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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 1.89 2013/02/23 18:20:55 swift 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>
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>6</version>
22<date>2006-07-06</date> 28<date>2013-02-23</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 audio
32audio and MIDI (<e>Musical Instrument Digital Interface</e>) functionality to 38and MIDI (<e>Musical Instrument Digital Interface</e>) functionality to the
33the Linux operating system. ALSA is the default sound subsystem in the 2.6 39Linux operating system. ALSA is the default sound subsystem in the 3.x and 2.6
34kernel thereby replacing OSS (<e>Open Sound System</e>), which was used in the 40kernels, thereby replacing OSS (<e>Open Sound System</e>), which was used in
352.4 kernels. 41the 2.4 kernels.
36</p>
37
38<p> 42</p>
43
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>
45
46</body>
47</section>
48<section>
49<title>ALSA on Gentoo</title>
50<body>
51
52<p>
53One of Gentoo's main strengths lies in giving the user maximum control over
54how a system is installed/configured. ALSA on Gentoo follows the same
55principle. There are two ways you can get ALSA support up and running on your
56system. We shall look at them in detail in the next chapter.
57</p> 50</p>
58 51
59</body> 52</body>
60</section> 53</section>
61</chapter> 54</chapter>
62 55
63<chapter> 56<chapter>
64<title>Installing ALSA</title> 57<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"> 58<section id="lspci">
159<title>Before you proceed</title> 59<title>Before you proceed</title>
160<body> 60<body>
161 61
162<p> 62<p>
163Whichever method of install you choose, you need to know what drivers your 63First, 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 64cards (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. 65digging 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 66get <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 67sound 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 68For 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 69<e>may</e> help users with ISA based sound cards:
170with ISA based sound cards.
171</p> 70</p>
172 71
173<ul> 72<ul>
174 <li> 73 <li>
175 <uri link="http://www.roestock.demon.co.uk/isapnptools/">The ISAPNPTOOLS 74 <uri link="http://www.roestock.demon.co.uk/isapnptools/">The ISAPNPTOOLS
198# <i>lspci -v | grep -i audio</i> 97# <i>lspci -v | grep -i audio</i>
1990000:00:0a.0 Multimedia audio controller: Creative Labs SB Live! EMU10k1 (rev 06) 980000:00:0a.0 Multimedia audio controller: Creative Labs SB Live! EMU10k1 (rev 06)
200</pre> 99</pre>
201 100
202<p> 101<p>
203We now know that the sound card on the machine is a Sound Blaster Live! and 102We 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 103card manufacturer is Creative Labs. Head over to the <uri
205<uri link="http://www.alsa-project.org/alsa-doc/"> ALSA Soundcard Matrix</uri> 104link="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 105Soundcard 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 106be 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 107uses 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 108you 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. 109the "Details" and that will take you to the <c>emu10k1</c> specific page.
110</p>
111
112<p>
113If you intend to use MIDI, then you should add <c>midi</c> to your USE flags in
114<path>/etc/portage/make.conf</path> before emerging any ALSA packages. Later in the
115guide, we will show you how to set up <uri link="#midi">MIDI support</uri>.
211</p> 116</p>
212 117
213</body> 118</body>
214</section> 119</section>
215<section id="kernel"> 120<section id="kernel">
216<title>Using ALSA provided by your Kernel</title> 121<title>Configuring the kernel</title>
217<body> 122<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
224<note>
225Since the 2005.0 release, Gentoo Linux uses 2.6 as the default kernel. Unless
226you are specifically using the 2.4 profile, <c>gentoo-sources</c> will be a
2272.6 kernel on <e>most</e> architectures. Please check that your kernel is a
2282.6 series kernel. This method will <e>not</e> work on a 2.4 kernel.
229</note>
230 123
231<p> 124<p>
232Let us now configure the kernel to enable ALSA. 125Let us now configure the kernel to enable ALSA.
233</p> 126</p>
234 127
247The above example assumes that <path>/usr/src/linux</path> symlink points to 140The above example assumes that <path>/usr/src/linux</path> symlink points to
248the kernel sources you want to use. Please ensure the same before proceeding. 141the kernel sources you want to use. Please ensure the same before proceeding.
