Tag Archives: project

avahi-autoipd Released and ‘State of the Lemur’

Post Syndicated from Lennart Poettering original http://0pointer.net/blog/projects/avahi-0.6.14.html

A few minutes ago I released Avahi 0.6.14
which besides other, minor fixes and cleanups includes a new component avahi-autoipd.
This new daemon is an implementation of IPv4LL (aka RFC3927, aka
APIPA), a method for acquiring link-local IP addresses (those from the range
169.254/16) without a central server, such as DHCP.

Yes, there are already plenty Free implementations of this protocol
available. However, this one tries to do it right and integrates well with the
rest of Avahi. For a longer rationale for adding this tool to our distribution
instead of relying on externals tools, please read this
mailing list thread

It is my hope that this tool is quickly adopted by the popular
distributions, which will allow Linux to finally catch up with technology that
has been available in Windows systems since Win98 times. If you’re a
distributor please follow these
which describe how to integrate this new tool into your distribution

Because avahi-autoipd acts as dhclient plug-in by default,
and only activates itself as last resort for acquiring an IP address I hope
that it will get much less in the way of the user than previous implementations
of this technology for Linux.

State of the Lemur

Almost 22 months after my first SVN commit to the flexmdns (which was the
name I chose for my mDNS implementation when I first started to work on it)
source code repository, 18 months after Trent and I decided to join our two
projects under the name “Avahi” and 12 months after the release of Avahi 0.1,
it’s time for a little “State of the Lemur” post.

To make it short: Avahi is ubiquitous in the Free Software world. 😉

All major (Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Gentoo, Mandriva, OpenSUSE) and many
minor distributions have it. A quick Google-based poll I did a few weeks ago
shows that it is part of at least 19 different
, including a range of embedded ones. The list of applications
making native use
of the Avahi client API is growing, currently bearing 31
items. That list does not include the legacy HOWL applications and the
applications that use our Bonjour compatibility API which can run on top of
Avahi, hence the real number of applications that can make use of Avahi is
slightly higher. The first commercial hardware appliances which include Avahi are
slowly appearing on the market. I know of at least three such products, one
being Bubba.

If you package Avahi for a distribution, add Avahi support to an
application, or build a hardware appliance with Avahi, please make sure to add
an item to the respective lists linked above, it’s a Wiki. Thank you!
(Anonymous registration without Mail address required, though)

Apple Bonjour adopts the Apache License 2.0

Post Syndicated from Lennart Poettering original http://0pointer.net/blog/projects/bonjour-apache-license.html

Yesterday Apple Bonjour has
under the Apache License 2.0, replacing the old much criticized (because
non-free) APSL licensing.

What does this mean for Avahi? First of all
although the Apache
is much better than the APSL it still isn’t GPL
compatible (at least in the eyes of the FSF), which effectively means that
Bonjour still cannot be used by more than 66% of the Free Software
projects available. Secondly Avahi is more powerful in most areas than Bonjour
ever was. (In fact, there is only a single feature where Bonjour surpasses us:
writable “Wide Area DNS-SD”). Avahi uses all the “hot” Free technologies like
D-Bus and a has much better integration in the Linux networking subsystem. Avahi is more secure (chroot()…)
Avahi is compatible API- and ABI-wise with Bonjour, but not the other way
round. Avahi is now part of every major Linux distribution.

Avahi is actively developed. The aforementioned Wide Area DNS-SD is currently
being worked on by Federico Lucifredi. Since I will write my master thesis
about mDNS scalability a lot of additional development will be done for Avahi
in the next month.

In short: Avahi is here to stay. Apple’s move to the Apache license is too little, too late.

Update: the Bonjour client libraries are BSD licensed, so the 66% argument doesn’t hold.

Attending GUADEC

Post Syndicated from Lennart Poettering original http://0pointer.net/blog/projects/guadec-2006.html

Due to the generosity of the GNOME Foundation I have been able to get to the GUADEC 2006 this year. I’d like to thank Jeff Waugh and Quim Gil for the “last-minute” funding of my trip to Vilanova, and all the sponsors who actually are providing the funds. If anyone wants to talk to me about Avahi and/or PulseAudio (aka Polypaudio) (or any of my other projects), just try to find and speak to me. (Bungalow 870)

In related news, the new PulseAudio homepage will be “inaugurated” soon, becoming the official new home of PulseAudio/Polypaudio as soon as we release 0.9.2, which hopefully will be pretty soon.

