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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 1.82 2009/01/26 09:13:56 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>2.24</version>
22<date>2006-07-06</date> 28<date>2009-01-26</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>
28<body> 34<body>
29 35
30<p> 36<p>
31ALSA, which stands for <e>Advanced Linux Sound Architecture</e>, provides 37ALSA, which stands for <e>Advanced Linux Sound Architecture</e>, provides
32audio and MIDI (<e>Musical Instrument Digital Interface</e>) functionality to 38audio and MIDI (<e>Musical Instrument Digital Interface</e>) functionality to
33the Linux operating system. ALSA is the default sound subsystem in the 2.6 39the Linux operating system. ALSA is the default sound subsystem in the 2.6
34kernel thereby replacing OSS (<e>Open Sound System</e>), which was used in the 40kernel thereby replacing OSS (<e>Open Sound System</e>), which was used in the
352.4 kernels. 412.4 kernels.
36</p> 42</p>
37 43
38<p> 44<p>
39ALSA's main features include efficient support for all types of audio 45ALSA's main features include efficient support for all types of audio
40interfaces ranging from consumer sound cards to professional sound 46interfaces ranging from consumer sound cards to professional sound
41equipment, fully modularized drivers, SMP and thread safety, backward 47equipment, fully modularized drivers, SMP and thread safety, backward
42compatibility with OSS and a user-space library <c>alsa-lib</c> to make 48compatibility with OSS and a user-space library <c>alsa-lib</c> to make
43application development a breeze. 49application development a breeze.
44</p> 50</p>
45 51
46</body> 52</body>
47</section> 53</section>
48<section> 54<section>
49<title>ALSA on Gentoo</title> 55<title>ALSA on Gentoo</title>
50<body> 56<body>
51 57
52<p> 58<p>
53One of Gentoo's main strengths lies in giving the user maximum control over 59Historically, Gentoo offered two ways to get ALSA up and running: the
54how a system is installed/configured. ALSA on Gentoo follows the same 60<e>in-kernel</e> driver and the external <c>alsa-driver</c> package. The two
55principle. There are two ways you can get ALSA support up and running on your 61solutions essentially do the same thing; this made supporting the external
56system. We shall look at them in detail in the next chapter. 62package extremely difficult and time-consuming. The Gentoo maintainers decided
63to discontinue support for the <c>alsa-driver</c> package, concentrating their
64resources on the ALSA drivers available within the Linux kernel. This guide will
65focus solely on configuring ALSA via the in-kernel driver.
66</p>
67
68<p>
69If you still require the <c>alsa-driver</c> package, please email the <mail
70link="alsa-bugs@gentoo.org">Gentoo ALSA maintainers</mail> with why the
71in-kernel drivers don't work for you. Be sure to include detailed error logs.
57</p> 72</p>
58 73
59</body> 74</body>
60</section> 75</section>
61</chapter> 76</chapter>
62 77
63<chapter> 78<chapter>
64<title>Installing ALSA</title> 79<title>Installing ALSA</title>
65<section>
66<title>Options</title>
67<body>
68
69<warn>
70The methods shown below are mutually exclusive. You cannot have ALSA compiled
71in your kernel and use <c>media-sound/alsa-driver</c>. It <e>will</e> fail.
72</warn>
73
74<p>
75The two options are :
76</p>
77
78<ol>
79 <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.
85 </li>
86</ol>
87
88<p>
89We shall take a peek into both before finally deciding on one.
90</p>
91
92<p>
93If you were to use ALSA provided by the kernel, the following are the pros and
94cons :
95</p>
96
97<table>
98<tr>
99 <th>Kernel ALSA</th>
100 <th>Pros and Cons</th>
101</tr>
102<tr>
103 <th>+</th>
104 <ti>Pretty stable as drivers are integrated into kernel.</ti>
105</tr>
106<tr>
107 <th>+</th>
108 <ti>One shot solution, no repeating emerges.</ti>
109</tr>
110<tr>
111 <th>-</th>
112 <ti>Might be a slightly older version than <c>alsa-driver</c>.</ti>
113</tr>
114</table>
115
116<p>
117And, if you were to use alsa-driver,
118</p>
119
120<table>
121<tr>
122 <th>alsa-driver</th>
123 <th>Pros and Cons</th>
124</tr>
125<tr>
126 <th>+</th>
127 <ti>Latest drivers from the ALSA Project.</ti>
128</tr>
129<tr>
130 <th>-</th>
131 <ti>Every kernel recompile requires a re-emerge of <c>alsa-driver</c>.</ti>
132</tr>
133<tr>
134 <th>-</th>
135 <ti>Needs certain kernel config options disabled to work correctly.</ti>
136</tr>
137</table>
138
139</body>
140</section>
141<section>
142<title>So...</title>
143<body>
144
145<p>
146The main difference between using <c>alsa-driver</c> and ALSA that comes with
147the kernel is that <c>alsa-driver</c> is generally more up to date than the
148version in the kernel. Since this does not make any huge difference as
149such, you are encouraged to use the ALSA provided by the kernel for ease of use.
