[vbox-dev] Audio mixer on host for multiple virtual machines

Frank Mehnert Frank.Mehnert at Sun.COM
Wed Jul 1 13:50:10 PDT 2009


On Saturday 27 June 2009, mark browser wrote:
> thank you for your reply and sorry for distracting this list, but I
> couldn't find any information regarding this issue. I'm not sure if you got
> me right, so here is the original message I wrote:
> -----
> I am looking for a host audio mixing solution when running multiple VMs.
> The audio works in all VM's but only one at a time. (Tested with all
> win-x86 vbox versions upto 2.2) This topic is also discussed here:
> http://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=8420
> I am not sure weather this is a bug or just a missing feature. I would
> appreciate any developer comments on this. -----
>  - both host and multiple running guests are windows machines and the sound
> only works in the vm which has focus.
> - The "Host Driver" option for the vm's is set to Windows DirectSound,
> which should have mixing support imho.
> If I got you right, installing pulseaudio on the windows host will give you
> another "Host Driver" option for the vm's and resolves that issue?

audio mixing is the job of the host operating system, not the job of
VirtualBox. If you use VirtualBox on Linux then you should try the
PulseAudio backend of VirtualBox. Make sure that you start the pulseaudio
daemon first. Every VM will then connect to the daemon which will
multiplex the audio streams. There is even a nice mixer applet for
PulseAudio which will allow you to change the volume for each client
separately, just like on Vista.

Kind regards,

Dr.-Ing. Frank Mehnert    Sun Microsystems, Inc.    www.sun.com
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