PulseAudio is the standard audio server in desktop installations. However in a server installation audio services and thus PulseAudio are not provided.
How do I install and make use of PulseAudio in a headless server?
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$ sudo apt-get install libasound2 libasound2-plugins alsa-utils alsa-oss
$ sudo apt-get install pulseaudio pulseaudio-utils
$ sudo usermod -aG pulse,pulse-access <username>
$ pulseaudio -D
Following command tells us if a sink is recognized by PulseAudio:
$ pacmd list-sinks
Remember sinkname for output below.
This command will play a sound file to a given sink:
$ pacmd play-file <filename> <sinkname>
We may need to unmute audio devices:
pacmd set-sink-mute n 0where n is the sink index (likely 0)
For further CLI commands see also the Pulse Audio Wiki
To configure Pulseaudio Server to our needs we may need to edit
/etc/pulse/daemon.conf that come with self-explanatory. notes.
For testing the soundsystem see alsoSound Troubleshooting Guide