Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 by William Edwards (See all posts by William Edwards)
In some cases, you might find yourself wanting to forward all of your computer’s audio to another machine. This can be useful in a variety of situations. Maybe you want to play a quick song using your desktop PC’s powerful speakers rather than on your sub-par laptop speakers, or maybe you want to wirelessly setup and control your music playlist from afar, without having to move and hook up additional speakers. Whatever the reason, forwarding your audio to another machine over the network is a simple and easy process with PulseAudio.
PulseAudio is a cross-platform sound server that provides significant functionality. In this article, I am going to show you how you can use PulseAudio in Ubuntu to forward all of your computer’s audio to a remote computer. Since PulseAudio is cross-platform, this process can also be accomplished on Windows, so these steps should also be possible on Windows.
Install the PulseAudio preferences application on the remote computer you would like to forward the sound to using your distribution’s package manager.
Ubuntu / Debian
sudo apt-get install paprefs
Launch the PulseAudio preferences by running paprefs.
Under the “Network Access” tab, select the checkbox to make it available on the network.
Under the “Network Server” tab, select the checkboxes to enable network access to local sound devices.
Note: Because we are assuming access will be on the local network, we have disabled authentication for the sake of simplicity. You will not want to do this if you are trying to forward audio over an unsecure network.
On the local computer, install the PulseAudio device chooser:
Ubuntu / Debian
sudo apt-get install padevchooser
Run the PulseAudio device chooser by running padevchooser. Then select the tray icon and select “Default Server”-> “Other…”
In the prompt, type in the hostname or IP address of the remote server.
That’s it! Now all system sounds from your local machine will be forwarded to the remote speakers!