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Audio Problems

Sorry if this has already been answered, I’ve already read through all the documentation on this side of the forums and in Qubes tickets, and the only thing I could find was this:

I’m currently running Whonix 9, and Qubes R2 (This problem has existed since I started using Whonix inside of Qubes)

Inside the Workstation I am unable to get audio to work. I have tried assigning the hardware through the Qubes VM Manager, but all that does is break the audio for the entire system. There isn’t anything else that I can really think of doing, hence why I am here.

Let me know if this is a known issue, what commands I need to run or what logs I need to give you to help gather information on why this might be happening.

On an unrelated note, thanks for the work that you guys have done to make these Operating Systems work together.

Hi,

I personally don’t use audio on my Qubes + Whonix machines, so I’m not sure what this is from or if it is universal or specific to your machine.

I’m rearchitecting many things on my personal systems right now, so am unable to jump in immediately to investigate on my end.

Since Whonix is based on Debian, a decent baseline comparison might be to test installing plain Debian Wheezy into a Qubes HVM and see if audio works.

If audio successfully works for you in a plain Debian Wheezy HVM, then it might be a Whonix problem.

If audio does not work for you in a plain Debian Wheezy HVM, then its likely not a Whonix problem and might be a Qubes or hardware/driver support problem.

Also, did you install from Whonix Binary Images or Whonix Source Code?

P.S. Things are changing and evolving with Qubes + Whonix and we are likely going to be switching to a new paradigm in upcoming months which should work much better. Right now, we use Dual HVMs for Qubes + Whonix. We are working on developing a native ProxyVM + AppVM configuration. So everything is still quite new, dynamic, changing, and community driven.

Sorry about the new name, my password database save got corrupted so I had to revert to a backup. Feel free to delete the Whoqubix account.

I will get back to you after I have the VM setup and do testing.

Also, did you install from Whonix Binary Images or Whonix Source Code?

I installed from the Binary Images.

P.S. Things are changing and evolving with Qubes + Whonix and we are likely going to be switching to a new paradigm in upcoming months which should work much better. Right now, we use Dual HVMs for Qubes + Whonix. We are working on developing a native ProxyVM + AppVM configuration. So everything is still quite new, dynamic, changing, and community driven.

I’ve been following the progress, and I’m quite impressed the speed at which you guys are getting things done. Hopefully full AppVM support will become a reality, but I am fine using it as is. If I am unable to get audio working, I can use a different AppVM, so it’s not the biggest deal.

No problem.

Sure thing.

We have nrgaway to thank for all of this most recent development work, since I published my initial Qubes + Whonix work. We are going to all benefit a lot from a native ProxyVM + AppVM configuration. He is really doing a great job! Continued thanks to nrgaway, as he does the heavy lifting for this next paradigm of Qubes + Whonix. :smiley:

Alright, I finished getting Debian Wheezy and sound does work inside of the VM. I played an MP3 file inside of the VM and it worked just fine.

I think the audio issue might just be in the way that the current installation goes, but my opinion is not based on anything, just a thought.

Ok, so Debian Wheezy audio works with Qubes HVMs.

It will be interesting to find out if this Qubes + Whonix audio issue is universal for everyone or not.

Thoughts on a potential universal audio problem:

  • Maybe Whonix might require certain audio drivers or virutalized audio hardware based on libvirt, KVM, or VirtualBox.

  • Maybe there’s a random Whonix package/dependency conflict causing audio to not work with Qubes.

  • Maybe some customized settings are put into the Debian OS before Patrick’s compile that affect audio for the Whonix binary images in Qubes.

  • Maybe Patrick’s compile of Whonix binaries cause Debian to initialize the Debian audio system in some way specific to that environment which then makes it misconfigured once imported into Qubes HVMs.

  • Maybe a difference in Debian iso install source choice between your test and Patrick’s binary. I think he uses the net install version.

  • Maybe our Qubes custom configuration is breaking the audio system for the HVM in some way.

I believe, if I’m not mistaken, that Qubes uses PulseAudio for its audio system.

Anyway, you report that plain Debian Wheezy works with playing audio in Qubes HVMs.

So, if this is universal, then something regarding Whonix or, like you said, the way we configure Whonix into Qubes is breaking audio.

I wonder if this happens with installing Whonix Source Code instead of Whonix Binary Images.

Tough to diagnose at this point.

I’ll probably be setup in this next week to test a few basic conditions for audio on my end.

Looks like this is a universal problem.

I haven’t gone any deeper than this, but I opened a video file using VLC in a HVM running Whonix 9 Binary Images, and it threw an audio device error.

Audio output failed: The audio device "default" could not be used: No such file or directory.

Haven’t done any tests in HVM running Whonix 9 Source Code yet.

But Whonix Binary Images are not playing audio for me either.

FYI:

Added this to the Known Issues section of the Whonix Qubes wiki:

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