PipeWire and bluetooth

1 minute read

In the past I always avoided pulseaudio in favor of alsa (with apulse to use with Firefox).

Today I decided to try pipewire with my Debian 12 to take advantage of my bluetooth hardware.


https://wiki.debian.org/PipeWire https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/PipeWire#Bluetooth_devices

pipewire as media server

*a media server means it will handle audio for any app that need audio.


sudo apt install pipewire pipewire-alsa pipewire-audio pipewire-pulse libspa-0.2-bluetooth wireplumber

enable media session service

systemctl --user --now enable wireplumber.service
  • pipewire-pulse: to replace pulseaudio
  • pipewire-audio: I find that it is essential for bluetooth
  • wireplumber: recommended by pipewire’s developers as session manager.

other packages

blueman: bluetooth manager GUI. pavucontrol: to select audio outputs.

some troubleshooting

I think if you just install these packages everything should just work (I use blueman for bluetooth management).

For me, I encountered this problem:


I got reminded by Arch wiki to install pipewire-audio and the problem had gone. (because “PipeWire handles Bluetooth audio devices if the pipewire-audio package is installed”).

You should check with systemctl --user status pipewire-pulse.service and systemctl --user status pipewire.service first to see if these services are running, if not:

sudo apt reinstall pipewire pipewire-pulse

systemctl --user --now enable pipewire pipewire-pulse

As recommended here: https://www.reddit.com/r/pop_os/comments/100zf76/comment/j2oswyk/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

Until now, installing bluetooth with pipewire has been a very pleasant process. Everything just works.

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