[blfs-support] ALSA and No Sound

Dan McGhee beesnees at grm.net
Wed Dec 18 14:14:36 PST 2013

I really wish that I could get rid of my "rustiness" without appealing 
to the list.  I thought most of it was gone, but apparently it's not.  
I'd like to get some help getting my sound to work.

The low-level beeps and "announcements" from the kernel and xfce4 work 
fine.  In fact, I made them louder with alsamixer.  I just finished 
installing alsa- up to and not including 
alsa-{tools,firmware}-  Thus far the only thing that 
<speaker-test> gives me is silence and messages.  Here are the messages:

> speaker-test
> Playback device is default
> Stream parameters are 48000Hz, S16_LE, 1 channels
> Using 16 octaves of pink noise
> Channels count (1) not available for playbacks: Invalid argument
> Setting of hwparams failed: Invalid argument

I tried <speaker-test -c 6 -l 1> and get the same messages, but for six 
channels.  I added myself to the audio group and receive this output 
whether I run the command as root or me.  To forestall the question, I 
have "unmuted" all the playback stuff in alsamixer, and I check it just 
before I run the test.  And here are the results of <speaker-test> from 
the Ubuntu side of my set-up:

> speaker-test
> Playback device is default
> Stream parameters are 48000Hz, S16_LE, 1 channels
> Using 16 octaves of pink noise
> Rate set to 48000Hz (requested 48000Hz)
> Buffer size range from 192 to 2097152
> Period size range from 64 to 699051
> Using max buffer size 2097152
> Periods = 4
> was set period_size = 524288
> was set buffer_size = 2097152
>  0 - Front Left
> Time per period = 10.952704
>  0 - Front Left
> Time per period = 10.946154

and with that I can hear the "pink" noise, but I don't know how to "copy 
'n paste" that.  :)

<lspci | grep Audio> gives:

> 00:01.1 Audio device: AMD/ATI [Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.] Trinity 
> HDMI Audio Controller
> 00:14.2 Audio device: AMD [Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.] FCH Azalia 
> Controller (rev 01)

and I have set the analog controller to the default.

<aplay -L> gives:

> null
>     Discard all samples (playback) or generate zero samples (capture)
> hdmi:CARD=HDMI,DEV=0
>     HDMI Audio Output
> sysdefault:CARD=Generic
>     HD-Audio Generic, 92HD91BXX Analog
>     Default Audio Device
> front:CARD=Generic,DEV=0
>     HD-Audio Generic, 92HD91BXX Analog
>     Front speakers

I did not include each repeat for the other "surround" speakers. The 
wording is the same.

I have found no info, other than what I have already done, to lead me in 
any other direction.

The only addition and possibly relevant info is that my HP laptop, HP 
ENVY m6 Sleekbook, has "Beats Audio."  I don't know if I need to install 
or do anything other than alsa.  I want to use the minimal number of 
packages to get the functionality that I'd like.  I do know that Ubuntu 
uses pulse-audio.  Additionally, I found this "HowTo"


It uses "jack" to "re-pin" the speakers.  "JACK" and pulseaudio are 
listed as "optional" dependencies for alsa-plugins.  If I need one or 
both of these, I want to install them.  If they're not absolutely 
necessary, I'd like to get this configured "as is."

I will be grateful for any feed back.


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