound with PulseAudio

mikefreeman72 wineforum-user at winehq.org
Tue Jul 26 18:58:10 CDT 2011

tparker wrote:
> There are other volume control programs that will work with your 
> hardware buttons, my current system has never had any part of PulseAudio 
> installed and all of my keyboard, speaker remote, etc. buttons for sound 
> have always worked fine (OpenSuse 11.4) It would take some research and 
> maybe some digging in the Ubuntu repos, but you should be able to find a 
> control program that meets your needs.

I think what he means is that much of alsa has been completely removed from Ubuntu, other than the base required to run PulseAudio. So, there aren't many controls left available. Your distro doesn't rely heavily on PulseAudio, which is why you've never had the problem we do. There isn't even the usual alsa volume control panel applet in Ubuntu/Mint anymore. It's all running through the indicator-sound menu, which is PulseAudio only.

> But I don't think Ubuntu users are the majority of Wine users and in 
> general people have had much more trouble with their sound through Wine 
> when using Pulse then without it. This has been a long time coming - 
> people on the list have been answering Pulse related sound issue 
> questions for ages and it just isn't worth it when the program isn't 
> necessary.

Why do you think that Ubuntu users are not the majority of Wine users? Ubuntu and Linux Mint (based on Ubuntu) are arguably the two biggest distributions out there, making up the vast majority of Linux users. And as they are both geared toward new users (read: ex-Windows users), Wine weighs heavily in that. New users want a way to still use their old software/games. I would think Ubuntu/Mint users would be in the majority on Wine. That said, I don't have the Wine user stats in front of me, so I can't say more than my own gut feeling on that.

To say that the program isn't necessary may *technically* be true, but, for Ubuntu/Mint users, in practice it is completely wrong. Ubuntu has made PulseAudio pretty much mandatory if you want to have any level of control over your sound. So for Wine to drop support for PulseAudio means Wine dropped support for Ubuntu/Mint/Other PulseAudio-focused distros, arguably the largest group of Linux users.

> I agree that it can take some searching to find 'update' or 'patch note' 
> type information that is understandable to non-devs, but if I remember 
> correctly there are links on the WineHQ page that will take you to the 
> changes for each version. There is also a sticky about sound issues at 
> the top of the forums the specifically addresses PulseAudio as a major 
> problem.

I've been reading the release notes for every Wine release for years, and this still caught me totally by surprise. I generally don't have problems with Wine that I can't figure out, so I'm just about never on the forums. Something coming up that would seriously impact a large swath of users really should be announced front-and-center in big, bold, flashing, full-color print on the WineHQ web site (Ok, I exaggerated there, but still...). Even if I knew they were having problems with PulseAudio, my assumption upon reading that would be to think they were working on a fix for the problem, not dumping support for it altogether. That just makes no sense, especially when many distros (not just Ubuntu/Mint) use PulseAudio as the default, and I wouldn't expect new users (the ones that really benefit the most from Wine) to know how to remedy the problem without large amounts of frustration driving them away from this platform.

So, basically, my point with this thread is that I'm frustrated with the decision to remove the only PulseAudio-friendly work around I've found for Wine (the ESD driver), and want to understand the reasoning behind it. That's all. Just trying to find a reasonable way to deal with the issue.

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