I have been running my music player (Clementine) headless on a file server that is plugged into my stereo. I open the player up on my workstation via ssh X11 forwarding (ssh -f -X me@fileserver 'clementine') and it used to play fine out of my stereo's speakers.

I enabled pulseaudio on my workstation this evening and now I can't get any sound from Clementine because it's picking up the PA driver on my workstation and is trying to play through that. How do I tell the PA libs on my fileserver to always use the local sound system rather than the network one? I can still listen to music by logging into the file server with VNC and starting Clementine from there, but that is a pain.


Set and export the PULSE_SERVER environment variable to be the path of the Unix domain socket of the pulseaudio server that is running on your file server. For example, I use:

export PULSE_SERVER=/run/user/1000/pulse/native

The exact path will depend on how pulseaudio is configured on your file server.

After you export PULSE_SERVER, then run Clementine.

Documentation of PULSE_SERVER is here on freedesktop.org.

For another possible solution (that I have not verified) see this answer:
How to start/configure pulseaudio remotely with ssh?

| improve this answer | |

Somewhat of a fix for anyone else with this problem. I wrote a quick script which removes the pulseaudio xprops and then starts Clementine. It's below in case anyone else needs it, although I would prefer a "don't do that!" checkbox...

  xprop -root -remove $p
| improve this answer | |

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.