The Cranky Sysadmin A world of technology, fun, and ignorant rants.

December 27, 2009

Ubuntu 9.10, Pulseaudio, and Wine

Filed under: Games — Cranky Sysadmin @ 3:25 pm

This will be a short post about getting Wine and pulseaudio to work together on Ubuntu. Pulseaudio is a sound system which aims to consolidate all of the various sound interfaces into one generalized interface. I’ve never paid much attention to pulseaudio except to be annoyed when it doesn’t work and rip it out. Ubuntu 9.10 makes this harder since the ubuntu-desktop package depends on it.

One option is to switch to kubuntu. I may take that road if I continue to have to think about pulseaudio and how it works. It’s sound and I don’t want to deal with it. This Howto on the Ubuntu forums describes the mind set of the developers (basically, “get over it”), and how to fix many problems that occur with pulseaudio. In my opinion, all of this should have been fixed when Ubuntu was packaged. Sadly, Wine won’t play with pulseaudio out of box, even with solutions applied from the Howto. If you compile your own, or if you use the ubuntu packaged wine, you can expect choppy sound in wine.

The good news is that there is a solution that seems to work. I tested this with a custom compiled wine-1.1.35 and it worked fine. Find the detailed instructions here. If you prefer Ubuntu compatible packages, follow the instructions here. My audio in wine works ok now. It may be a long time before the pulseaudio driver for wine is integrated into the official wine as there is talk of rewriting the sound system in wine, so the developers don’t want to add more devices.

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