It drives me crazy when programs save their files directly in my $HOME. Even more so, when the files are garbage which has no use. One such example is $HOME/.pulse-cookie, which is being created by Firefox every time I play a video in the browser:


I am not using pulse audio, and I don't have pulse audio installed. Why does Firefox create this file ? Obviously, it is not needed for anything, because everything works fine when i delete it and make my /home immutable (chattr +i /home/martin), so that it cannot be created again.

Is there a way to tell Firefox not to create this file ?

A second best solution would be to tell Firefox to create it somewhere else where it does not bother me (/tmp/).

I am using Firefox (Iceweasel) 31 on Debian Wheezy

  • Do you have an /etc/pulse/client.conf?
    – jasonwryan
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 20:49
  • @jasonwryan - yes, I have /etc/pulse/client.conf. Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 21:51

2 Answers 2


You could specify the file be created in /tmp by adding that value to /etc/pulse/client.conf:

cookie-file = /tmp/pulse-cookie
  • 2
    that's great. But since /etc/pulse/client.conf is global, there could be a conflict when multiple users log in. Can I use variable such as $user to distinguish the files, i.e.: /tmp/$user/pulse-cookie? Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 22:04
  • Better to use .config/pulse/client.conf in that case...
    – jasonwryan
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 22:08
  • $HOME/.config/pulse/ did not exist. When I create $HOME/.config/pulse/client.conf`, it has no effect. Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 22:16
  • See man pulse-client.conf...
    – jasonwryan
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 22:19
  • OK, $HOME/.pulse/client.conf works. Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 22:25

Your question is very understandable but incorrect.

  1. Firefox is not putting .pulse-cookie on your system.
  2. .pulse-cookie has nothing to do with pulseaudio.

.pulse-cookie is set directly in your home directory by the web site. They do not enter through the web browser and are not filtered by browser security. They are larger than regular cookies making them more dangerous.

Here is how to stop them.

  1. open a terminal in your home directory and run the following commands
  2. rm -R .pulse-cookie
  3. touch .pulse-cookie (this creates an empty .pulse-cookie file)
  4. chmod 000 .pulse-cookie (now the file can not be read, wrote to, or executed)

A new file can not be creates as it already exists. You can not access it as there are no access rights. Anything sent to is lost.

  • If FireFox is not creating .pulse-cookie can you indicate which program running on the system does? Or is "the web site" just randomly targeting (unprotected) systems connected to the internet?
    – Anthon
    Commented Mar 8, 2015 at 0:50
  • This answer is no only extremely wrong (~/.pulse-cookie and/or ~/.config/pulse/cookie are created by pulseaudio and documented to be so in man 1 pulseaudio) but also extremely misleading by wrongly asserting that that file is some sort of browser cookie. -1.
    – Snaipe
    Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 15:08

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