PulseAudio Tames the Linux Audio Zoo, Part 2 - page 3
Fixing PulseAudio on UbuntuPulseAudio can run as an ordinary system-wide daemon if you wish. To enable this, edit /etc/default/pulseaudio like this:
That should be the opposite of the default. Then any user that needs access to the Pulse server needs to be added to the pulse-access group, including root. Then start it in the usual way:
$ sudo /etc/init.d/pulseaudio start * Starting PulseAudio Daemon [ OK ]
But on a multi-user system this is not the best way to run PulseAudio, according to the developers. It is better to run it per-user for these reasons: it creates a potential security hazard because it runs SUID, users can mess with other users' sound, and settings are system-wide instead of individualized. If you're on a single-user system then it doesn't matter.
If you want it to run per-user, then each user needs individual configuration and startup files. PulseAudio is already well-integrated into Gnome, and Gnome supports per-session startup, so the hard work is already done. If you're running a distribution that does not default to PulseAudio, create a symlink from Pulse's compatibility script to the ESD binary to load PulseAudio instead:
# ln -sf /usr/local/bin/esdcompat /usr/bin/esd
Verify your filepaths first, of course.
What do users of other desktop environments do? We'll get into detail on that next week. Meanwhile, KDE users can do this: stop it by running sudo /etc/init.d/pulseaudio stop, then reverse the changes to /etc/default/pulseaudio so that it does not start at boot. Then start it manually like this:
$ pulseaudio --high-priority --log-target=syslog
Check out the various userland tools, which you should find in your multimedia menu, and next week we'll learn how to configure per-user startup, learn about sinks and sources, and play networked sounds.