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Old 12-19-2003, 10:14 AM   #1
Registered: Dec 2000
Location: Toronto, Canaduhhhh
Distribution: Slackware -current, OpenBSD 3.8-stable
Posts: 178

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ALSA and Kernel 2.6.0

I recompiled my 2.6 kernel, as I wanted to take my time and go through all the options in 'make xconfig', pick the stuff I need, etc.

I unselected (said No) to the 'Open Sound System' option in the kernel config. I checked off the 'ALSA' option (said Yes) as well as the 'OSS API Emulation', 'OSS Mixer API', and the 'OSS PCM' (I said 'Yes' to all of these options, I didn't make them modules). Under 'PCI devices' I said 'Yes' to 'EMU10K1 (SB Live! & Audigy, E-mu APS)', as my soundcard is a Soundblaster Live Value.

My kernel compiled fine. But ALSA still doesn't seem to work. When I run alsaconf it says "No supported PnP of PCI card found". When I run alsamixer it lists my card info as follows:

Card: Sound Blaster Live! │
│ Chip: SigmaTel STAC9721/23 │
│ Item: Master
And I can set the master volume, bass, etc.

Running cat /proc/asound/cards gives me:

0 [Live ]: EMU10K1 - Sound Blaster Live!
Sound Blaster Live! (rev.8) at 0xdc00, irq 12
Yet ALSA doesn't seem to work. If I select ALSA under XMMS it won't play the mp3 file and it tells me to select the correct output plugin. If I select OSS in XMMS then it will play the mp3 fine.

When I go into KDE Control Center > Sound & Multimedia > Sound System and select ALSA under the Sound I/O tab I get no sounds in KDE. If I select the Autodetect option I do get sounds in KDE.

Does anyone know what I am doing wrong? Why does alsaconf come up empty when it looks for my soundcard, yet my soundcard is listed under alsamixer and in /proc/asound/cards?
Old 12-19-2003, 10:30 AM   #2
Registered: May 2003
Location: Lisbon Falls, Maine
Distribution: RH 8.0, 9.0, FC2 - 4, Slack 9.0 - 10.2, Knoppix 3.4 - 4.0, LFS,
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First off... in order to fix the problem with XMMS using the ALSA drivers, you will need to:
chmod 777 /dev/dsp*; chmod 777 /dev/mixer*;chmod 777 /dev/pcm*

This is a common problem, and having the permissions set correctly should fix it.

As for alsaconf not finding the card, if you are able to get sound in XMMS after you chmod the files above, then it would seem that ALSA is working fine. Can you post the results of lsmod so that we can see if the correct modules are loading?

Old 12-19-2003, 10:46 AM   #3
Registered: Dec 2000
Location: Toronto, Canaduhhhh
Distribution: Slackware -current, OpenBSD 3.8-stable
Posts: 178

Original Poster
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The permissions on those devices are:

lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 4 Sep 29 03:45 /dev/dsp -> dsp0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 6 Sep 29 03:45 /dev/mixer -> mixer0
crwxrwxrwx 1 root root 13, 0 Apr 29 1997 /dev/pcmixer
lsmod gives me:

Module Size Used by
nvidia 1701420 10
NVidia is my video card. When I configured my kernel I told it to compile ALSA into the kernel, not make it a module. If that means anything.
Old 12-19-2003, 11:15 AM   #4
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: India
Distribution: Slackware 13.0 32-bit
Posts: 129

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I had the same problem... alsaconf says no sound devices present... but alsamixer works, and mpg321 works... tho' my mp3s are scratchy if I use alsa and work well only if I use he -o oss switch... but that was a problem I had even with 2.4.22 and the 0.9.6 alsa... so not specific to 2.6.0 ... I do also get a couple of errors during startup, I forgot what... two lines related to oss emulation or something, I think... Im on windows right now, since I just CANNOT get my nVidia driver working under 2.6.0, so dont remember... oh, and I already tried ... I think I messed up previous kernel compiles so badly that I have a system incapable of installing nVidia... :-)

*goes to start a new thread for that*

anybody with info on why alsaconf refuses to pickup the card, but still works, let us know.. btw, I have an nForce2 mobo, and ALSA is compiled into the kernel...
Old 12-19-2003, 11:43 AM   #5
Registered: Apr 2003
Posts: 53

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i have a similar problem
only in my case, alsamixer doesn't work
Old 12-20-2003, 03:25 AM   #6
Registered: Dec 2000
Location: Toronto, Canaduhhhh
Distribution: Slackware -current, OpenBSD 3.8-stable
Posts: 178

Original Poster
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I noticed when I run dmesg I see the following concerning ALSA and my sound card:

Advanced Linux Sound Architecture Driver Version 0.9.7 (Thu Sep 25 19:16:36 2003
ALSA device list:
#0: Sound Blaster Live! (rev.8) at 0xdc00, irq 12
It doesn't give me any errors. Yet if I try to use ALSA in the KDE Control Center, or in XMMS, I don't get any sound. I only get sound when I set the KDE Control Center to 'Autodetect', and XMMS to 'OSS'. And alsaconf doesn't find any cards, although alsamixer works.

Hmmm, so is ALSA working or what?

Last edited by jspaceman; 12-20-2003 at 03:26 AM.
Old 12-20-2003, 08:40 AM   #7
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Beautiful Northern-sweden (Luleň)
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Read and be enlightened!
Old 12-20-2003, 10:03 AM   #8
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Utrecht
Distribution: Debian SID
Posts: 651

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well, we all know that link, but this is not helping the noobs a lot (like me) I guess we have to patch the kernel to get the latest alsa? What's the point in including them into the kernel? Isn't this more easy just as module or am I thinking in a wrong way?
Old 12-20-2003, 10:48 AM   #9
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Czech Republic - Prague
Distribution: Slackware 9.1
Posts: 61

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jspaceman - maybe ARTS uses oss. If so you need to set sound to oss not alsa.


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