Easy methods to Set up and Configure PipeWire in Linux

Because it got here to the scene in 2017, PipeWire noticed itself as a strong contender to exchange PulseAudio, however it nonetheless had numerous kinks to work out with its stability. Now that it has gained a powerful popularity as a extra established audio service for Linux a few years later, customers are actually getting curious on whether or not the improve to PipeWire is actually value it. On this article, we’ll provide the most up to date info on PipeWire’s deserves versus PulseAudio and present you set up it correctly in your system must you select to take action.

What Is PipeWire?

Audio on Linux has at all times adopted a layered construction: You put in a driver, it makes the machine work, however purposes nonetheless need to speak to it in their very own methods. For this, a server acts as an middleman within the person house to “speak” to the kernel, which then talks to the pc’s {hardware}.

The Superior Linux Sound Structure (ALSA) serves as a great, easy middleman between your purposes and your kernel, however if you’d like extra sophistication, you want one thing referred to as an audio server.

Pipewire Alsamixer

Each PulseAudio and PipeWire add a layer on prime of what your kernel does to introduce a variety of options. They permit a number of purposes to stream audio, present detailed mixer management capabilities, and even permit for the post-processing of audio streams on the fly in ways in which rival and even surpass the capabilities of the suite of purposes that industrial working methods will present.

The distinction between the 2 is that PipeWire’s layer provides different options like managing video streaming whereas additionally eliminating a number of the points that made PulseAudio disagreeable for newer customers to work with.

Since its introduction in 2017, PipeWire’s stability points have steadily disappeared. It’s now a default sound server for numerous distros together with Fedora, Arch-based Manjaro, EndeavourOS, Garuda, and even noticed introduction into Ubuntu 22.10.

Pipewire Eq

For most individuals, the change was so seamless that they’ve solely felt it as their functionality to make use of audio expanded on their methods, which is a testomony to its established popularity as a strong service that serves as a direct improve to the growing older PulseAudio framework.

Though it’s straightforward to assume that upgrading to PipeWire is a no brainer, we must always step again for a second and discover the nuance behind the choice so you will get a clearer image of what you’re signing up for if you happen to take that step:


  • PipeWire comprises an unlimited vary of assist for numerous Bluetooth audio units that beforehand didn’t absolutely work beneath PulseAudio. In case your Bluetooth {hardware} isn’t working correctly together with your distro, making the transfer would possibly assist.
  • An excellent variety of distros have already begun together with PipeWire as a default audio service, having fun with a large amount of assist within the official repositories of principally something you’d encounter.
  • PipeWire handles latency much more effectively when streaming audio to a number of units on the identical time.
  • Publish-processors like EasyEffects (beforehand PulseEffects) have dropped assist for PulseAudio of their releases or plan to take action quickly, making it vital to maneuver to PipeWire to maintain the flexibleness that these purposes give you.
  • The options are extra pleasant to individuals who need to get into extra skilled audio setups and purposes.
  • It helps pipelining for video streams, letting screen-sharing purposes get pleasure from a extra strong and safe surroundings.
  • PipeWire’s service suite comes with pipewire-pulse, extending assist for purposes that use PulseAudio’s API and audio administration.
  • It’s much less vulnerable to crackling beneath excessive CPU load.


  • Configurations don’t at all times translate straight over from PulseAudio. You’ll need to study a very new configuration scheme.
  • PipeWire doesn’t have any intuitive connection logic, which implies that it requires one other service that can hear for audio output and route them correctly. This isn’t essentially an obstacle however could possibly be annoying as a result of it requires that you just additionally learn to configure the session supervisor to do superior tuning.
  • Though that is altering as this text is being written, documentation and assist from communities continues to be not as widespread for PipeWire as it’s for PulseAudio.

Tip: Discover out how one can forged audio to a different machine with PulseAudio.

Easy methods to Set up PipeWire

If you wish to make the leap and set up PipeWire in your system, you first need to be sure you’re not already working it!

Sort pactl data right into a terminal and see what it offers you beneath “Server Title.” If it offers you “on PipeWire” in parentheses, you’re already working PipeWire.

Pipewire Servercheck

If the terminal solely reveals you “PulseAudio” with out something following it, your system isn’t working PipeWire.