150Before reporting any sound related issues to <uri
151link="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
153result.
154</p>
155
156</body>
157</section>
158<section id="lspci"> 80<section id="lspci">
159<title>Before you proceed</title> 81<title>Before you proceed</title>
160<body> 82<body>
161 83
162<p> 84<p>
163Whichever method of install you choose, you need to know what drivers your 85First, you need to know what drivers your sound card uses. In most cases, sound
164sound card uses. In most cases, sound cards (onboard and otherwise) are PCI 86cards (onboard and otherwise) are PCI based and <c>lspci</c> will help you in
165based and <c>lspci</c> will help you in digging out the required information. 87digging out the required information. Please <c>emerge sys-apps/pciutils</c> to
166Please <c>emerge sys-apps/pciutils</c> to get <c>lspci</c>, if you don't have it 88get <c>lspci</c>, if you don't have it installed already. In case you have a USB
167installed already. In case you have a USB sound card, <c>lsusb</c> from 89sound card, <c>lsusb</c> from <c>sys-apps/usbutils</c> <e>might</e> be of help.
168<c>sys-apps/usbutils</c> <e>might</e> be of help. For ISA cards, try using 90For ISA cards, try using <c>sys-apps/isapnptools</c>. Also, the following pages
169<c>sys-apps/isapnptools</c>. Also, the following pages <e>may</e> help users 91<e>may</e> help users with ISA based sound cards:
170with ISA based sound cards.
171</p> 92</p>
172 93
173<ul> 94<ul>
174 <li> 95 <li>
175 <uri link="http://www.roestock.demon.co.uk/isapnptools/">The ISAPNPTOOLS 96 <uri link="http://www.roestock.demon.co.uk/isapnptools/">The ISAPNPTOOLS
198# <i>lspci -v | grep -i audio</i> 119# <i>lspci -v | grep -i audio</i>
1990000:00:0a.0 Multimedia audio controller: Creative Labs SB Live! EMU10k1 (rev 06) 1200000:00:0a.0 Multimedia audio controller: Creative Labs SB Live! EMU10k1 (rev 06)
200</pre> 121</pre>
201 122
202<p> 123<p>
203We now know that the sound card on the machine is a Sound Blaster Live! and 124We now know that the sound card on the machine is a Sound Blaster Live! and the
204the card manufacturer is Creative Labs. Head over to the 125card manufacturer is Creative Labs. Head over to the <uri
205<uri link="http://www.alsa-project.org/alsa-doc/"> ALSA Soundcard Matrix</uri> 126link="http://bugtrack.alsa-project.org/main/index.php/Matrix:Main">ALSA
206page and select Creative Labs from the drop down menu. You will be taken to 127Soundcard Matrix</uri> page and select Creative Labs from the list. You will
207the Creative Labs matrix page where you can see that the SB Live! uses the 128be taken to the Creative Labs matrix page where you can see that the SB Live!
208<c>emu10k1</c> module. That is the information we need for now. If you are 129uses the <c>emu10k1</c> module. That is the information we need for now. If
209interested in detailed information, you can click on the link next to the 130you are interested in detailed information, you can click on the link next to
210"Details" and that will take you to the <c>emu10k1</c> specific page. 131the "Details" and that will take you to the <c>emu10k1</c> specific page.
132</p>
133
134<p>
135If you intend to use MIDI, then you should add <c>midi</c> to your USE flags in
136<path>/etc/make.conf</path> before emerging any ALSA packages. Later in the
137guide, we will show you how to set up <uri link="#midi">MIDI support</uri>.
211</p> 138</p>
212 139
213</body> 140</body>
214</section> 141</section>
215<section id="kernel"> 142<section id="kernel">
216<title>Using ALSA provided by your Kernel</title> 143<title>Configuring the kernel</title>
217<body> 144<body>
218
219<p>
220If you're a person who likes to keep things simple like I do, then this is
221the way to go.
222</p>
223 145
224<note> 146<note>
225Since the 2005.0 release, Gentoo Linux uses 2.6 as the default kernel. Unless 147Since the 2005.0 release, Gentoo Linux uses 2.6 as the default kernel. Please
226you are specifically using the 2.4 profile, <c>gentoo-sources</c> will be a 148check that your kernel is a 2.6 series kernel. This method will <e>not</e> work
2272.6 kernel on <e>most</e> architectures. Please check that your kernel is a 149on a 2.4 kernel.
2282.6 series kernel. This method will <e>not</e> work on a 2.4 kernel.
229</note> 150</note>
230 151
231<p> 152<p>
232Let us now configure the kernel to enable ALSA. 153Let us now configure the kernel to enable ALSA.
233</p> 154</p>
252Now we will look at some of the options we will have to enable in the 2.6 173Now 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. 174kernel to ensure proper ALSA support for our sound card.
254</p> 175</p>
255 176
256<p> 177<p>
257Please note that for the sake of ease, all examples show ALSA built as modules. 178Please 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> 179is 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 180which 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 181the <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 182you still like to have options built-in, ensure that you make changes to your
262config accordingly. 183config accordingly.
