Section: File Formats (5)
The PulseAudio sound server reads configuration directives from a file ~/.config/pulse/daemon.conf on startup and when that file doesn't exist from /etc/pulse/daemon.conf. Please note that the server also reads a configuration script on startup default.pa which also contains runtime configuration directives.
The configuration file is a simple collection of variable declarations. If the configuration file parser encounters either ; or # it ignores the rest of the line until its end.
:daemonize= Daemonize after startup. Takes a boolean value, defaults to no. The --daemonize command line option takes precedence.
:fail= Fail to start up if any of the directives in the configuration script default.pa fail. Takes a boolean argument, defaults to yes. The --fail command line option takes precedence.
:allow-module-loading= Allow/disallow module loading after startup. This is a security feature that if disabled makes sure that no further modules may be loaded into the PulseAudio server after startup completed. It is recommended to disable this when system-instance is enabled. Please note that certain features like automatic hot-plug support will not work if this option is enabled. Takes a boolean argument, defaults to yes. The --disallow-module-loading command line option takes precedence.
:allow-exit= Allow/disallow exit on user request. Defaults to yes.
:enable-remixing= If disabled never upmix or downmix channels to different channel maps. Instead, do a simple name-based matching only. Defaults to yes.
:enable-lfe-remixing= If disabled when upmixing or downmixing ignore LFE channels. When this option is disabled the output LFE channel will only get a signal when an input LFE channel is available as well. If no input LFE channel is available the output LFE channel will always be 0. If no output LFE channel is available the signal on the input LFE channel will be ignored. Defaults to no.
:use-pid-file= Create a PID file in the runtime directory ($XDG_RUNTIMEDIR/pulse/pid). If this is enabled you may use commands like --kill or --check. If you are planning to start more than one PulseAudio process per user, you better disable this option since it effectively disables multiple instances. Takes a boolean argument, defaults to yes. The --use-pid-file command line option takes precedence.
:cpu-limit= If disabled do not install the CPU load limiter, even on platforms where it is supported. This option is useful when debugging/profiling PulseAudio to disable disturbing SIGXCPU signals. Takes a boolean argument, defaults to no. The --no-cpu-limit command line argument takes precedence.
:system-instance= Run the daemon as system-wide instance, requires root privileges. Takes a boolean argument, defaults to no. The --system command line argument takes precedence.
:local-server-type= Please don't use this option if you don't have to! This option is currently only useful when you want D-Bus clients to use a remote server. This option may be removed in future versions. If you only want to run PulseAudio in the system mode, use the system-instance option. This option takes one of user, system or none as the argument. This is essentially a duplicate for the system-instance option. The difference is the none option, which is useful when you want to use a remote server with D-Bus clients. If both this and system-instance are defined, this option takes precedence. Defaults to whatever the system-instance is set.
:enable-shm= Enable data transfer via POSIX shared memory. Takes a boolean argument, defaults to yes. The --disable-shm command line argument takes precedence.
:shm-size-bytes= Sets the shared memory segment size for the daemon, in bytes. If left unspecified or is set to 0 it will default to some system-specific default, usually 64 MiB. Please note that usually there is no need to change this value, unless you are running an OS kernel that does not do memory overcommit.
:lock-memory= Locks the entire PulseAudio process into memory. While this might increase drop-out safety when used in conjunction with real-time scheduling this takes away a lot of memory from other processes and might hence considerably slow down your system. Defaults to no.
:flat-volumes= Enable 'flat' volumes, i.e. where possible let the sink volume equal the maximum of the volumes of the inputs connected to it. Takes a boolean argument, defaults to yes.
:high-priority= Renice the daemon after startup to become a high-priority process. This a good idea if you experience drop-outs during playback. However, this is a certain security issue, since it works when called SUID root only, or RLIMIT_NICE is used. root is dropped immediately after gaining the nice level on startup, thus it is presumably safe. See pulseaudio?(1) for more information. Takes a boolean argument, defaults to yes. The --high-priority command line option takes precedence.
:realtime-scheduling= Try to acquire SCHED_FIFO scheduling for the IO threads. The same security concerns as mentioned above apply. However, if PA enters an endless loop, realtime scheduling causes a system lockup. Thus, realtime scheduling should only be enabled on trusted machines for now. Please not that only the IO threads of PulseAudio are made real-time. The controlling thread is left a normally scheduled thread. Thus enabling the high-priority option is orthogonal. See pulseaudio?(1) for more information. Takes a boolean argument, defaults to yes. The --realtime command line option takes precedence.
:exit-idle-time= Terminate the daemon after the last client quit and this time in seconds passed. Use a negative value to disable this feature. Defaults to 20. The --exit-idle-time command line option takes precedence.
:scache-idle-time= Unload autoloaded sample cache entries after being idle for this time in seconds. Defaults to 20. The --scache-idle-time command line option takes precedence.
:dl-search-path= The path were to look for dynamic shared objects (DSOs/plugins). You may specify more than one path separated by colons. The default path depends on compile time settings. The --dl-search-path command line option takes precedence.
:default-script-file= The default configuration script file to load. Specify an empty string for not loading a default script file. The default behaviour is to load ~/.config/pulse/default.pa, and if that file does not exist fall back to the system wide installed version /etc/pulse/default.pa. If run in system-wide mode the file /etc/pulse/system.pa is used instead. If -n is passed on the command line or default-script-file= is disabled the default configuration script is ignored.
:load-default-script-file= Load the default configuration script file as specified in default-script-file=. Defaults to yes.
:log-level= Log level, one of debug, info, notice, warning, error. Log messages with a lower log level than specified here are not logged. Defaults to notice. The --log-level command line option takes precedence. The -v command line option might alter this setting.
:log-meta= With each logged message log the code location the message was generated from. Defaults to no.
:log-time= With each logged messages log the relative time since startup. Defaults to no.
:log-backtrace= When greater than 0, with each logged message log a code stack trace up the specified number of stack frames. Defaults to 0.
:rlimit-as Defaults to -1.
:rlimit-rss Defaults to -1.
:rlimit-core Defaults to -1.
:rlimit-data Defaults to -1.
:rlimit-fsize Defaults to -1.
:rlimit-nofile Defaults to 256.
:rlimit-stack Defaults to -1.
:rlimit-nproc Defaults to -1.
:rlimit-locks Defaults to -1.
:rlimit-sigpending Defaults to -1.
:rlimit-msgqueue Defaults to -1.
:rlimit-memlock Defaults to 16 KiB. Please note that the JACK client libraries may require more locked memory.
:rlimit-nice Defaults to 31. Please make sure that the default nice level as configured with nice-level fits in this resource limit, if high-priority is enabled.
:rlimit-rtprio Defaults to 9. Please make sure that the default real-time priority level as configured with realtime-priority= fits in this resource limit, if realtime-scheduling is enabled. The JACK client libraries require a real-time prority of 9 by default.
:rlimit-rttime Defaults to 1000000.
Most drivers try to open the audio device with these settings and then fall back to lower settings. The default settings are CD quality: 16bit native endian, 2 channels, 44100 Hz sampling.
:default-sample-format= The default sampling format. Specify one of u8, s16le, s16be, s24le, s24be, s24-32le, s24-32be, s32le, s32be float32le, float32be, ulaw, alaw. Depending on the endianness of the CPU the formats s16ne, s16re, s24ne, s24re, s24-32ne, s24-32re, s32ne, s32re, float32ne, float32re (for native, resp. reverse endian) are available as aliases.
:default-sample-rate= The default sample frequency.
:default-sample-channels The default number of channels.
:default-channel-map The default channel map.
:alternate-sample-rate The alternate sample frequency. Sinks and sources will use either the default-rate-rate value or this alternate value, typically 44.1 or 48kHz. Switching between default and alternate values is enabled only when the sinks/sources are suspended. This option is ignored in passthrough mode where the stream rate will be used. If set to the same as the default sample rate, this feature is disabled.
Some hardware drivers require the hardware playback buffer to be subdivided into several fragments. It is possible to change these buffer metrics for machines with high scheduling latencies. Not all possible values that may be configured here are available in all hardware. The driver will to find the nearest setting supported. Modern drivers that support timer-based scheduling ignore these options.
:default-fragments= The default number of fragments. Defaults to 4.
:default-fragment-size-msec=The duration of a single fragment. Defaults to 25ms (i.e. the total buffer is thus 100ms long).
With the flat volume feature enabled, the sink HW volume is set to the same level as the highest volume input stream. Any other streams (with lower volumes) have the appropriate adjustment applied in SW to bring them to the correct overall level. Sadly hardware mixer changes cannot be timed accurately and thus this change of volumes can sometimes cause the resulting output sound to be momentarily too loud or too soft. So to ensure SW and HW volumes are applied concurrently without any glitches, their application needs to be synchronized. The sink implementation needs to support deferred volumes. The following parameters can be used to refine the process.
:enable-deferred-volume= Enable deferred volume for the sinks that support it. This feature is enabled by default.
:deferred-volume-safety-margin-usec= The amount of time (in usec) by which the HW volume increases are delayed and HW volume decreases are advanced. Defaults to 8000 usec.
:deferred-volume-extra-delay-usec= The amount of time (in usec) by which HW volume changes are delayed. Negative values are also allowed. Defaults to 0.
The PulseAudio Developers <pulseaudio-discuss (at) lists (dot) freedesktop (dot) org>; PulseAudio is available from http://pulseaudio.org/
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