1. Again up Your System

Pipewire Backup

Be sure you have a approach again if one thing goes fallacious! In case you haven’t created a backup of your system, accomplish that now earlier than going any additional. The simplest approach to do that is to make use of Timeshift, however you’re free to make use of another utility you’re conversant in that creates a full backup of your system recordsdata.

2. Putting in The Service

Each PipeWire set up begins with the bottom service. There’s an opportunity this will have already been put in together with your distro, however simply in case it isn’t, you’ll be able to set up it with the next instructions.

On Arch-based methods:

sudo pacman -S pipewire pipewire-alsa

On Ubuntu/Debian-based methods:

sudo apt set up pipewire

Good to know: Study all you’ll want to know in regards to the APT instructions.

3. Putting in The Session Supervisor

PipeWire doesn’t have its personal connection logic, so it’s a must to set up a session supervisor. WirePlumber is one that gives extra granular configuration in addition to further plugins that may improve your expertise:

On Arch-based methods:

sudo pacman -S wireplumber

On Ubuntu/Debian-based methods:

sudo apt set up wireplumber

In case you choose a less complicated model or your distro’s official repositories don’t have WirePlumber, you’ll be able to merely set up PipeWire Media Session:

On Arch-based methods:

sudo pacman -S pipewire-media-session

On Ubuntu/Debian-based methods:

sudo apt set up pipewire-media-session

4. Putting in The PulseAudio Daemon

Since a big proportion of your system’s purposes nonetheless ship out calls to PulseAudio, if you’d like your audio to work correctly, you’ll have to put in PipeWire’s daemon that listens for PulseAudio stuff.

On Arch-based methods:

sudo pacman -S pipewire-pulse

On Ubuntu/Debian-based methods:

sudo apt set up pipewire-pulse

5. Eradicating Traces of PulseAudio

In case you needed to verify the elimination of PulseAudio due to a battle with one thing else you have been putting in throughout this course of (normally pipewire-pulse), then you’ll be able to skip this step.

In any other case, it’s necessary now to take away PulseAudio out of your system in order that it doesn’t attempt to question it.

On Arch-based methods:

sudo pacman -Rns pulseaudio

On Ubuntu/Debian-based methods:

sudo apt take away pulseaudio

6. Getting Providers Prepared

With all of the packages you’ve put in and uninstalled, it’s time to get PipeWire up and working.

First, take away remnants of pulseaudio’s providers:

systemctl --user --now disable pulseaudio.service pulseaudio.socket
systemctl --user masks pulseaudio

Allow PipeWire’s providers. In case you put in WirePlumber:

systemctl --user --now allow pipewire pipewire-pulse wireplumber

In case you put in PipeWire Media Session, use:

systemctl --user --now allow pipewire pipewire-pulse pipewire-media-session

PipeWire ought to now work completely after you reboot your system!

Tip: In case you are having a no sound problem in your Linux system, right here is how one can repair it.

Ceaselessly Requested Questions

Can I simply use ALSA?

You can positively get away with simply working ALSA in your system (particularly if you happen to use a window supervisor as an alternative of a desktop surroundings), however you most likely received’t get pleasure from it. ALSA can solely play one stream of audio at a time. Whereas this doesn’t sound dangerous, because of this your system would possibly behave unpredictably when a notification sound tries to play when you’re watching a video. Utilizing a sound server on prime of ALSA is extra handy, however positively entails a small little bit of reminiscence overhead.

Can PipeWire be put in in Linux Mint Cinnamon?

Completely! Cinnamon has a little bit of a scary second the place it doesn’t present you the audio widget if you full a correct PipeWire set up, however it can reappear the second you restart if you happen to adopted these directions to the letter. Simply be sure you take away remnants of PulseAudio like we outlined within the directions and also you’ll be golden!

How do I remedy audio issues after sleep?

In case your pc’s audio stops working if you wake it up from sleep, it’s possible as a result of ALSA didn’t initialize correctly, which can sometimes occur. For conditions like these, simply manually give ALSA a kick with: alsactl init

As soon as that’s finished, all of your audio woes ought to disappear!

Picture credit score: pxhere