Audio Playback in AwesomeWM

As a Window Manager, awesome-wm‘s lightweight composition
results in a more-responsive user experience as compared to a full-fledged Desktop Environment like
Gnome, for example. However, depending on your needs, lightweight might also be described
as stripped down; your expectations of what simply “works” (or should work) right out
the gate in a graphical desktop session, without any user input, may be misguided, as I found mine
to be today after attempting to watch a YouTube video with no apparent sound.

Puzzled by the strange
effect, I clicked on another, different, random video, restarted my browser, cleared the cache, tested
the audio output with VLC media player to ascertain the persistence of the problem. It seemed
inconceivable to me that I hadn’t noticed this behavior before, especially, because I had been using awesome-wm for years it seemed! Alas, ’twas so afterall.

Here’s how I managed to
fix the problem with Audio playback on my Fedora20 system.

First, make sure that your user is in the audio, pulse, and pulse-access
groups; if not, execute the following as root

    # usermod -a -G audio myusername
    # usermod -a -G pulse myusername
    # usermod -a -G pulse-access myusername

Then, edit ~/.xinitrc, if you’re starting awesome-wm from console, and add the following line:


Kill the pulseaudio process, log out and log in again–I ended up simply rebooting the system, instead.

As a hidden Easter Egg, for those who made it to the end of this post, take a look at Farhavens volume widget over on the
awesome-wm wiki pages .

NOTE: `start-pulseaudio-X11` is, actually, a script in the `/bin/` directory.

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