PipeWire is a modern server for handling audio (and video) streams. It is highly flexible and can interface with applications designed for ALSA, PulseAudio, and JACK audio systems. It is also designed to work well with Flatpak applications and provides a method for screenshotting and screensharing on Wayland via xdg-desktop-portal.


PipeWire requires an active D-Bus user session bus. If your desktop environment, window manager, or Wayland compositor is configured to provide this, no further configuration should be required. If not, the desktop environment, window manager, or Wayland compositor may need to be launched with dbus-run-session(1).

PipeWire also requires the XDG_RUNTIME_DIR environment variable to be defined in your environment to work properly.

If not using elogind, it is necessary to be in the audio group to access audio devices and the video group to access video devices.

Basic Setup

To use PipeWire, install the pipewire package. This will also install a PipeWire session manager, wireplumber.

Session Management

In PipeWire, a session manager assumes responsibility for interconnecting media sources and sinks as well as enforcing routing policy. Without a session manager, PipeWire will not function.

If you have installed an earlier version of the Void pipewire package, make sure to update your system to eliminate any stale system configuration that may attempt to launch pipewire-media-session, the original PipeWire session manager. Users who previously overrode the system configuration to use wireplumber, e.g. by placing a custom pipewire.conf file in /etc/pipewire or ${XDG_CONFIG_HOME}/pipewire, may wish to reconcile these overrides with /usr/share/pipewire/pipewire.conf installed by the most recent pipewire package. If the sole purpose of a prior override was to disable pipewire-media-session, deleting the custom configuration may be sufficient.

Currently, there is only one session manager available: WirePlumber. To configure PipeWire to use this session manager and ensure proper startup ordering, PipeWire should be configured to launch the session manager directly. This can be accomplished by running

# mkdir -p /etc/pipewire/pipewire.conf.d
# ln -s /usr/share/examples/wireplumber/10-wireplumber.conf /etc/pipewire/pipewire.conf.d/

for system-wide configuration, or

$ : "${XDG_CONFIG_HOME:=${HOME}/.config}"
$ mkdir -p "${XDG_CONFIG_HOME}/pipewire/pipewire.conf.d"
$ ln -s /usr/share/examples/wireplumber/10-wireplumber.conf "${XDG_CONFIG_HOME}/pipewire/pipewire.conf.d/"

for per-user configuration.

PulseAudio interface

The PulseAudio interface is optional but highly recommended. Most applications cannot speak directly to PipeWire, but instead speak to PipeWire's PulseAudio interface.

If pulseaudio is installed, uninstall it and ensure pulseaudio is not running.

Modify the PipeWire configuration to launch pipewire-pulse:

# mkdir -p /etc/pipewire/pipewire.conf.d
# ln -s /usr/share/examples/pipewire/20-pipewire-pulse.conf /etc/pipewire/pipewire.conf.d/

for system configurations, or

$ : "${XDG_CONFIG_HOME:=${HOME}/.config}"
$ mkdir -p "${XDG_CONFIG_HOME}/pipewire/pipewire.conf.d"
$ ln -s /usr/share/examples/pipewire/20-pipewire-pulse.conf "${XDG_CONFIG_HOME}/pipewire/pipewire.conf.d/"

for per-user configurations.


pipewire(1) should be started as your user. To test that PipeWire works, run the pipewire command in a terminal emulator in your session:

$ pipewire

Launching pipewire should be sufficient to establish a working PipeWire session that uses wireplumber for session management.

The status of WirePlumber can be checked with:

$ wpctl status
PipeWire 'pipewire-0' [0.3.82, ...]

If the PulseAudio interface was configured, use pactl(1) (provided by the pulseaudio-utils package) to ensure it is working properly:

$ pactl info
Server Name: PulseAudio (on PipeWire 0.3.82)

Launching Automatically

Once pipewire works as expected, it can be configured to launch when starting a graphical session. There are several ways this can be achieved:

  • Use the autostarting mechanism of your desktop environment: many desktop environments have a way to configure applications and programs to start automatically.
  • Use XDG Desktop Application Autostart: many desktop environments also support the Desktop Application Autostart Specification. The pipewire package ships a Desktop Entry file for pipewire in /usr/share/applications. If your environment supports the Desktop Application Autostart, you can start pipewire by symlinking the desktop file to the system (/etc/xdg/autostart) or user (${XDG_CONFIG_HOME}/autostart or ~/.config/autostart) autostart directory. If you are using a desktop environment, window manager, or Wayland compositor that does not support this, a tool like dex(1) can be used to add support for Desktop Application Autostart, for example: dex --environment <window manager> --autostart --search-paths ~/.config/autostart.
  • Use your window manager's startup scripts: pipewire can be launched directly from your window manager or Wayland compositor's startup script.

Optional Setup

Command-line and Terminal interfaces

A variety of tools for interacting with PipeWire are included in the pipewire package, including pw-cli(1), pw-top(1), and pw-cat(1).

wpctl can be used to control the WirePlumber session manager.

If using the PulseAudio interface, PulseAudio configuration tools like pactl (from pulseaudio-utils) and ncpamixer can also be used.

Graphical interfaces

qpwgraph and helvum provide a node-and-graph-style interface for connecting applications and devices.

If using the PulseAudio interface, PulseAudio configuration tools like pavucontrol, pavucontrol-qt, and the widgets and applets integrated into many desktop environments can also be used to configure PipeWire.

Bluetooth audio

Install the libspa-bluetooth package.

ALSA integration

Install alsa-pipewire, then enable the PipeWire ALSA device and make it the default:

# mkdir -p /etc/alsa/conf.d
# ln -s /usr/share/alsa/alsa.conf.d/50-pipewire.conf /etc/alsa/conf.d
# ln -s /usr/share/alsa/alsa.conf.d/99-pipewire-default.conf /etc/alsa/conf.d

JACK interface

Install libjack-pipewire.

Use pw-jack(1) to launch JACK clients manually:

$ pw-jack <application>

Alternatively, override the library provided by libjack (see ld.so(8)). The following approach will work on glibc-based systems:

# echo "/usr/lib/pipewire-0.3/jack" > /etc/ld.so.conf.d/pipewire-jack.conf
# ldconfig

then reboot.


Common errors

[E][...] mod.rt       | [     module-rt.c:  262 pw_rtkit_bus_get()] Failed to connect to system bus: Failed to connect to socket /run/dbus/system_bus_socket: No such file or directory

This indicates the system D-Bus is not running. Enable the dbus service.

[E][...] mod.rt       | [     module-rt.c:  262 pw_rtkit_bus_get()] Failed to connect to session bus: D-Bus library appears to be incorrectly set up: see the manual page for dbus-uuidgen to correct this issue. (Failed to open "/var/lib/dbus/machine-id": No such file or directory; Failed to open "/etc/machine-id": No such file or directory)

This indicates the user session D-Bus is not running.

[E][...] mod.protocol-native | [module-protocol-:  710 init_socket_name()] server 0x55e09658e9d0: name pipewire-0 is not an absolute path and no runtime dir found. Set one of PIPEWIRE_RUNTIME_DIR, XDG_RUNTIME_DIR or USERPROFILE in the environment

This indicates XDG_RUNTIME_DIR is not set up properly.

Only a "dummy" output is found

If a session manager (like wireplumber) is not running, configure it and restart PipeWire.

If a session manager is running, check if your user is in the audio and video groups. If not using elogind, this is necessary for PipeWire to access devices.