Buster sound output bugginess across users

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Buster sound output bugginess across users

Postby malliaris » 2021-02-17 20:11

Hi all,

I'm experiencing what I'm guessing is buggy behavior (or messed up configuration?) on a fresh install of Debian Buster. Symptoms:

  • sound has always worked for user created at installation, "tedm" (Settings --> Sound --> Output always shows HDMI and Line Out and both pass speaker test)
  • for user "test_maint" created with adduser, HDMI and Line Out work as for tedm after a reboot, but then, after some time (hours, not days) and/or switching users, sound breaks for this user only and "Dummy Output" becomes the only Settings entry
  • occasionally, when logging in as test_maint, I'm faced with a GUI authentication popup about repository updates; usually this coincides with broken sound, but not always
  • I say that everything works for tedm, but occasionally, after logging back in, I feel like the master volume or application volume levels have been reset

I have done a fair amount of googling, read up a bit on ALSA and Pulse, and tried a few things to fix or troubleshoot, e.g., pulseaudio --kill, but no breakthrough yet. Considering that I get very different system sound behavior across users, I'm guessing that I've either stumbled across a bug or inadvertently misconfigured things. I did read that Pulse switched to some sort of user-based setup rather than system-wide somewhat recently? Also, was reading about the audio system group, and noticed tedm is in it, but test_maint is not:

audio:x:29:pulse,tedm

I may try adding test_maint to this group, but even if this fixes the problem, I'm wondering if there is a more standard way to correct things. Let me know your thoughts and/or what command output you'd like to see for system info, diagnostics, etc. Thanks for your help!
malliaris
 
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Re: Buster sound output bugginess across users

Postby malliaris » 2021-02-19 02:23

ok, I think I'm making progress in figuring this out... putting test_maint into the audio group did not stop the sound problems, but removing both tedm and test_maint (leaving only pulse) appears more promising....
malliaris
 
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Re: Buster sound output bugginess across users

Postby sunrat » 2021-02-19 02:47

I don't quite understand what issue you are trying to explain, but for levels resetting search the webz or here for "flat-volumes" in pulse daemon.conf.
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Re: Buster sound output bugginess across users

Postby malliaris » 2021-02-19 03:08

I think what happened was, on install, I was offered the opportunity to make new root account with a different username, and I was mistakenly thinking it would be a standard non-privileged user. I elected to do that, so regular user tedm (who logs in with the GUI, plays music, uses youtube, etc.) was put into many system groups: audio, video, cdrom, etc. Then, with tedm's session locked, regular user test_maint would log in also thru the GUI and try to, say, stream music, but tedm's elevated sound card access would interfere. Does this sound plausible?

anyway, tedm has always been given full privileges explicitly in suduers, so I will remove him from all these system groups...
malliaris
 
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Re: Buster sound output bugginess across users

Postby malliaris » 2021-02-21 08:03

been a couple days now with no sound issues. removing user tedm from the audio group seems to have done the trick!
malliaris
 
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