forked-daapd and Pulseaudio
You have the choice of runnning Pulseaudio either in system mode or user mode. For headless servers, i.e. systems without desktop users, system mode is recommended.
If there is a desktop user logged in most of the time, a setup with network
access via localhost only for daemons is a more appropriate solution, since the
normal user administration (with, e.g.,
pulseaudio -k) works as advertised.
Also, the user specific configuration for pulseaudio is preserved across
sessions as expected.
System Mode with Bluetooth support
Credit: Rob Pope
This guide was written based on headless Debian Jessie platforms. Most of the instructions will require that you are root.
Step 1: Setting up Pulseaudio
If you see a "Connection refused" error when starting forked-daapd, then you will probably need to setup Pulseaudio to run in system mode . This means that the Pulseaudio daemon will be started during boot and be available to all users.
How to start Pulseaudio depends on your distribution, but in many cases you will need to add a pulseaudio.service file to /etc/systemd/system with the following content:
# systemd service file for Pulseaudio running in system mode [Unit] Description=Pulseaudio sound server Before=sound.target [Service] ExecStart=/usr/bin/pulseaudio --system --disallow-exit [Install] WantedBy=multi-user.target
If you want Bluetooth support, you must also configure Pulseaudio to load the
Bluetooth module. First install it (Debian:
apt install pulseaudio-module-bluetooth) and then add the following to
#### Enable Bluetooth .ifexists module-bluetooth-discover.so load-module module-bluetooth-discover .endif
Now you need to make sure that Pulseaudio can communicate with the Bluetooth daemon through D-Bus. On Raspbian this is already enabled, and you can skip this step. Otherwise do one of the following:
- Add the pulse user to the bluetooth group:
adduser pulse bluetooth
- Edit /etc/dbus-1/system.d/bluetooth.conf and change the policy for <policy context="default"> to "allow"
Phew, almost done with Pulseaudio! Now you should:
- enable system mode on boot with
systemctl enable pulseaudio
- reboot (or at least restart dbus and pulseaudio)
- check that the Bluetooth module is loaded with
pactl list modules short
Step 2: Setting up forked-daapd
Add the user forked-daapd is running as (typically "daapd") to the "pulse-access" group:
adduser daapd pulse-access
Now (re)start forked-daapd.
Step 3: Adding a Bluetooth device
To connect with the device, run
bluetoothctl and then:
power on agent on scan on **Note MAC address of BT Speaker** pair [MAC address] **Type Pin if prompted** trust [MAC address] connect [MAC address]
Now the speaker should appear in forked-daapd. You can also verify that
Pulseaudio has detected the speaker with
pactl list sinks short.
User Mode with Network Access
Credit: wolfmanx and this blog
Step 1: Copy system pulseaudio configuration to the users home directory
mkdir -p ~/.pulse cp /etc/pulse/default.pa ~/.pulse/
Step 2: Enable TCP access from localhost only
Edit the file
~/.pulse/default.pa , adding the following line at the end:
load-module module-native-protocol-tcp auth-ip-acl=127.0.0.1
Step 3: Restart the pulseaudio deamon
pulseaudio -k # OR pulseaudio -D
Step 4: Adjust configuration file
audio section of
server = "localhost"
 Note that Pulseaudio will warn against system mode. However, in this use case it is actually the solution recommended by the Pulseaudio folks themselves.