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Old 11-24-2005, 06:52 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2005
Location: TX
Distribution: Ubuntu Linux 5.10
Posts: 2

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Sound Problem: /dev/dsp could not be opened

I just installed Ubuntu 5.10 on an old pc that I have.
This computer has a SoundBlaster AWE64 ISA PnP sound card.
I am not sure that the sound card is even installed properly. Everytime
I try to play audio or even record something I get an error saying:
Error loading the sound driver device /dev/dsp could not be opened.

I just tried the following without any luck:
sudo modprobe snd-pcm-oss
sudo modprobe snd-pcm-mixer-oss

I am guessing that changes the driver to OSS. How do you change back to

I also tried the following:
sudo apt-get install udev

That didnt help either.

I tried installing and running isapnp sees the Creative
AWE64 sound card but I have no clue on how to edit the configfile and
their instructions dont explain it.

Also I downloaded the ALSA-OSS Wrapper (AOSS) -- not sure how to use it
or if this would even help.

Any help with getting the sound to work would be appreciated.
By the way...this is the first time that I installed or used Linux (I
only had some previous experience with Sun Solaris) so if you have to
give me some detailed instructions please explain to me step by

Old 11-25-2005, 01:08 PM   #2
Registered: Jun 2005
Distribution: arch, ubuntu
Posts: 456

Rep: Reputation: 30
ok, type this in a terminal
sudo lsmod
it prints out a list of modules that ubuntu loaded at boot-up. See if your sound card is in there.
also, check to see that there actually is a /dev/dsp device, if so, sometimes the permissions are not set right (although i think that ubuntu does this for you)

also, what program are you using to try to get sound , xmms ? totem ?
let us know.
Old 11-25-2005, 01:23 PM   #3
Registered: Apr 2005
Distribution: Exherbo
Posts: 474
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: 32
did you try alsaconf?? that is the prober that detects and loads your sound drivers
Old 11-25-2005, 05:40 PM   #4
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2005
Location: TX
Distribution: Ubuntu Linux 5.10
Posts: 2

Original Poster
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Thanks for the replies. I was trying to use Totem as the music player. I was also trying to record sound using the default sound recorder and kept on getting the same errors that /dev/dsp could not be found.

I just bought a cheap $10 PCI sound card today and that worked as soon as I inserted config was needed. Is there a way to disable the PCI sound card in Ubuntu because I am still interested in getting the ISA card to work using the suggestions you provided.


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