April 1, 2009 · General · Email This Post

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By default Ubuntu 8.10 comes with Pulse Audio and most users start complaining about pulse audio so if you don't want to use Pulse Audio you can remove using the following procedure.

Remove the required packages

sudo apt-get remove pulseaudio

sudo apt-get install esound

Now remove the 70pulseaudio file

Before removing make a backup of this file

sudo cp /etc/X11/Xsession.d/70pulseaudio /etc/X11/Xsession.d/70pulseaudio.back

sudo rm /etc/X11/Xsession.d/70pulseaudio

Gnome Preferences

Now go to System -> Preferences -> Sound

Make sure they are all set to ‘Autodetect'.

The only one you will have to set manually to ALSA is ‘Sound Capture' under ‘Audio Conferencing'.

Note:-At this point Pulseaudio is now nolonger an option under these drop menus.

Gnome Sessions

Go to System -> Preferences -> Sessions

Deselected or Remove the Pulseaudio Manager

Finally Your asoundrc's under your Home Directory are still configured for Pulse.

Go to your home directory using the following command

cd ~

cp .asound* yourfilename

rm .asound*

One this is done your back to ALSA's default configuration.

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38 Comments to “How to Remove Pulse Audio Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex)”

  1. John Gerstmann says:

    PulseAudio is fantastic, why remove it?

    [Reply]

  2. anon2 says:

    Because removing it fixes apps.

    [Reply]

  3. Anonymous says:

    Only remove pulse if it doesn’t work after a FRESH INSTALL. In most cases, PulseAudio breaks because of dodgy user customisations followed by a dist-upgrade.

    Pulse is the future. It’s an awesome piece of software that got a bad rap because it was released to users by Ubuntu before it was ready. It’s been more than a year now, and it’s time to give it a real shot.

    Seriously, the Ubuntu power user should be using pulse, and the n00b shouldn’t know any better.

    [Reply]

  4. John says:

    Because, all features considered, Pulseaudio can be veeeeeeery buggy. Sometimes it’s disastrous :P
    I’ve seen it…. and I’m fine with alsa, thanks :)

    [Reply]

  5. Paul says:

    PulseAudio has been responsible for a lot of sound hangs on my system (especially when i try to play music with Amarok and play Spring RTS at the same time). I would be glad to be rid of it!

    [Reply]

  6. Dexter says:

    Skype does not work with PulseAudio :(

    [Reply]

  7. Brian says:

    I’m a little nervous about removing pulseaudio…

    bart:~# apt-get remove pulseaudio
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    The following packages will be REMOVED:
    pulseaudio ubuntu-desktop
    0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 2 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
    After this operation, 1393kB disk space will be freed.
    Do you want to continue [Y/n]? n
    Abort.
    bart:~#

    Don’t quite want to remove the ubuntu-desktop. :-)

    I would say that pulse audio has caused all sorts of audio issues.

    Maybe they’re fixed in 9.04.

    [Reply]

  8. balaknair says:

    @ Brian
    “I would say that pulse audio has caused all sorts of audio issues.

    Maybe they’re fixed in 9.04.”

    Not in the beta. Pulseaudio in the 9.04 beta is even buggier than in Intrepid; sounds pretty awful with distortion, the mics don’t work.

    But things are improving, they’re fixing things fast and looks like Pulseaudio should be running OK by the time the RC is released.

    [Reply]

  9. anon2 says:

    @Brian: It’s ok to remove ubuntu-desktop, it’s just a metapackage that pulls in other packages. If your ubuntu really was getting uninstalled, it would list each package explicitly, and the disk freed size would be in megabytes.

    [Reply]

  10. Paul says:

    @anon2: That’s not a good idea. Having that metapackage installed marks which distro you’re using, and upgrades use it for making individual package choices. While it has been problematic, actually removing the package seems like a bad idea to me. esound had a few similar problems in its early days. I’m sure stability will improve rapidly.

    [Reply]

  11. John says:

    PulseAudio is very promising, but unfortunately it has not worked for me. While some workarounds managed to get me some stable sound 60% of the time, pulse audio always ended up with random slow motion video, cracking sounds, or no application sounds at all. Maybe my box hardware is not compatible, maybe it is not well implemented in Ubuntu… at the end of the day, removing pulse audio has brought sound reliability back.

    I confirm this workaround works beautifully on Jaunty.

    [Reply]

  12. Mark Daniel says:

    Skype worked flawlessly on Intrepid but barfed (actually choked on 200% CPU – 2xcores, and 30 seconds speech latency) under Jaunty (BETA). This -PulseAudio/+esound work-around has Skype sound under Jaunty working again for me (and I suspect even sounds a lot cleaner). 10-15% max CPU. Skype not behaving under Jaunty would have been a show-stopper for me.

