Pipewire what can I do to stop or at least reduce problems since F34?

Hello there!

I hope someone can enlighten me. I’m having problems that started with the adoption of Pipewire and I still assume are from Pipewire.
When the “migration” occurred I was using another laptop, an Acer Aspire VX15 (Core i5 7300HQ, 16GB GTX 1050 4GB) and these issues persist until today with my Lenovo Legion 5i (Core i7-10750H, 16GB, RTX2060 mobile 6GB). I have a different install, a fresh one, than the one I used at the time.

When using, for example, a browser and OBS Studio (RPM or Flatpak), it starts to stutter randomly and inevitably crashes or hangs, after minutes or after hours. Or using a browser (Brave or Firefox) and playing a game, Steam, also have problems: sometimes just the game crashes, sometimes the game and Steam crashes, sometimes the browser crashes and the game stutters. Or even worse browser, Steam + game and OBS can crash if not the browser, Stem and/or game, Gnome. Which can just crash, and freeze (where I still hear everything, but can’t do anything but CTRL + SHIFT + F4 to restart via CTRL + ALT + DEL. Most of the time when it freezes while crashing OBS, OBS can’t get sound back even if the sound (mic and headphones) is working for me.

Why do I think is Pipewire? Because on F34 swapping to Pulseaudio everything got better on both laptops
Why not change to PulseAudio again? I am seeing everything “migrating”, creating new features to be used with Pipewire

I am on Fedora 36 Workstation not upgrade from previous versions.

There have been a lot of changes and fixes to pipewire since Fedora 34, which is now end of life. I strongly recommend upgrading to Fedora 36 and then report back if you still have the same issues.

I am on Fedora 36

In that case, I would suggest undoing and workarounds you had previously done before upgrading. When I initially thought pipewire was buggy, it turned out to be because of lingering tweaks I had done to get pulseaudio to behave. When I reverted to defaults, everything worked normally for me.

I did not upgrade. The only thing I did after is try fsync kernel (made no difference) and some other Nobara related repos for mesa etc.

I switched to pulseaudio and disabled/masked wireplumber and pipewire related services, sockets etc since I can’t uninstall it without removing gnome-shell. With ps checked that no pipewire related services are running. The stutters, lags, constant crashes did not happen in the week or so that I’m testing it.

I haven’t experienced any real issues with PW or WirePlumber either. I know you can test how well the setup is doing just by playing media from the command line using pw-play <filename> and it accepts all media types with sane defaults for each. That could help with determining if it’s PW or how it is being handled, so the app that is using it may not be very pipewire friendly yet.

I was having issues with Firefox, Brave Browser, OBS Studio, Discord (started using Steam Chat instead - Much better), Steam (RPM and Flatpak) and had so many problems with EasyEffects that gave up using. Noisetorch (amazing tool) I also had problems, but as it doesn’t support Pipewire yet, the support is in alpha state, I had to stop using it.

I use Firefox, OBS, Discord, Slack, Zoom, etc. and don’t have any issues with it at the moment with Pipewire. I did a couple of releases ago when Pipewire was first introduced but it turned to be caused by various tweaks and workarounds I’d added to my pusleaudio config. Once I reverted back to default settings, Pipewire has been great ever since. In other words, my legacy puleaudio workarounds were the problem, not pipewire itself - I just had to remove the workarounds that were no longer necessary.

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To avoid any of those problems (not just because of it) I installed Fedora 36 from scratch again some months back. And as the problems were very similar from when I was transitioning from my previous laptop and persisted after I gave up.
I’m now with F37 Beta and check pipewire related files from my upgrade from F36 to F37 with a clean install and my files have no difference. I’ll try on F37 today and see if I have any luck.

My question that does have a bearing on the issue is this:

When you did the clean install did you carry over the content of your /home from the old install or not?

If you did, then it is possible that some config that exists in the files under your user home directory is causing the problems for you.
Creating a new user and logging in as the new user will give you a chance to test this possibility.

If you did not carry over anything from the earlier install then that is not an option.

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No contents related to pipewire. I copied one by one the configs of the programs I use.