[LAU] pipewire update, was Re: Need MIDI keyboard for Zoom Class

Len Ovens len at ovenwerks.net
Fri Sep 25 16:14:12 CEST 2020

On Fri, 25 Sep 2020, Roger wrote:

> I don't need no steenkin' flatpaks!

Agree. However, pipewire does not need flatpacks to run, so far as I know. 
Second, I think it is the wave of the future if we like it or not. I would 
not expect continued development on pulse which means it will die of 
bitrot soon enough. So at the very least pipewire will replace your pulse 
part of things. pipewire will bridge itself to another running jack 
instance so that may well work for you.

> I have PulseAudio and JACK running quite nicely together now, thank you. 
> Not quite click n' run but close to it these days. Pulse already has the 
> ability to start JACK modules automatically if they are installed. I 
> remain sceptical about Pipewire being any improvement for my use case.

In this case I would not agree. The pulse-jack bridge is problematic. When 
the bridge is running, pulse is forced to run at jack's latency which 
breaks some desktop applications at lower latencies and uses a lot of cpu 
(about twice as much as jack at any one latency). Pulse also syncs it's 
jack calls to any physical device it may find that jack is not using 
causing xruns and breaking freewheel mode in some cases. (removing all 
alsa modules from pulse fixes this)

The pipewire desktop to jack bridging is properly buffered which fixes 
these problems. Also, pipewire does not run desktop-jack bridges except 
while needed and there is an actual connection.

How good pipewire will be remains to be seen but it does look promising so 

Len Ovens

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