Maybe someone can help me here...
Several months ago I setup SuSE 9.2 on my homebuilt box (3.2ghz P4, Asus P4C800 Deluxe m/b, 1gb ram) and Alsa was able to set itself up and running just peachy with the two speakers I was using at the time. Since then I've been getting flawless 2.0 sound from the onboard Analog Devices AD1985 AC'97 chipset.
A few days ago, however, I bought myself a 5.1 surround speaker kit, hooked it up (the onboard sound has those convertable sockets - you use the mixer to turn the mic into center/lfe and the line in into surround) and have been trying to get it to operate in its glorious 6 channels. I reinstalled the latest version of Alsa with the snd-intel8x10 module (I understand that this is the one to use for the AD1985) and have checked the settings on alsamixer, alsamixergui, and kmix many many times (and secured them with "alsactl store"). But here's the problem: The front left and front right channels are fine. The center channel is coming out of the subwoofer. both rear channels, and I presume the lfe channel, are coming out of the center speaker. Nothing is coming out of the rear. I've carefully checked the wiring, and I know the rear speakers work because when I select "exchange front and surround" in the mixer, it does just that. As far as I can tell, everything is set right.