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Old 04-06-2006, 06:41 AM   #1
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Registered: Oct 2003
Location: France
Distribution: debian
Posts: 26

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Sound problem with Gnome2.8.3 on Debian

I'm trying to make Gnome2.8.3 use ALSA with limited success,

on a Debian precompiled 2.6.8-2 kernel Dell laptop with following chipset:

0000:00:1f.5 Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corp. 82801CA/CAM AC'97 Audio Controller (rev 02)

I have following debian packages installed

ii alsa-base 1.0.8-7 ALSA driver configuration files
ii alsa-modules-2 1.0.8+2 ALSA driver modules
ii alsa-oss 1.0.8-1 ALSA wrapper for OSS applications
ii alsa-utils 1.0.8-4 ALSA utilities
ii gnome-alsamixe 0.9.6-1 ALSA sound mixer for GNOME
ii gstreamer0.8-a 0.8.8-2 ALSA plugin for GStreamer
ii libasound2 1.0.8-3 ALSA library

my lsmod after boot shows relating to sound:
snd_intel8x0m 20264 1
snd_intel8x0 36460 0
snd_ac97_codec 69988 2 snd_intel8x0m,snd_intel8x0
snd_pcm 98728 2 snd_intel8x0m,snd_intel8x0
snd_timer 25732 1 snd_pcm
snd_page_alloc 11752 3 snd_intel8x0m,snd_intel8x0,snd_pcm
gameport 4704 1 snd_intel8x0
snd_mpu401_uart 7968 1 snd_intel8x0
snd_rawmidi 25124 1 snd_mpu401_uart
snd_seq_device 8200 1 snd_rawmidi
snd 57156 10 snd_intel8x0m,snd_intel8x0,snd_ac97_codec,snd_pcm,snd_timer,snd_mpu401_uart,snd_rawmidi,snd_seq_devi ce
agpgart 34664 2 intel_agp
capability 4520 0
commoncap 7232 1 capability
i810_audio 37588 1
soundcore 10272 3 snd,i810_audio
ac97_codec 18956 1 i810_audio

The boot situation seems to favour OSS
When I open Gnomes Applications->Multimedia-> Volume Control it opens an (Unknown) OSS mixer which works - can see PCM, MIC, Speaker etc (there is also a 2nd tab on this window for Intel82801CA-ICH3 Modem (alsamixer) - just lots of individual PCM slider controls - looks bugged to me)

This sound situation half-works - no sounds for general system events (window openeing, error bells etc) but VLC for example when a video is streamed in has sound and video.

Also when I look at Desktop Preferences -> Advanced-> Multimedia System Selector I see output= Alsa , with sink = Alsasink, if I test this no sound comes out. (this choice Alsa/OSS is due to installing gstreamer0.8-alsa package)

If I then run Alsaconf it redetects INtel chipset and reconfigs sound,

Now when I look at Desktop Preferences -> Advanced-> Multimedia System Selector I still see output= Alsa with sink = Alsasink, but this time I test and there IS sound, however still no system events sounds heard (errors, window open etc etc).

Opening Applications->Multimedia-> Volume Control now shows just one mixer panel (gnome-alsamixer I assume). Believe I've unmuted everything necessary. (Master, pcm, pcspeaker, Mastermono )

Alsamixer itself seems to reflect what the Gnome mixer settings are :
it says Card=Intel 82801CA-ICH3 ; chipset = Cirrus LogicCS4205 r3

lsmod now shows:
snd_intel8x0 36460 0
snd_ac97_codec 69988 1 snd_intel8x0
snd_pcm 98728 1 snd_intel8x0
snd_timer 25732 1 snd_pcm
snd_page_alloc 11752 2 snd_intel8x0,snd_pcm
gameport 4704 1 snd_intel8x0
snd_mpu401_uart 7968 1 snd_intel8x0
snd_rawmidi 25124 1 snd_mpu401_uart
snd_seq_device 8200 1 snd_rawmidi
snd 57156 7 snd_intel8x0,snd_ac97_codec,snd_pcm,snd_timer,snd_mpu401_uart,snd_rawmidi,snd_seq_device
soundcore 10272 1 snd

looks like i810_audio module (thats OSS) and snd_intel8x0m have been removed.

If I now stream in video with VLC there is no longer any sound!

Also, now the general Gnome GUI volume control at bottom panel on desktop is stuck at 0 and always flips back to 0.

Now I believe this is all linked to mixers, Gnome uses esound (old) or gstreamer (I have gstreamer insatlled here in theory) and sound apps use Alsa or OSS, and some apps not going through mixers to complicate matters. Why the volume control gets stuck I don't know.

Why is sound so complicated in Linux...?

yours mutely....
Old 04-06-2006, 07:05 AM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: May 2004
Location: Albuquerque, NM USA
Distribution: Debian-Lenny/Sid 32/64 Desktop: Generic AMD64-EVGA 680i Laptop: Generic Intel SIS-AC97
Posts: 4,250

Rep: Reputation: 62
I think you're making it more complicated than it is. It appears to me that your sound is fine. You probably don't need OSS sound at all. And VLC sound probably has a Preferences switch that needs to be set. Gnome, by default doesn't play sounds on start-up etc. Maybe you could get into the config files and make it do that. On my few forays into KDE, I've noticed that it does have event sounds by default.


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