Saturday, December 08, 2007

Pulse Audio the "Compiz for Audio" on OpenSUSE

Fedora 8 made waves with Pulse Audio when it was released. It was such a hit that other linux distributions are following suite. OpenSUSE 10.3 users (yours truly included) can now install Pulse Audio using the one click install.

So what's the big deal over Pulse Audio ?
  1. With Pulse Audio, you can run multiple applications (e.g. skype, pidgin, flash video on firefox, Banshee) that use sound and you can hear them all at the same time, even go so far as to control the volume for each application.
  2. Works with or over existing audio systems like ESD for Gnome and aRTS for KDE.
  3. From Linux.com : "PulseAudio can route audio from multiple sources to multiple sinks, both locally and over the network. You can use it to combine multiple soundcards into a single virtual device, to forward music from one PC to another, or to share a single microphone as an input between multiple PCs." Cool !!!
It was an easy installation, the one click install did most of the work for me, although I still had to do a couple of additional things to get it to work. If you happen to have OpenSUSE 10.3 with GNOME, use the one click install and try the following to get Pulse Audio up and running :
  1. After the one click install completes, login as root and edit /etc/group and add all the users who will use Pulse Audio on your system to the pulse group.
  2. Reboot your system
  3. Login as a desktop user, in the Gnome Control Center click Sessions.
  4. In the Startup Programs tab click Add
  5. Type PulseAudio Server on the name field.
  6. Type pulseaudio & on the command field.
  7. Locate and run the PulseAudio Device Chooser from your Application Browser
  8. Logut and then login again.