I have had a lot of problems with pulseaudio in Ubuntu and today found simple instructions to remove it so I can use ALSA//OSS. The 2 most common problems that I have seen is that it periodically causes problems with flash videos on the web (ie YouTube) and then most recently, I couldn’t get audio working for an RDP session. Playing videos on Youtube would frequently cause the video to play for 2 seconds and then just stop. I had to manually kill pulseaudio then restart Firefox to resolve it. Here are the basic steps I did to remove pulseaudio:
% sudo apt-get install alsa-oss
% sudo apt-get install libasound2
% sudo apt-get install libasound2-plugins
% sudo apt-get install sysv-rc-conf
% mkdir -p pulsaudiobackup/etc/X11/Xsession.d
% sudo mv /etc/X11/Xsession.d/70pulseaudio pulsaudiobackup/etc/X11/Xsession.d/
Remove pulseaudio (sound plugin) from gnome-settings-daemon
% gconftool-2 -s -t bool /apps/gnome_settings_daemon/plugins/sound/active false
Since I am unfamiliar with that command, I used the GUI by pressing Alt+F2, then type “gconf-editor”, navigate to /apps/gnome_settings_daemon/plugins/sound/ then untick the active box.
% asoundconf unset-pulseaudio
Remove from runlevel [Overkill, just to make sure]. Use sysv-rc-conf to disable pulseaudio at all runlevels.
% sudo sysv-rc-conf
Configure ALSA to use the main sound card
% asoundconf list
Names of available sound cards:
% asoundconf set-default-card Intel
Make sure the libao.conf is using alsa.
% sudo vi /etc/libao.conf
Navigate from the menu: System – Preferences – Sound, make sure ALSA is selected for each of the drop-downs. The instructions I found said I would not have a login sound any longer, but after I rebooted I did have sound :).
I found instructions and more detailed information about the procedure here: http://idyllictux.wordpress.com/2008/10/29/alsa-instead-of-pulseaudio-for-ubuntu-810-intrepid-a-non-destructive-way/