June 23, 2008
PulseAudio Tames the Linux Audio Zoo, Part 1
There are a lot of great sound-related applications for Linux, from basic audio drivers and sound servers to sophisticated mixers, editors, and special effects engines. Which is not much consolation for the user who just wants sound to work on her system, and these days everything old is new again--once again, getting sound to work correctly, or at all, is almost as fun as in the olden days. Only these days it's because of "progress," not because of immaturity. This is due to PulseAudio becoming the default sound server on an increasing number of Linux distributions, such as Ubuntu Hardy, Fedora 8 and up, and Mandriva 2008.1. A number of other distributions include it as an option, such as openSUSE, Debian, Arch Linux, and Gentoo. It promises superior audio functionality, but brings with it a few woes as well, and has a lot of users asking "How does adding Yet Another Sound Server to Linux help anything?"