263</p> 184</p>
281 <comment>(Old style /dev/mixer* and /dev/dsp* support. Recommended.)</comment> 202 <comment>(Old style /dev/mixer* and /dev/dsp* support. Recommended.)</comment>
282 &lt;M&gt; OSS Mixer API 203 &lt;M&gt; OSS Mixer API
283 &lt;M&gt; OSS PCM (digital audio) API 204 &lt;M&gt; OSS PCM (digital audio) API
284 205
285<comment>(You now have a choice of devices to enable support for. Generally, 206<comment>(You now have a choice of devices to enable support for. Generally,
286you will have one type of device and not more. If you have more than one 207you will have one type of device and not more. If you have more than one
287sound card, please enable them all here.)</comment> 208sound card, please enable them all here.)</comment>
288 209
289<comment>(Mostly for testing and development purposes, not needed for normal 210<comment>(Mostly for testing and development purposes, not needed for normal
290users unless you know what you are doing.)</comment> 211users unless you know what you are doing.)</comment>
291Generic devices ---&gt; 212Generic devices ---&gt;
292 213
293<comment>(For ISA Sound cards)</comment> 214<comment>(For ISA Sound cards)</comment>
294ISA devices ---&gt; 215ISA devices ---&gt;
295<comment>(IF you had the Gravis, you would select this option)</comment> 216<comment>(IF you had the Gravis, you would select this option)</comment>
296 &lt;M&gt; Gravis UltraSound Extreme 217 &lt;M&gt; Gravis UltraSound Extreme
297 218
298<comment>(Move one level back and into PCI devices. Most sound cards today are 219<comment>(Move one level back and into PCI devices. Most sound cards today are
299PCI devices)</comment> 220PCI devices)</comment>
300PCI devices ---&gt; 221PCI devices ---&gt;
301 <comment>(We now select the emu10k1 driver for our card)</comment> 222 <comment>(We now select the emu10k1 driver for our card)</comment>
302 &lt;M&gt; Emu10k1 (SB Live!, Audigy, E-mu APS) 223 &lt;M&gt; Emu10k1 (SB Live!, Audigy, E-mu APS)
303 <comment>(Or an Intel card would be)</comment> 224 <comment>(Or an Intel card would be)</comment>
311 232
312<p> 233<p>
313Now that your options are set, you can (re)compile the kernel and ALSA support 234Now that your options are set, you can (re)compile the kernel and ALSA support
314for your card should be functional once you reboot into the new kernel. Don't 235for your card should be functional once you reboot into the new kernel. Don't
315forget to update your GRUB configuration to use the newly built kernel. 236forget to update your GRUB configuration to use the newly built kernel.
316You can now proceed to <uri link="#alsa-utilities">ALSA Utilities</uri> and 237You can now proceed to <uri link="#alsa-utilities">ALSA Utilities</uri> and
317see if everything is working as it should. 238see if everything is working as it should.
318</p> 239</p>
319
320</body>
321</section>
322<section id="alsa-driver">
323<title>Using the ALSA Driver package</title>
324<body>
325
326<p>
327So you've decided to go the <c>alsa-driver</c> way. Let's get started then.
328There are a few minor things to be done to ensure only the drivers for your
329sound card are compiled. Although this is not really necessary, it cuts down
330on the unnecessary drivers that will be compiled otherwise.
331</p>
332
333<p>
334If you don't have an idea of what drivers your sound card might need, please
335take a look at the <uri link="#lspci">lspci</uri> section of this guide. Once
336you have your driver name (<c>emu10k1</c> in our example), edit
337<path>/etc/make.conf</path> and add a variable, <c>ALSA_CARDS</c>.
338</p>
339
340<pre caption="Adding ALSA_CARDS to make.conf">
341<comment>(For one sound card)</comment>
342ALSA_CARDS="emu10k1"
343<comment>(For more than one, separate names with spaces)</comment>
344ALSA_CARDS="emu10k1 via82xx"
345</pre>
346
347<p>
348If you have compiled your kernel and want to use <c>alsa-driver</c>, please
349ensure the following before proceeding, else <c>alsa-driver</c> is likely to
350fail. The next code listing gives you one way of performing the checks.
351</p>
352
353<note>
354<c>genkernel</c> users can proceed with <uri link="#doc_chap2_pre6">Installing
355alsa-driver</uri> as their configuration is in sync with the one shown below by
356default.
357</note>
358
359<ol>
360 <li>
361 <c>CONFIG_SOUND</c> is set. (Basic Sound support enabled)
362 </li>
363 <li>
364 <c>CONFIG_SOUND_PRIME</c> is not set. (In-built OSS support disabled)
365 </li>
366 <li>
367 <c>CONFIG_SND</c> is not set. (In-built ALSA support disabled)
368 </li>
369 <li>
370 <path>/usr/src/linux</path> points to the kernel you want ALSA working on.
