Bug#782688: Just had issues with BT headset and PA, still have some

Alexander Betaev betaev at gmail.com
Fri Oct 7 07:48:02 UTC 2016

Hi Juha,

I had nearly the same issues with BT headset and PA like you. The only
difference is that I'm now using Stretch. But it looks like the issue is
much wider. I found that PA locks any device for a single user except those
ones which are provided by ALSA. Yes, PA uses ALSA anyway under the hood
since ALSA is part of Linux Kernel and is the main sound API for Linux.

So I wanted to report another issue regarding PA when saw this one.

Your issue might be that another user (like Debian-gdm or anybody else)
might grab PA BT device as audio device before you logged in. Since PA is
so stupid that it is unable to share device across different instances
(when running per-user session) you are not able to use already grabbed
device from your user session.

To check that, just run

infestator at inftop ~ $ ps axu | grep pulseaudi[o]
infesta+  7764  0.7  0.0 1293132 13532 ?       S<l  10:04   0:16
/usr/bin/pulseaudio --start --log-target=syslog

You should see just one instance of pulseaudio process running in order to
be able to use bluetooth headset. You may also see Debian-gdm user in the
list. In order to disable pulseaudio daemon for Debian-gdm user just create
file /var/lib/gdm3/.config/pulse/client.conf (I believe it is the same in
Jessie as in Stretch, but you may check that by `getent passwd | grep -i
gdm') with the following content:
  autospawn = no
  daemon-binary = /bin/true
and don't forget to set appropriate owner to that file.

If this does not help, then your issue is something else.

Best regards,
Alexander Betaev
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