No sound lessons

randhir phagura rsphagura at
Sun Aug 21 18:24:16 PDT 2005


I wish to thank the Community on the List for all the help in sorting out 
sound problem on my laptop. Particularly, I thank Jeremy Byron for his 
painstaking involvement.

The sound is now working and xmms gives good music - all that after some 
struggle though.

It is just a thought for the Community and the Organisers of our BLFS Book:

Why do novices like me have to "rediscover the wheel"?

In the first place, why the linux gurus have to be so awkward as to 'mute 
all channels' by default? Rationally, it should be the other way. All 
channels must be opened by default. Is there a way to convey this to them, 
the gurus?

Secondly, if that is not feasible, I suggest we include the following in the 

1. Kernel Configuration: (May be under the Sub-Section 'Sound' under ALSA at 
beginning of Part IX-Multimedia.)
   a) First ensure that 'pci-utils' are installed and to check the audio 
card with 'lspci' command. Select the correct driver in: Sound -> ALSA -> 
PCI devices.
   b)The pitfalls of selecting: Sound -> ALSA -> Sequencer dummy client. 
Ultimately, it turns up as the 'default' card in further configurations. 
This creates confusion for the novice.

2. A little more details in ALSA Chapter (than at present): may be under 
'Alsa-utils' Section:
  a)After installation of ALSA (alsa-utils), check if 'alsa' is started on 
reboot or by '/etc/rc.d/init.d/alsa start' command.
  b) Check with 'aplay' and 'speaker-test' commands
  c) Check with 'alsamixer' command, the ncurses output - ckeck correct card 
and chip are displayed in top left corner; unmute channels by toggling with
  'm' for sterio and '.' or ',' for single channels; save with 'alsactl 
store' command.
  c)Premissions on '/dev/dsp'(chmod 622) and '/dev/mixer' (chmod 644) for 
playing music as ordinary user.
  d) How to join 'audio' group so as to be able to play music as ordinary 

3. Under the xmms section, a little more details should be given as to how 
configure it with 'CTL+P': configuring Input and Output Plugins; ALSA and/or 
OSS output plugins etc.

Only a few lines in these respective sections will make novices at ease plus 
this will reduce so much traffic on the List.

The overall aim of all Linux Enthusiasts is to 'popularise linux'. That aim 
should be pursued relentlessly by making Linux more FRIENDLY for the NOVICE.

Thanks and Regards

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