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Fixing Linux Audio, Spring '22 edition

When upgrading from Ubuntu 21 to 22 this spring, I encountered two separate issues:

  1. KDE would not show any audio devices in the task bar, under the speaker icon, which appeared muted.
  2. After fixing that, my bluetooth headphones would connect but immediately disconnect, announcing pairing failed.

To fix the first issue, I had to enable Pipewire. It had been installed, but not turned on.

systemctl --user --now enable pipewire pipewire-pulse

It seems that Pipewire has now replaced ALSA, which was the previous sound system.

Interestingly enough, it seems Pipewire is now also responsible for Bluetooth! To fix my wireless headphones not connecting, I had to install Pipewire's bluetooth module. From Reddit:

sudo apt install libspa-0.2-bluetooth systemctl --user restart pipewire.service pipewire-pulse.service

And now I can listen to my music again.

tags: linux, sound, audio, fix, tech support