TPFKAPA: The Project Formerly Known as Polypaudio

Post Syndicated from Lennart Poettering original http://0pointer.net/blog/projects/pulse.html

It came to our attention that some people really disliked the name of Polypaudio, because
it reminded them of that medical condition,
though the software was actually named after the sea dweller. I actually
liked that double entendre, but many did not and expressed concerns that the name
would hinder Polypaudio’s adoption. After a long discussion on
#polypaudio we came to the conclusion that a name change is a good
idea in this case. Name changes are usually a bad idea, but this time it’s
worth it, we think.

The new name we agreed on is PulseAudio, or shorter just Pulse. It has
the nice advantage that it abbreviates to pa, just as Polypaudio did. This
allows us to keep source code compatiblity (and binary compatibility to a
certain degree) with the current releases of Polypaudio, because the symbol
prefix can stay pa_. In addition the auxiliary tools paman, pavucontrol, pavumeter need not to
be renamed.

We will try to make the transition as smooth as possible and would like to
apologize to all the packagers, who need to rename their packages now.

The next release of Polypaudio (0.9.2) will be a bugfix release and be the first to bear the new name: PulseAudio 0.9.2.

Polypaudio is dead. Long live PulseAudio!

Polypaudio article on LWN

Post Syndicated from Lennart Poettering original http://0pointer.net/blog/projects/polypaudio-lwn.html

The current issue of the Linux
Weekly News
features a short article about Polypaudio. (The article is not (yet)
accessible for free, come back in a week if you aren’t an LWN subscriber.)


With its support for a wide variety of popular audio utilities, actively developed code, and broad capabilities, the Polypaudio project fills an important role in Linux-based audio development.

Polypaudio 0.8 Released

Post Syndicated from Lennart Poettering original http://0pointer.net/blog/projects/polypaudio-0.8.html

The reports of Polypaudio’s death are greatly exaggerated.

We are proud to announce the release of Polypaudio
0.8, our networked sound daemon for Linux, other Unix-like operating
systems, and Microsoft Windows. Since the last official release, 0.7,
more than a year has passed. In the meantime Polypaudio experienced
major improvements. Major contributions have been made by both Pierre
Ossman and me. Pierre is being payed by Cendio AB to work on
Polypaudio. Cendio distributes Polypaudio along with their ThinLinc Terminal

Some of the major changes:

  • New playback buffer model that allows applications to freely seek in
    the server side playback buffer (both with relative and absolute indexes) and to synchronize
    multiple streams together, in a way that the playback times are guaranteed to
    stay synchronized even in the case of a buffer underrun. (Lennart)
  • Ported to Microsoft Windows and Sun Solaris (Pierre)
  • Many inner loops (like sample type conversions) have been ported
    to liboil, which
    enables us to take advantage of modern SIMD instruction sets, like MMX or SSE/SSE2. (Lennart)
  • Support for channel maps which allow applications to assign
    specific speaker positions to logical channels. This enables support
    for “surround sound”. In addition we now support seperate volumes for
    all channels. (Lennart)
  • Support for hardware volume control for drivers that support
    it. (Lennart, Pierre)
  • Local users may now be authenticated just by the membership in a
    UNIX group, without the need to exchange authentication cookies. (Lennart)
  • A new driver module module-detect which detects
    automatically what local output devices are available and loads the
    needed drivers. Supports ALSA, OSS, Solaris and Win32 devices. (Lennart, Pierre)
  • Two new modules implementing RTP/SDP/SAP based multicast audio
    streaming. Useful for streaming music to multiple PCs with speakers
    simultaneously. Or for implementing a simple “always-on” conferencing
    solution for the LAN. Or for sharing a single MIC/LINE-IN jack on the
    LAN. (Lennart)
  • Two new modules for connecting Polypaudio to a JACK audio server
  • A new Zeroconf (mDNS/DNS-SD) publisher module. (Lennart)
  • A new module to control the volume of an output sink with a LIRC supported infrared remote
    control, and another one for doing so with a multimeda keyboard. (Lennart)
  • Support for resolving remote host names asynchronously using libasyncns. (Lennart)
  • A simple proof-of-concept HTTP module, which dumps the current daemon status to HTML. (Lennart)
  • Add proper validity checking of passed parameter to every single
    API functions. (Lennart)
  • Last but not least, the documentation has been beefed up a lot and
    is no longer just a simple doxygen-based API documentation (Pierre, Lennart)

Sounds good, doesn’t it? But that’s not all!

We’re really excited about this new Polypaudio release. However,
there are more very exciting, good news in the Polypaudio world. Pierre
implemented a Polypaudio plugin for alsa-libs. This means you
may now use any ALSA-aware application to access a Polypaudio sound
server! The patch has already merged upstream, and will probably
appear in the next official release of alsa-plugins.

