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Waiting for sound system to respond error on linux with pulseaudio

When trying to launch System -> Preferences -> Sound you get the following message in a panel:

Waiting for sound system to respond

In this case, this was the result of my tinkering with the sound system, in an attempt to try to make multiple applications use the sound drivers simultaneously instead of the sound system getting locked by one application only.  So I knew exactly what the issue was based on what I added to the following files:

/etc/pulse/daemon.conf

/etc/pulse/default.pa

The file in question causing the issue was the .pa above.  Here's the offending line:

# UPDATE: TOM K.
# load-module module-hal-detect tsched=0
 
Checking var log messages revealed more information on exactly what was happening with the audio system:
 
/var/log/messages
Mar 17 15:32:51 mbpc pulseaudio[14317]: module.c: module-hal-detect is deprecated: Please use module-udev-detect instead of module-hal-detect!
Mar 17 15:32:51 mbpc pulseaudio[14317]: module-hal-detect-compat.c: We will now load module-udev-detect. Please make sure to remove module-hal-detect from your configuration.
Mar 17 15:32:52 mbpc pulseaudio[14317]: alsa-source.c: ALSA woke us up to read new data from the device, but there was actually nothing to read!
Mar 17 15:32:52 mbpc pulseaudio[14317]: alsa-source.c: Most likely this is a bug in the ALSA driver 'snd_emu10k1'. Please report this issue to the ALSA developers.
Mar 17 15:32:52 mbpc pulseaudio[14317]: alsa-source.c: We were woken up with POLLIN set — however a subsequent snd_pcm_avail() returned 0 or another value < min_avail.
Mar 17 15:32:52 mbpc pulseaudio[14317]: module.c: Module "module-udev-detect" should be loaded once at most. Refusing to load.
Mar 17 15:32:52 mbpc pulseaudio[14317]: main.c: Module load failed.
Mar 17 15:32:52 mbpc pulseaudio[14317]: main.c: Failed to initialize daemon.
Mar 17 15:32:52 mbpc pulseaudio[14315]: main.c: Daemon startup failed.
 

Taking a look further down for text detect in the .pa file from above revealed we're already loading some detect lines as per the default .pa file configuration so I only needed to add tsched=0 to disable the timer based scheduling for the module arleady being loaded: module-udev-detect & module-detect:

# UPDATE: TOM K added tsched=0 to line.
load-module module-udev-detect tsched=0
 
# UPDATE: TOM K added tsched=0 to line.
load-module module-detect tsched=0
 
And that resolved my Waiting for sound system to respond error.   Moving further along, the other options in the /etc/pulse/daemon.conf file:
 
; UNCOMMENTED TOM K
realtime-scheduling = yes
; realtime-priority = 5
 
and
 
; UPDATE TOM K
default-fragment-size-msec = 10
; default-fragment-size-msec = 25
 
 
seamed to do the trick to enable me to play sound off of multiple applications without having one lock it.  Hope it also works for you!  Enjoy!
 
Another Source of Error
 
Another source of the error is due to the daemon simply not running.  For this, in GNOME, on the start bar / panel click System -> Preferences -> Startup Applications click on the Startup programs tab then click on Add 

Name: Pulseaudio daemon
Command: /usr/bin/pulseaudio
Comment: Start the sound daemon
 
or
 
Name: PulseAudio Sound System
Command: start-pulseaudio-x11
Comment: Start the PulseAudio Sound System
 
Restart system or simply run init 1 then init 5 from the CLI to partially restart the OS.
 
Further Reading:
 
Cheers,
TK

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