Thin Sound At Long Last

The Problem

We’ve had a “problem” with our LTSP suite – the thin clients we use in our office haven’t been playing the sound from Youtube videos. I don’t really pay much heed to problems with proprietary software issues. “It’s broken because its proprietary” is my usual response. In addition, the idea of enabling a company that I want to be productive to watch (and actually listen) to stuff on Internet’s own brain candy gogglebox doesn’t seem a good idea. We needed it for a client though, so I did it.

The Solution

It’s a Debian Squeeze install – AMD64. First I removed some cruft:

apt-get --purge remove flashplayer-mozilla
apt-get --purge remove flashplugin-nonfree-extrasound
apt-get --purge autoremove

Make sure that I’ve done the docs regarding sound for LTSP:

less /usr/share/doc/ltsp-server/README.Debian.sound

Install Debian’s own ‘get the flashplugin’ script package:

apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree

That made it work. They waited about 3 months for me to sort that out! The flashplugin-nonfree package is pulling down Adobe’s 11beta2 flash package at the moment (for AMD64 at least).

10 thoughts on “Thin Sound At Long Last

  1. Hang on – flashplugin-nonfree only pulls in Flash 10.3 on my squeeze based system, even if I try and trick the update-flashplugin with a 11beta tar.gz renamed to 10.3 in /var/cache/flashplugin-nonfree/ ??

    Use the flashplayer-nonfree backport from Lenny as the current Squeeze version is a version behind the rest for some reason??

    • How odd, the package was installed from our local mirror, but our local one should be less up to date that one in the wild. The package I installed on the LTSP server looked like this:

      Package: flashplugin-nonfree
      Version: 1:2.8.2
      Architecture: amd64
      Maintainer: Bart Martens
      Installed-Size: 132

      What’s yours say? I should have mentioned perhaps that we are using an AMD64 version on the server, I’ve updated the post. The previous version was installing 32-bit library packages, which might well have been the problem. Flash 11 has native 64-bit support.

  2. Hello,

    I set up a Debian Squeeze LTSP server, and I have no sound on flash sites with iceweasel started as local app.

    I put SOUND=True in the /opt/ltsp/i386/etc/lts.conf file and enabled local apps.
    I installed iceweasel and flashplugin-nonfree in the chroot /opt/ltsp/i386, and rebuild the LTSP client image.
    I created the /etc/asound.conf file as described in /usr/share/doc/ltsp-server/README.Debian.sound.

    Sound plays on the LTSP clients with the apps started on the server side.
    But I have no sound on flash sites and youtube videos with iceweasel started as local app.

    Perhaps have you an idea to fix this problem ?
    I googled hours and hours, but did not find the solution.

    Thanks
    Bob

    • The thing is a local iceweasel will not be able to access local sound if pulse is using it. All the configuration you have done is to re-direct sound from the host, so I would start by removing it all and seeing if sound works for local apps then.

  3. I followed your instructions and tried some things.

    I built a new client image and installed iceweasel in the chroot without flash plugin.

    In the /opt/ltsp/i386/etc/lts.conf file, I put SOUND=False, and without /etc/asound.conf file :
    I tried to play an .ogg file with rhythmbox executed on the server side : sound was played on the server.
    I tried to play an .ogg file with iceweasel executed on the server side : sound was played on the server.
    I tried to play an .ogg file with iceweasel executed as local app : sound was played on the client 🙂

    In the /opt/ltsp/i386/etc/lts.conf file, I put SOUND=True, and without /etc/asound.conf file :
    I tried to play an .ogg file with rhythmbox executed on the server side : sound was played on the client.
    I tried to play an .ogg file with iceweasel executed on the server side : sound was played on the server !
    I tried to play an .ogg file with iceweasel executed as local app : sound was played nowhere.

    In the /opt/ltsp/i386/etc/lts.conf file, I put SOUND=True, WITH the /etc/asound.conf file :
    I tried to play an .ogg file with rhythmbox executed on the server side : sound was played on the client.
    I tried to play an .ogg file with iceweasel executed on the server side : sound was played on the client.
    I tried to play an .ogg file with iceweasel executed as local app : sound was played nowhere.

    What can I do to play sound from server apps and local apps on the client ?

    Thanks for your help.

    • I’m not sure there is a known solution! Another thing to look at though is pasuspender, so that if you run ‘ltsp-localapps pasuspender iceweasel’ then pulse audio will be suspended during the running of the application in question. I think we should take this back to the mailing list/IRC though.

    • Hi Bob,

      I was also suffering from the same problem. My solution was to set up the client side /etc/asound.conf as follows

      pcm.!default {
      type pulse
      }

      ctl.!default {
      type pulse
      }

      This solved the problem for me, I now have audio on iceweasel localapp and can play other, server side, audio applications at the same time. Hope this helps you or anyone else.

      Cheers,
      Dave

  4. Yes, there is a problem somewhere. I just set up the same configuration on an Ubuntu 10.04 server. With SOUND=True in the lts.conf file, sound is played on the client, with firefox executed on the server side AND as local app.

    On the Ubuntu server, in the /usr/share/doc/ltsp-server folder, there is only a README.Debian file, but no README.Debian.sound. Canonical probably changed some things…

    I don’t know how to do to take this problem back to the mailing list / IRC. If Canonical solved the problem, Debian developers can do it too 🙂

    Is there another way to write to you ? I have not seen any contact page on your blog. Thanks.

  5. Hello,

    It’s Bob again 🙂 Latest experience : I installed VLC and some other audio / video stuff in the chroot. All these apps executed as local app play sound on the client ! It seems that only web browsers do not play sound.

    “ltsp-localapps pasuspender iceweasel” works 🙂

    Thanks.

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