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Old 08-18-2010, 07:29 AM   #1
Registered: Aug 2010
Distribution: Desktop and netbook: Debian Squeeze; Router: DD-WRT
Posts: 43

Rep: Reputation: 5
No Sound with Realtek ALC892 on Debian Squeeze

Hi, all. I just installed Debian Squeeze alpha1 for AMD64 with KDE onto a desktop PC I just built. However I cannot get sound to work, and I've been at it for about six hours already...

My primary audio device is a Realtek ALC892 chip on an Intel HDA ATI SB card on an MSi 870A-G54 motherboard (very nice board, especially on sale ). lspci identifies the device as follows:
# lspci -v
00:14.2 Audio device: ATI Technologies Inc SBx00 Azalia (Intel HDA) (rev 40)
Subsystem: Micro-Star International Co., Ltd. Device 7599
Flags: bus master, slow devsel, latency 64, IRQ 16
Memory at fe5f8000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
Capabilities: [50] Power Management version 2
Kernel driver in use: HDA Intel
And ALSA's aplay reports:
# aplay -l
**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 0: SB [HDA ATI SB], device 0: ALC892 Analog [ALC892 Analog]
Subdevices: 1/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: SB [HDA ATI SB], device 1: ALC892 Digital [ALC892 Digital]
Subdevices: 1/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 1: HDMI [HDA ATI HDMI], device 3: ATI HDMI [ATI HDMI]
Subdevices: 1/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
(Card 1 being an additional HDMI device on my video card.)

I first used the stock Debian Squeeze Linux kernel (2.6.32-5). Eventually I read that support for ALC892 was added in 2.6.33. So then installed the Liquorix Linux kernel 2.6.35-2 (Linux debian 2.6.35-2.dmz.1-liquorix-amd64) for the audio drivers and some additional performance boosts. I'm using ALSA 1.0.23. Information on my ALSA installation from dpkg:
# dpkg -l *alsa*
| Status=Not/Inst/Conf-files/Unpacked/halF-conf/Half-inst/trig-aWait/Trig-pend
|/ Err?=(none)/Reinst-required (Status,Err: uppercase=bad)
||/ Name Version Description
+++-============================================-============================================-==================================================================================================== ====
un alsa <none> (no description available)
ii alsa-base 1.0.23+dfsg-1 ALSA driver configuration files
ii alsa-oss 1.0.17-4 ALSA wrapper for OSS applications
ii alsa-utils 1.0.23-2 Utilities for configuring and using ALSA
ii gstreamer0.10-alsa 0.10.30-1 GStreamer plugin for ALSA
un libesd-alsa0 <none> (no description available)
ii libsdl1.2debian-alsa 1.2.14-6 Simple DirectMedia Layer (with X11 and ALSA options)
I also tried installing the oss4-base package, but that just made ALSA throw errors.

I was missing devices like /dev/dsp and /dev/audio and /dev/sndstat showed audio devices "NOT ENABLED IN CONFIG", so I fixed all of that by installing two kernel modules -- snd-pcm-oss and snd-mixer-oss. Results:
# modprobe snd-pcm-oss
# modprobe snd-mixer-oss
# cat /dev/sndstat
Sound Driver:3.8.1a-980706 (ALSA v1.0.23 emulation code)
Kernel: Linux debian 2.6.35-2.dmz.1-liquorix-amd64 #1 ZEN SMP PREEMPT Sat Aug 14 19:15:19 CDT 2010 x86_64
Config options: 0

Installed drivers:
Type 10: ALSA emulation

Card config:
HDA ATI SB at 0xfe5f8000 irq 16
HDA ATI HDMI at 0xfe6ec000 irq 47

Audio devices:
0: ALC892 Analog (DUPLEX)