371 </li>
372</ol>
373
374<pre caption=".config checks">
375<comment>(Assuming the linux symlink points to the correct kernel)</comment>
376# <i>cd /usr/src/linux</i>
377# <i>grep SOUND .config</i>
378<comment>(1. is true)</comment>
379CONFIG_SOUND=y
380<comment>(2. is true)</comment>
381CONFIG_SOUND_PRIME is not set
382# <i>grep SND .config</i>
383<comment>(and 3. is true)</comment>
384CONFIG_SND is not set
385</pre>
386
387<p>
388Now all you have to do is type the magic words... and no, it's not abracadabra.
389</p>
390
391<pre caption="Installing alsa-driver">
392# <i>emerge alsa-driver</i>
393</pre>
394
395<impo>
396Please note that you will have to run <c>emerge alsa-driver</c> after every
397kernel (re)compile, as the earlier drivers are deleted.
398</impo>
399 240
400</body> 241</body>
401</section> 242</section>
402</chapter> 243</chapter>
403 244
406<section id="alsa-utilities"> 247<section id="alsa-utilities">
407<title>ALSA Utilities</title> 248<title>ALSA Utilities</title>
408<body> 249<body>
409 250
410<p> 251<p>
411<c>alsa-utils</c> forms an integral part of ALSA as it has a truckload of 252<c>alsa-utils</c> forms an integral part of ALSA as it has a truckload of
412programs that are highly useful, including the ALSA Initscripts. Hence we 253programs that are highly useful, including the ALSA Initscripts. Hence we
413strongly recommend that you install <c>alsa-utils</c> 254strongly recommend that you install <c>alsa-utils</c>
414</p> 255</p>
415 256
416<pre caption="Install alsa-utils"> 257<pre caption="Install alsa-utils">
417# <i>emerge alsa-utils</i> 258# <i>emerge alsa-utils</i>
418</pre> 259</pre>
419 260
420<note> 261<note>
421If you activated ALSA in your <uri link="#kernel">kernel</uri> <e>and</e> did
422not compile ALSA as modules, please proceed to the 262If you did <e>not</e> compile ALSA as modules, please proceed to the <uri
423<uri link="#initscript">ALSA Initscript</uri> section. The rest of you need 263link="#initscript">ALSA Initscript</uri> section. The rest of you need to
424to configure ALSA. This is made very easy by the existence of the 264configure ALSA. This is made very easy by the existence of the <c>alsaconf</c>
425<c>alsaconf</c> tool provided by <c>alsa-utils</c>. 265tool provided by <c>alsa-utils</c>.
426</note> 266</note>
427 267
428</body> 268</body>
429</section> 269</section>
430<section id="alsa-config"> 270<section id="alsa-config">
431<title>Configuration</title> 271<title>Configuration</title>
432<body> 272<body>
433 273
274<p>
275Recent versions of <c>udev</c> (<c>>=udev-103</c>) provide some degree of
276kernel-level autoconfiguration of your sound card. If possible, try to rely on
277just letting your kernel automatically setup your sound card for you. Otherwise,
278use <c>alsaconf</c> to configure your card, as shown below.
279</p>
280
434<note> 281<note>
435Please shut down any programs that <e>might</e> access the sound card while 282Please shut down any programs that <e>might</e> access the sound card while
436running <c>alsaconf</c>. 283running <c>alsaconf</c>.
437</note> 284</note>
438 285
439<p> 286<p>
440The easiest way to configure your sound card is to run <c>alsaconf</c>. Just 287To configure your sound card just type <c>alsaconf</c> in a shell as root.
441type <c>alsaconf</c> in a shell as root.
442</p> 288</p>
443 289
444<pre caption="Invoking alsaconf"> 290<pre caption="Invoking alsaconf">
445# <i>alsaconf</i> 291# <i>alsaconf</i>
446</pre> 292</pre>
447 293
448<p> 294<p>
449You will now see a neat menu guided interface that will automatically probe 295You 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 296your 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 297your 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>. 298automatically make required changes to <path>/etc/modules.d/alsa</path>.
453It will then adjust your volume settings to optimum levels, run 299It 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. 300<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 301Once <c>alsaconf</c> exits, you can proceed with setting up the ALSA
456initscript. 302initscript.
457</p> 303</p>
458 304
459</body> 305</body>
461<section id="initscript"> 307<section id="initscript">
462<title>ALSA Initscript</title> 308<title>ALSA Initscript</title>
463<body> 309<body>
464 310
465<p> 311<p>
466We're now almost all setup. Whichever method you chose to install ALSA, you'll 312We're now almost all setup. Whichever method you chose to install ALSA, you'll
467need to have something load your modules or initialize ALSA and restore your 313need to have something load your modules or initialize ALSA and restore your
468volume settings when your system comes up. The ALSA Initscript handles all of 314volume settings when your system comes up. The ALSA Initscript handles all of
469this for you and is called <c>alsasound</c>. Add it to the boot runlevel. 315this for you and is called <c>alsasound</c>. Add it to the boot runlevel.
470</p> 316</p>
471 317
472<pre caption="Adding ALSA to the boot runlevel"> 318<pre caption="Adding ALSA to the boot runlevel">
473# <i>rc-update add alsasound boot</i> 319# <i>rc-update add alsasound boot</i>
474 * alsasound added to runlevel boot 320 * alsasound added to runlevel boot
475 * rc-update complete. 321 * rc-update complete.
