[tbb-bugs] #29360 [Applications/Tor Browser]: Tor-Browser Linux: no audio playback (pulseaudio)

Tor Bug Tracker & Wiki blackhole at torproject.org
Wed Feb 6 20:05:27 UTC 2019

#29360: Tor-Browser Linux: no audio playback (pulseaudio)
 Reporter:  tries   |          Owner:  tbb-team
     Type:  defect  |         Status:  new
 Priority:  Medium  |      Component:  Applications/Tor Browser
  Version:          |       Severity:  Normal
 Keywords:          |  Actual Points:
Parent ID:          |         Points:
 Reviewer:          |        Sponsor:
 Audio (via pulseaudio) not working.
 Starting tor-browser in verbose mode gives the following output when Tor-
 Browser tries to start playing audio:

 [Child 25922, MediaPlayback #1] WARNING: 7f711d9bf880 OpenCubeb() failed
 to init cubeb: file /var/tmp/build/firefox-
 7393f1ffd512/dom/media/AudioStream.cpp, line 375
 [Child 25922, MediaPlayback #1] WARNING: Decoder=7f711d9b4600
 [OnMediaSinkAudioError]: file /var/tmp/build/firefox-
 7393f1ffd512/dom/media/MediaDecoderStateMachine.cpp, line 3385
 [Child 25922, MediaPlayback #1] WARNING: Decoder=7f711d9b4600 Decode
 error: NS_ERROR_DOM_MEDIA_MEDIASINK_ERR (0x806e000b) -
 OnMediaSinkAudioError: file /var/tmp/build/firefox-
 7393f1ffd512/dom/media/MediaDecoderStateMachine.cpp, line 3118

 What I have figured out so far:
 * Tor-Browser maintains its own HOME directory, which is set in
 .../Browser/start-tor-browser and points to .../Browser/
 * When accessing (or trying to) pulseaudio, Tor-Browser uses the
 pulseaudio  files (.pulse/ and .pulse-cookie) as well as the .esd_auth
 from this fake HOME.

 In my case, Tor-Browser was not able talk with the already running
 pulseaudio daemon - very likely due to a mismatch in the auth cookie (did
 not verify this). After manually removing these files and directory and
 copying them from the real users HOME, audio playback did work again.

 My temporary fix is to remove and copy above mentioned files before
 starting tor-browser:
 # fix up pulseaudio stuff...
 rm ${INSTALLDIR}/Browser/.esd_auth
 rm ${INSTALLDIR}/Browser/.pulse-cookie
 rm ${INSTALLDIR}/Browser/.pulse/*
 rmdir ${INSTALLDIR}/Browser/.pulse

 cp -p $HOME/.esd_auth ${INSTALLDIR}/Browser/.esd_auth
 cp -p $HOME/.pulse-cookie ${INSTALLDIR}/Browser/.pulse-cookie
 cp -pr $HOME/.pulse ${INSTALLDIR}/Browser/

 If there is no specific reason (privacy, information leak, ...) not to do
 so, tor-browser startup should make sure that those files in the fake HOME
 contain correct data to allow communication with pulseaudio.

Ticket URL: <https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/29360>
Tor Bug Tracker & Wiki <https://trac.torproject.org/>
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