7

Well here's an embarrassing problem. PulseAudio doesn't seem to be working. I've been trying to load the sound applet for a week or so and I checked ps aux | grep pulse and found that there's no PA daemon running!

Sound is still working. I assume everything has fallen back to ALSA.

Furthermore I've tried to start PA from the command line. pulseaudio -D just errors out with nothing useful, just E: main.c: Daemon startup failed.

pulseaudio on its own raises a little more:

$ pulseaudio
E: main.c: Unknown command: !/usr/bin/pulseaudio -nF
E: main.c: Failed to initialise daemon.

I can start it as root with --system but nothing can connect to it. That's not the right way to run PA, so I'd rather fix it than bodge around it.

1
  • 1
    Also, pulseaudio -v, and you can add more "v"s for more info
    – Jonathan
    May 16, 2017 at 23:39

1 Answer 1

8

Well that was the weirdest thing. I opened up /etc/pulse/default.pa and noticed that the first line was:

!/usr/bin/pulseaudio -nF

That looks an awful lot like a #!/bin/bash style opening (I don't know the proper name for it, comments on a postcard) so I stuck a hash at the beginning like so:

#!/usr/bin/pulseaudio -nF

And it works!

No idea how that got broken. I don't think I've ever purposefully edited that file before.

3
  • Very interesting finding - good to know that such things happen. Here the line is commented out per default installation.
    – Takkat
    Jul 26, 2011 at 17:03
  • @Takkat it's not a comment - it's a pulseaudio script. That "comment" tells it to run with the /usr/bin/pulseaudio executable (just as #!/bin/bash tells the OS to run a script with bash)
    – Oli
    Jul 26, 2011 at 18:29
  • 4
    Chat (marco and htorque) reliably tell me this like is called a Interpreter directive (a shebang (#!) followed by a command).
    – Oli
    Jul 26, 2011 at 18:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.