Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pulse Audio & OpenSuse 11.1

I'm not going to jump on the Pulse Audio bashing bandwagon, but have a real question for those with knowledge of the current status on OS 11.1

Our 550 thin clients all havePulse version 0.9.6 running as a daemon. I am in the process of building an OS 11.1 server to house Firefox 3.X for all employees. Youtube is one of my QA sites. When I play a flash video from that site, it starts fine and then after about 20 seconds starts to get choppy and then finally crashes the daemon on the thin clients. I was told on #pulseaudio that some timing patches might need to be merged, so I updated all pulse packages from the "Next" repository to the following release:

pulseaudio-0.9.14-43.7
pulseaudio-esound-compat-0.9.14-43.7
pulseaudio-lang-0.9.14-43.7
(all pulse packages were also updated to the same level).

It's still doing the same thing.

So unless there are some patches waiting to be merged, I have two bad prospects. 1) Trying to compile and install 0.9.14 for the thin clients (Debian Woody) -or- 2) trying to back out pulseaudio packages on OS 11.1 and recompiling version 0.9.6.

Anyone with more knowledge in this area have any thoughts?

Update: I just wanted to clarify that I don't think anything is wrong with OS 11.1. I believe the issue to be related to a mismatch of Pulse versions between the OS 11.1 server and the thin client. On OS 11.1, all libraries are the same version and things probably work fine. I also should have mentioned that I'm attempting to use Flash 10.

13 comments:

AdamW said...

You seem to have left out something rather important - what Flash plugin are you using?

Dave Richards said...

AdamW: Indeed. It's the latest flash available: 10.0 r15. Our older server has Pulse 0.9.6 and this combination of Firefox/Flash works fine. So it really seems to be an issue with Pulse.

Russell said...

I worked through similar issues with PulseAudio and a Sound Blaster card (ES1371) on Fedora 10. I had choppy audio under the same circumstances. In /var/log/messages I also saw messages from pulseaudio stating that "ALSA woke us up to write new data to the device, but there was actually nothing to write!". Although I'm still getting those messages in /var/log/messages, I was able to fix the audio choppiness problem by adding "tsched=0" at the end of the line that says "load-module module-hal-detect" in /etc/pulse/default.pa. I saw this workaround mentioned here in Red Hat Bugzilla:

https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=473153

Russell said...

This Fedora link also has some more information related to what tsched=0 does and has the same workaround listed at the bottom:

https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/GlitchFreeAudio

Anonymous said...

Debian Woody? Good Lord.

Dave Richards said...

Regarding Debian Woody: There is a long lapse to when releases come out from HP for the thin clients. And then it's a lengthy QA process here as well. From what I understand, flash drives have a finite amount of writes, so they have to re-engineer it to run much from RAM file systems.

HP has released Etch, but I'll have to stage and QA that for deployment which is a good amount of work.

rodrigo@novell.com said...

Maybe you already checked that, but do you have the libflashsupport package installed? That makes flash sound go through pulseaudio and works great here (with PA 0.9.12 though, but 0.9.14 should still work)

If not, just drop me a mail and I can try to help you debug the problem

AdamW said...

rodrigo: he mentioned he's using Flash 10. libflashsupport is not needed or useful at all with Flash 10, in fact using it in combination with Flash 10 tends to be harmful.

Tomasz Torcz said...

Do your symptons match https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=478595 ?

Anonymous said...

FWIW, I've stopped using the Adobe Flash plugin on my Debian unstable i386 box, where it kept on crashing my browser when closing tabs that had a flash running.
I didn't see this kind of crashes on amd64, but the latest amd64 alpha version of flash was even worse, crashing the browser right away. So also on the amd64 box I'm now using Gnash to view flash sites. Works mostly, about 80% of youtube videos play. No pulseaudio issues.

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