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I've noticed that sound becomes unavailable to me when someone else is logged into my machine and playing music (or has facebook open) in the other account. I've had to ask them to unlock their account and turn it off so I can get sound in my own stuff. Even in sound preferences, the hardware itself disappears and output is "dummy sound".

Is there a way to prevent this from happening?

What would be really good is if I could turn down the volume (or mute entirely) all the sounds on all other accounts on a per-user basis from my sound preferences without affecting whatever setting they have - essentially saying whenever user A is logged in, all sounds from user B's account are muted and anything from user C's account is at 50% while I can still have my own at full volume.

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Maybe a partial fix for your problem I found in an older Fedora thread about pulse audio: "Pulseaudio - Multiple Users"

Post nr. 5 says:

As the main user, I copied /etc/pulse/default.pa to ~/.pulse/default.pa. I added: load-module module-native-protocol-tcp auth-ip-acl=127.0.0.1 As the second user, I created ~/.pulse/client.conf and added default-server = 127.0.0.1

With this configuration, when the second user launches an application that uses pulseaudio, it will connect to the first user's pulseaudio instance.

However, AFAIK fedora uses different security subsystems and this might not work.

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This is an old bug (launchpad 433654) related to per user sound configuration.

SOLUTION:

  • Check that there's no users at the 'audio' group
  • Uncheck the option "use audio devices" under "User administration" -> "Advanced" -> "Privileges"
  • Restart

Now you have a diferent sound instance per each user.

More info at the wiki of Ubuntu.

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