ubuntu-desktop: unnecessary hard "Depends: pipewire-audio"

Bug #2033440 reported by Marco Frailis
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
ubuntu-meta (Ubuntu)
Won't Fix

Bug Description

Recommend demoting pipewire-audio from Depends: to Recommends:.

Reason: While it's not ideal, the Ubuntu Desktop can still function on the pulseaudio backend rather than using the direct pipewire-alsa backend which conflicts with the pulseaudio package. This would help people who wish to have a more traditional JACK setup that is bridged to pulseaudio. Right now, this setup is incompatible.

Original description:

I have installed successfully the standard Ubuntu 23.04 (on a 500 GB external USB drive). Immediately after the installation, I have also installed with apt the "ubuntustudio-installer" package.

In the dialog provided by the ubuntustudio-installer, I have selected the following metapackages:

- linux-lowlatency
- ubuntustudio-lowlatency-settings
- ubuntustudio-performance-tweaks
- ubuntustudio-audio
- ubuntu-pulseaudio-config

and pressed "Modify installed Package Selection"

After a while a "qaptbatch" dialog has appeared with title

"Commit Error"

and message

"An error occurred while applying changes"

So the installation has failed. Then I have tried to manually install each metapackage in the list above with apt and every package was installed successfully.

Revision history for this message
Erich Eickmeyer (eeickmeyer) wrote (last edit ):

The problem is occurring because ubuntustudio-pulseaudio-config is incompatible with the ubuntu-desktop metapackage as, for some reason, ubuntu-desktop has pipewire-audio as a hard dependency which has pipewire-alsa as a hard dependency. This means that the bug is really in ubuntu-meta and not in ubuntustudio-installer due to a package conflict, and a hard dependency in a metapackage that shouldn't exist.

It's unlikely this will be fixed in 23.04, but it might get fixed in time for 23.10, but we'll see. I can make no guarantees as I only oversee Ubuntu Studio. Unfortunately, Ubuntu Desktop users will have to remain on PipeWire and not use the ubuntustudio-pulseaudio-config package due to this discrepancy. This also means that Ubuntu Desktop 23.04 cannot and should not be used for professional audio.

affects: ubuntustudio-installer (Ubuntu) → ubuntu-meta (Ubuntu)
Revision history for this message
Erich Eickmeyer (eeickmeyer) wrote :

The ubuntustudio-installer documentation has been updated with this bug so that others can be deterred from running into this problem. However, the ubuntu-desktop seed needs pipewire-audio changed from Depends to Recommends in order to solve this conflict.

Revision history for this message
Marco Frailis (frailis) wrote :

Thank you for updating the documentation, that's exactly what was misleading.

Just as a feedback: installing manually the metapackages listed in the ubuntustudio-installer worked fine. The ubuntu-desktop metapackage was probably automatically uninstalled (it is no more instlled in my system), but during the manual installation process I did not notice any removal of other critical system packages. So now I have an Ubuntu Studio over a Vanilla Ubuntu Gnome, with pulse-audio + jack, and a low latency kernel.

To me, your answer closes the issue.

Thanks a lot.

summary: - ubuntustudio-installer: error occurred while applying changes
+ ubuntu-desktop: unnecessary hard "Depends: pipewire-audio"
description: updated
tags: added: rls-mm-incoming
Changed in ubuntu-meta (Ubuntu Lunar):
status: New → Won't Fix
Jeremy Bícha (jbicha)
Changed in ubuntu-meta (Ubuntu Mantic):
status: New → Won't Fix
no longer affects: ubuntu-meta (Ubuntu Mantic)
Revision history for this message
Jeremy Bícha (jbicha) wrote :

We're not going to change the ubuntu-desktop metapackage to allow switching to pulseaudio for Ubuntu 23.10.

There was a pipewire 1.0 RC (versioned as 0.3.81) release today with further JACK improvements. That version is too late for Ubuntu 23.10 but it will be in Ubuntu 24.04 LTS.

I'm curious if pipewire will be good enough for Ubuntu 24.04 LTS for professional audio users.

It is much easier and more reliable to simply depend on pipewire-audio, especially since we need to upgrade people from Ubuntu 22.04 LTS which had pulseaudio as default. Trying to allow people to intentionally opt out also means that people can accidentally end up with the option that is not our recommended audio server.

tags: added: rls-mm-notfixing
removed: rls-mm-incoming
Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in ubuntu-meta (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
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