Pulse Audio killing my GUI

Hello all again, and thank you, a little history, every time I used pulse audio in the past, or tired to use pulse audio, I have had problems, (I am trying to use it for Software Defined Radio) for digital radio, well the first time I knew little, about 4 years ago, I could not get it to work so I uninstalled it, then I lost every thing, on restart I got the familiar,
unable to launch cinnamon-session-cinnamon X session—
“cinnamon-session-cinnamon not found falling back to default session”
At that time it was a lot of searching on another laptop to find Ctrl+alt+F2 on my dells so got what I thought at the time a giant terminal, lol, and followed different advice from other post and the OS came back, this has happened to me about 5 times only once I lost the whole system, dont know what happened. In all this time i suspected it was Pulse audio, was involved, Last Night I found out for sure, now that I know a little more, I was able to reload cinnamon in the bash, and all working again, My question please, what set of libs of Pulse audio do I have to install to get a function sound program, as in how many parts of Pulse audio do I install there seem to be so many, Or is there a ebook on Pulse audio and Linux alone? I have realised that installing some programs they can take a lot more than they should away from the system, but I have only ever had problems when uninstalling Pulse audio thats why I have been reluctant to use it, nay frightened, after losing a complete set of great files. a couple of years ago. Thanks in advance for reading, Yes I am using 19.1 Linux xxxx 4.15.0-20-generic #21-Ubuntu SMP Tue Apr 24 06:16:15 UTC 2018 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux Cinnamon. Tessa?

1 Like

can you describe what it is about your sound system that you would consider non-functional?

it might be helpful if you could describe what you found out.

i know this isn’t part of your question, but do you have a backup system in place to help deal with similar situations now?

Misunderstanding question, any lib that should be there for the requirement of what ever software I am going to use, I do not consider any thing non-functional, its me that is non-functional until I learn a procedure and structure that makes something operate. But I would like to know how and what libs do I need for, just ordinary sound, as in volume, volume for speakers and microphone. as in just listening to a YouTube video, sound tracks, any web sound. Hence my request for any information or books on Pulse audio, or best audio for Linux Mint, Audio is a big part of Software Defined Radio, It should be relative simple but its not so. DominoEX, RTTY, WEFAX, PSK, to name only a few, are taking pre-transmitted, Received Antenna sound bytes through your sound card, and they are being decrypted into a myriad of digital radio waves, depending on program you are using, say “fldigi”, coming up as print, text, or pictures through your transmitter onto your computer screen, monitor. Windows has the monopoly on most software, to use, but only now people are writing this kind of software for Linux, and Raspberry Pi.

1 Like

I did not know until the other night, when I uninstall Pavcontrol and pulseaudio, I get no GUI, I get the, dreaded (to me) unable to launch cinnamon et cetra, then I go to the bash, is it? the command line screen, CLI, and type in the relevant commands to bring back cinnamon desktop. I know about dependencys and all it entails, now.

1 Like

I should be more careful how I word comments, " I lost a lot of files" well not quite, there on usb sticks all over the place, thrown in corner, not filed away neatly. I Use Timeshift since 18 .1 I think it was. But once I did completely lose a whole linux OS from a laptop hard drive, wiped it clean, because I coupled up a external drive, to back up the Linux OS, what I did not realise it was a windows external drive that just wiped my linux OS and left only some files taken of an windows OS, they were still there, but completely emptied my on board hard drive. Don’t even ask.

I had to check first but don’t have Pulse Audio on system. I rarely listen to music on computer and use VLC for just about everything as it works well enough for me. I didn’t even know about Software Defined Radio until 5 minutes ago. :laughing: Something new for me to look at maybe?


ideally those activities would be covered by any linux mint installation. distrowatch has what appears to be a comprehensive list of packages installed with 19.2. pulseaudio shows up on that list 5 times. alsa (also necessary for sound) is on it 3 times.

i found a few links that have some information on pulseaudio (freedesktop its disdributor, wikipedia, ubuntu) and some that describe how pulseaudio works with alsa on ubuntu-based systems like mint (superuser, ask ubuntu, mint forum).