31: system timer

0: Realtek ALC892
1: ATI R6xx HDMI
Results of lsmod:
# lsmod | grep snd
snd_hda_codec_atihdmi 2791 1
snd_hda_codec_realtek 291346 1
snd_hda_intel 23460 4
snd_hda_codec 88862 3 snd_hda_codec_atihdmi,snd_hda_codec_realtek,snd_hda_intel
snd_hwdep 6482 1 snd_hda_codec
snd_pcm 81683 3 snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec
snd_seq 53869 0
snd_timer 21524 2 snd_pcm,snd_seq
snd_seq_device 6362 1 snd_seq
snd 65968 15 snd_hda_codec_realtek,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec,snd_hwdep,snd_pcm,snd_seq,snd_timer,snd_seq_device
soundcore 7739 1 snd
snd_page_alloc 8332 2 snd_hda_intel,snd_pcm
# lsmod | grep sound
soundcore 7739 1 snd
I've checked audio levels with 'alsamixer' and 'alsamixer -Dhw' and all playback channels are set to full gain. After every little change, I've tried speaker-test, aplay, and piping files to audio devices.

Does anyone have any ideas why I can't get sound to work? This is the desktop computer I'll be taking with me to college within the next week and a half, so I'd really like to get everything working as soon as possible...
Old 08-18-2010, 04:38 PM   #2
Registered: Jun 2008
Location: St.-Petersburg, Russia
Distribution: (B)LFS, Ubuntu, SliTaz
Posts: 402

Rep: Reputation: 51
Maybe this will help:
I just install the kernel 2.6.34 for koji.

Then I switched from "Analog stereo duplex" to "analog stereo output" and now it works....
Old 08-18-2010, 09:11 PM   #3
Registered: Aug 2010
Distribution: Desktop and netbook: Debian Squeeze; Router: DD-WRT
Posts: 43

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 5
Thanks, it's reassuring to see that it's possible. I assume that person used the PulseAudio Volume Control, since I found those settings in there. I saw the volume meter move with sound output in KDE apps, but nothing I tried would produce actual output.

'alsactl init' gives an error:
# alsactl init
Unknown hardware: "HDA-Intel" "Realtek ALC892" "HDA:10ec0892,14627599,00100302" "0x1462" "0x7599"
Hardware is initialized using a guess method
Also, I tried adding these two lines to /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf based on readings in other threads I've come across, to no avail.
options snd-hda-intel enable=1 index=0 model=auto position_fix=1
alias snd-card-0 snd-hda-intel
I should note though that I am hearing an occasional clicking sound out of my speakers. It seems random, and the only way I was able to generate that clicking myself was by pressing the mute button in the PA Volume Control. Also, unmuting the headphone channel in alsamixer or KMix creates odd solid noise on the case's audio connector and on the following motherboard connectors: line-out, center speaker, and rear speaker (but not side speaker).

And for what it's worth, aplay will "play" a file without errors, but there is no actual sound output.
# aplay Downloads/iron_maiden_sign_of_the_cross.mp3
Playing raw data 'Downloads/iron_maiden_sign_of_the_cross.mp3' : Unsigned 8 bit, Rate 8000 Hz, Mono

I tried using a Debian stable/Lenny live CD (with alsaconf and an older kernel, since I thought I read in some places that this is a new issue). I had the same problems; I had no audio, even after running through alsaconf.

Then I thought of running a Windows installation to make sure that the hardware is really working properly (I assume it is anyway, since it identifies itself to Linux). I took the hard drive out of my netbook (Windows XP) and put it in my desktop case. Windows simply flashed an orange screen of death at me (something about an unauthorized hardware configuration I guess, I couldn't catch it fast enough) and rebooted the PC.

Does anyone have any ideas that might help me to get sound to work on this computer?

Last edited by PehJota; 08-18-2010 at 11:27 PM. Reason: clarified noise conditions.
Old 08-25-2010, 12:26 AM   #4
Registered: Aug 2010
Distribution: Desktop and netbook: Debian Squeeze; Router: DD-WRT
Posts: 43

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 5
Okay, so I gave up on the onboard audio. I ordered and installed a cheap but good ASUS Xonar DS (a rebranded Creative something) PCI sound card, disabled the onboard Realtek ALC892 in BIOS, booted Debian, and let KMix remove the onboard sound device. Then I rebooted Debian, and I instantly had sound, no configuration necessary.

It's too bad the Realtek chip wouldn't work (I guess maybe it's not the best hardware anyway), but at least I managed to solve my problem (with a cheap but good separate 7.1 audio device, so it worked out okay).


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