In our continuing mission to create and maintain one of the best open-source operating systems, the Lubuntu Development team has made the decision to migrate away from the older Pulseaudio system present in current releases of Lubuntu, and to replace it with a newer, more advanced PipeWire audio system. We hope that this will improve our users’ experience with audio on Lubuntu.
As this is a rather major change under the hood, there are some things that we would like our current early users of Lubuntu Lunar 23.04 to know.
This does not affect users of Lubuntu 22.10 or any earlier releases - only users of the Lubuntu 23.04 development release need to take this info into account.
If you’re running Lubuntu 23.04, you will probably notice the PipeWire system automatically install itself onto your system. However, the Pulseaudio system probably will not automatically uninstall itself. It would be wise to run
sudo apt purge pulseaudio pulseaudio-module-bluetooth
to ensure that Pulseaudio is entirely replaced. You should probably also reboot your system after doing this.
The necessary packages for Bluetooth support with PipeWire are probably going to be installed properly, but currently this has had minimal testing. In the event of problems, please let us know ASAP. You can file a bug report on Launchpad, reply to this thread, or use any of the support methods listed on our links page, but please let us know.
If you’re running Lubuntu Lunar in a QEMU virtual machine, you may notice your VM behave very strangely if PipeWire is installed and you reboot from within Lubuntu (mainly constant web browser crashes). This is a known problem, and we haven’t explored what exactly is happening very thoroughly yet. In the event this happens, shut your VM all the way down and then turn it back on. This should resolve the problem. Currently this is only known to happen if you’re using QEMU directly from the command line using combined intel-hda and hda-duplex audio devices. VMs made using QEMU interfaces like GNOME Boxes or virt-manager, VMs made with entirely different virtualization software like VirtualBox or VMware, and VMs made with QEMU but with alternate emulated audio devices, may not be affected. We currently do not believe that this issue affects physical hardware.
In the event you aren’t able to get audio after PipeWire is installed and Pulseaudio is removed, you may need to ensure that the PipeWire services are properly enabled. Try running the following command in a terminal if this happens:
systemctl --user enable --now pipewire && systemctl --user enable --now wireplumber && systemctl --user enable --now pipewire-pulse
This should immediately cause your audio to work again. If you get any messages about a service being masked, run
systemctl --user unmask <service> (replacing
<service> as appropriate), and then run the enabling command again.
PipeWire on Lubuntu needs a lot of testing. This is the first time we’ve started officially supporting PipeWire on Lubuntu, so it has not been tested very well yet. If you have the time and hardware, we would love your help with testing Lubuntu and PipeWire! You can get the latest development release of Lubuntu from Ubuntu’s ISO QA tracker. Make a Ubuntu One account and you’ll be able to report your findings or just let us know that all went well!
For the most part, users probably won’t notice much of a difference from this change. However, for those who have had problems with Bluetooth audio, or for people with advanced audio setups, you may notice that your Bluetooth audio problems are resolved, and you may be able to enable extra features to enhance your audio management experience. If you notice anything different (good or bad) as a result of this change, please let us know!
Thank you for your time and help, and we hope you continue to enjoy Lubuntu!