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I have freedv running on both ubuntu 13.10 and debian jessie now. In both cases I had to edit pulseaudio’s config file, /etc/pulse/daemon.conf and remove the comment semicolon in front of the lines:
To test it, use „ps“ to get the process ID of pulseaudio. Run this:
renice -11 process-id
It should print this:
old priority -11, new priority -11
If it prints that the old priority is 0, it did not get set as you wish.
Also experiment with these configuration fields:
; lock-memory = no
; cpu-limit = no
; realtime-scheduling = yes
; realtime-priority = 5
Locking the memory would keep pulseaudio from being swapped out on a low-memory system, and swapping would make it stutter. The realtime scheduling and priority are real-time versions of what you’ve just adjusted, I have not looked into what the proper values would be. cpu-limit may pin the daemon to a specific processor and maybe reduce process switch overhead. But I haven’t investigated.
If you have an old kernel, try a newer one. There has been recent work on real-time scheduling.
We are really asking here for a hard real-time priority. It may be that your system doesn’t have the memory to offer that (the real-time process should not swap) and it may also be that Linux isn’t quite a real-time OS, although this is certainly improving.