Hello 1crazypj Well if you want another hobby SDR radio is a lot of fun, its all on web, to start. just need a RTL-SDR dongel, on ebay were $20 USD a laptop a lot of patient or if your clever it goes first time, It has a little antenna with it, and you can watch and listen to all sorts of radio signals from around the world thousands of them, I am in Amateur Radio also, as another hobby among many, We still do Morse Code every morning. Morse Code is still widely used, the first digital. Just another thing, if allowed here or do I have to start another thread, With VLC, when I down load a Distro, VLC takes it, how do I stop it from going to VLC, if it goes to VLC I can not open it, the IOS by rights I just make a folder on desktop but the only option i have is VLC its a real problem, Thank you 1crazypj

Thank you cordx, Yes have been all through the Synaptic Packages, hundreds of them lol, well not hundreds but al very confusing, also in Software Manager, a great varity of sound files or applications so all very confusing also, Just a matter of living long enough to understand it all lol.Thank you for your help.

1 Like

that is absolutely allowed and even encouraged :slight_smile: please feel free to ask as many questions as you see fit. separate threads help sort things a bit more efficiently.

i was thinking a discussion thread or maybe even just a thread where you share your SDR :radio: experiences would be interesting as well.


it is an interesting discussion to be certain. so very many moving parts in a system that when given root (sudo) access to the very files that hold up the foundation means we can bring it all to a screeching halt with an errant key press or two :slight_smile:

one of the key points for me here is that in many distributions (maybe most? but definitely including mint) simply won’t process sound in some situations without both pulseaudio and alsa. i am running one called antiX whose developers chose to create it without pulseaudio, but had to include a program that mimics (apulse (1) - PulseAudio emulation for ALSA) it because some other programs can’t process or provide audio without it.

i read on one of the linux mint forum posts that i linked earlier about situations similar to what you reported. uninstalling or trying to uninstall pulseaudio resulted in the loss of the cinnamon desktop as well. i have never run into such a drastic loss myself, but once tried to uninstall a photo manipulation/graphics program that won’t launch on my system and was lucky enough to read in the terminal output before i said “yes, please do” that it was going to take my remove my desktop environment as well. i figure i could just live with a program that wouldn’t launch :slight_smile:

as someone who is not a distribution creator/developer it is hard for me to wrap my mind around how or why one of those programs (pulseaudio or my graphics program) would need to take the desktop with it for removal, but i definitely still have plenty of linux to learn if i want to “liv(e) long enough to understand it all” as you said.

Ahhh, thank you cordx, your comment, the way it is worded, has helped me very much, this time, you have given an example that I was looking for, you have told me heaps in your comment, thank you, thats what I needed to know before looking in all the right places, and now I know where I am. Yes I have lost my Cinnamon desktop 5 times, no that I know for sure what is going on I am quite confident I can get it back any time, In all my searching I could not find conformation that the graphics would be lost because of an audio uninstall, but now I know, not a suspicion any more. I must now try to put together the steps to how and why, will take me a few days, I have much other stuff going on, electronics, wood work, welding, etc Its never one thing on its own. I cook for the family also, lol. Thank you heaps cordx, you may be a little puzzled at how you helped me, but you certainly put some parts of the puzzle neatly into place in my mind.

1 Like

I use Firefox and set almost everything to default to VLC. Never liked Apple’s IoS trying to take over everything so I always avoid it plus change any defaults from Apple media player to VLC. I also have downloads set to always ask where I want them plus various other defaults either disabled or set to avoid pop-up’s and tracking. Some sites don’t work properly because of it (I can’t play any C-Net video’s) and Yahoo doen’t like not being able to track or use location services. Chrome is pretty horrible if you don’t use most of the defaults, Google want’s to know everything about you so I don’t use it. No need to explain anything about Internet explorer or Edge, just asking for trouble with either.

1 Like