249</note> 142</note>
250 143
251<p> 144<p>
252Now we will look at some of the options we will have to enable in the 2.6 145Now we will look at some of the options we will have to enable in the
253kernel to ensure proper ALSA support for our sound card. 146kernel to ensure proper ALSA support for our sound card.
254</p> 147</p>
255 148
256<p> 149<p>
257Please note that for the sake of ease, all examples show ALSA built as modules. 150Please 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> 151is 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 152which 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 153the <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 154you still like to have options built-in, ensure that you make changes to your
262config accordingly. 155config accordingly.
263</p> 156</p>
281 <comment>(Old style /dev/mixer* and /dev/dsp* support. Recommended.)</comment> 174 <comment>(Old style /dev/mixer* and /dev/dsp* support. Recommended.)</comment>
282 &lt;M&gt; OSS Mixer API 175 &lt;M&gt; OSS Mixer API
283 &lt;M&gt; OSS PCM (digital audio) API 176 &lt;M&gt; OSS PCM (digital audio) API
284 177
285<comment>(You now have a choice of devices to enable support for. Generally, 178<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 179you will have one type of device and not more. If you have more than one
287sound card, please enable them all here.)</comment> 180sound card, please enable them all here.)</comment>
288 181
289<comment>(Mostly for testing and development purposes, not needed for normal 182<comment>(Mostly for testing and development purposes, not needed for normal
290users unless you know what you are doing.)</comment> 183users unless you know what you are doing.)</comment>
291Generic devices ---&gt; 184Generic devices ---&gt;
292 185
293<comment>(For ISA Sound cards)</comment> 186<comment>(For ISA Sound cards)</comment>
294ISA devices ---&gt; 187ISA devices ---&gt;
295<comment>(IF you had the Gravis, you would select this option)</comment> 188<comment>(IF you had the Gravis, you would select this option)</comment>
296 &lt;M&gt; Gravis UltraSound Extreme 189 &lt;M&gt; Gravis UltraSound Extreme
297 190
298<comment>(Move one level back and into PCI devices. Most sound cards today are 191<comment>(Move one level back and into PCI devices. Most sound cards today are
299PCI devices)</comment> 192PCI devices)</comment>
300PCI devices ---&gt; 193PCI devices ---&gt;
301 <comment>(We now select the emu10k1 driver for our card)</comment> 194 <comment>(We now select the emu10k1 driver for our card)</comment>
302 &lt;M&gt; Emu10k1 (SB Live!, Audigy, E-mu APS) 195 &lt;M&gt; Emu10k1 (SB Live!, Audigy, E-mu APS)
303 <comment>(Or an Intel card would be)</comment> 196 <comment>(Or an Intel card would be)</comment>
311 204
312<p> 205<p>
313Now that your options are set, you can (re)compile the kernel and ALSA support 206Now 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 207for 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. 208forget to update your GRUB configuration to use the newly built kernel.
316You can now proceed to <uri link="#alsa-utilities">ALSA Utilities</uri> and 209You can now proceed to <uri link="#alsa-utilities">ALSA Utilities</uri> and
317see if everything is working as it should. 210see if everything is working as it should.
318</p> 211</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>
399 212
400</body> 213</body>
401</section> 214</section>
402</chapter> 215</chapter>
403 216
406<section id="alsa-utilities"> 219<section id="alsa-utilities">
407<title>ALSA Utilities</title> 220<title>ALSA Utilities</title>
408<body> 221<body>
409 222
410<p> 223<p>
411<c>alsa-utils</c> forms an integral part of ALSA as it has a truckload of 224<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 225programs that are highly useful, including the ALSA Initscripts. Hence we
413strongly recommend that you install <c>alsa-utils</c> 226strongly recommend that you install <c>alsa-utils</c>
414</p> 227</p>
415 228
416<pre caption="Install alsa-utils"> 229<pre caption="Install alsa-utils">
417# <i>emerge alsa-utils</i> 230# <i>emerge alsa-utils</i>
418</pre> 231</pre>
419 232
420<note> 233<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 234If 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 235link="#initscript">ALSA Initscript</uri> section. The rest of you need to
424to configure ALSA. This is made very easy by the existence of the 236configure 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>. 237tool provided by <c>alsa-utils</c>.
426</note> 238</note>
427 239
428</body> 240</body>
429</section> 241</section>
430<section id="alsa-config"> 242<section id="alsa-config">
431<title>Configuration</title> 243<title>Configuration</title>
432<body> 244<body>
433 245
246<p>
247Recent versions of <c>udev</c> (<c>>=udev-103</c>) provide some degree of
248kernel-level autoconfiguration of your sound card. If possible, try to rely on
249just letting your kernel automatically setup your sound card for you. Otherwise,
250use <c>alsaconf</c> to configure your card, as shown below.
251</p>
252
434<note> 253<note>
435Please shut down any programs that <e>might</e> access the sound card while 254Please shut down any programs that <e>might</e> access the sound card while
436running <c>alsaconf</c>. 255running <c>alsaconf</c>.
437</note> 256</note>
438 257
439<p> 258<p>
440The easiest way to configure your sound card is to run <c>alsaconf</c>. Just 259To 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> 260</p>
443 261
444<pre caption="Invoking alsaconf"> 262<pre caption="Invoking alsaconf">
445# <i>alsaconf</i> 263# <i>alsaconf</i>
446</pre> 264</pre>
447 265
448<p> 266<p>
449You will now see a neat menu guided interface that will automatically probe 267You 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 268your 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 269your 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>. 270automatically make required changes to <path>/etc/modprobe.d/alsa.conf</path>.
453It will then adjust your volume settings to optimum levels, run 271It 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. 272<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 273Once <c>alsaconf</c> exits, you can proceed with setting up the ALSA
456initscript. 274initscript.
457</p> 275</p>
458 276
459</body> 277</body>
461<section id="initscript"> 279<section id="initscript">
462<title>ALSA Initscript</title> 280<title>ALSA Initscript</title>
463<body> 281<body>
464 282
465<p> 283<p>
466We're now almost all setup. Whichever method you chose to install ALSA, you'll 284We'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 285need 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 286volume 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. 287this for you and is called <c>alsasound</c>. Add it to the boot runlevel.
470</p> 288</p>
471 289
472<pre caption="Adding ALSA to the boot runlevel"> 290<pre caption="Adding ALSA to the boot runlevel">
473# <i>rc-update add alsasound boot</i> 291# <i>rc-update add alsasound boot</i>
474 * alsasound added to runlevel boot 292 * alsasound added to runlevel boot
475 * rc-update complete. 293 * rc-update complete.
476</pre> 294</pre>
477 295
478<p> 296<p>
479Next, just check the <path>/etc/conf.d/alsasound</path> file and ensure that 297Next, 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 298SAVE_ON_STOP variable is set to yes. This saves your sound settings when you
481shutdown your system. 299shutdown your system.
482</p> 300</p>
483 301
484</body> 302</body>
485</section> 303</section>
487<title>Audio Group</title> 305<title>Audio Group</title>
488<body> 306<body>
489 307
490<p> 308<p>
491Before we move on to testing, there's one last <e>important</e> thing that needs 309Before 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. 310to 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 311This 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 312in 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 313that 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 314users 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 315access sound devices. We'll use <c>gpasswd</c> here and you need to be logged in
509<section> 327<section>
510<title>Volume Check!</title> 328<title>Volume Check!</title>
511<body> 329<body>
512 330
513<p> 331<p>
514We've completed all the setups and pre-requisites, so let's fire up ALSA. If 332We'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 333you ran <c>alsaconf</c>, you can skip this step, since <c>alsaconf</c> already
516does this for you. 334does this for you.
517</p> 335</p>
518 336
519<pre caption="Start the service"> 337<pre caption="Start the service">
520<comment>(ALSA as modules)</comment>
521# <i>/etc/init.d/alsasound start</i> 338# <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> 339</pre>
534 340
535<p> 341<p>
536Now that the required things have been taken care of, we need to check up on 342Now 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 343the volume as in certain cases, it is muted. We use <c>alsamixer</c> for this
538purpose. 344purpose.
