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1<?xml version='1.0' encoding="UTF-8"?> 1<?xml version='1.0' encoding="UTF-8"?>
2<!-- $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/alsa-guide.xml,v 1.69 2006/07/07 14:40:08 rane Exp $ --> 2<!-- $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/alsa-guide.xml,v 1.73 2007/02/17 19:03:36 nightmorph Exp $ -->
3 3
4<!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd"> 4<!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd">
5 5
6<guide link="/doc/en/alsa-guide.xml"> 6<guide link="/doc/en/alsa-guide.xml">
7<title>Gentoo Linux ALSA Guide</title> 7<title>Gentoo Linux ALSA Guide</title>
8 8
9<author title="Author"> 9<author title="Author">
10 <mail link="fox2mike@gentoo.org">Shyam Mani</mail> 10 <mail link="fox2mike@gentoo.org">Shyam Mani</mail>
11</author> 11</author>
12<author title="Author">
13 <mail link="nightmorph@gentoo.org">Joshua Saddler</mail>
14</author>
15<author title="Contributor">
16 <mail link="flameeyes@gentoo.org">Diego Pettenò</mail>
17</author>
12 18
13<abstract> 19<abstract>
14This document helps a user setup ALSA on Gentoo Linux. 20This document helps a user setup ALSA on Gentoo Linux.
15</abstract> 21</abstract>
16 22
17<!-- The content of this document is licensed under the CC-BY-SA license --> 23<!-- The content of this document is licensed under the CC-BY-SA license -->
18<!-- See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5 --> 24<!-- See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5 -->
19<license/> 25<license/>
20 26
21<version>2.14</version> 27<version>2.17</version>
22<date>2006-07-06</date> 28<date>2007-02-17</date>
23 29
24<chapter> 30<chapter>
25<title>Introduction</title> 31<title>Introduction</title>
26<section> 32<section>
27<title>What is ALSA?</title> 33<title>What is ALSA?</title>
74<p> 80<p>
75The two options are : 81The two options are :
76</p> 82</p>
77 83
78<ol> 84<ol>
79 <li> 85 <li>Use ALSA provided by your kernel.</li>
80 Use ALSA provided by your kernel. This is the preferred/recommended
81 method.
82 </li>
83 <li>
84 Use Gentoo's <c>media-sound/alsa-driver</c> package. 86 <li>Use Gentoo's <c>media-sound/alsa-driver</c> package.</li>
85 </li>
86</ol> 87</ol>
87 88
88<p> 89<p>
89We shall take a peek into both before finally deciding on one. 90The in-kernel drivers and the <c>alsa-driver</c> package can vary a little; it's
91possible that features and fixes found in one might not yet be incorporated into
92the other. The upstream developers are aware of this, but the two drivers are
93effectively separate branches of the ALSA project; they are not entirely
94identical. You should be aware that they might function slightly differently, so
95if one doesn't work for you, try the other! We shall take a peek into both
96before finally deciding on one.
90</p> 97</p>
91 98
92<p> 99<p>
93If you were to use ALSA provided by the kernel, the following are the pros and 100If you were to use ALSA provided by the kernel, the following are the pros and
94cons : 101cons :
