To use PipeWire, install the pipewire package.

pipewire(1) should be started as a user. Run the pipewire command in a terminal emulator in your session.

$ pipewire

When pipewire works as expected, use the autostarting mechanism of your desktop environment or startx. The pipewire package ships Desktop Entry files for pipewire and pipewire-pulse in /usr/share/applications. If your environment supports the Desktop Application Autostart Specification, you can enable pipewire by symlinking the desktop files to the autostart directory:

# ln -s /usr/share/applications/pipewire.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/pipewire.desktop

Session Management

In PipeWire, a session manager assumes responsibility for interconnecting media sources and sinks as well as enforcing routing policy. Without a session manager, PipeWire will not function. The reference pipewire-media-session was originally provided in the Void pipewire package and configured to run by default to satisfy this requirement. However, pipewire-media-session is deprecated and the authors recommend using WirePlumber in its place. Install the wireplumber package to use this session manager with PipeWire.

The standard Void configuration, which causes pipewire to launch pipewire-media-session automatically, must be overridden to use wireplumber. The only change necessary is to comment out the pipewire-media-session invocation in the context.exec section, which can be done with a single sed substitution. To make this configuration change visible to all users, place the new configuration file in /etc/pipewire:

# mkdir -p /etc/pipewire
# sed '/path.*=.*pipewire-media-session/s/{/#{/' \
    /usr/share/pipewire/pipewire.conf > /etc/pipewire/pipewire.conf

Alternatively, place the new configuration file in the expected location for a single user:

$ : "${XDG_CONFIG_HOME:=${HOME}/.config}"
$ mkdir -p "${XDG_CONFIG_HOME}/pipewire"
$ sed '/path.*=.*pipewire-media-session/s/{/#{/' \
    /usr/share/pipewire/pipewire.conf > "${XDG_CONFIG_HOME}/pipewire/pipewire.conf"

A custom pipewire.conf in either /etc/pipewire or ${XDG_CONFIG_HOME}/pipewire will prevent entirely the use of the default system configuration. Users who override the default configuration to enable wireplumber are encouraged to monitor the default configuration and reconcile any changes with each pipewire update.

Now, configure wireplumber to start alongside pipewire. If your window manager or desktop environment auto-start mechanism is used to start pipewire, it is recommended to use the same mechanism for starting wireplumber. The wireplumber package includes a wireplumber.desktop Desktop Entry file that may be useful in this situation.

Be aware that wireplumber must launch after the pipewire executable. The Desktop Application Autostart Specification makes no provision for ordering of services started via Desktop Entry files. When relying on these files to launch pipewire and wireplumber, consult the documentation for your window manager or desktop environment to determine whether proper ordering of services can be achieved.

If proper ordering of separate pipewire and wireplumber services is infeasible, it is possible to configure pipewire to launch the session manager directly. This can be accomplished by running

# mkdir -p /etc/pipewire/pipewire.conf.d
# echo 'context.exec = [ { path = "/usr/bin/wireplumber" args = "" } ]' \
    > /etc/pipewire/pipewire.conf.d/10-wireplumber.conf

for system configurations or, for per-user configurations, running

$ mkdir -p "${XDG_CONFIG_HOME}/pipewire/pipewire.conf.d"
$ echo 'context.exec = [ { path = "/usr/bin/wireplumber" args = "" } ]' \
    > "${XDG_CONFIG_HOME}/pipewire/pipewire.conf.d/10-wireplumber.conf"

With either of these configurations, launching pipewire should be sufficient to establish a working PipeWire session that uses wireplumber for session management.

In its default configuration, WirePlumber requires an active D-Bus session. If your desktop environment or window manager is configured to provide a D-Bus session as well as launch pipewire and wireplumber, no further configuration should be required. Users wishing to launch pipewire on its own, e.g., in a .xinitrc script, may find it necessary to configure pipewire to launch wireplumber directly and wrap the pipewire invocation as

dbus-run-session pipewire

PulseAudio replacement

Before starting pipewire-pulse, make sure that the PulseAudio service is disabled and that no other PulseAudio server instance is running.

Start the PulseAudio server by running pipewire-pulse in a terminal emulator.

To check if the replacement is working correctly, use pactl(1) (provided by the pulseaudio-utils package):

$ pactl info

Server Name: PulseAudio (on PipeWire 0.3.18)

Once you confirmed that pipewire-pulse works as expected, it's recommended to autostart it from the same place where you start PipeWire. It is possible to modify pipewire.conf(5) for auto-starting the PulseAudio server, but it's not recommended keep the PipeWire configuration file unmodified for smoother future upgrades.

Bluetooth audio

For bluetooth audio to work, install the libspa-bluetooth package.

ALSA integration

Install alsa-pipewire, then enable the PipeWire ALSA device and make it the default:

# mkdir -p /etc/alsa/conf.d
# ln -s /usr/share/alsa/alsa.conf.d/50-pipewire.conf /etc/alsa/conf.d
# ln -s /usr/share/alsa/alsa.conf.d/99-pipewire-default.conf /etc/alsa/conf.d

JACK replacement

Install libjack-pipewire.

Use pw-jack(1) to launch JACK clients manually:

$ pw-jack <application>

Alternatively, override the library provided by libjack (see ld.so(8)). The following approach will work on glibc-based systems:

# echo "/usr/lib/pipewire-0.3/jack" > /etc/ld.so.conf.d/pipewire-jack.conf
# ldconfig


The Pulseaudio replacement requires the XDG_RUNTIME_DIR environment variable to work correctly.