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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 1.76 2007/04/16 05:39:54 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>2.19</version>
22<date>2006-07-06</date> 28<date>2007-04-15</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
213</body> 232</body>
214</section> 233</section>
215<section id="kernel"> 234<section id="kernel">
216<title>Using ALSA provided by your Kernel</title> 235<title>Using ALSA provided by your Kernel</title>
217<body> 236<body>
252Now we will look at some of the options we will have to enable in the 2.6 271Now 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. 272kernel to ensure proper ALSA support for our sound card.
254</p> 273</p>
255 274
256<p> 275<p>
257Please note that for the sake of ease, all examples show ALSA built as modules. 276Please 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> 277is 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 278which 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 279the <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 280you still like to have options built-in, ensure that you make changes to your
262config accordingly. 281config accordingly.
263</p> 282</p>
391<pre caption="Installing alsa-driver"> 410<pre caption="Installing alsa-driver">
392# <i>emerge alsa-driver</i> 411# <i>emerge alsa-driver</i>
393</pre> 412</pre>
394 413
395<impo> 414<impo>
396Please note that you will have to run <c>emerge alsa-driver</c> after every 415Please note that you will have to run <c>emerge alsa-driver</c> after every
397kernel (re)compile, as the earlier drivers are deleted. 416kernel (re)compile, as the earlier drivers are deleted. To make this task
417easier, you may want to emerge the <c>module-rebuild</c> package, which will
418keep track of module packages and rebuild them for you. First run
419<c>module-rebuild populate</c> to create the list, and then after every kernel
420(re)compile, you just run <c>module-rebuild rebuild</c>, and your external
421modules will be rebuilt.
398</impo> 422</impo>
399 423
400</body> 424</body>
401</section> 425</section>
402</chapter> 426</chapter>
429</section> 453</section>
430<section id="alsa-config"> 454<section id="alsa-config">
431<title>Configuration</title> 455<title>Configuration</title>
432<body> 456<body>
433 457
458<p>
459Recent versions of <c>udev</c> (<c>>=udev-103</c>) provide some degree of
460kernel-level autoconfiguration of your sound card. If possible, try to rely on
461just letting your kernel automatically setup your sound card for you. Otherwise,
462use <c>alsaconf</c> to configure your card, as shown below.
463</p>
464
434<note> 465<note>
435Please shut down any programs that <e>might</e> access the sound card while 466Please shut down any programs that <e>might</e> access the sound card while
436running <c>alsaconf</c>. 467running <c>alsaconf</c>.
437</note> 468</note>
438 469
439<p> 470<p>
440The easiest way to configure your sound card is to run <c>alsaconf</c>. Just 471Another way to configure your sound card is to run <c>alsaconf</c>. Just type
441type <c>alsaconf</c> in a shell as root. 472<c>alsaconf</c> in a shell as root.
442</p> 473</p>
443 474
444<pre caption="Invoking alsaconf"> 475<pre caption="Invoking alsaconf">
445# <i>alsaconf</i> 476# <i>alsaconf</i>
446</pre> 477</pre>
449You will now see a neat menu guided interface that will automatically probe 480You will now see a neat menu guided interface that will automatically probe
450your devices and try to find out your sound card. You will be asked to pick 481your devices and try to find out your sound card. You will be asked to pick
451your sound card from a list. Once that's done, it will ask you permission to 482your sound card from a list. Once that's done, it will ask you permission to
452automatically make required changes to <path>/etc/modules.d/alsa</path>. 483automatically make required changes to <path>/etc/modules.d/alsa</path>.
453It will then adjust your volume settings to optimum levels, run 484It will then adjust your volume settings to optimum levels, run
454<c>modules-update</c> and start the <path>/etc/init.d/alsasound</path> service. 485<c>update-modules</c> and start the <path>/etc/init.d/alsasound</path> service.
455Once <c>alsaconf</c> exits, you can proceed with setting up the ALSA 486Once <c>alsaconf</c> exits, you can proceed with setting up the ALSA
456initscript. 487initscript.
457</p> 488</p>
458 489
459</body> 490</body>
509<section> 540<section>
510<title>Volume Check!</title> 541<title>Volume Check!</title>
511<body> 542<body>
512 543
513<p> 544<p>
514We've completed all the setups and pre-requisites, so let's fire up ALSA. If 545We'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 546you ran <c>alsaconf</c>, you can skip this step, since <c>alsaconf</c> already
516does this for you. 547does this for you.
517</p> 548</p>
518 549
519<pre caption="Start the service"> 550<pre caption="Start the service">
520<comment>(ALSA as modules)</comment>
521# <i>/etc/init.d/alsasound start</i> 551# <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> 552</pre>
534 553
535<p> 554<p>
536Now that the required things have been taken care of, we need to check up on 555Now 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 556the volume as in certain cases, it is muted. We use <c>alsamixer</c> for this
606 625
607<p> 626<p>
608Finally. Some music. If everything above is perfect, you should now be able to 627Finally. 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 628listen 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 629like <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 630like <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 631by <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. 632always, <c>emerge</c> what you need.
