I've done some Googling on this subject, and looked around on Stack Exchange, but I haven't yet found a question canonically similar to mine. If this is the wrong section of Stack Exchange to ask this question, please let me know and I'll happily move it.

I have a desktop machine which serves up remote VNC displays in addition to its local X11 display.

Applications displayed via VNC (and the VNC server itself) execute with a different user ID to processes running locally.

I'm trying to achieve the following:

  • All processes running under the non-local account are presented with completely synthetic mic and speaker devices, backed by a PulseAudio loopback that feeds the speaker output into the mic input

  • Chrome is successfully fooled by PulseAudio and believes the loopback is a real microphone ;)

  • Remote processes cannot control the physical audio hardware (to prevent accidents)

  • The PA server doesn't interfere with the other accounts on the system, or touch the physical hardware (also to prevent accidents)

  • The configuration/settings/state that makes this possible needs to be automatically reinitialized when the system reboots (very important)

  • (noncritical/optional) A low-latency realtime broadcasting solution allows me to connect to PulseAudio (or some app listening to the loopback) and listen in

I've found that PA can be run under a specific user account, more or less isolating its services to that account, and I've used this with some success, although I'm not sure if there's any specific configuration I should be applying other than firing up pulseaudio from my own account.

The main points I'm stuck on are a) convincing Chrome that PA is a real mic, b) ensuring I don't touch the system audio hardware, and c) where to store the configuration so it'll be heeded upon restart.

This is on FreeBSD, if that changes anything.

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