476</pre> 322</pre>
477 323
478<p> 324<p>
479Next, just check the <path>/etc/conf.d/alsasound</path> file and ensure that 325Next, just check the <path>/etc/conf.d/alsasound</path> file and ensure that
480SAVE_ON_STOP variable is set to yes. This saves your sound settings when you 326SAVE_ON_STOP variable is set to yes. This saves your sound settings when you
481shutdown your system. 327shutdown your system.
482</p> 328</p>
483 329
484</body> 330</body>
485</section> 331</section>
487<title>Audio Group</title> 333<title>Audio Group</title>
488<body> 334<body>
489 335
490<p> 336<p>
491Before we move on to testing, there's one last <e>important</e> thing that needs 337Before we move on to testing, there's one last <e>important</e> thing that needs
492to be setup. Rule of thumb in a *nix OS : Do not run as root unless needed. 338to be setup. Rule of thumb in a *nix OS: Do not run as root unless needed.
493This applies here as well ;) How? Well, most of the times you should be logged 339This applies here as well ;) How? Well, most of the times you should be logged
494in as a user and would like to listen to music or access your soundcard. For 340in as a user and would like to listen to music or access your soundcard. For
495that to happen, you need to be in the "audio" group. At this point, we'll add 341that to happen, you need to be in the "audio" group. At this point, we'll add
496users to the audio group, so that they won't have any issues when they want to 342users to the audio group, so that they won't have any issues when they want to
497access sound devices. We'll use <c>gpasswd</c> here and you need to be logged in 343access sound devices. We'll use <c>gpasswd</c> here and you need to be logged in
509<section> 355<section>
510<title>Volume Check!</title> 356<title>Volume Check!</title>
511<body> 357<body>
512 358
513<p> 359<p>
514We've completed all the setups and pre-requisites, so let's fire up ALSA. If 360We'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 361you ran <c>alsaconf</c>, you can skip this step, since <c>alsaconf</c> already
516does this for you. 362does this for you.
517</p> 363</p>
518 364
519<pre caption="Start the service"> 365<pre caption="Start the service">
520<comment>(ALSA as modules)</comment>
521# <i>/etc/init.d/alsasound start</i> 366# <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> 367</pre>
534 368
535<p> 369<p>
536Now that the required things have been taken care of, we need to check up on 370Now 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 371the volume as in certain cases, it is muted. We use <c>alsamixer</c> for this
538purpose. 372purpose.
539</p> 373</p>
540 374
541<pre caption="Starting alsamixer"> 375<pre caption="Starting alsamixer">
542<comment>(Opens up a console program. Only required settings are shown)</comment> 376<comment>(Opens up a console program. Only required settings are shown)</comment>
543# <i>alsamixer</i> 377# <i>alsamixer</i>
544</pre> 378</pre>
545 379
546<impo>
547If you have issues starting up <c>alsamixer</c> and get errors such as
548alsamixer: function snd_ctl_open failed for default: No such file or directory,
549this is usually an issue with udev setting up the devices. Run <c>killall
550udevd; udevstart</c> to reload <path>/dev</path> entries and fire up
551<c>alsamixer</c>. It should solve the issue.
552</impo>
553
554<p> 380<p>
555This is how the ALSA Mixer <e>might</e> look the first time you open it. Pay 381This is how the ALSA Mixer <e>might</e> look the first time you open it. Pay
556attention to the Master and PCM channels which both have an MM below them. 382attention to the Master and PCM channels which both have an MM below them.
557That means they are muted. If you try to play anything with <c>alsamixer</c> 383That means they are muted. If you try to play anything with <c>alsamixer</c>
558in this state, you will not hear anything on your speakers. 384in this state, you will not hear anything on your speakers.
559</p> 385</p>
560 386
561<figure link="/images/docs/alsa-mixermuted.png" short="AlsaMixer Muted" caption="The Alsa Mixer Main Window, Muted"/> 387<figure link="/images/docs/alsa-mixermuted.png" short="AlsaMixer Muted" caption="The Alsa Mixer Main Window, Muted"/>
562 388
569if you want to hear some output on your speakers. 395if you want to hear some output on your speakers.
570</warn> 396</warn>
571 397
572<ul> 398<ul>
573 <li> 399 <li>
574 To move between channels, use your left and right arrow keys. (&lt;- 400 To move between channels, use your left and right arrow keys. (&lt;-
575 &amp; -&gt;) 401 &amp; -&gt;)
576 </li> 402 </li>
577 <li> 403 <li>
578 To toggle mute, move to the specific channel, for example Master and press 404 To toggle mute, move to the specific channel, for example Master and press
579 the <e>m</e> key on the keyboard. 405 the <e>m</e> key on the keyboard.
580 </li> 406 </li>
581 <li> 407 <li>
582 To increase and decrease the volume levels, use the up and down arrow keys 408 To increase and decrease the volume levels, use the up and down arrow keys
583 respectively. 409 respectively.
