Streaming audio from Linux to Windows
Having multiple PCs all needing to play audio is a pain - especially when you use a headset.
This is how I stream audio from my NUC - running Linux - to my Windows desktop - where the headset is plugged in.
There are a few options for getting audio from Linux to Windows:
- Using an actual cable - this doesn't work when you have more devices than you have line in jacks, and you tend to get analog noise
- Using JACK - this is rather more complicated than I would like, and doesn't integrate very well with the Linux or Windows ends
- Using PulseAudio - the Windows port of PulseAudio isn't as well maintained as I'd like, but this integrates well with Linux
Given these choices, I ended up using PulseAudio.
PulseAudio on Linux
Setting up the Linux side of this is really easy:
default-server = 192.168.1.1Change
192.168.1.1to the IP of your Windows machine.
PulseAudio on Windows
PulseAudio isn't well maintained on Windows - the binaries linked from the official site are very old - for PulseAudio 1.1.
However, I found a much newer set of binaries from the X2Go project: http://code.x2go.org/releases/binary-win32/3rd-party/pulse/.
To set up PulseAudio 5.0 on Windows, do the following:
- Download pulseaudio-5.0-rev18.zip from http://code.x2go.org/releases/binary-win32/3rd-party/pulse/pulseaudio-5.0-rev18.zip
- Extract it and copy the
- Create a
config.pafile in that folder with these contents:
load-module module-native-protocol-tcp port=4713 auth-ip-acl=127.0.0.1;192.168.1.0/24 load-module module-esound-protocol-tcp port=4714 auth-ip-acl=127.0.0.1;192.168.1.0/24 load-module module-waveoutReplace
192.168.1.0/24with your local subnet.
- Test this setup by running:
c:\pulse\pulseaudio.exe -F config.paYou should now be able to get Linux sound playing on your Windows PC.
- For a permanent setup, we need to create a Windows service rather than running PulseAudio in a command prompt. I use NSSM to run arbitrary programs as services. Download the latest version of NSSM.
- Extract it and copy
c:\pulse\nssm.exe install PulseAudio
- Fill in the following details on the Application tab:
- Startup directory:
- Display name:
- Finally, start the newly installed service - either through the Services item in Administrative Tools, or by running
net start PulseAudio
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