99 <th>Kernel ALSA</th> 106 <th>Kernel ALSA</th>
100 <th>Pros and Cons</th> 107 <th>Pros and Cons</th>
101</tr> 108</tr>
102<tr> 109<tr>
103 <th>+</th> 110 <th>+</th>
104 <ti>Pretty stable as drivers are integrated into kernel.</ti> 111 <ti>
112 No need to emerge yet another package; drivers are integrated into kernel.
113 </ti>
105</tr> 114</tr>
106<tr> 115<tr>
107 <th>+</th> 116 <th>+</th>
108 <ti>One shot solution, no repeating emerges.</ti> 117 <ti>One shot solution, no repeating emerges.</ti>
109</tr> 118</tr>
110<tr> 119<tr>
111 <th>-</th> 120 <th>-</th>
112 <ti>Might be a slightly older version than <c>alsa-driver</c>.</ti> 121 <ti>Might be a slightly different version than <c>alsa-driver</c>.</ti>
113</tr> 122</tr>
114</table> 123</table>
115 124
116<p> 125<p>
117And, if you were to use alsa-driver, 126And, if you were to use alsa-driver,
122 <th>alsa-driver</th> 131 <th>alsa-driver</th>
123 <th>Pros and Cons</th> 132 <th>Pros and Cons</th>
124</tr> 133</tr>
125<tr> 134<tr>
126 <th>+</th> 135 <th>+</th>
127 <ti>Latest drivers from the ALSA Project.</ti> 136 <ti>Possibly the latest drivers from the ALSA Project.</ti>
137</tr>
138<tr>
139 <th>+</th>
140 <ti>Useful if you intend to develop audio drivers.</ti>
128</tr> 141</tr>
129<tr> 142<tr>
130 <th>-</th> 143 <th>-</th>
131 <ti>Every kernel recompile requires a re-emerge of <c>alsa-driver</c>.</ti> 144 <ti>Every kernel recompile requires a re-emerge of <c>alsa-driver</c>.</ti>
132</tr> 145</tr>
141<section> 154<section>
142<title>So...</title> 155<title>So...</title>
143<body> 156<body>
144 157
145<p> 158<p>
146The main difference between using <c>alsa-driver</c> and ALSA that comes with 159The differences between <c>alsa-driver</c> and the in-kernel ALSA drivers are
147the kernel is that <c>alsa-driver</c> is generally more up to date than the 160quite subtle, as mentioned earlier. Since there are not any huge differences,
148version in the kernel. Since this does not make any huge difference as 161this guide will go through the process of using the ALSA provided by the kernel
149such, you are encouraged to use the ALSA provided by the kernel for ease of use. 162<e>first</e> for ease of use. However, if you run into problems, try switching
150Before reporting any sound related issues to <uri 163to <c>alsa-driver</c>. Before reporting any sound related issues to <uri
151link="https://bugs.gentoo.org">Gentoo Bugzilla</uri>, please try to reproduce 164link="https://bugs.gentoo.org">Gentoo Bugzilla</uri>, please try to reproduce
152them using <c>alsa-driver</c> and file the bug report no matter what the 165them using <c>alsa-driver</c> and file the bug report no matter what the
153result. 166result.
154</p> 167</p>
155 168
208<c>emu10k1</c> module. That is the information we need for now. If you are 221<c>emu10k1</c> module. That is the information we need for now. If you are
209interested in detailed information, you can click on the link next to the 222interested in detailed information, you can click on the link next to the
210"Details" and that will take you to the <c>emu10k1</c> specific page. 223"Details" and that will take you to the <c>emu10k1</c> specific page.
211</p> 224</p>
212 225
226<p>
227If you intend to use MIDI, then you should add <c>midi</c> to your USE flags in
228<path>/etc/make.conf</path> before emerging any ALSA packages. Later in the
229guide, we will show you how to set up <uri link="#midi">MIDI support</uri>.
230</p>
231
232<pre caption="MIDI support in /etc/make.conf">
233<comment>(If you want MIDI support)</comment>
234USE="midi"
235
236<comment>(If you don't need MIDI)</comment>
237USE="-midi"
238</pre>
239
213</body> 240</body>
214</section> 241</section>
215<section id="kernel"> 242<section id="kernel">
216<title>Using ALSA provided by your Kernel</title> 243<title>Using ALSA provided by your Kernel</title>
217<body> 244<body>
252Now we will look at some of the options we will have to enable in the 2.6 279Now we will look at some of the options we will have to enable in the 2.6
253kernel to ensure proper ALSA support for our sound card. 280kernel to ensure proper ALSA support for our sound card.
254</p> 281</p>
255 282
256<p> 283<p>
257Please note that for the sake of ease, all examples show ALSA built as modules. 284Please note that for ease of use, all examples show ALSA built as modules. It
258It is advisable to follow the same as it then allows the use of <c>alsaconf</c> 285is advisable to follow the same as it then allows the use of <c>alsaconf</c>
259which is a boon when you want to configure your card. Please do <e>not</e> skip 286which is a boon when you want to configure your card. Please do <e>not</e> skip
260the <uri link="#alsa-config">Configuration</uri> section of this document. If 287the <uri link="#alsa-config">Configuration</uri> section of this document. If
261you still like to have options built-in, ensure that you make changes to your 288you still like to have options built-in, ensure that you make changes to your
262config accordingly. 289config accordingly.