539</p> 345</p>
540 346
541<pre caption="Starting alsamixer"> 347<pre caption="Starting alsamixer">
542<comment>(Opens up a console program. Only required settings are shown)</comment> 348<comment>(Opens up a console program. Only required settings are shown)</comment>
543# <i>alsamixer</i> 349# <i>alsamixer</i>
544</pre> 350</pre>
545 351
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> 352<p>
555This is how the ALSA Mixer <e>might</e> look the first time you open it. Pay 353This 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. 354attention 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> 355That 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. 356in this state, you will not hear anything on your speakers.
559</p> 357</p>
560 358
561<figure link="/images/docs/alsa-mixermuted.png" short="AlsaMixer Muted" caption="The Alsa Mixer Main Window, Muted"/> 359<figure link="/images/docs/alsa-mixermuted.png" short="AlsaMixer Muted" caption="The Alsa Mixer Main Window, Muted"/>
562 360
569if you want to hear some output on your speakers. 367if you want to hear some output on your speakers.
570</warn> 368</warn>
571 369
572<ul> 370<ul>
573 <li> 371 <li>
574 To move between channels, use your left and right arrow keys. (&lt;- 372 To move between channels, use your left and right arrow keys. (&lt;-
575 &amp; -&gt;) 373 &amp; -&gt;)
576 </li> 374 </li>
577 <li> 375 <li>
578 To toggle mute, move to the specific channel, for example Master and press 376 To toggle mute, move to the specific channel, for example Master and press
579 the <e>m</e> key on the keyboard. 377 the <e>m</e> key on the keyboard.
580 </li> 378 </li>
581 <li> 379 <li>
582 To increase and decrease the volume levels, use the up and down arrow keys 380 To increase and decrease the volume levels, use the up and down arrow keys
583 respectively. 381 respectively.
584 </li> 382 </li>
585</ul> 383</ul>
586 384
587<note> 385<note>
588Be careful when setting your Bass and Treble values. 50 is usually a good 386Be 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> 387number for both. Extremely high values of Bass may cause <e>jarring</e>
590on speakers that are not designed to handle them. 388on speakers that are not designed to handle them.
591</note> 389</note>
592 390
593<p> 391<p>
594After you're all done, your ALSA Mixer should look similar to the one below. 392After 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 393Note the 00 instead of the MM and also the volume levels for some optimum
596settings. 394settings.
597</p> 395</p>
598 396
599<figure link="/images/docs/alsa-mixerunmuted.png" short="AlsaMixer Unmuted" caption="Alsa Mixer ready to roll"/> 397<figure link="/images/docs/alsa-mixerunmuted.png" short="AlsaMixer Unmuted" caption="Alsa Mixer ready to roll"/>
600 398
606 404
607<p> 405<p>
608Finally. Some music. If everything above is perfect, you should now be able to 406Finally. 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 407listen 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 408like <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 409like <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 410by <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. 411always, <c>emerge</c> what you need.
614</p> 412</p>
615 413
616<pre caption="Getting the software"> 414<pre caption="Getting the software">
617<comment>(Install the applications you want)</comment> 415<comment>(Install the applications you want)</comment>
618# <i>emerge madplay mpg123 xmms</i> 416# <i>emerge madplay mpg123</i>
619<comment>(To play .ogg files)</comment> 417<comment>(To play .ogg files)</comment>
620# <i>emerge vorbis-tools</i> 418# <i>emerge vorbis-tools</i>
621</pre> 419</pre>
622 420
623<p> 421<p>
654<section> 452<section>
655<title>ALSA and USE</title> 453<title>ALSA and USE</title>
656<body> 454<body>
657 455
658<p> 456<p>
659You can now add the <c>alsa</c> use flag to <path>/etc/make.conf</path> to 457You can now add the <c>alsa</c> use flag to <path>/etc/portage/make.conf</path> to
660ensure that your applications that support ALSA get built with it. Some 458ensure that your applications that support ALSA get built with it. Some
661architectures like x86 and amd64 have the flag enabled by default. 459architectures like x86 and amd64 have the flag enabled by default.
