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Install pulseaudio but don't use it?

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I have my computer set up exactly how I want it, no pulseaudio and everything is working great. Unfortunately, there is a piece of software I'd like to use (cockatrice, a M:tG client) that requires pulseaudio. If I try to start it without pulseaudio installed:

Using SFMT random number generator. 12565 cards in 106 sets loaded  main(): starting main program Unable to create a connection to the pulseaudio context 

So I had pulseaudio installed, but it messed up a few things that I couldn't seem to get to work properly. So is there anyway I can install pulseaudio without actually using, but the program can be like "oh it's installed, great!"?

Answers

Ok, first two things:

  1. You could/should use the equivs package to create a dummy package that provides pulseaudio. This does that you don't have to install PulseAudio just to satisfy dependencies if you have solved compatibility otherwise.
  2. In this case though, the program seems to be working without any dependency problems (which technically is a problem in itself if it actually does not work without PulseAudio).

Some programs continue to use the ALSA system for sound, since PulseAudio has an emulation layer that catches these signals without any real issue. However, it is also possible, and Cockatrice seems to work this way from what you say, to use a specific PulseAudio driver directly to reduce complexity/latency/etc.

There is no "reverse emulation" available from what I know - no "PulseAudio->ALSA" mechanism on the software side ("ALSA" unfortunately is an ambiguous word since it provides both a hardware driver and a software audio handler; PulseAudio uses ALSA drivers to communicate with the hardware, but jams itself in between ALSA's software and hardware constituents).

All in all: no, if the program is written with PulseAudio exclusively in mind, I don't think there is a currently available way to turn the signals into ones that are understood by the ALSA software side. Perhaps it is possible to disable audio completely for Cockatrice, either at compilation time or at startup, to still be able to use it.

And a last option is to spend the time making PulseAudio work on your machine instead.

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