263</p> 290</p>
391<pre caption="Installing alsa-driver"> 418<pre caption="Installing alsa-driver">
392# <i>emerge alsa-driver</i> 419# <i>emerge alsa-driver</i>
393</pre> 420</pre>
394 421
395<impo> 422<impo>
396Please note that you will have to run <c>emerge alsa-driver</c> after every 423Please note that you will have to run <c>emerge alsa-driver</c> after every
397kernel (re)compile, as the earlier drivers are deleted. 424kernel (re)compile, as the earlier drivers are deleted. To make this task
425easier, you may want to emerge the <c>module-rebuild</c> package, which will
426keep track of module packages and rebuild them for you. First run
427<c>module-rebuild populate</c> to create the list, and then after every kernel
428(re)compile, you just run <c>module-rebuild rebuild</c>, and your external
429modules will be rebuilt.
398</impo> 430</impo>
399 431
400</body> 432</body>
401</section> 433</section>
402</chapter> 434</chapter>
429</section> 461</section>
430<section id="alsa-config"> 462<section id="alsa-config">
431<title>Configuration</title> 463<title>Configuration</title>
432<body> 464<body>
433 465
466<p>
467Recent versions of <c>udev</c> (<c>>=udev-103</c>) provide some degree of
468kernel-level autoconfiguration of your sound card. If possible, try to rely on
469just letting your kernel automatically setup your sound card for you. Otherwise,
470use <c>alsaconf</c> to configure your card, as shown below.
471</p>
472
434<note> 473<note>
435Please shut down any programs that <e>might</e> access the sound card while 474Please shut down any programs that <e>might</e> access the sound card while
436running <c>alsaconf</c>. 475running <c>alsaconf</c>.
437</note> 476</note>
438 477
439<p> 478<p>
440The easiest way to configure your sound card is to run <c>alsaconf</c>. Just 479Another way to configure your sound card is to run <c>alsaconf</c>. Just type
441type <c>alsaconf</c> in a shell as root. 480<c>alsaconf</c> in a shell as root.
442</p> 481</p>
443 482
444<pre caption="Invoking alsaconf"> 483<pre caption="Invoking alsaconf">
445# <i>alsaconf</i> 484# <i>alsaconf</i>
446</pre> 485</pre>
509<section> 548<section>
510<title>Volume Check!</title> 549<title>Volume Check!</title>
511<body> 550<body>
512 551
513<p> 552<p>
514We've completed all the setups and pre-requisites, so let's fire up ALSA. If 553We've completed all the setups and prerequisites, so let's fire up ALSA. If
515you ran <c>alsaconf</c>, you can skip this step, since <c>alsaconf</c> already 554you ran <c>alsaconf</c>, you can skip this step, since <c>alsaconf</c> already
516does this for you. 555does this for you.
517</p> 556</p>
518 557
519<pre caption="Start the service"> 558<pre caption="Start the service">
520<comment>(ALSA as modules)</comment>
521# <i>/etc/init.d/alsasound start</i> 559# <i>/etc/init.d/alsasound start</i>
522 * Loading ALSA modules ...
523 * Loading: snd-card-0 ... [ ok ]
524 * Loading: snd-pcm-oss ... [ ok ]
525 * Loading: snd-seq ... [ ok ]
526 * Loading: snd-emu10k1-synth ... [ ok ]
527 * Loading: snd-seq-midi ... [ ok ]
528 * Restoring Mixer Levels ... [ ok ]
529<comment>(ALSA compiled in)</comment>
530# <i>/etc/init.d/alsasound start</i>
531 * Loading ALSA modules ...
