pulseaudio-dlna is a streaming server which allows streaming audio from your Linux computer to a Chromecast or DLNA / UPNP device in the same network, via PulseAudio.
This article explains how to install and get pulseaudio-dlna to stream audio from Ubuntu 20.10, Pop_OS! 20.10, and other Linux distributions based on this Ubuntu release, to Chromecast devices.
The last pulseaudio-dlna release uses Python 2, which is no longer available in many Linux distributions, which means it can no longer be used on modern Linux distributions. There is, however, a Python 3 branch that you can use, but that too is unmaintained for some time, and it has some issues, for example it’s not compatible with the latest pychromecast 7.* (which is what Ubuntu 20.10 has in its repositories).
Ubuntu 20.10 (and Linux distributions based on it, like Pop!_OS 20.10) does have pulseaudio-dlna in its repositories, but this package does not work properly, at least not with Chromecast devices (I can’t test it with DLNA devices – it might work with those). And since Ubuntu 20.10 has pychromecast 7 in its repositories, that complicates things a bit if you want to use the Python 3 branch.
But I got it to work, and this article explains everything to get pulseaudio-dlna to work in Ubuntu 20.10 / Pop!_OS 20.10 with Chromecast devices (it should also work with DLNA devices but like I said, I did not try it).
It’s worth noting that Ubuntu 20.04 does not have pulseaudio-dlna in its repositories, and using the same Python 3 branch doesn’t work on this Ubuntu version.
Also, I didn’t add instructions for other Linux distributions because this doesn’t seem to work in a virtual machine (even though it’s in the same network), so I couldn’t test it properly. There are third-party packages for Fedora and Arch Linux (which use the same Python 3 branch and patch used in the instructions below), among others, so if you use those Linux distributions you can give those packages a try.
Chromecast-related articles you might like:
How to install the Python3 pulseaudio-dlna (patched) branch on Ubuntu 20.10 / Pop!_OS 20.10
1. Install the pulseaudio-dlna Python 3 dependencies (minus pychromecast, that’s in step):
sudo apt install python3-setuptools python3-pip python3-docopt python3-chardet python3-gi python3-dbus python3-docopt python3-requests python3-setproctitle python3-protobuf python3-lxml python3-netifaces python3-zeroconf python3-urllib3 python3-psutil python3-pyroute2 python3-notify2 python3-distutils sox vorbis-tools lame flac opus-tools ffmpeg
2. Remove python3-pychromecast and pulseaudio-dlna if you had them installed from the Ubuntu repositories:
sudo apt remove python3-pychromecast pulseaudio-dlna
3. Install pychromecast 6.0.1
The pulseaudio-dlna Python 3 branch does not work with pychromecast 7, which is available in the Ubuntu 20.10 repositories. So we’ll have to install pychromecast 6 instead.
To make it easier to install, I’ve uploaded a python3-pychromecast 6.0.1 DEB here. Download and install that package on your Ubuntu 20.10 / Pop!_OS 20.10 machine. You can also install it in some other way if you wish.
You’ll also need “hold” this python3-pychromecast package version, so it’s not upgraded. This can be done using the following command:
sudo apt-mark hold python3-pychromecast
In case you later want to upgrade this package, use the same command but with “unhold” instead of “hold”.
4. Install the pulseaudio-dlna Python 3 branch
For the installation instructions below we’ll use wget and git, so make sure they are installed:
sudo apt install wget git
Now you can clone the pulseaudio-dlna Python 3 branch, patch it with a fix to wait for the Chromecast device to be ready, and install it:
git clone https://github.com/masmu/pulseaudio-dlna
git checkout python3
patch -p1 -i d46f419abd5105e48342ee45219cbf557d342af4.patch
sudo python3 setup.py install --record=installed_files.txt
Make sure you save the
installed_files.txt created by the last command from above (it should be created in the pulseaudio-dlna folder) as you can use that to uninstall pulseaudio-dlna later. To remove pulseaudio-dlna installed using the instructions mentioned above, run
sudo rm $(cat installed_files.txt) in the folder where the
installed_files.txt is placed.
How to use pulseaudio-dlna
To launch pulseaudio-dlna, open a terminal and type:
Next, open your system settings, head to the Sound settings and change the
Output Device to your Chromecast / DLNA / UPNP device. This is how my Chromecast shows up in the
Output Device section of the Sound settings:
It’s important to note that pulseaudio-dlna has quite a bit of lag, so it may take a while until the sound starts on your Chromecast / DLNA device.
This streams all the sounds from your computer to the remote device. In case you want to stream the sound from a particular application only, install
sudo apt install pavucontrol
pavucontrol (either by typing
pavucontrol in a terminal, or launching
PulseAudio Volume Control from the applications menu), and on the playback tab you can change the stream individually, for each application.
For example, in the screenshot above, VLC is set to stream to my Chromecast while Chromium does not.
pulseaudio-dlna has quite a few options. For example, you can get it to use a different port (it uses port 8080 by default), like this:
pulseaudio-dlna --port <PORT>
PORT is the port you want to use for pulseaudio-dlna.
You can also specify the codec to use:
pulseaudio-dlna --codec <CODEC>
CODEC can be
aac and more.
You can also specify a different encoder backend (by default it uses a generic encoder), like
ffmpeg, by running pulseaudio-dlna like this:
pulseaudio-dlna --encoder-backend ffmpeg
In case more than 1 device is discovered, you can specify which one to use using:
pulseaudio-dlna --filter-device '<Device name>'
For more options, check out the application help: