[blfs-support] Audio--and other things

Dan McGhee beesnees at grm.net
Sat Dec 21 15:11:39 PST 2013

....but mostly audio.  All of this relates to audio, but there are 
several different topics concerning how different packages relate.

I originally had no audio after installing ALSA.  I thought it had to do 
with the Beats Audio system on my laptop, but it was simply an ALSA 
configuration thing that got fixed.  I now have audio and can play files 
and CD's.  However, the sound is weak and thready.

This is the point at which Beats Audio comes in.  ALSA apparently 
assumes a "default" use of laptop speakers, and this "default" is not 
true with the Beats Audio system installed.  And, as a result, the sound 
is "weak and thready."  I don't know if any other laptops have it, but 
HP laptops do.  This situation can be "fixed" by changing the "pin out" 
in the "snd_hda_intel" driver.  There is an application called 
"hda_jack_retask" that can do it.  To date, I have not been successful 
in getting the changes applied.

Right now, because I don't know how this "retasking" works, I'm in a 
"trial and error" situation.  This application was developed in Ubuntu, 
and possibly Debian, both of which install PulseAudio as a default.  I 
believe that "hda_jack_retask" depends on PulseAudio because when I ran 
it and tried to apply the changes I got this message:

> Failed to create file /root/.pulse/client.conf/<alpha-numeric name>

I think xfce4 starts the PulseAudio daemon, but I don't know how to 
verify that.  So, I think I get that message either because the daemon 
is not running or that I don't have PulseAudio configured correctly.  
The first question is, then, how do I tell if the PulseAudio daemon is 

The second question comes from configuring PulseAudio.  The PulseAudio 
configuration page at


Says that for a system like mine in which udev and ConsoleKit give 
access to the sound card but override it with the "audio" group, should 
make sure no users are in the "audio" group.  It says that "fast 
switching" won't occur with people in the "audio" group.  This is a big 
deviation from what the book says during the installation of ALSA.  I 
don't like deviating from the book without bringing it to the list.  I 
can do it, but what are the pros and cons?

What are the benefits of PulseAudio anyway?


More information about the blfs-support mailing list