PipeWire Adds Zero Latency JACK D-Bus Bridge, Performance Tweaks

A new version of PipeWire is out with a number of notable improvements.

For the uninitiated, PipeWire is a multimedia framework capable of handling audio and video streams on Linux systems, serving as a replacement for older technologies like PulseAudio and JACK.

An increasing number of desktop Linux distributions use PipeWire as their default audio stack. This includes “big players” like Fedora Workstation and Ubuntu.

In this post I share a quick overview of the latest release.

PipeWire 0.3.71 Changes

The “big addition” in PipeWire 0.3.71 is the addition of a new zero-latency jackdbus bridge.

Devs say this works like the PulseAudio offering and creates a sink/source when jackdbus is started”. This is described as being ‘more efficient’ and ‘runs the complete PipeWire graph as a synchronous JACK client with no added latency’.

Additionally they note that “…the JACK notify callback implementation was reworked to emulate better what JACK does, improving compatibility with ardour7 and the JACK stress test.”

On the Bluetooth side, PipeWire 0.3.71 implements battery reporting using AT+XEVENT; disables hardware volume for 3M WorkTunes; and adds BAP channel positions using newer bluez properties.

The (extensive) release notes for PipeWire 0.3.71 also mention “many performance” improvements and bug fixes in this update, and mentions that there is continued API and ABI compatibility with earlier 3.x series releases.

See the FreeDesktop.org GitLab for further details, download links, for more information on the PipeWire project in general.

Desktop users should wait for distro maintainers to package and provide this update to them as building it from source isn’t for the fainthearted. Alternatively, this update may be distributed via third-party repos, PPAs, COPRs, or through the AUR.

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