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Re: Switch default from PulseAudio to PipeWire (and WirePlumber) for audio

On Wed, Sep 14, 2022 at 11:36 PM Felipe Sateler <fsateler@debian.org> wrote:
> What does "switch right now" mean? Just switching gnome-core? What about
> the other users? They would all have to switch their order from
> `pulseaudio | pipewire-pulse` to `pipewire-pulse | pulseaudio`. Otherwise
> you would have a different audio server depending on which order packages
> are installed. Moreover, what about upgrades? Would they be forcefully
> upgraded (ie, drop the pulseaudio alternative)? Or would they be allowed
> to continue using pulseaudio (which wouldn't migrate them because the
> dependency would be satisfied)? This is what I mean with

Yes, I noticed the upgrade problem. apt recognizes that the alternate
dependency is already satisfied and doesn't install the preferred
(first) dependency.

So my draft was for gnome-core to unconditionally switch to pipewire:

For context, gnome-core in Debian 11 "Bookworm" unconditionally
depends on pulseaudio.

> > This give us 4 months until the "transition and toolchain freeze" on
> > 2023-01-12 [6]. We will also receive feedback from Ubuntu 22.10 (that is
> > also doing the switch) planned to be released on 2022-10-20 [7].
> Do you know what the transition plan for ubuntu is? Are they patching all
> rdeps to switch to `pipewire-pulse`?

For Ubuntu Desktop, the ubuntu-desktop-minimal metapackage depends on
pipewire-pulse & wireplumber & recommends libspa-0.2-bluetooth.
Ubuntu's metapackages are generated using germinate and alternate
dependencies aren't supported at all.

(Recommends are the lines with parentheses).

In general, almost everything in Debian's GNOME metapackages are a
hard Depends instead of a Recommends. In our experience, we get a lot
of bugs and complaints about things not working correctly because
there are a lot of people who believe it's a good idea to disable
installing Recommends system-wide and have trouble understanding why
their system doesn't run well.

Interestingly, in Ubuntu, a lot of the ubuntu-desktop metapackage
dependencies are just Recommends. But even there, the sound server is
a hard dependency.

pipewire and wireplumber are systemd user services. Maybe we just need
to write up instructions for disabling PipeWire and switching to
PulseAudio. Or maybe we could create a Debian package that handles
this. That way we could keep the hard dependency in gnome-core so that
upgrades do the expected thing, but there is an easy escape.

However, I've not seen a single complaint from Ubuntu about switching
to PipeWire. So maybe we still ought to switch gnome-core now to get
real feedback.

Thank you,
Jeremy Bicha

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