Due to the massive internal changes we had to make a lot of modifications to
the public API. Hence applications which currently make use of the Polypaudio
0.7 API need to be updated. The patches or packages I maintain will be updated
in the next weeks one-by-one. (That is: xmms-polyp, the MPlayer patch, the
libao patch, the GStreamer patch and the PortAudio patch)

A side note: I wonder what this new release means for Polypaudio in
Debian. I’ve never been informed by the Debian maintainers of
Polypaudio that it has been uploaded to Debian, and never of the
removal either. In fact I never exchanged a single line with those who
were the Debian maintainers of Polypaudio. Is this the intended way
how the Debian project wants its developers to communicate with
upstream? I doubt that!

How does Polypaudio compare to ESOUND?

Polypaudio does everything what ESOUND does, and much more. It is a
fully compatible drop-in replacement. With a small script you can make
it command line compatible (including autospawning). ESOUND clients
may connect to our daemon just like they did to the original ESOUND
daemon, since we implemented a compatibility module for the ESOUND

Support for other well known networked audio protocols (such as
NAS) should be easy to add – if there is a need.

For a full list of the features that Polypaudio has over ESOUND,
see Polypaudio’s

How does Polypaudio compare to ALSA‘s dmix?

Some people might ask whether there still is a need for a sound
server in times where ALSA’s dmix plugin is available. The
answer is: yes!

Firstly, Polypaudio is networked, which dmix is
not. However, there are many reasons why Polypaudio is useful on
non-networked systems as well. Polypaudio is portable, it is available
not just for Linux but for FreeBSD, Solaris and even Microsoft
Windows. Polypaudio is extensible, there is broad range of additional
available which allow the user to use Polypaudio in many
exciting ways ALSA doesn’t offer. In Polypaudio streams, devices and
other server internals can be monitored and introspected freely. The
volume of the multiple streams may be manipulated independently of
each other, which allows new exciting applications like a work-alike
of the new per-application mixer tool featured in upcoming Windows
Vista. In multi-user systems, Polypaudio offers a secure and safe way
to allow multiple users to access the sound device
simultaneously. Polypaudio may be accessed through the ESOUND and the
ALSA APIs. In addition, ALSA dmix is still not supported properly by
many ALSA clients, and is difficult to setup.

A side node: dmix forks off its own simple sound daemon
anyway, hence there is no big difference to using Polypaudio with the
ALSA plugin in auto-spawning mode. (Though admittedly, those ALSA
clients that don’t work properly with dmix, won’t do so with our ALSA
plugin as well since they actually use the ALSA API incorrectly.)

How does Polypaudio compare to JACK?

Everytime people discuss sound servers on Unix/Linux and which way
is the right to go for desktops, JACK gets mentioned and suggested by some as a
replacement for ESOUND for the desktop. However, this is not
practical. JACK is not intended to be a desktop sound server, instead
it is designed for professional audio in mind. Its semantics are
different from other sound servers: e.g. it uses exclusively floating
point samples, doesn’t deal directly with interleaved channels and
maintains a server global time-line which may be stopped and seeked
around. All that translates badly to desktop usages. JACK is really
nice software, but just not designed for the normal desktop user,
who’s not working on professional audio production.

Since we think that JACK is really a nice piece of work, we added
two new modules to Polypaudio which can be used to hook it up to a
JACK server.

Get Polypaudio 0.8, while it is hot!

BTW: We’re looking for a logo for Polypaudio. Feel free to send us your suggestions!

Update: The Debian rant is unjust to Jeff Waugh. In fact, he had informed me that he prepared Debian packages of Polypaudio. I just never realized that he had actually uploaded them to Debian. What still stands, however, is that I’ve not been informed or asked about the removal.

KDE Ported to Avahi

Post Syndicated from Lennart Poettering original http://0pointer.net/blog/projects/avahi-kde.html

Jakub Stachowski completed support for using Avahi as backend for KDE’s KDNSSD subsystem. This means that you can use any Zeroconf-enabled KDE application (including Konqueror) with Avahi as mDNS stack. You can find more information in the KDNSSD Wiki.

The list of software supporting Avahi grows longer and longer. There are some patches for vino and GnomeMeeting floating around, Rhythmbox already merged DAAP support based on Avahi, KDE is now fully compatible with Avahi. Shall your project be the next in this list? To get started with Avahi, read the developer’s documentation.

Oh, yes, we released Avahi 0.3 and 0.4 recently. Get it while it’s hot. No major changes, just bugfixes an Qt main loop support.