584 </li> 410 </li>
585</ul> 411</ul>
586 412
587<note> 413<note>
588Be careful when setting your Bass and Treble values. 50 is usually a good 414Be careful when setting your Bass and Treble values. 50 is usually a good
589number for both. Extremely high values of Bass may cause <e>jarring</e> 415number for both. Extremely high values of Bass may cause <e>jarring</e>
590on speakers that are not designed to handle them. 416on speakers that are not designed to handle them.
591</note> 417</note>
592 418
593<p> 419<p>
594After you're all done, your ALSA Mixer should look similar to the one below. 420After you're all done, your ALSA Mixer should look similar to the one below.
595Note the 00 instead of the MM and also the volume levels for some optimum 421Note the 00 instead of the MM and also the volume levels for some optimum
596settings. 422settings.
597</p> 423</p>
598 424
599<figure link="/images/docs/alsa-mixerunmuted.png" short="AlsaMixer Unmuted" caption="Alsa Mixer ready to roll"/> 425<figure link="/images/docs/alsa-mixerunmuted.png" short="AlsaMixer Unmuted" caption="Alsa Mixer ready to roll"/>
600 426
606 432
607<p> 433<p>
608Finally. Some music. If everything above is perfect, you should now be able to 434Finally. 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 435listen 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 436like <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 437like <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 438by <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. 439always, <c>emerge</c> what you need.
614</p> 440</p>
615 441
616<pre caption="Getting the software"> 442<pre caption="Getting the software">
617<comment>(Install the applications you want)</comment> 443<comment>(Install the applications you want)</comment>
618# <i>emerge madplay mpg123 xmms</i> 444# <i>emerge madplay mpg123</i>
619<comment>(To play .ogg files)</comment> 445<comment>(To play .ogg files)</comment>
620# <i>emerge vorbis-tools</i> 446# <i>emerge vorbis-tools</i>
621</pre> 447</pre>
622 448
623<p> 449<p>
666<section> 492<section>
667<title>Issues?</title> 493<title>Issues?</title>
668<body> 494<body>
669 495
670<p> 496<p>
671If for some reason you're unable to hear sound, the first thing to do would 497If for some reason you're unable to hear sound, the first thing to do would
672be to check your <uri link="#doc_chap3_pre6">alsamixer</uri> settings. 80% of 498be to check your <uri link="#doc_chap3_pre6">alsamixer</uri> settings. 80% of
673the issues lie with muted channels or low volume. Also check your Window 499the issues lie with muted channels or low volume. Also check your Window
674Manager's sound applet and verify that volumes are set to audible levels. 500Manager's sound applet and verify that volumes are set to audible levels.
675</p> 501</p>
676 502
677<p> 503<p>
678<path>/proc</path> is your friend. And in this case, <path>/proc/asound</path> 504<path>/proc</path> is your friend. And in this case, <path>/proc/asound</path>
679is your best friend. We shall just take a short look at how much info is made 505is your best friend. We shall just take a short look at how much info is made
680available to us there. 506available to us there.
681</p> 507</p>
682 508
683<pre caption="Fun with /proc/asound"> 509<pre caption="Fun with /proc/asound">
684<comment>(First and foremost, if /proc/asound/cards shows your card, ALSA has 510<comment>(First and foremost, if /proc/asound/cards shows your card, ALSA has
685picked up your sound card fine.)</comment> 511picked up your sound card fine.)</comment>
686# <i>cat /proc/asound/cards</i> 512# <i>cat /proc/asound/cards</i>
6870 [Live ]: EMU10K1 - Sound Blaster Live! 5130 [Live ]: EMU10K1 - Sound Blaster Live!
688 Sound Blaster Live! (rev.6, serial:0x80271102) at 0xb800, irq 11 514 Sound Blaster Live! (rev.6, serial:0x80271102) at 0xb800, irq 11
689 515
690<comment>(If you run ALSA off the kernel like I do and wonder how far behind
691you are from alsa-driver, this displays current running ALSA version)</comment> 516<comment>(This displays the current running ALSA version)</comment>
692# <i>cat /proc/asound/version</i> 517# <i>cat /proc/asound/version</i>
693Advanced Linux Sound Architecture Driver Version 1.0.8 (Thu Jan 13 09:39:32 2005 UTC). 518Advanced Linux Sound Architecture Driver Version 1.0.8 (Thu Jan 13 09:39:32 2005 UTC).
694 519
695<comment>(ALSA OSS emulation details)</comment> 520<comment>(ALSA OSS emulation details)</comment>
696# <i>cat /proc/asound/oss/sndstat</i> 521# <i>cat /proc/asound/oss/sndstat</i>
7167: system timer 5417: system timer
717 542
718Mixers: 543Mixers:
7190: SigmaTel STAC9721/23 5440: SigmaTel STAC9721/23
720</pre> 545</pre>
546
547<!-- TODO: remove this a few months after alsa-driver leaves the tree -->
721 548
722<p> 549<p>
723The other most common issue users face is the dreaded "Unknown symbol in module" 550The other most common issue users face is the dreaded "Unknown symbol in module"
724error. An example of the same is shown below. 551error. An example of the same is shown below.
