[linux-audio-user] New Kernel; No Sound. Linux-2.6.5 ALSA

Martin McCormick martin at dc.cis.okstate.edu
Sun Apr 11 15:34:33 EDT 2004

	I have spent this weekend attempting to get ALSA running on a
Dell Dimension that uses the CS4236+ sound driver.  Surprisingly
enough, the hardware appears to be working in that PNP finds the sound card.

	I built the 2.6.5 kernel with modularized support for ALSA and
OSS compatibility under ALSA.

	When I got to the make modules_install stage, I got a torrent
of error messages from depmod and a link to the document
post-halloween-2.6.txt. that and a trip through the kernel
documentation got me to install module-init-tools-3.0 which appears to
be the newest version.

	That, when run, got all the dependency problems taken care of
and I see no errors at all now when installing modules.  It looks for
all the world like it could work, but it doesn't.

	Another trip through the ALSA section of the 2.6.5 kernel
tells me to use MAKEDEV.snd in the scripts directory.  I did that and
it successfully re-made all the audio devices as symlinks to similar
names appended by a number.  /dev/dsp or /dev/mixer got linked to
/dev/dsp0 and /dev/mixer0.  Makes perfect sense to me.

	I thought, "Now it will surely work!"
Nope.  Here is what I can tell so far.

	Nothing complains upon boot.  I do have alsa-base installed as
a Debian package and it did install without problem.  One
trouble-shooting suggestion I read said to look in /proc/asound/oss/sndstat
to see a list of the cards.  There is no such list so that is
significant, but I am not sure what causes that.

	I play around a lot with /dev/dsp to record low-fidelity audio
and even wrote an application in C that simulates a voice-activated
recorder to catch amateur radio and police scanner traffic.  You can
normally just cat /dev/dsp >some_file and it will dump 8,000 8-bit
samples per second of PCM audio to your file.
It at least used to work under the 2.4.19 kernel I ran for a couple of
years so I know the sound card can work fine if it sees the right setup.

	Now, if I try to do anything with the audio devices, the
complaint is "no such device."

	The only complaint I see from the system except for when I try
to use sound occurs on shutdown.

Broadcast message from root (ttyS1) (Sun Apr 11 07:54:31 2004):
The system is going down for reboot NOW!
INIT: INIT: Sending processes the TERM signal
ALSA detected, but alsactl not usable, carrying on with aumix.
Saving mixer settings: failed.
ALSA driver isn't running.

	To be a little more clear, if I look for /proc/asound/oss/sndstat,
there is no asound directory under /proc although there are several
other directories.  ALSA just isn't getting that far yet.

	Thanks for any constructive ideas.  I did a check of the
archives, but didn't see anything that sounded exactly like this
problem although that could just be that I picked the wrong search
to connect the dots, I

Martin McCormick WB5AGZ  Stillwater, OK 
OSU Information Technology Division Network Operations Group

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