Skype, KDE4, OpenSUSE 11.3 and PulseAudio

1 minute read

This combination seems to be a bit hard for openSUSE. While PulseAudio solves many problems Linux users have with audio (and creates others), openSUSE seems to make it even harder for users to make use of it. That's usually not a problem, until Skype comes into the game. As soon as it detects PulseAudio being present on the system, it uses it. For me, this lead to no sound on my headset, and the common suggestions in forums seems to be uninstall PulseAudio, reinstall your system, install Ubuntu and other useless suggestions.

But actually there is a way to get it all work together nicely and it's not hard at all:

  1. Enable PulseAudio (#> is a root console)
    #> setup-pulseaudio --enable
  2. Install the missing PulseAudio mixer (without it it's like sitting in a car without driving wheel)
    #> zypper install pavucontrol
  3. Reboot (just to make sure ...)
  4. Start pavucontrol. You'll see your sound devices (e.g. the sound card and your headset), the per-application volume controls as soon as an application uses an input or output and everything else you dreamed of.

Now you can start Skype and do a test call, and you'll be able to use pavucontrol to route its output and input to the right device (e.g. to your headset).


PS: It seems that there has been some progress on KDE4 integration with PulseAudio, and I hope in openSUSE 11.4 everything will work out of the box.