725</p> 552</p>
769snd_mixer_oss: Unknown symbol snd_mixer_oss_notify_callback 596snd_mixer_oss: Unknown symbol snd_mixer_oss_notify_callback
770snd_mixer_oss: Unknown symbol snd_oss_info_register 597snd_mixer_oss: Unknown symbol snd_oss_info_register
771</pre> 598</pre>
772 599
773<p> 600<p>
774The above issue is caused when you switch from <c>alsa-driver</c> to in-kernel 601The above issue is caused when you switch from the <c>alsa-driver</c> to in-kernel
775ALSA because when you unmerge <c>alsa-driver</c> the module files are config 602ALSA because when you unmerge <c>alsa-driver</c> the module files are config
776protected and hence get left behind. So, when you switch to in-kernel 603protected and hence get left behind. So, when you switch to in-kernel
777drivers, running <c>modprobe</c> gives you a mix of <c>alsa-driver</c> and 604drivers, running <c>modprobe</c> gives you a mix of <c>alsa-driver</c> and
778in-kernel modules thus causing the above errors. 605in-kernel modules thus causing the above errors.
779</p> 606</p>
803# <i>grep device_mode /etc/modules.d/*</i> 630# <i>grep device_mode /etc/modules.d/*</i>
804</pre> 631</pre>
805 632
806<p> 633<p>
807Usually it is a file called <path>alsa</path> with the line <c>options snd 634Usually it is a file called <path>alsa</path> with the line <c>options snd
808device_mode=0666</c>. Remove this line and restart the alsasound service and 635device_mode=0666</c>. Remove this line and restart the <c>alsasound</c> service
809that should take care of this issue. 636and that should take care of this issue.
810</p> 637</p>
638
639<!-- End of removal notice -->
811 640
812</body> 641</body>
813</section> 642</section>
814</chapter> 643</chapter>
815 644
816<chapter> 645<chapter>
817<title>Other things ALSA</title> 646<title>Other things ALSA</title>
818<section> 647<section id="midi">
819<title>Setting up MIDI support</title> 648<title>Setting up MIDI support</title>
820<body> 649<body>
821 650
822<p> 651<p>
652First, check to make sure that you enabled the <c>midi</c> USE flag in
653<path>/etc/make.conf</path>. If you didn't, go ahead and add it now. You will
654also need to re-emerge any ALSA packages that use the <c>midi</c> flag, such as
655<c>alsa-lib</c> and <c>alsa-utils</c>.
656</p>
657
658<p>
823If your sound card is one of those that come with on-board MIDI synthesizers 659If 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 660and 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 661<c>awesfx</c> which is basically a set of utilities for controlling the AWE32
826driver. We need to install it first. If you don't have a hardware synthesizer, 662driver. We need to install it first. If you don't have a hardware synthesizer,
827you can use a virtual one. Please see the section on 663you can use a virtual one. Please see the section on
828<uri link="#vsynth">Virtual Synthesizers</uri> for more information. 664<uri link="#vsynth">Virtual Synthesizers</uri> for more information.
829</p> 665</p>
830 666
831<pre caption="Installing awesfx"> 667<pre caption="Installing awesfx">
832# <i>emerge awesfx</i> 668# <i>emerge awesfx</i>
833</pre> 669</pre>
834 670
835<note> 671<note>
836You will need to copy over SoundFont (SF2) files from your sound card's driver 672You will need to copy over SoundFont (SF2) files from your sound card's driver
837CD or a Windows installation into <path>/usr/share/sounds/sf2/</path>. For 673CD or a Windows installation into <path>/usr/share/sounds/sf2/</path>. For
838example a sound font file for the Creative SBLive! card would be 8MBGMSFX.SF2. 674example a sound font file for the Creative SBLive! card would be 8MBGMSFX.SF2.
839</note> 675</note>
840 676
841<p> 677<p>
842After copying over the Soundfont files, we can then play a midi file as shown. 678After copying over the Soundfont files, we can then play a midi file as shown.
843You can also add the <c>asfxload</c> command to 679You can also add the <c>asfxload</c> command to
844<path>/etc/conf.d/local.start</path>, so that the sound font is loaded 680<path>/etc/conf.d/local.start</path>, so that the sound font is loaded
845every time the system starts up. 681every time the system starts up.
846</p> 682</p>
847 683
848<note> 684<note>
849<path>/mnt</path> paths mentioned in the code listing(s) below will <e>not</e> 685<path>/mnt</path> paths mentioned in the code listing(s) below will <e>not</e>
850be the same in your machine. They are just an example. Please be careful to 686be the same in your machine. They are just an example. Please be careful to
851change the path to suit your machine. 687change the path to suit your machine.
