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Zaskar 05-12-2006 02:03 AM

Slack "Current" Alsa Sound Config
Ok i got Slack 10.2 running and updates with the "Current" repos and it got the new Alsa also.

i had alsa configured before (on 10.2 standard) and it found the onboard sound and it worked fine. then i reformatted to play around with a clean slate and updated to "current" and now the new Alsa doesnt even find the device, any ideas?

drkstr 05-12-2006 11:40 AM

Is sound support and your device compiled as a modules in the kernel? If you are running 2.6.x kernel, did you install the alsa-driver from the testing/linux-2.6* directory? If you still can not get it working, please post the output of 'lsusb' and any text reported by 'alsaconf'.


dugan 05-12-2006 11:49 AM

ALSA only works if you're running the kernel that it's built against. If you've installed ALSA from "current" then you also need to switch to the kernel from "current".

theoffset 05-12-2006 11:53 AM

Alsa (the modules), along with the kernel is one of those things which you should avoid to upgrade. It's usually recomended to make a custom kernel and stick with that.

The Alsa libs/tools should also be kept the same that what your kernel is using. That means that, unless you do upgrade your Kernel to the one in current, and the alsa modules, you'd have to upgrade alsa from source.

The ways to deal with this is:

If you want to use Slackware's
Do download the -current Kernel package (and its modules package) and alsa modules, libs, utils.
Do a manual install of the Kernel (move the image to /boot, edit /etc/lilo.conf, run lilo) install the kernel modules and the alsa modules
Restart the system and run the new kernel, to make sure it'll work on your system.
Do install the alsa libs, and utils.

If you want to use a custom kernel (which is recomended anyway):
You Could download the kernel-source package instead (or download the lastest from
You Should then configure the kernel, make the kernel and modules, and install the kernel. If it's a 2.6.x you Could enable Alsa from there and forget the Alsa-modules packages.
If you're using the kernel-source package, you could then install Alsa related stuff, otherwize you either compiled alsa with the kernel or go to and download all of Alsa and compile it by your self (make sure to remove the packages before).

Both metods usually work (I've done them, both). The last one is IMO better, because you use a custom compiled kernel, and you could enable the alsa within the kernel and forget about keeping the alsa-modules package (which may end up breaking stuff).

Also, the lastest -current, because of changes to udev and hotplug, runs better using a 2.6.16.x kernel (or a 2.4.x).

drkstr 05-12-2006 12:55 PM

Yes, you need to enable alsa support in the kernel as a module (should be enabled by default). In addition, you need the packages alsa-driver, alsa-lib, and alsa-utils. The alsa-driver package is different for the 2.4.x and 2.6.x kernel, you will need to pick the right one (does not matter what 'x' is). alsa-lib and alsa-utils are not kernel specific.


FYI, for alsaconf to work, your sound device must be enable in the kernel as a module. The main "sound support" or 'soundcore' must also be enabled as a module instead of hard coded to prevent confilcts with the sound device module. I belive it is not set as a module by default so you will need to change this.

dugan 05-12-2006 01:34 PM

You don't install alsa-driver if you've enabled ALSA in the kernel!

If you're building a custom kernel, then you have two options:

a) leave ALSA disabled in the kernel and then install the alsa-driver tarball that you download from Slackware provides SlackBuild scripts (in the source directory) to automate this.

This is how ALSA is set up by default in Slackware.


b) Enable ALSA in the kernel.

You don't do both.

drkstr 05-12-2006 02:03 PM

I'm sorry, I should have been more specific. The alsa driver will install modules as well as some useful headers in /usr/include/sound which I don't belive are provided by the kernel. The actual alsa modules that get loaded are the ones from the kernel compile. If you are short on disk space, you can delete the modules that alsa-driver installs at /lib/modules/<alsa-driver version> but it makes no difference since they are not actually loaded.


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