[AO_ALSA] alsa-lib: conf.c:3406:(config_file_open) /usr/share/alsa/pulse-alsa.conf may be old or corrupted: consider to remove or fix it

With the recent upgrade of pulseaudio to version 1.1-3, you will probably encounter error messages while playing an audio file as the ones below :

[AO_ALSA] alsa-lib: conf.c:1220:(parse_def) show is not a compound
[AO_ALSA] alsa-lib: conf.c:1686:(snd_config_load1) _toplevel_:24:26:Unexpected char
[AO_ALSA] alsa-lib: conf.c:3406:(config_file_open) /usr/share/alsa/pulse-alsa.conf may be old or corrupted: consider to remove or fix it

I had the messages above with mplayer while listening to an on-line radio.

After searches, this has been recently filed as a bug : Debian bug 661095

Look at the following configuration file : /usr/share/alsa/pulse-alsa.conf

Make a copy of it before doing any changes :

root@localhost:~# cp /usr/share/alsa/pulse-alsa.conf /usr/share/alsa/pulse-alsa.conf.save

With your favorite text editor, remove all the lines starting at line 20 until the last line. Here is what you should have at last :

root@localhost:~# cat /usr/share/alsa/pulse-alsa.conf

# This file is referred to by /usr/share/alsa/pulse.conf to set pulseaudio as
# the default output plugin for applications using alsa when PulseAudio is
# running.

pcm.!default {
    type pulse
    hint {
        show {
            @func refer
            name defaults.namehint.basic
        }
        description “Playback/recording through the PulseAudio sound server”
    }
}

ctl.!default {
    type pulse
}

You can now play any audio file with no more error messages.

Hope this help !

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12 thoughts on “[AO_ALSA] alsa-lib: conf.c:3406:(config_file_open) /usr/share/alsa/pulse-alsa.conf may be old or corrupted: consider to remove or fix it

  1. thank you so much!
    I had this problem on my macbook running Debian Wheezy and now it’s solved!
    regards from Brazil!

  2. Ok, for me works this variant of a file:

    pcm.!default {
    type pulse
    hint {
    show on
    description “Playback/recording through the PulseAudio sound server”
    }
    }

    ctl.!default {
    type pulse
    hint {
    show on
    description “Playback/recording through the PulseAudio sound server”
    }
    }

    … I just had to unmute channels in alsamixer for aa audiocard which used.

  3. I was getting this error when using ffmpeg to screencast my desktop, and this worked splendidly. Thank you much.

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