662</p> 460</p>
663 461
664</body> 462</body>
666<section> 464<section>
667<title>Issues?</title> 465<title>Issues?</title>
668<body> 466<body>
669 467
670<p> 468<p>
671If for some reason you're unable to hear sound, the first thing to do would 469If 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 470be 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 471the 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. 472Manager's sound applet and verify that volumes are set to audible levels.
675</p> 473</p>
676 474
677<p> 475<p>
678<path>/proc</path> is your friend. And in this case, <path>/proc/asound</path> 476<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 477is your best friend. We shall just take a short look at how much info is made
680available to us there. 478available to us there.
681</p> 479</p>
682 480
683<pre caption="Fun with /proc/asound"> 481<pre caption="Fun with /proc/asound">
684<comment>(First and foremost, if /proc/asound/cards shows your card, ALSA has 482<comment>(First and foremost, if /proc/asound/cards shows your card, ALSA has
685picked up your sound card fine.)</comment> 483picked up your sound card fine.)</comment>
686# <i>cat /proc/asound/cards</i> 484# <i>cat /proc/asound/cards</i>
6870 [Live ]: EMU10K1 - Sound Blaster Live! 4850 [Live ]: EMU10K1 - Sound Blaster Live!
688 Sound Blaster Live! (rev.6, serial:0x80271102) at 0xb800, irq 11 486 Sound Blaster Live! (rev.6, serial:0x80271102) at 0xb800, irq 11
689 487
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> 488<comment>(This displays the current running ALSA version)</comment>
692# <i>cat /proc/asound/version</i> 489# <i>cat /proc/asound/version</i>
693Advanced Linux Sound Architecture Driver Version 1.0.8 (Thu Jan 13 09:39:32 2005 UTC). 490Advanced Linux Sound Architecture Driver Version 1.0.8 (Thu Jan 13 09:39:32 2005 UTC).
694 491
695<comment>(ALSA OSS emulation details)</comment> 492<comment>(ALSA OSS emulation details)</comment>
696# <i>cat /proc/asound/oss/sndstat</i> 493# <i>cat /proc/asound/oss/sndstat</i>
7167: system timer 5137: system timer
717 514
718Mixers: 515Mixers:
7190: SigmaTel STAC9721/23 5160: SigmaTel STAC9721/23
720</pre> 517</pre>
518
519<!-- TODO: remove this a few months after alsa-driver leaves the tree -->
721 520
722<p> 521<p>
723The other most common issue users face is the dreaded "Unknown symbol in module" 522The other most common issue users face is the dreaded "Unknown symbol in module"
724error. An example of the same is shown below. 523error. An example of the same is shown below.
725</p> 524</p>
769snd_mixer_oss: Unknown symbol snd_mixer_oss_notify_callback 568snd_mixer_oss: Unknown symbol snd_mixer_oss_notify_callback
770snd_mixer_oss: Unknown symbol snd_oss_info_register 569snd_mixer_oss: Unknown symbol snd_oss_info_register
771</pre> 570</pre>
772 571
773<p> 572<p>
774The above issue is caused when you switch from <c>alsa-driver</c> to in-kernel 573The 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 574ALSA 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 575protected 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 576drivers, running <c>modprobe</c> gives you a mix of <c>alsa-driver</c> and
778in-kernel modules thus causing the above errors. 577in-kernel modules thus causing the above errors.
779</p> 578</p>
788# <i>rm -rf /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/alsa-driver</i> 587# <i>rm -rf /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/alsa-driver</i>
789</pre> 588</pre>
790 589
791<p> 590<p>
792Another reason for error messages similar to the ones above could be a file in 591Another reason for error messages similar to the ones above could be a file in
793<path>/etc/modules.d</path> supplying a <c>device_mode</c> parameter when it 592<path>/etc/modprobe.d</path> supplying a <c>device_mode</c> parameter when it
794isn't required. Confirm that this is indeed the issue and find out which file 593isn't required. Confirm that this is indeed the issue and find out which file
795is the culprit. 594is the culprit.
