Jeremiah Boby

Using pipewire

Some personal notes on the alternative audio server.

I’ve seen a lot of talk about pipewire recently, particularly given the proposal to route all audio to pipewire for Fedora 34, so I figured I’d try it out. Since switching audio stacks would usually be a pretty daunting task, I’ve documented my process below. (as it turns out, switching to pipewire is incredibly simple, so this is more of a personal reference than anything.)


Installation

Installing pipewire is just a case of using your package manager:

yay -S pipewire

If you’d like to use pipewire as a replacement for pulseaudio, or to run JACK software, install the relevant plugins to replace those sound systems:

yay -S pipewire-pulse pipewire-jack

Their systemd services should already be enabled, but it can’t hurt to make sure:

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

This should be all that’s required. It may be worth rebooting to ensure that the pulseaudio/JACK daemons aren’t still running, but that’s it! You’ll still be able to use software that depends on pulse/JACK as if you had those servers running.


Practical uses

If you have both pipewire-pulse and pipewire-jack installed, your pulseaudio sinks will appear in JACK software natively. This offers some promising prospects with using software for either system interchangeably.

For example, you could use Catia, the JACK transport patchbay, to visualise your pulseaudio sinks and route audio intuitively with its graph-based patchbay: image