Alsa for dummies:

So what is alsa? Alsa means Advanced Linux Sound Architecture. One of its advantage is to be able to use the full duplex mode feature for almost all supported sound cards. Alsa is a GPL project and support a great number of sound cards.
The current default sound drivers used by Linux kernel are OSS lite drivers. With the 2.6.x kernels, alsa becomes the default sound driver.
So, to use Alsa drivers with a 2.4.x kernel, you must install them manually. With the Mandrake distribution, they are already installed but not activated.
We are going to present you a method to easily use ALSA on Mandrake.
First, these packages are needed:

  • libalsa-data
  • libalsa2
  • libalsa2-devel (Last XdTV versions can works with alsa and without OSS: with xdTv > 1.8.1)

To install them, you just have to type this command: urpmi libalsa libalsa-data libalsa-devel
This will install the library.

But, this is not enough to successfully compile XdTV with alsa support: when you make a ./configure command, XdTV test the presence of the amixer file.
This binary file is provided by this package:

  • alsa-utils

To install it, you just have to type this command: urpmi alsa-utils
With this package amixer & alsamixer will be installed.

Alsamixer has a GUI which is provided by this package:

  • alsamixergui

To install it, you just have to type this command: urpmi alsamixergui

The operating system is now ready to compile XdTV with the alsa support. The last thing to do, is to configure  all ALSA parameters.

alsaconf is the main configuration tool for alsa drivers. It is now included directly into Mandrake packages for both 0.5 and 0.9/1.x versions.


His is an example of alsa configuration which can be found into your /etc/modules.conf file(alsa version 0.9 with a sb16 PCI sound card):
###### BEGIN: Generated by ALSACONF 0.9.0, do not edit. ######
 alias char-major-116 snd
 alias snd-card-0 snd-ens1371
 alias char-major-14 soundcore
 alias sound-slot-0 snd-card-0
 alias sound-service-0-0 snd-mixer-oss
 alias sound-service-0-1 snd-seq-oss
 alias sound-service-0-3 snd-pcm-oss
 alias sound-service-0-8 snd-seq-oss
 alias sound-service-0-12 snd-pcm-oss
 options snd major=116 cards_limit=1 device_mode=0666
 options snd-ens1371 index=0
 ###### END: Generated by ALSACONF, do not edit. ##############


If you need more informations about Alsa project, go to this web site:

Copyright (c) 2002 Keuleu - Pingus - BlindMan
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