I tried apt remove and purge, both return

Package 'pulseaudio' is not installed, so not removed

fuser -fv /dev/snd/*

                     USER        PID ACCESS COMMAND
/dev/snd/controlC0:  root        387 f.... alsactl
                     root       3169 F.... pulseaudio
/dev/snd/controlC1:  root        387 f.... alsactl
                     root       3169 F.... pulseaudio
/dev/snd/pcmC0D1p:   root       3169 F...m pulseaudio
/dev/snd/pcmC1D0c:   root       3169 F...m pulseaudio
/dev/snd/timer:      root       3169 f.... pulseaudio

1 Answer 1


I suppose you use Debian Linux or a derivative, Ubuntu for example. You can try:

apt purge *pulseaudio*


aptitude purge ~npulseaudio

But you may have dependency problems; be extra careful on ubuntu, probably most of your system will be wiped! In my minimal Debian setup, I had no such issue.

So after the above commands, check what can be removed and what not. Try to remove the suggested packages one by one.

  • Thank you. 'apt purge pulseaudio' returns 0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 181 not upgraded. Before that I see a lot messages stating 'package pulseaudio-..xyz is not installed so not removed'
    – jjk
    Apr 19, 2020 at 9:48
  • 1
    Try apt purge *pulse*. But be very careful. Answer no, you do not want to remove any packages; copy the suggested packages list to an editor. In my Debian 10 system, what needed to be left installed was libpulse0 and libpulse-mainloop-glib0, so keep these two and any app you need to have installed (vlc for example). libpulse0 and libpulse-mainloop-glib0 are not loaded when booting or bloat your system, they are dependencies for other apps, like vlc. All apps that I use which need libpulse0 as dependency work fine with ALSA.
    – Krackout
    Apr 20, 2020 at 10:45
  • 1
    Then re-run apt purge, adding all the unnecessary packages as arguments. Check the list again, ideally you should see only the ones you entered to be removed.
    – Krackout
    Apr 20, 2020 at 10:49

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