Linux Tip: Making pulseaudio work with multiple users (on Fedora)

By | August 23, 2012

Just a quick tip for people who use multiple user accounts at once on Fedora. (I test software using brand new user accounts sometimes, for example. I’ve heard of others may use multiple user accounts to try and sandbox applications they expect to misbehave. [I recommend a VM for this, FWIW.])

If you’ve ever switched users in Fedora and couldn’t get sound to work (su - testuser or ssh testuser@localhost) this tip is for you!

First, you need to install paprefs:

# yum install paprefs

Then, as the default desktop user, run the command:

$ paprefs

Papref's configuration screen

Make sure “Enable network access to local sound devices” is checked.

Then click [ Close ] and sound will work perfectly!

2 thoughts on “Linux Tip: Making pulseaudio work with multiple users (on Fedora)

  1. Yeep

    Hi there, thanks for the tips. One question, what if the remote desktop connection is made from a Windows machine? By using this windows user still need to run pulseaudio client at windows side, right?

  2. Benjamin Kahn Post author


    This entry is dealing with a different audio situation: allowing a second account on a single machine to play audio.

    You’re asking about allowing audio to play from one machine to another. This is possible in Linux, although I’ve never tried it.

    Pulseaudio is available for Windows:

    but it isn’t clear that it can forward audio connections. (That page mentions that RTP and network sockets are not supported.)

    I would look to RDP to forward audio from Windows to Linux.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *