Bizarre SDL mixer no play bug on Ubuntu Studio 20.04

Hi, I’ve been working on a SDL2/Vulkan powered engine and game for the last two years. Recently my game stopped playing music and SFX (I’m using SDL_mixer). My OS is Kubuntu studio 20.04 (low latency kernel) on my dev machine.

Thinking it was the OS, I booted Ubuntu 20.10 (gorilla) off a live USB stick, installed the SDL2 and SD2_mixer libraries, and ran the same ‘linux-game’ executable, it ran perfectly with sound. Then I did a windows build, and again, it ran perfectly with sound. It must be my OS right?

To cut this long bug finding story short, I found that, on my dev machine, if the executable was renamed to ‘game’, ‘linuxgame’ (no hyphen), ‘main’, or ‘foo’, anything other than ‘linux-game’ the game audio played perfectly. When the executable is named ‘linux-game’, the engine logfile shows up no problems, the driver is Pulseaudio, no errors (or SDL errors), nothing, just no sound.

What I cannot work out is why, after two years of development using the executable name ‘linux-game’, suddenly that’s causing audio problems?

Does anyone know if there is some kind of blacklisting of application names in Ubuntu Studio in regards to music playback?

I know the problem has now been worked around, but I’d really like to know what’s caused this for future reference.