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pulse-daemon.conf(5) File Formats Manual pulse-daemon.conf(5)


pulse-daemon.conf - PulseAudio daemon configuration file







The PulseAudio sound server reads configuration directives from a configuration file on startup. If the per-user file ~/.config/pulse/daemon.conf exists, it is used, otherwise the system configuration file /etc/pulse/daemon.conf is used. In addition to those main files, configuration directives can also be put in files under directories ~/.config/pulse/daemon.conf.d/ and /etc/pulse/daemon.conf.d/. Those files have to have the .conf file name extension, but otherwise the file names can be chosen freely. The files under daemon.conf.d are processed in alphabetical order. In case the same option is set in multiple files, the last file to set an option overrides earlier files. The main daemon.conf file is processed first, so options set in files under daemon.conf.d override the main file.

Please note that the server also reads a configuration script on startup. See

The configuration file is a simple collection of variable declarations. If the configuration file parser encounters either ; or # it ignores the rest of the line until its end.

For the settings that take a boolean argument the values true, yes, on and 1 are equivalent, resp. false, no, off, 0.



pulseaudio(1) for more information. Takes a boolean argument, defaults to yes. The --high-priority command line option takes precedence.
pulseaudio(1) for more information. Takes a boolean argument, defaults to yes. The --realtime command line option takes precedence.


When PulseAudio runs in the per-user mode and detects a login session, then any positive value will be reset to 0 so that PulseAudio will terminate immediately on logout. A positive value therefore has effect only in environments where there's no support for login session tracking (or if the user is logged in without a session spawned, a.k.a. lingering). A negative value can still be used to disable any automatic exit.

When PulseAudio runs in the system mode, automatic exit is always disabled, so this option does nothing.




See getrlimit(2) for more information. Set to -1 if PulseAudio shall not touch the resource limit. Not all resource limits are available on all operating systems.


Most drivers try to open the audio device with these settings and then fall back to lower settings. The default settings are CD quality: 16bit native endian, 2 channels, 44100 Hz sampling. for possible values.


Some hardware drivers require the hardware playback buffer to be subdivided into several fragments. It is possible to change these buffer metrics for machines with high scheduling latencies. Not all possible values that may be configured here are available in all hardware. The driver will find the nearest setting supported. Modern drivers that support timer-based scheduling ignore these options.


With the flat volume feature enabled, the sink HW volume is set to the same level as the highest volume input stream. Any other streams (with lower volumes) have the appropriate adjustment applied in SW to bring them to the correct overall level. Sadly hardware mixer changes cannot be timed accurately and thus this change of volumes can sometimes cause the resulting output sound to be momentarily too loud or too soft. So to ensure SW and HW volumes are applied concurrently without any glitches, their application needs to be synchronized. The sink implementation needs to support deferred volumes. The following parameters can be used to refine the process.


The PulseAudio Developers <pulseaudio-discuss (at) lists (dot) freedesktop (dot) org>; PulseAudio is available from


pulse-client.conf(5),, pulseaudio(1), pacmd(1)

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