How to Use PipeWire to replace PulseAudio in Ubuntu 22.04

Last updated: May 5, 2022 — 13 Comments

Ubuntu 22.04 has better support for the low latency PipeWire multimedia framework. Here’s how to setup it for PulseAudio, ALSA, JACK and Bluetooth output.

Firstly, Pipewire is pre-installed out-of-the-box, and runs as background service automatically. You may check it out by running command below in terminal:

systemctl --user status pipewire pipewire-session-manager

PipeWire installed out-of-the-box

IMPORTANT: This is NOT officially supported by Ubuntu so far. It still may not work on some devices. Don’t do it on production machine!

Step 1: install client libraries

Though available out-of-the-box, it’s not in use by default for audio output. To get start, first press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal, and run command to install client libraries:

sudo apt install pipewire-audio-client-libraries libspa-0.2-bluetooth libspa-0.2-jack

Step 2: install wireplumber to replace pipewire-media-session

The project maintainer now recommends more advanced “wireplumber” session manager when to use Pipewire as system sound server.

To install the package and remove “pipewire-media-session”, run the command below in terminal:

sudo apt install wireplumber pipewire-media-session-

NOTE: there’s a ‘-‘ in the end of the command indicates to remove the package. The command will also install the required pipewire-pulse automatically.

Step 3: Copy configuration files:

wireplumber makes things quite easy! If you just want to replace PulseAudio with Pipewire, enable the media session service and restart and that’s all!!

For ALSA clients to be configured to output via PipeWire, run command to copy the configure file:

sudo cp /usr/share/doc/pipewire/examples/alsa.conf.d/99-pipewire-default.conf /etc/alsa/conf.d/

For JACK client, run command:

sudo cp /usr/share/doc/pipewire/examples/*.conf /etc/

And then sudo ldconfig.

For Bluetooth, just remove the pulseaudio-module-bluetooth package via command:

sudo apt remove pulseaudio-module-bluetooth

And, finally enable the media session by running command:

systemctl --user --now enable wireplumber.service

Step 4: Verify

After restarted Ubuntu 22.04, run the command below in terminal.

pactl info

It should output Sound server: PulseAudio (on PipeWire x.x.x) indicates Pipewire is in use as sound ouput.

How to Restore:

To undo the changes, firstly remove the client libraries via command:

sudo apt remove pipewire-audio-client-libraries libspa-0.2-bluetooth libspa-0.2-jack

Remove wireplumber and install back the previous media session package (there’s also ‘-‘ in the end):

sudo apt install pipewire-media-session wireplumber-

Finally, enable pipewire-media-session:

systemctl --user --now enable pipewire-media-session

This works in my case after reboot Ubuntu. If not, also try re-enable pulseaudio service.


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13 responses to How to Use PipeWire to replace PulseAudio in Ubuntu 22.04

  1. Hi, I installed everything, but I don’t hear the audio in my usb audio camera, fully functional before. ubuntu 22.04. greet

  2. how about restore need to install again?

  3. On Ubuntu 21.10 using PipeWire to replace PulseAudio also enabled the possibility to use aptX for BT headphones (by also installing libopenaptx). However on 22.04 this is no longer possible (also not by using libfreeaptx, as libopenaptx seems to be blacklisted now due to licensing).

    Any idea to make aptX work?

  4. Hi-
    Running UbuntuStudio; pactl info does not return PulseAudio (on PipeWire ..); hotp reports pipewire and wireplumber running on usr/bin/

  5. A big thank you for clear instructions that work! After upgrading from Ubunto 21.10 to Ubuntu 22.04, the audio system stopped automatically selecting my headphones when I plugged them in. These instructions fixed that perfectly.

  6. How to disable automatic Bluetooth profile A2DP-HFP autoswitch? For now PipeWire switch to HFP when I call somebody. But I wish to use A2DP only because my laptop has internal mic.

  7. Under “How to restore” I think the right command is “sudo apt remove”, not “sudo apt install”, right?

  8. my laptop was not outputting sound (either to BT speaker or internal speakers).
    after trying your method, it managed to connect to BT and output from both.
    now, what happened is that I can’t play any audio from any of the players – they basically don’t play as if the timeline of the files doens’t move forward..
    any help on this?

  9. How does one revert the server name:

    I now have
    Server Name: PulseAudio (on PipeWire 0.3.48)

    This breaks all sound, i.e. I want to get back the setting where there is NO mention of pipewire. I have done the uninstall stuff. Rebooting does not revert this.

  10. My audio stopped working after upgrading to 22.04. I had previously been running PipeWire, before 22.04. Running steps 1 and 2 in your article and rebooting revived my audio. Thanks!

  11. If you’re trying to go back to pulse audio, instead of running that last command you gave, you should input this instead:

    systemctl –user –now enable pulseaudio

    Replacing “pipewire-media-session” with “pulseaudio.” Running the other command and not re-enabling pulseaudio, which is the default in ubuntu at this point, breaks audio if you’re trying to go back and only leaves you with “Dummy Audi” as an output…. which is no audio at all.

    This is the result of my experience. Otherwise, good article! Pipewire left me with crackling, lower bitrate output, so I’ll just wait untin the next Ubuntu version where it’ll be implimented by default.

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