532 * Restoring Mixer Levels ... [ ok ]
533</pre> 560</pre>
534 561
535<p> 562<p>
536Now that the required things have been taken care of, we need to check up on 563Now that the required things have been taken care of, we need to check up on
537the volume as in certain cases, it is muted. We use <c>alsamixer</c> for this 564the volume as in certain cases, it is muted. We use <c>alsamixer</c> for this
606 633
607<p> 634<p>
608Finally. Some music. If everything above is perfect, you should now be able to 635Finally. Some music. If everything above is perfect, you should now be able to
609listen to some good music. A quick way to test is to use a command line tool 636listen to some good music. A quick way to test is to use a command line tool
610like <c>media-sound/madplay</c>. You could also use something more well known 637like <c>media-sound/madplay</c>. You could also use something more well known
611like <c>mpg123</c> or <c>xmms</c>. If you are an ogg fan, you could use 638like <c>mpg123</c>. If you are an ogg fan, you could use <c>ogg123</c> provided
612<c>ogg123</c> provided by <c>media-sound/vorbis-tools</c>. Use any player you 639by <c>media-sound/vorbis-tools</c>. Use any player you are comfortable with. As
613are comfortable with. As always, <c>emerge</c> what you need. 640always, <c>emerge</c> what you need.
614</p> 641</p>
615 642
616<pre caption="Getting the software"> 643<pre caption="Getting the software">
617<comment>(Install the applications you want)</comment> 644<comment>(Install the applications you want)</comment>
618# <i>emerge madplay mpg123 xmms</i> 645# <i>emerge madplay mpg123</i>
619<comment>(To play .ogg files)</comment> 646<comment>(To play .ogg files)</comment>
620# <i>emerge vorbis-tools</i> 647# <i>emerge vorbis-tools</i>
621</pre> 648</pre>
622 649
623<p> 650<p>
813</section> 840</section>
814</chapter> 841</chapter>
815 842
816<chapter> 843<chapter>
817<title>Other things ALSA</title> 844<title>Other things ALSA</title>
818<section> 845<section id="midi">
819<title>Setting up MIDI support</title> 846<title>Setting up MIDI support</title>
820<body> 847<body>
848
849<p>
850First, check to make sure that you enabled the <c>midi</c> USE flag in
851<path>/etc/make.conf</path>.
852</p>
853
854<pre caption="MIDI support in /etc/make.conf">
855USE="midi"
856</pre>
857
858<p>
859If you didn't previously enable <c>midi</c>, go ahead and add it to
860<path>/etc/make.conf</path> now. You will also need to re-emerge any ALSA
861packages that use the <c>midi</c> flag, such as <c>alsa-lib</c>,
862<c>alsa-utils</c>, and <c>alsa-driver</c>.
863</p>
821 864
822<p> 865<p>
823If your sound card is one of those that come with on-board MIDI synthesizers 866If your sound card is one of those that come with on-board MIDI synthesizers
824and you would like to listen to some .mid files, you have to install 867and you would like to listen to some .mid files, you have to install
825<c>awesfx</c> which is basically a set of utilities for controlling the AWE32 868<c>awesfx</c> which is basically a set of utilities for controlling the AWE32
893<pre caption="Installing timidity++"> 936<pre caption="Installing timidity++">
894# <i>emerge timidity++</i> 937# <i>emerge timidity++</i>
895</pre> 938</pre>
896 939
897<p> 940<p>
898For timidity to play sounds, it needs a sound font. If you do not have any, 941For timidity to play sounds, it needs a sound font. Fortunately, the ebuild will
899install <c>timidity-eawpatches</c> or <c>timidity-shompatches</c> which will 942install some sound font packages for you. There are a few other font packages
900give you some sound fonts. You can have multiple sound font configurations 943available in Portage, such as <c>timidity-freepats</c> and
944<c>timidity-eawpatches</c>. You can have multiple sound font configurations
901installed, and you can place your own in <path>/usr/share/timidity/</path>. 945installed, and you can place your own in <path>/usr/share/timidity/</path>. To
902To switch between different timidity configurations, you should use the 946switch between different timidity configurations, you should use
903<c>timidity-update</c> tool provided in the timidity++ package. 947<c>eselect</c>.
