tactical vim

nerdy bits & pieces

disable the PulseAudio sound system in your Fedora 12 login

with 6 comments

PulseAudio has never worked correctly for me upon install, and I’m unwilling to spend the time to try and figure it out — to me, PulseAudio (hereafter referred to as “PA”) is a solution in need of a problem to solve on my laptops; also (and oss) have always worked just fine for everything I need. PA causes cracking, tearing and all sorts of undesirable side effects when it’s enabled and used.

Fedora 12 has integrated PA so deep now that any attempt to remove the RPMs (packages) result in an attempted uninstall of everything else (GDM, bluez, X11 and who knows what else). Ugly – it’s no longer a user choice to just not install it like in Fedora 10 and Fedora 11. Instead we have to do an end-run around it with a few simple steps.

FIRST, clean up all the extra *pulse* PA packages out of your system that can be removed; on my system I could easily remove packages such as:


This is arguably the most time consuming part; in the end, I am left with these packages below that can not be removed without harm to other components:


NEXT, open gnome-session-properties (Menu -> System -> Preferences -> Startup Applications) dialog and scroll to the bottom. There is listed an item entitled “PulseAudio Sound System” – go ahead and remove the checkmark from that option to disable it and close the dialog, saving your options.

LAST STEP, almost done – we need to stop the actual /usr/bin/pulseaudio binary from autospawning in the background under your user account. In your home directory there is a .pulse subdirectory (~/.pulse/) that stores per-user config files that are read before the system defaults are attempted to be used (if per-user are missing). Create a new file called client.conf in this directory:

$ vi ~/.pulse/client.conf

…and place these two lines in that file and save it:

  autospawn = no
  daemon-binary = /bin/true

These options should be a little self explanitory, we’re telling the system to not autospawn the binary but just in case it does we’re also telling it to run /bin/true instead of the real PA application.

Log out, log in (perhaps reboot) and presto – no more PA. I have tested the following apps with a few sample videos and music files (warning: I have RPM Fusion packages installed) and each app works just fine without touching a single setting after removing PA from my laptop:

Audio Player
Exaile Music Player
GNOME Mplayer
Listen Music Player
Movie Player (aka Totem)
Mplayer Media Player
Rhythmbox Music Player
VLC media player

Yeah, I keep just a few media playing apps around. Firefox + Flash (youtube, e.g.) plays just fine as well — no detected problems so far. Your mileage may vary but it works for me on this Dell laptop.

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Written by troyengel

2009-12-13 at 11:29

6 Responses

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  1. [...] a comment » This builds upon my previous post about disabling PulseAudio in your login in Fedora 12, it is recommended that you read that article first to understand in depth what’s going on in [...]

  2. disabling autospawn is awesome! thanks!


    2010-03-14 at 15:54

  3. gnome-session-properties (Menu -> System -> Preferences -> Startup Applications)
    does not have a pulseaudio entry in my fc12 system
    pulseaudio seems to have been started by init, but i can’t figure out how it gets started or how to disable it, any ideas?


    2010-06-05 at 23:21

  4. @eric – follow my other post as well as this one:


    This should work. I just did the above in Fedora 13 the other day and it still works.


    2010-06-06 at 04:23

  5. This is amazing! I’ve been searching for a way do kill pulse, and this did it. It worked for me on FC13.


    2010-11-14 at 18:25

  6. Hi all,

    In Fedora 14, I could easily do all do the above and additionally remove the following packages:

    Still I could not reasonably remove:

    Thanks for this great info!



    2011-06-07 at 08:14

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