About PulseAudio

PulseAudio is a sound system for POSIX OSes, meaning that it is a proxy for your sound applications. It allows you to do advanced operations on your sound data as it passes between your application and your hardware. Things like transferring the audio to a different machine, changing the sample format or channel count and mixing several sounds into one are easily achieved using a sound server.

PulseAudio works as a proxy to ALSA so if your kernel supports ALSA and the needed sound card drivers for your device, the snap should work out of the box. More information on the kernel configuration needed for audio can be found here. Of course, Ubuntu Kernel comes with all this already enabled.

PulseAudio is an integral part of all relevant modern Linux distributions and used in various mobile devices by multiple vendors.

What PulseAudio Offers

  • Extensible plugin architecture (by loading dynamic loadable modules with dlopen())
  • Support for static linking of modules, allowing a single binary for all your needs
  • Module autoloading
  • Support for more than one sink/source
  • Good low latency behaviour
  • Very accurate latency measurement for playback and recording.
  • Client side latency interpolation
  • Embeddable into other software (the core is available as C library)
  • Completely asynchronous C API, complemented by two synchronous variants for simple use in synchronous applications
  • Simple command line interface for reconfiguring the daemon while running
  • Flexible, implicit sample type conversion and resampling
  • "Zero-Copy" architecture
  • May be used to combine multiple sound cards to one (with sample rate adjustment)
  • Ability to fully synchronize multiple playback streams
  • Various network audio streaming options

Please see the upstream feature list for more details.

Upstream documentation

Existing documentation from the upstream project can be found here.

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