The f33 xfce4-pulseaudio-plugin package from updates-testing can now
work with pipewire and so far so good. I'm of course lacking the features
I was using with paprefs, but will try to find in the pipewire docs whether
the same can be achieved with pipewire-specific tooling.
My main case was the "simultaneous output devices" to not have to do
anything when I switch between bluetooth devices (plural) or physical
Not sure when I'll get a chance to try Ardour, I haven't used it in months.
I wish I could have answered earlier but sharing my feedback now is
better than never.
I'd like to state first that while I enjoy pulseaudio without being
very knowledgeable or proficient, I'm also very enthusiast about
pipewire. I'm however feeling very uneasy with pipewire replacing
pulesaudio by default. At least from my experience on the Xfce spin.
First, I had to reboot my laptop to formally switch to pipewire, which
was not needed to switch back to pulseaudio. I'm not ruling out pebcak
on this specific point.
Then I started using pipewire and pavucontrol to switch between
devices, adjust volume for certain applications, configure devices. I
have some problems with pulseaudio where some applications like
firefox won't remember the volume I set them at (or maybe firefox
forces a 100% volume whenever it starts an audio server?) and some
applications like firefox will have their audio delayed the longer a
video meeting lasts and some applications refuse to have their output
changed (not firefox for that matter) for example via pavucontrol.
With pipewire it was stated in the change description that not all of
the features of the pulseaudio daemon were supported, and it was
visible. I was unable to select an output device for a running
application, any application. I would have to set the device I wanted
as the default one and it would only take effect for future playbacks.
With bluetooth devices in particular I was not always able to switch
Finally, one day after saying "so far so good" the pipewire-pulse
daemon started failing. I tried to dig the following logs from
journalctl but the interesting stuff seems to be gone already.
Restarting the daemon didn't help, which never happened to me with
pulseaudio. The pulseaudio daemon may fail me a couple times a year,
but a restart of the service always solved the immediate problem.
I used pipewire-pulse mainly with Firefox, Pragha and VLC (from
rpmfusion). VCL didn't work at all, I had to switch its audio to ALSA
to get sound. Everything else worked, modulus the problems mentioned
above like changing outputs etc.
In terms of devices I used built-in speakers, didn't think about
trying built-in jack, but used the built-in microphone. I also had
bluetooth devices in A2DP and HSP/HFP (including microphone) and a
USB microphone. No problems with the devices besides not being able
to route an application to or from a specific one without making it the
Unfortunately I didn't have time to share my notes earlier, and no
time either to try to understand and possibly reproduce failures. So I
will keep an eye (and an ear) on piprewire but I would recommend
strongly against making it the default based on what I was able to
test. I would be happy to participate in a test day if (big if) I'm
available to follow troubleshooting and error reporting instructions
because my understanding is that this is a fast-moving project, but
I'm not confident it is ready to replace pulseaudio yet.
Maybe next time I'll get a chance to play with pulseaudio-jack too.