    [Reply]

  13. mark says:

    Hardy was fine, upgrade to Intrepid completely broke my sound (M-audio delta 1010LT).

    Pulse shouldn’t be included in Ubuntu of all distros until it ‘just works’ for 99.999% of users

    [Reply]

  14. Ulrik says:

    Ideally, PulseAudio was a decent idea at best. In practice, it seems to cause a problem or two for way too many users. It may have been prematurely launched, as someone pointed out, but if so it’s quality SHOULD have better by now.

    As theory goes, a well-designed and well-written project with many users SHOULD attract developers and drive-by submitters fixing a problem or two. For some reason, this does not have been the case, or at least not been enough for Pulse, as I hear friends complaining more and more for every release.

    Up until Intrepid, when it could be temporarily disabled when misbehaving, it was ok. Now in Jaunty, the auto-launching feature makes it hog my ALSA all the time, (even though my ALSA conf DOES stream-mixing) it’s causing continous head-aches, and out it goes.

    Thanks for this great guide, I’m sure it’ll help many. :)

    [Reply]

  15. gary says:

    What does it give that alsa already does not?
    Besides one more layer of complexity and more bugs.

    [Reply]

  16. Don says:

    Why not just install Xubuntu 8.10?
    Then, if you really want Gnome, just install gnome and gnome-core with Synaptic. They only pull in pulseaudio-utils(not pulseaudio itself). You may even be able to remove the pulseaudo-utils after installing Gnome if it bothers you.

    [Reply]

  17. rolando says:

    “What does it give that alsa already does not?
    Besides one more layer of complexity and more bugs”
    http://swik.net/GNOME/Planet+GNOME/Lennart+Poettering:+PulseAudio+FUD/caqpv
    we can’t blame pulseaudio for everything plus ubuntu is not doing the best
    just look at this
    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=ubuntu_bench_2008&num=1
    i was testing jaunty have intel hardware exa has regrets to the point it’s almost useless uxa has a lot of bugs and where did canonical put efforts ….notify useless/annoying thing i’m so dissapointed with ubuntu i’m switching to another distro

    [Reply]

  18. Guus says:

    Oh my god, I just JIZZED MY PANTS.
    FINALLY, my sound is back after removing PulseAudio. Every single time I booted my computer I had to killall pulseaudio and force-reload alsa.
    If I didn’t, either my audio wouldn’t work entirely or only from 3 out of 5 speakers.

    Just delete PulseAudio and don’t look back.

    Thanks Anon.

    [Reply]

  19. Zach says:

    Thank you so much for this post, I’ve stuffed it in my back pocket for when I re-install Ubuntu. I have been using Ubuntu as a home media center for 3 years now. I started out on Ubuntu 6.06 and everything worked beautifully until the day I installed 8.04.

    I couldn’t understand why suddenly my videos were grinding to a halt, skipping and audio was out of sync. I started reading about pulse-audio and thought hmm, maybe I should install pulse-audio and see if it works any better than ALSA. Well as you can guess, after research I discovered that pulse-audio WAS installed and that ALSA had been booted to the wayside.

    After removing pulse-audio and going back to ALSA things have been back to normal. I did further research on this, why they decided to switch sound architectures and discovered that at some point in the past it was decided to use pulse-audio. Evidently it was horrid and was eventually changed to ALSA. . . those who do not know history are destined to repeat it ;)

    Honestly I do hope pulse-audio gets it together, it seems like a decent architecture from reading the white paper. But it just doesn’t work.

    [Reply]

  20. Kishore says:

    Hi

    I am also having the same problem in not getting the sound propery from the day i installed ubuntu 8.10. i have had a look at the replies to this problem and trying to remove pulseaudio from the os. But at the last step one said that i have to go home directory using command or terminal and remove pulse audio but i dont know how to execute that command since i am new to linux. Can anyone guide me to it and how actually the command gets into home directory and removes pulse audio.

    Thanks

    [Reply]

  21. robert3353 says:

    You know what, I too hate pulse audio and to this list I will also add the new KDE v4x. They both have been released far too early. I still prefer KDE 3x series over Gnome any day of the week but when everyone moved to KDE v4 I hate that even more than I do Gnome so that is the reason I switched over to Ubuntu and now after trying to live with this abomination of a distro I too hate Ubuntu! So I fixed my pulse audio and my distaste for Ubuntu in one fell swoop I simply un-installed Ubuntu and you know what I now do not have any difficulty with my audio working correctly on my new Gentoo system. I know that Gentoo is not for everyone but for me at least I could build my system the way I want and I now have a fast pc so compiles are not a major pain.