904</p> 948</p>
905 949
906<pre caption="Installing sound fonts"> 950<pre caption="Changing configurations">
951# <i>eselect timidity list</i>
907# <i>emerge timidity-eawpatches</i> 952# <i>eselect timidity set eawpatches</i>
908# <i>timidity-update -g -s eawpatches</i>
909
910<comment>(or)</comment>
911
912# <i>emerge timidity-shompatches</i>
913# <i>timidity-update -g -s shompatches</i>
914</pre> 953</pre>
915 954
916<p> 955<p>
917Don't forget to add <c>timidity</c> to the default runlevel. 956Don't forget to add <c>timidity</c> to the default runlevel.
918</p> 957</p>
932<title>Tools and Firmware</title> 971<title>Tools and Firmware</title>
933<body> 972<body>
934 973
935<p> 974<p>
936Some specific sound cards can benefit from certain tools provided by the 975Some specific sound cards can benefit from certain tools provided by the
937<c>alsa-tools</c> and <c>alsa-firmware</c> packages. If you need 976<c>alsa-tools</c> and <c>alsa-firmware</c> packages. You may install either with
938<c>alsa-tools</c>, be sure to define the ALSA_TOOLS variable in 977a simple <c>emerge</c>.
939<path>/etc/make.conf</path> with the tools you require. For instance:
940</p>
941
942<pre caption="Selecting ALSA Tools in /etc/make.conf">
943ALSA_TOOLS="as10k1 ac3dec"
944</pre>
945
946<p>
947If the ALSA_TOOLS variable is not set, all available tools will be built.
948Now, install the <c>alsa-tools</c> (and/or <c>alsa-firmware</c>) package(s):
949</p> 978</p>
950 979
951<pre caption="Installing ALSA Tools"> 980<pre caption="Installing ALSA Tools">
952# <i>emerge alsa-tools</i> 981# <i>emerge alsa-tools</i>
953</pre> 982</pre>
954 983
955</body> 984</body>
956</section> 985</section>
957<section> 986<section>
987<title>Multiple sound cards</title>
988<body>
989
990<p>
991You can more than one sound card in your system simultaneously, provided that
992you have built ALSA as modules in your kernel (or have installed
993<c>alsa-driver</c> instead). You just need to specify which should be started
994first in <path>/etc/modules.d/alsa</path>. Your cards are identified by their
995driver names inside this file. 0 is the first card, 1 is the second, and so on.
996Here's an example for a system with two sound cards.
997</p>
998
999<pre caption="Two sound cards in /etc/modules.d/alsa">
1000options snd-emu10k1 index=0
1001options snd-via82xx index=1
1002</pre>
1003
1004<p>
1005Or, if you have two cards that use the same driver, you specify them on the same
1006line, using comma-separated numbers. Here's an example for a system with three
1007sound cards, two of which are the same Intel High Definition Audio card.
1008</p>
1009
1010<pre caption="Multiple sound cards in /etc/modules.d/alsa">
1011options snd-ymfpci index=0
1012options snd-hda-intel index=1,2
1013</pre>
1014
1015</body>
1016</section>
1017<section>
1018<title>Plugins</title>
1019<body>
1020
1021<p>
1022You may want to install some plugins for extra functionality.
1023<c>alsa-plugins</c> is a collection of useful plugins, which include: PulseAudio
1024output, a sample rate converter, jack (a low-latency audio server), and an
1025encoder that lets you output 6-channel audio through digital S/PDIF connections
1026(both optical and coaxial). You can choose which of its plugins you want
1027installed by adding their USE flags to <path>/etc/portage/package.use</path>.
1028</p>
1029
1030<pre caption="Installing alsa-plugins">
1031# <i>emerge -avt alsa-plugins</i>
1032</pre>
1033
1034</body>
1035</section>
1036<section>
958<title>A Big thank you to...</title> 1037<title>A big thank you to...</title>
959<body> 1038<body>
960 1039
961<p> 1040<p>
962Everyone who contributed to the earlier version of the Gentoo ALSA Guide: 1041Everyone who contributed to the earlier version of the Gentoo ALSA Guide:
963Vincent Verleye, Grant Goodyear, Arcady Genkin, Jeremy Huddleston, 1042Vincent Verleye, Grant Goodyear, Arcady Genkin, Jeremy Huddleston,

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