796</p> 595</p>
797 596
798<pre caption="Confirming and searching for device_mode"> 597<pre caption="Confirming and searching for device_mode">
799<comment>(Check dmesg to confirm)</comment> 598<comment>(Check dmesg to confirm)</comment>
800# <i>dmesg | grep device_mode</i> 599# <i>dmesg | grep device_mode</i>
801snd: Unknown parameter `device_mode' 600snd: Unknown parameter `device_mode'
802<comment>(Now, to get to the source of the issue)</comment> 601<comment>(Now, to get to the source of the issue)</comment>
803# <i>grep device_mode /etc/modules.d/*</i> 602# <i>grep device_mode /etc/modprobe.d/*</i>
804</pre> 603</pre>
805 604
806<p> 605<p>
807Usually it is a file called <path>alsa</path> with the line <c>options snd 606Usually 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 607device_mode=0666</c>. Remove this line and restart the <c>alsasound</c> service
809that should take care of this issue. 608and that should take care of this issue.
810</p> 609</p>
610
611<!-- End of removal notice -->
811 612
812</body> 613</body>
813</section> 614</section>
814</chapter> 615</chapter>
815 616
816<chapter> 617<chapter>
817<title>Other things ALSA</title> 618<title>Other things ALSA</title>
818<section> 619<section id="midi">
819<title>Setting up MIDI support</title> 620<title>Setting up MIDI support</title>
820<body> 621<body>
821 622
822<p> 623<p>
624First, check to make sure that you enabled the <c>midi</c> USE flag in
625<path>/etc/portage/make.conf</path>. If you didn't, go ahead and add it now. You will
626also need to re-emerge any ALSA packages that use the <c>midi</c> flag, such as
627<c>alsa-lib</c> and <c>alsa-utils</c>.
628</p>
629
630<p>
823If your sound card is one of those that come with on-board MIDI synthesizers 631If 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 632and 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 633<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, 634driver. 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 635you can use a virtual one. Please see the section on
828<uri link="#vsynth">Virtual Synthesizers</uri> for more information. 636<uri link="#vsynth">Virtual Synthesizers</uri> for more information.
829</p> 637</p>
830 638
831<pre caption="Installing awesfx"> 639<pre caption="Installing awesfx">
832# <i>emerge awesfx</i> 640# <i>emerge awesfx</i>
833</pre> 641</pre>
834 642
835<note> 643<note>
836You will need to copy over SoundFont (SF2) files from your sound card's driver 644You 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 645CD 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. 646example a sound font file for the Creative SBLive! card would be 8MBGMSFX.SF2.
839</note> 647</note>
840 648
841<p> 649<p>
842After copying over the Soundfont files, we can then play a midi file as shown. 650After copying over the Soundfont files, we can then play a midi file as shown.
843You can also add the <c>asfxload</c> command to 651You can also add the <c>asfxload</c> command to
844<path>/etc/conf.d/local.start</path>, so that the sound font is loaded 652<path>/etc/conf.d/local.start</path>, so that the sound font is loaded
845every time the system starts up. 653every time the system starts up.
846</p> 654</p>
847 655
848<note> 656<note>
849<path>/mnt</path> paths mentioned in the code listing(s) below will <e>not</e> 657<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 658be the same in your machine. They are just an example. Please be careful to
851change the path to suit your machine. 659change the path to suit your machine.
852</note> 660</note>
853 661
854<pre caption="Loading Soundfonts"> 662<pre caption="Loading Soundfonts">
855<comment>(First, copy the Soundfont)</comment> 663<comment>(First, copy the Soundfont)</comment>
859<comment>(We load the specific Soundfont)</comment> 667<comment>(We load the specific Soundfont)</comment>
860# <i>asfxload /usr/share/sounds/sf2/8MBGMSFX.SF2</i> 668# <i>asfxload /usr/share/sounds/sf2/8MBGMSFX.SF2</i>
861</pre> 669</pre>
862 670
863<p> 671<p>
864You can now play midi files using a program like <c>aplaymidi</c>. Run 672You 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 673<c>aplaymidi -l</c> to get a list of available ports and then pick one
866to play the file on. 674to play the file on.
