The configuration file

WirePlumber’s configuration file is by default wireplumber.conf and resides in one of the WirePlumber specific configuration file search locations.

The default configuration file can be changed on the command line by passing the --config-file or -c option:

$ wireplumber --config-file=custom.conf


Starting with WirePlumber 0.5, this is the only file that WirePlumber reads to load configuration (together with its fragments - see below). In the past, WirePlumber also used to read Lua configuration files that were referenced from wireplumber.conf and all the heavy lifting was done in Lua. This is no longer the case, and the Lua configuration files are no longer supported. See Migrating configuration from 0.4.

Note that Lua is still the scripting language for WirePlumber, but it is only used for actual scripting and not for configuration.

The SPA-JSON Format

The format of this configuration file is a variant of JSON that is also used in PipeWire configuration files (also known as SPA-JSON). The file consists of a global JSON object that is not explicitly typed, and a list of sections which are essentially key-value pairs of that global JSON object. Each section is usually a JSON object, but it can also be a JSON array.

SPA-JSON is a superset of standard JSON, so any valid JSON file is also a valid SPA-JSON file. However, it is more permissive than standard JSON. First of all, it allows strings to be typed without quotes ("), and it also allows the character = as a separator between keys and values in addition to the standard :. This can make it look similar to INI files or other custom configuration formats that people are familiar with, which makes it easier for users to read and edit.

Other deviations from standard JSON include allowing comments (lines starting with # are treated as comments) and allowing the separator characters (:, =, ,) to appear in excess or abundance. That means that you can write key = value or key: value or key value and it will be interpreted the same way. You may also write [val1, val2, val3] or [val1, val2, val3, ] or [val1 val2 val3] and it will be interpreted the same way. This is allowed because the SPA-JSON parser in fact ignores all the separator characters (the real separator is the space character).

Examples of valid SPA-JSON files:

# This is the most common syntax
section1 = {
  string-key = value1
  number-key = 123
  boolean-key = true
section2 = [
  val1, val2, val3
# Mixed syntax
section1 {
  "string-key" = "value1"
  number-key: 123
  boolean-key true
section2 = [
  val1, val2 val3,
# Standard JSON (albeit this comment line)
"section1": {
  "string-key": "value1",
  "number-key": 123,
  "boolean-key": true
"section2": [
  "val1", "val2", "val3"


Just like PipeWire, WirePlumber supports configuration fragments. This means that the main configuration file can be split into multiple files, and all of them will be loaded and merged together. This is mostly useful to allow users to customize their configuration without having to modify the main file.

When loading the configuration file, WirePlumber will also look for additional files in the directory that has the same name as the configuration file suffixed with .d and will load all of them as well. For example, loading wireplumber.conf will also load any .conf files under wireplumber.conf.d/. This directory is searched in all the configuration search locations and the fragments are loaded from all of them, starting from the most system-wide locations and moving towards the most user-specific locations, in alphanumerical order within each location (see also Configuration fragments).

When a JSON object appears in multiple files, the properties of the objects are merged together. When a JSON array appears in multiple files, the arrays are concatenated together. When merging objects, if specific properties appear in many of those objects, the last one to be parsed always overwrites previous ones, unless the value is also an object or array; if it is, then the value is recursively merged using the same rules.


WirePlumber reads the following standard sections from the configuration file:

  • wireplumber.components

    This section is an array that lists components that can be loaded by WirePlumber. For more information, see Components & Profiles.

  • wireplumber.components.rules

    This section is an array containing rules that can be used to modify entries of the wireplumber.components array. This is useful to inject changes to the components list without having to modify the main configuration file.

  • wireplumber.profiles

    This section is an object that defines profiles that can be loaded by WirePlumber. For more information, see Components & Profiles.

  • wireplumber.settings

    This section is an object that defines settings that can be used to alter WirePlumber’s behavior. For more information, see Well-known settings.

  • wireplumber.settings.schema

    This section is an object that defines the schema for the settings that can be listed in wireplumber.settings. This is used to validate the settings when they are modified at runtime. For more information, see Configuration option types.

In addition, there are many sections that are specific to certain components, mostly hardware monitors, such as, monitor.alsa.rules, etc. These are documented further on, in the respective sections of this documentation that describe the configuration options of these components.

Finally, WirePlumber also reads the following sections, which are parsed by libpipewire to configure the PipeWire context:


    Used to define properties to configure the PipeWire context and some modules.


    Used to find SPA factory names. It maps a SPA factory name regular expression to a library name that should contain that factory. The object property names are the regular expressions, and the object property values are the actual library names:

    <factory-name regex> = <library-name>

    For example: = {
      api.alsa.*      = alsa/libspa-alsa
      audio.convert.* = audioconvert/libspa-audioconvert

    In this example, we instruct wireplumber to lookup any api.alsa.* factory in the libspa-alsa library, and any audio.convert.* factory in the libspa-audioconvert library.


    The default configuration file already contains a list of well-known factory names and their corresponding libraries. You should only need to add entries to this section if you are using custom SPA plugins.

  • context.modules

    Used to load PipeWire modules. This does not affect the PipeWire daemon by any means. It exists simply to allow loading libpipewire modules inside WirePlumber. This is usually useful to load PipeWire protocol extensions, so that you can export custom objects to PipeWire and other clients.


    PipeWire modules can also be loaded as components, which may be preferrable since it allows you to load them conditionally based on the profile and component dependencies.


    Modules listed in context.modules are always loaded before attempting a connection to the PipeWire daemon, while modules listed in wireplumber.components are always loaded after the connection is established. It is important to load the PipeWire protocol-native module and any extensions (such as module-metadata) in the context.modules section, so that the connection can be done properly.

    Each module is described by a JSON object containing the module’s name, its arguments (args) and a combination of flags, which can be ifexists and nofail.

      name = <module-name>
      [ args = { <key> = <value> ... } ]
      [ flags = [ [ ifexists ] [ nofail ] ]

    For example:

    context.modules = [
      { name = libpipewire-module-adapter }
        name = libpipewire-module-metadata,
        flags = [ ifexists ]

    The above example loads both PipeWire adapter and metadata modules. The metadata module will be ignored if not found because of its ifexists flag.