614</p> 633</p>
615 634
616<pre caption="Getting the software"> 635<pre caption="Getting the software">
617<comment>(Install the applications you want)</comment> 636<comment>(Install the applications you want)</comment>
618# <i>emerge madplay mpg123 xmms</i> 637# <i>emerge madplay mpg123</i>
619<comment>(To play .ogg files)</comment> 638<comment>(To play .ogg files)</comment>
620# <i>emerge vorbis-tools</i> 639# <i>emerge vorbis-tools</i>
621</pre> 640</pre>
622 641
623<p> 642<p>
813</section> 832</section>
814</chapter> 833</chapter>
815 834
816<chapter> 835<chapter>
817<title>Other things ALSA</title> 836<title>Other things ALSA</title>
818<section> 837<section id="midi">
819<title>Setting up MIDI support</title> 838<title>Setting up MIDI support</title>
820<body> 839<body>
840
841<p>
842First, check to make sure that you enabled the <c>midi</c> USE flag in
843<path>/etc/make.conf</path>. If you didn't, go ahead and add it now. You will
844also need to re-emerge any ALSA packages that use the <c>midi</c> flag, such as
845<c>alsa-lib</c>, <c>alsa-utils</c>, and <c>alsa-driver</c>.
846</p>
821 847
822<p> 848<p>
823If your sound card is one of those that come with on-board MIDI synthesizers 849If 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 850and 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 851<c>awesfx</c> which is basically a set of utilities for controlling the AWE32
893<pre caption="Installing timidity++"> 919<pre caption="Installing timidity++">
894# <i>emerge timidity++</i> 920# <i>emerge timidity++</i>
895</pre> 921</pre>
896 922
897<p> 923<p>
898For timidity to play sounds, it needs a sound font. If you do not have any, 924For 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 925install 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 926available in Portage, such as <c>timidity-freepats</c> and
927<c>timidity-eawpatches</c>. You can have multiple sound font configurations
901installed, and you can place your own in <path>/usr/share/timidity/</path>. 928installed, and you can place your own in <path>/usr/share/timidity/</path>. To
902To switch between different timidity configurations, you should use the 929switch between different timidity configurations, you should use
903<c>timidity-update</c> tool provided in the timidity++ package. 930<c>eselect</c>.
904</p> 931</p>
905 932
906<pre caption="Installing sound fonts"> 933<pre caption="Changing configurations">
934# <i>eselect timidity list</i>
907# <i>emerge timidity-eawpatches</i> 935# <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> 936</pre>
915 937
916<p> 938<p>
917Don't forget to add <c>timidity</c> to the default runlevel. 939Don't forget to add <c>timidity</c> to the default runlevel.
918</p> 940</p>
932<title>Tools and Firmware</title> 954<title>Tools and Firmware</title>
933<body> 955<body>
934 956
935<p> 957<p>
936Some specific sound cards can benefit from certain tools provided by the 958Some 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 959<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 960a 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> 961</p>
950 962
951<pre caption="Installing ALSA Tools"> 963<pre caption="Installing ALSA Tools">
952# <i>emerge alsa-tools</i> 964# <i>emerge alsa-tools</i>
953</pre> 965</pre>
954 966
955</body> 967</body>
956</section> 968</section>
957<section> 969<section>
970<title>Multiple sound cards</title>
971<body>
972
973<p>
974You can have more than one sound card in your system simultaneously, provided
975that you have built ALSA as modules in your kernel (or have installed
976<c>alsa-driver</c> instead). You just need to specify which should be started
977first in <path>/etc/modules.d/alsa</path>. Your cards are identified by their
978driver names inside this file. 0 is the first card, 1 is the second, and so on.
979Here's an example for a system with two sound cards.
980</p>
981
982<pre caption="Two sound cards in /etc/modules.d/alsa">
983options snd-emu10k1 index=0
984options snd-via82xx index=1
985</pre>
986
987<p>
988Or, if you have two cards that use the same driver, you specify them on the same
989line, using comma-separated numbers. Here's an example for a system with three
990sound cards, two of which are the same Intel High Definition Audio card.
991</p>
992
993<pre caption="Multiple sound cards in /etc/modules.d/alsa">
994options snd-ymfpci index=0
995options snd-hda-intel index=1,2
996</pre>
997
998</body>
999</section>
1000<section>
1001<title>Plugins</title>
1002<body>
1003
1004<p>
1005You may want to install some plugins for extra functionality.
1006<c>alsa-plugins</c> is a collection of useful plugins, which include: PulseAudio
1007output, a sample rate converter, jack (a low-latency audio server), and an
1008encoder that lets you output 6-channel audio through digital S/PDIF connections
1009(both optical and coaxial). You can choose which of its plugins you want
1010installed by adding their USE flags to <path>/etc/portage/package.use</path>.
1011</p>
1012
1013<pre caption="Installing alsa-plugins">
1014# <i>emerge -avt alsa-plugins</i>
1015</pre>
1016
1017</body>
1018</section>
1019<section>
958<title>A Big thank you to...</title> 1020<title>A big thank you to...</title>
959<body> 1021<body>
960 1022
961<p> 1023<p>
962Everyone who contributed to the earlier version of the Gentoo ALSA Guide: 1024Everyone who contributed to the earlier version of the Gentoo ALSA Guide:
963Vincent Verleye, Grant Goodyear, Arcady Genkin, Jeremy Huddleston, 1025Vincent Verleye, Grant Goodyear, Arcady Genkin, Jeremy Huddleston,

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