An ALSA nightmare....

Steve Bougerolle steveb at
Thu Aug 1 19:25:32 PDT 2002

On Fri, 2002-08-02 at 09:59, Joel wrote:
> I'm currently trying to get ALSA installed on my system ... and I must say
> that it has been the most difficult to install of all the packages I have
> tried. I completely gave up on v0.9.0, and changed over to v0.5.12a. 

Ok, first thing (maybe too late) is to go back to v0.9.  The 0.5 series
is deprecated and, believe it or not, on average has more problems.

I think
> my current problem is that devfsd doesn't create the /dev/dsp by default,

Make sure you turned on OSS support when you compiled your drivers, AND
make sure you load the OSS modules: snd-seq-oss, snd-pcm-oss and

That will make a device /dev/sound/dsp appear, along with a bunch of
other devices (midi, mixer, sequencer).  Symlink those directly to /dev
and your problems should disappear.

> I don't want to have to run snddevices every time. I'd like to make devfsd
> do the work that snddevices does by making changes to /etc/devfsd.conf, but
> I'm not sure how to do it.

The snddevices script is definitely the WRONG solution for devfs. 
devfsd.conf should do it, but frankly I'm too lazy to mess with it and
don't see any real advantage compared to making symlinks by hand, so I
just stuck these lines in my startup script:

		chown -R /dev/sound /dev/snd
		chmod -R ug+rwx /dev/sound /dev/snd
		chmod ugo+rwx /dev/sound/dsp /dev/sound/mixer

		ln -sf /dev/sound/dsp /dev/dsp
		ln -sf /dev/sound/mixer /dev/mixer

The rwx permissions solve some weird problems I had way back in the
foggy mists of history.  I'm not sure if you still need them with v0.9

> (I'm not certain if this script works right -- am I supposed to replace
> [:space:] with some spaces -- how many?)

The alsasound script it installs is a pain in the backside.  I hacked it
out and wrote my own simpler one.  Just modprobe the relevant modules.

> Does anyone know the difference between snd-ens1370 and snd-card-ens1370? I
> have two different .o files for each of them.

IIRC, snd-card-xxx is the old format and with v0.9 you want snd-xxx.

Steve Bougerolle
Creek & Cowley Consulting

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