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My system's sound was only partially configured before, and now I've gone and created more problems for myself. Before, in order to get sound I had to manually modprobe snd_via82xx ...
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  1. #1
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    Screwed up alsaconf, can't detect card now


    My system's sound was only partially configured before, and now I've gone and created more problems for myself.

    Before, in order to get sound I had to manually modprobe snd_via82xx (for my VIA8237 integrated card) after boot. This enabled hardware device '0,0', which is apparently just for stereo output. I discovered that device '0,1' could handle 5.1 surround sound, but to configure it I needed to execute alsaconf in addition to or in place of modprobe. Besides setting up this extra device, the alsaconf script also got rid of a strange repeated clicking sound that I would hear in the game Nexuiz while playing music.

    At this point, I was wondering: 1) Why alsa gives me separate devices for a single card - is it a property of the hardware or the configuration; and, 2) Why is it that I needed to re-run the script every time I restarted the system? The only thing I can think of is that something like PAM would reset alsaconf's changes.

    Anyway, yesterday I screwed up the system even more by initiating alsaconf while already running alsamixer. I soon realized my mistake and tried to kill both of them, but from that point on alsaconf refused to detect my sound card, with the message:
    Code:
    No supported PnP or PCI card found.
    Would you like to probe legacy ISA sound cards/chips?
    ( - to which I answer No.)
    Oddly enough, device '0,1' is now working regardless. I still have the clicking problem in Nexuiz.

    So I guess my biggest problem is, how do I restore alsaconf to its original state? Do I need to weed through a configuration file somewhere or can I just reinstall it?
    \"Nifty News Fifty: When news breaks, we give you the pieces.\" - Sluggy Freelance

  2. #2
    Linux Guru lakerdonald's Avatar
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    A good old fashioned reboot might help.

  3. #3
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    That's the problem, whatever I screwed up is persistant across (hard) reboots. Believe me, it was the first thing I tried.
    \"Nifty News Fifty: When news breaks, we give you the pieces.\" - Sluggy Freelance

  4. #4
    Linux Guru lakerdonald's Avatar
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    Is your card still found by lspci?

  5. #5
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    Among a host of other VIA hardware, yes.
    Code:
    # lspci
    ...
    00:11.0 ISA bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8237 ISA bridge [KT600/K8T800/K8T89                          0 South]
    00:11.5 Multimedia audio controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8233/A/8235/8237 A                          C97 Audio Controller (rev 60)
    ...

    Does anyone know what files in particular alsaconf depends on or modifies, and how I might clean them up?
    \"Nifty News Fifty: When news breaks, we give you the pieces.\" - Sluggy Freelance

  6. #6
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    I've done a lot of digging through the alsaconf and alsasound scripts, and found that I can use alsasound and alsactl just fine. I'm now directing my attention at tracing the logic in alsaconf. If anyone has any ideas, please, this is driving me nuts (although I'm getting a better sense of how linux sound works ).
    \"Nifty News Fifty: When news breaks, we give you the pieces.\" - Sluggy Freelance

  7. #7
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    Try running 'alsactl names' as root, and then reading /etc/asound.names to get some insight on naming conventions. You should be able to use dev=default or dev=default:0 for most things, or you could set up slaves so that it does work. In fact, my ice1712 based Audiophile doesn't even function with hw:0,0 which does in fact exist.

    All alsaconf really does is detect your hardware, and load modules by setting aliases in modules.conf or modprobe.conf, or maybe some other file in yout distro.

    You should be able to delete the aliases and modules from this file and reboot, and you'll have a pretty clean slate. Also:

    rm /etc/asound.*
    rm ~/.asoundrc

    But in Suse, I'd think you should handle most of this through Yast, and that would be preferable. I don't know anything about that, though you'll probably need to clean manually first.

    To fix stuttering and clicking, it may be as simple as setting a buffer size or format in your asound.conf, check out the guides linked to from the soundcard matrix at alsa-project.org for both your specific card and it's chipset.
    Michael Salivar

    Man knows himself insofar as he knows the world, becoming aware of it only in himself, and of himself only within it.
    --Goethe

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the reply. My asound.conf file appears to be unaffected, and to my knowledge I don't have a local ~/.asound.rc. I've already tried deleting asound.state but that appears to only affect mixer data. Yast has never worked with my sound card - it gets module parameter errors ("possibly caused by an incorrect IRQ"), and I don't feel particularly inclined to work with it right now.

    I can't test anything for the next week as I'm away from my linux box, but when I get back I'll try backing up and deleting those files again to see what happens. I also located the point in the script where it fails some sort of test and displays the error message, but I need to find some time to work out what it's doing, with my limited scripting knowledge.

    As for my nexuiz problem, does it help to mention that it uses SDL for sound? If it is just the buffer, I'll bet there's an environmental variable for that.

    And thanks for the alsa-projects link, I'm checking the site out now.
    \"Nifty News Fifty: When news breaks, we give you the pieces.\" - Sluggy Freelance

  9. #9
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    It might be a Nexuiz problem with it's ALSA related code. You could try setting the game/sdl to use oss and then starting it with "aoss nexuiz", or whatever it's command is. That will enable oss emulation for the duration of the command's execution. Technically, I think, Alsa should grab oss events and emulate it anyway, as long as the necessary alsa-oss package is installed, but this will force it.

    But with stuttering, I would try growing the buffer in asound.conf, and if that doesn't work then shrink it. I do believe it uses powers of 2, but that may just be my card..
    Michael Salivar

    Man knows himself insofar as he knows the world, becoming aware of it only in himself, and of himself only within it.
    --Goethe

  10. #10
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    Sound cards and Yast

    In /etc/modprobe.d there is a file called sound. Rename this to sound.old
    Then go into YaST -> Hardware -> Sound card and try reconfiguring your
    sound card.


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