    [Reply]

  22. anon says:

    “Pulse is the future. It’s an awesome piece of software that got a bad rap because it was released to users by Ubuntu before it was ready. It’s been more than a year now, and it’s time to give it a real shot.

    Seriously, the Ubuntu power user should be using pulse, and the n00b shouldn’t know any better.”

    That’s not your choice to make for me or for anybody else. PulseAudio may be the future, but it sure ain’t the present, and having reliable software work in the present (not the future) is what interests me.

    If it works for you, fine, that’s great. For me, not only do I not need any features offered by Pulse, I don’t need a broken sound setup–which is what a clean install (not upgrade, thank you very much) resulted in.

    Pulse has been off this machine for months now and sound has been flawless. Maybe I’ll try it again in a year or two. Maybe not. The arrogance of those pushing this broken (although technically interesting) package on us because they think they know what’s best has left a bad taste in my mouth.

    [Reply]

  23. Teutorix says:

    Eh can somebody help me?

    i have no idea how this part works

    “Finally Your asoundrc’s under your Home Directory are still configured for Pulse.

    Go to your home directory using the following command

    cd ~

    cp .asound* yourfilename

    rm .asound*

    One this is done your back to ALSA’s default configuration.”

    [Reply]

  24. Joe says:

    Thank you! This fixed my sound buzzing issues in 9.04

    [Reply]

  25. Moss Bliss says:

    I only removed Pulseaudio because nothing else worked. Unfortunately, neither did removing it.

    I have a clean install of Jaunty. Running as a Windoze folder, due to my HP computer, which has software (I can’t find to uninstall, have tried several times) which refuses to let GRUB run in the MBR. WUBI lets me run Ubuntu, by changing the Windoze bootloader instead of installing GRUB.

    The first few times I installed Hardy, my sound worked. It has not worked since. I have tried Intrepid and, now, Jaunty.

    [Reply]

  26. Adil Hasan says:

    Hello,
    Thanks for this. I have recently experienced problems on my Sony Vaio VGN NR21Z laptop with Jaunty (9.04). With Skype after around 30mins skype consumed 100% cpu and I couldn’t hear people (they could hear me).

    I’ve followed your instructions and so far so good.
    Minor mods:

    I don’t have any .asound* files in my home dir

    I don’t have a 70pulseaudio file

    I turned off pulseaudion under System->Preferences->Startup Applications

    Maybe these are changes in Ubuntu 9.04

    hth

    [Reply]

  27. Leon Smith says:

    Thanks for this. I have really, really tried to make pulse work. My final conclusion is that it or the support for it sucks. Sort of like the video drivers in the Hardy Heron days. I will be happy to try again with each new version of Ubuntu.

    [Reply]

  28. mahesh says:

    Gnome Sessions

    Go to System -> Preferences -> Sessions

    Deselected or Remove the Pulseaudio Manager

    Finally Your asoundrc’s under your Home Directory are still configured for Pulse.

    Go to your home directory using the following command

    cd ~

    cp .asound* yourfilename

    rm .asound*

    =====================================

    WHAT YOU MEAN BY “yourfilename” please make it clear ..im new to ubuntu 8.10

    [Reply]

  29. one db says:

    I’ve been having problems with Second Life … no voice chat, and after anywhere from a few minutes to an hour tops, sound would lock up and force a system reboot. I removed pulseaudio as above, and voila! no more lockups, and voice chat works just fine.

    For mahesh, “yourfile” is a term to say use any name that means something to you. If I had to do that command, I would have done this:

    cp .asound* .asoundbkcopy

    One DB

    [Reply]

  30. Zoowey says:

    Thanks a lot for this guide. I did it in Ubuntu 9.04 and everything went perfect except there was no .asound folder in my home dictionary. Other than that everything went perfectly and now my sound works perfectly.

    The thing with me is Pulseaudio worked wonderfully for me under 8.10 and 9.04 but whenever I’d play a game like doom 3 or Enemy Territory: Quake Wars the sound would lag about half a second, so I’d fire my gun and hear the fire half a second later. In First Person Shooters sound is very important and I died so much just because I couldn’t hear the enemy till it was too late. But removing Pulseaudio completely fixed it and now my sound doesn’t lag at all, so thank you very much.

    For those touting on how Pulseaudio is the future, maybe it is the future but that doesn’t mean the future is now. Pulseaudio seems to work for some and be broken for many. Pulseaudio is a very good and interesting project and maybe I’ll use it in the future but for now ALSA alone without Pulseaudio works perfectly.

    [Reply]

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