867</p> 675</p>
868 676
869<pre caption="Playing MIDI"> 677<pre caption="Playing MIDI">
870<comment>(Check open ports)</comment> 678<comment>(Check open ports)</comment>
893<pre caption="Installing timidity++"> 701<pre caption="Installing timidity++">
894# <i>emerge timidity++</i> 702# <i>emerge timidity++</i>
895</pre> 703</pre>
896 704
897<p> 705<p>
898For timidity to play sounds, it needs a sound font. If you do not have any, 706For 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 707install 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 708available in Portage, such as <c>timidity-freepats</c> and
709<c>timidity-eawpatches</c>. You can have multiple sound font configurations
901installed, and you can place your own in <path>/usr/share/timidity/</path>. 710installed, and you can place your own in <path>/usr/share/timidity/</path>. To
902To switch between different timidity configurations, you should use the 711switch between different timidity configurations, you should use
903<c>timidity-update</c> tool provided in the timidity++ package. 712<c>eselect</c>.
904</p> 713</p>
905 714
906<pre caption="Installing sound fonts"> 715<pre caption="Changing configurations">
716# <i>eselect timidity list</i>
907# <i>emerge timidity-eawpatches</i> 717# <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> 718</pre>
915 719
916<p> 720<p>
917Don't forget to add <c>timidity</c> to the default runlevel. 721Don't forget to add <c>timidity</c> to the default runlevel.
918</p> 722</p>
932<title>Tools and Firmware</title> 736<title>Tools and Firmware</title>
933<body> 737<body>
934 738
935<p> 739<p>
936Some specific sound cards can benefit from certain tools provided by the 740Some 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 741<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 742a 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> 743</p>
950 744
951<pre caption="Installing ALSA Tools"> 745<pre caption="Installing ALSA Tools">
952# <i>emerge alsa-tools</i> 746# <i>emerge alsa-tools</i>
953</pre> 747</pre>
954 748
955</body> 749</body>
956</section> 750</section>
957<section> 751<section>
752<title>Multiple sound cards</title>
753<body>
754
755<p>
756You can have more than one sound card in your system simultaneously, provided
757that you have built ALSA as modules in your kernel. You just need to specify
758which should be started first in <path>/etc/modprobe.d/alsa.conf</path>. Your cards
759are identified by their driver names inside this file. 0 is the first card, 1 is
760the second, and so on. Here's an example for a system with two sound cards.
761</p>
762
763<pre caption="Two sound cards in /etc/modprobe.d/alsa.conf">
764options snd-emu10k1 index=0
765options snd-via82xx index=1
766</pre>
767
768<p>
769Or, if you have two cards that use the same driver, you specify them on the same
770line, using comma-separated numbers. Here's an example for a system with three
771sound cards, two of which are the same Intel High Definition Audio card.
772</p>
773
774<pre caption="Multiple sound cards in /etc/modprobe.d/alsa.conf">
775options snd-ymfpci index=0
776options snd-hda-intel index=1,2
777</pre>
778
779</body>
780</section>
781<section>
782<title>Plugins</title>
783<body>
784
785<p>
786You may want to install some plugins for extra functionality.
787<c>alsa-plugins</c> is a collection of useful plugins, which include: PulseAudio
788output, a sample rate converter, jack (a low-latency audio server), and an
789encoder that lets you output 6-channel audio through digital S/PDIF connections
790(both optical and coaxial). You can choose which of its plugins you want
791installed by adding their USE flags to <path>/etc/portage/package.use</path>.
792</p>
793
794<pre caption="Installing alsa-plugins">
795# <i>emerge -avt alsa-plugins</i>
796</pre>
797
798</body>
799</section>
800<section>
958<title>A Big thank you to...</title> 801<title>A big thank you to...</title>
959<body> 802<body>
960 803
961<p> 804<p>
962Everyone who contributed to the earlier version of the Gentoo ALSA Guide: 805Everyone who contributed to the earlier version of the Gentoo ALSA Guide:
963Vincent Verleye, Grant Goodyear, Arcady Genkin, Jeremy Huddleston, 806Vincent Verleye, Grant Goodyear, Arcady Genkin, Jeremy Huddleston,
964John P. Davis, Sven Vermeulen, Benny Chuang, Tiemo Kieft and Erwin. 807John P. Davis, Sven Vermeulen, Benny Chuang, Tiemo Kieft and Erwin.
965</p> 808</p>
966 809
967</body> 810</body>
968</section> 811</section>

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