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Old 08-11-2008, 11:16 PM   #1
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Can't open /dev/dsp in BasicLinux


I am on BasicLinux 3.50. And I need help with a message after I enter the command: mpg123 /temp/test.mp3

The message is:
[info about player...]
Can't open /dev/dsp!

I followed the steps as explained on the BL website. This is my first post, so I can not input the url, (search iBilio under Linux Distributions for BasLinux). But the link I am referring to is on their Home Page called, "How to activate SoundBlaster audio in BL3".

So, I recieved the above mentioned message. However, my /dev directory does contian "dsp". I also have done some searching, but because BasicLinux is not really updated, the info I have found is not really relevant. I have a fealing though that it might be some really simple solution.

Basically the directions at their site is to activate:

insmod soundcore
insmod sound
insmod uart401
insmod sb io=0x220 irq=5 dma=1 dma16=0 mpu_io=0x330

However, it also states that some hardware might not support SoundBlaster Audio. And this is where I am clueless. So, how can I fix the problem or what alternatives is there. And if there is alternatives, I would still like to know how to fix the problem. If that is not too much to ask. As I do like to learn by experience. Thankyou.

Last edited by ih12; 08-11-2008 at 11:19 PM.
Old 08-13-2008, 07:53 AM   #2
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1. check the owner/group and permissions on the file:
ls -l /dev/dsp

Does your user have read/write access to the device? If you do have access, check if the device exists:

less -f /dev/dsp

If the device node exists but there is not actually any driver, you will get "no such device"; otherwise the screen may fill with junk and you may have to press "[ctl]c" to 'escape' then 'q' to quit 'less'.

If your user doesn't have access to the device, you will need to add all users who need access to the appropriate group. You can do this with the 'addgroup' tool or by manually editing the /etc/group file. The user needs to log out and log in again for the group change to take effect.

'/dev/dsp' is an OSS device and OSS has been deprecated in favor of alsa (which is superior); most OSS drivers have been removed from the kernel over a year ago - I don't know if any OSS drivers remain for legacy support. However, alsa maintains an OSS compatibility interface; if you're using ALSA drievrs, you can load the OSS layer with:

modprobe snd-pcm-oss

Check the ALSA notes for your specific sound hardware to see if there are other devices which you can take advantage of (mixer, sequencer).

Last edited by pinniped; 08-13-2008 at 07:56 AM.
Old 08-13-2008, 07:55 PM   #3
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BL has no login program. I am only unsing it as root for now. I tried the commands you suggested and I got a display of wierd characters. I also tried out the insmod commands in my console. And they all worked except for sb.o, I recieved the message:

sb: dsp reset failed insmod: init_module sb: Device or resource busy

I think its either the settings I inserted in the rc file are wrong or my soundcard is not compatible with sb.o. Thus, another driver? Just to note, I am not trying to upgrade the kernel, I'm just trying to see what I could work with in BL for now, without any big changes. I do see though that getting 2.6 with ALSA would be much easier, I've used it on other distros. So I think it might be the sb.o driver, in which case I might need a different one. But I don't know how which one to get.

Last edited by ih12; 08-13-2008 at 07:57 PM.
Old 08-13-2008, 10:06 PM   #4
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I think I have a VIA 82c???? soundcard and not SB. I downloaded the via82cxxx_audio.o and ac97_codec.o modules for kernel 2.2.26. And the command insmod accepted them. However, when I played "mpg123 /tmp/test.mp3" I got the message:

Playing MPEG stream from test.mp3
MPEG 2.5 layer III, 16 kbits/s, 11025Hz mono
mpg123: Can't rewind stream by 1103 bits!
mpg123: Can't rewind stream by 301 bits!
mpg123: Can't rewind stream by 301 bits!
[0:11] Decoding of test.mp3 finished.

I did not get the '/dev/dsp/' message anymore. So I think i might have the right modules now. But when I played the "/tmp/test.mp3" I did not hear any sound from my speakers. I was wondering if there are some settings I have to add to the modules, especially to via.. and ac7.., when using insmod?
Old 08-14-2008, 04:20 PM   #5
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I got my audio to work now. Thanks for the Help.

I tried the new ac7.. and via.. modules for my soundcard and it worked. That is why /dev/dsp was not working, I was using sb.o, wrong driver.

Is there any way I can increase the master volume. The sound is kind of low. I'm a able to increase the volume with a media player, I'm using mplayer. But was wondering if there was also any command to increase the volume in the commandline, independent of any player? Like alsamixer, I do not have ALSA though. Or does the media player increase the master volume automatically?


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