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Spencer B.

President/Lead Developer at the Quaternion Institute. CS student, programmer, and guitarist.

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Switching to Pipewire from Pulseaudio on Void Linux

Calendar icon April 6, 2021

Clock icon 2 min read

Folder icon #pipewire #pulseaudio #linux #void #audio in tech

Pipewire

Pipewire is a new multimedia processing framework being developed for Linux with potential to simplify the Linux audio stack.

The Old Setup

If you run Linux you probably use Pulseaudio, which sits atop ALSA. If you are a musician or music producer, you also likely use JACK.

Pulseaudio is better for most applications, but JACK is great for low-latency audio processing. Getting the two to play nicely together takes a bit of work. Pipewire has the potential to replace both.

Switching to Pipewire

There is an excellent post on r/voidlinux about this topic. This is the process I used with great success.

Troubleshooting

The intent of this post was the inform Void Linux users that Pipewire is now an option for most audio needs. The main thing I have to add here is how to fix Pipewire breaking after updates.

Pipewire, being a newer project, has a frequently-changing configuration file format. If you update your system and things stop working, you need to reset /etc/pipewire/pipewire.conf. This can be done by forcefully reinstalling the package:

# xbps-install pipewire -f

After doing this, you will need to re-uncomment the line as you did earlier:

"/usr/bin/pipewire" = { args = "-c pipewire-pulse.conf" }

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