Pulseaudio randomly stops working

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Pulseaudio randomly stops working

Postby kerryhall » 2020-05-29 02:01

Fresh install of Debian 10.

My sound will randomly stop working. pavucontrol shows:

"Establishing connection to PulseAudio. Please wait..."

for a few seconds, then it will return to the normal pavucontrol GUI.

This occurs at random intervals, for a random length of time. Sometimes it will flicker several times per second.

Code: Select all
lspci | grep Audio
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family High Definition Audio Controller (rev 05)
01:00.1 Audio device: NVIDIA Corporation GP106 High Definition Audio Controller (rev a1)


I use the Intel sound card, not the NVIDIA one. (Which I believe is audio over HDMI through my video card?)

dmesg has no relevant output.

lsof /dev/snd/* shows only pulseaudio as the proc, which I know is needed.

As as aside, what is the correct way to actually stop pulseaudio?

Following the instructions here:

https://wiki.debian.org/PulseAudio#Rest ... dio_Daemon

The --kill flag simply doesn't function. Pulseaudio springs back to life immediately.

I would like to know the proper way to stop pulseaudio, and the wiki should be updated with that info.

I read this of course:

https://wiki.debian.org/PulseAudio#Disa ... _autospawn

But I have no audio client software running, so nothing could be starting the daemon automatically.
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Re: Pulseaudio randomly stops working

Postby sickpig » 2020-05-29 08:32

Code: Select all
a@a:~$ dpkg-query -L pulseaudio|grep service
/usr/lib/systemd/user/pulseaudio.service


Code: Select all
a@a:~$ cat /usr/lib/systemd/user/pulseaudio.service
[Unit]
Description=Sound Service

# We require pulseaudio.socket to be active before starting the daemon, because
# while it is possible to use the service without the socket, it is not clear
# why it would be desirable.
#
# A user installing pulseaudio and doing `systemctl --user start pulseaudio`
# will not get the socket started, which might be confusing and problematic if
# the server is to be restarted later on, as the client autospawn feature
# might kick in. Also, a start of the socket unit will fail, adding to the
# confusion.
#
# After=pulseaudio.socket is not needed, as it is already implicit in the
# socket-service relationship, see systemd.socket(5).
Requires=pulseaudio.socket
ConditionUser=!root

[Service]
# Note that notify will only work if --daemonize=no
Type=notify
ExecStart=/usr/bin/pulseaudio --daemonize=no
Restart=on-failure

[Install]
Also=pulseaudio.socket
WantedBy=default.target


Code: Select all
Restart=on-failure
==> turns it back on
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Re: Pulseaudio randomly stops working

Postby kerryhall » 2020-06-10 03:37

Understood, thank you.

How do I stop pavucontrol from flickering?
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Re: Pulseaudio randomly stops working

Postby sickpig » 2020-06-10 04:46

see if Nvidia can be disabled in bios.
or explore disabling it in modprobe.d.
or replace pulseaudio with alsa.
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Re: Pulseaudio randomly stops working

Postby kerryhall » 2020-06-10 18:59

I don't mind that the Nvidia sound card shows up, but the issue I'm having is that pavucontrol will randomly say:

"Establishing connection to PulseAudio. Please wait..."

And the sound cuts out.

Sometimes several times per second.
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Re: Pulseaudio randomly stops working

Postby eriefisher » 2020-06-10 20:33

I doubt it's confusion between sound chips. Mine uses Intel i915 for HDMI and realtek for onboard sound. Which driver is the sound card using. You will likely have 2, the Nvidia sound component but the other one should be snd-hda-intel.

With my laptop I have to switch it over manually in system tray control when I plug into the HDMI(TV or other) but it's seamless.
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Re: Pulseaudio randomly stops working

Postby sunrat » 2020-06-10 22:02

In Pavucontrol Configuration tab, set HDMI card to "Off". Might help, might not.
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Re: Pulseaudio randomly stops working

Postby Scorpion » 2020-06-11 06:56

Are you using gnome?
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Re: Pulseaudio randomly stops working

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2020-06-11 09:39

kerryhall wrote:the proper way to stop pulseaudio

Kill it with fire:
Code: Select all
# apt purge pulseaudio

Or I suppose you could mask the service & socket with systemd.

EDIT: use the systemd journal to investigate your problem.
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Re: Pulseaudio randomly stops working

Postby kerryhall » 2020-06-11 21:01

Not using gnome, using fluxbox.

Code: Select all
lsmod | grep snd                                                                                                                                                                                               
snd_hda_codec_realtek   122880  1
snd_hda_codec_generic    86016  1 snd_hda_codec_realtek
snd_hda_codec_hdmi     57344  2
snd_usb_audio         253952  7
snd_usbmidi_lib        36864  1 snd_usb_audio
snd_rawmidi            40960  3 snd_usbmidi_lib
snd_seq_device         16384  1 snd_rawmidi
snd_hda_intel          45056  7
snd_hda_codec         151552  4 snd_hda_codec_generic,snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec_realtek
snd_hda_core           94208  5 snd_hda_codec_generic,snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec,snd_hda_codec_realtek
snd_hwdep              16384  2 snd_usb_audio,snd_hda_codec
snd_pcm               114688  8 snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hda_intel,snd_usb_audio,snd_hda_codec,snd_hda_core
snd_timer              36864  1 snd_pcm
snd                    94208  35 snd_hda_codec_generic,snd_seq_device,snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hwdep,snd_hda_intel,snd_usb_audio,snd_usbmidi_lib,snd_hda_codec,snd_hda_codec_realtek,snd_timer,snd_pcm,snd_rawmidi
soundcore              16384  1 snd
usbcore               294912  13 usbserial,xhci_hcd,ehci_pci,snd_usb_audio,usbhid,snd_usbmidi_lib,cp210x,usblp,usb_storage,ehci_hcd,btusb,xhci_pci,uas


I have a MOTU M4 I use for recording also but not worried about that right now.
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Re: Pulseaudio randomly stops working

Postby kerryhall » 2020-06-11 21:06

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:Kill it with fire


I'm definitely considering that... 10+ years later and PA is still extremely buggy.

Rebooting seems to have fixed the issue for now, I'm not getting any more "flickering" of pavucontrol.

But I'm guessing the underlying issue is not solved, and I would like to avoid rebooting if at all possible.
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Re: Pulseaudio randomly stops working

Postby kerryhall » 2020-06-16 23:32

How would I go about solving this "flickering" issue?
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Re: Pulseaudio randomly stops working

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2020-06-17 08:04

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Re: Pulseaudio randomly stops working

Postby kerryhall » 2020-06-19 01:26

The audio itself isn't skipping or crackling, it simply does not work at all.

The issue is the pavucontrol gui is "flickering" showing:

"Establishing connection to PulseAudio. Please wait..."

And then normal interface, back and forth, several times per second.
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