852</note> 688</note>
853 689
854<pre caption="Loading Soundfonts"> 690<pre caption="Loading Soundfonts">
855<comment>(First, copy the Soundfont)</comment> 691<comment>(First, copy the Soundfont)</comment>
859<comment>(We load the specific Soundfont)</comment> 695<comment>(We load the specific Soundfont)</comment>
860# <i>asfxload /usr/share/sounds/sf2/8MBGMSFX.SF2</i> 696# <i>asfxload /usr/share/sounds/sf2/8MBGMSFX.SF2</i>
861</pre> 697</pre>
862 698
863<p> 699<p>
864You can now play midi files using a program like <c>aplaymidi</c>. Run 700You can now play midi files using a program like <c>aplaymidi</c>. Run
865<c>aplaymidi -l</c> to get a list of available ports and then pick one 701<c>aplaymidi -l</c> to get a list of available ports and then pick one
866to play the file on. 702to play the file on.
867</p> 703</p>
868 704
869<pre caption="Playing MIDI"> 705<pre caption="Playing MIDI">
870<comment>(Check open ports)</comment> 706<comment>(Check open ports)</comment>
893<pre caption="Installing timidity++"> 729<pre caption="Installing timidity++">
894# <i>emerge timidity++</i> 730# <i>emerge timidity++</i>
895</pre> 731</pre>
896 732
897<p> 733<p>
898For timidity to play sounds, it needs a sound font. If you do not have any, 734For 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 735install 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 736available in Portage, such as <c>timidity-freepats</c> and
737<c>timidity-eawpatches</c>. You can have multiple sound font configurations
901installed, and you can place your own in <path>/usr/share/timidity/</path>. 738installed, and you can place your own in <path>/usr/share/timidity/</path>. To
902To switch between different timidity configurations, you should use the 739switch between different timidity configurations, you should use
903<c>timidity-update</c> tool provided in the timidity++ package. 740<c>eselect</c>.
904</p> 741</p>
905 742
906<pre caption="Installing sound fonts"> 743<pre caption="Changing configurations">
744# <i>eselect timidity list</i>
907# <i>emerge timidity-eawpatches</i> 745# <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> 746</pre>
915 747
916<p> 748<p>
917Don't forget to add <c>timidity</c> to the default runlevel. 749Don't forget to add <c>timidity</c> to the default runlevel.
918</p> 750</p>
932<title>Tools and Firmware</title> 764<title>Tools and Firmware</title>
933<body> 765<body>
934 766
935<p> 767<p>
936Some specific sound cards can benefit from certain tools provided by the 768Some 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 769<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 770a 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> 771</p>
950 772
951<pre caption="Installing ALSA Tools"> 773<pre caption="Installing ALSA Tools">
952# <i>emerge alsa-tools</i> 774# <i>emerge alsa-tools</i>
953</pre> 775</pre>
954 776
955</body> 777</body>
956</section> 778</section>
957<section> 779<section>
780<title>Multiple sound cards</title>
781<body>
782
783<p>
784You can have more than one sound card in your system simultaneously, provided
785that you have built ALSA as modules in your kernel. You just need to specify
786which should be started first in <path>/etc/modules.d/alsa</path>. Your cards
787are identified by their driver names inside this file. 0 is the first card, 1 is
788the second, and so on. Here's an example for a system with two sound cards.
789</p>
790
791<pre caption="Two sound cards in /etc/modules.d/alsa">
792options snd-emu10k1 index=0
793options snd-via82xx index=1
794</pre>
795
796<p>
797Or, if you have two cards that use the same driver, you specify them on the same
798line, using comma-separated numbers. Here's an example for a system with three
799sound cards, two of which are the same Intel High Definition Audio card.
800</p>
801
802<pre caption="Multiple sound cards in /etc/modules.d/alsa">
803options snd-ymfpci index=0
804options snd-hda-intel index=1,2
805</pre>
806
807</body>
808</section>
809<section>
810<title>Plugins</title>
811<body>
812
813<p>
814You may want to install some plugins for extra functionality.
815<c>alsa-plugins</c> is a collection of useful plugins, which include: PulseAudio
816output, a sample rate converter, jack (a low-latency audio server), and an
817encoder that lets you output 6-channel audio through digital S/PDIF connections
818(both optical and coaxial). You can choose which of its plugins you want
819installed by adding their USE flags to <path>/etc/portage/package.use</path>.
820</p>
821
822<pre caption="Installing alsa-plugins">
823# <i>emerge -avt alsa-plugins</i>
824</pre>
825
826</body>
827</section>
828<section>
958<title>A Big thank you to...</title> 829<title>A big thank you to...</title>
959<body> 830<body>
960 831
961<p> 832<p>
962Everyone who contributed to the earlier version of the Gentoo ALSA Guide: 833Everyone who contributed to the earlier version of the Gentoo ALSA Guide:
963Vincent Verleye, Grant Goodyear, Arcady Genkin, Jeremy Huddleston, 834Vincent Verleye, Grant Goodyear, Arcady Genkin, Jeremy Huddleston,
964John P. Davis, Sven Vermeulen, Benny Chuang, Tiemo Kieft and Erwin. 835John P. Davis, Sven Vermeulen, Benny Chuang, Tiemo Kieft and Erwin.
965</p> 836</p>
966 837
967</body> 838</body>
968</section> 839</section>

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