Alexander Leidinger

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Try­ing to get some more soundsys­tem related progress

I started a wiki page about improv­ing the soundsys­tem. The idea is sim­i­lar to the wiki page about improv­ing our lin­ux­o­la­tor. It’s a way to tell the peo­ple what is cur­rently avail­able as patches (and where), what is bro­ken and needs to be fixed, which improve­ments we like to see and so on. It’s maybe also a good place to list docs for sound­chips. Cur­rently the page about the soundsys­tem is a lit­tle bit low on con­tent. I hope a lot of peo­ple con­tribute with ideas, facts, sug­ges­tions, point­ers to help­ful stuff, (point­ers to) bugs, point­ing out lack of docs and so on (either by mod­i­fy­ing the page, or by mail­ing stuff to

With the linux page I was able to gain some momen­tum and sev­eral peo­ple are already help­ing with patches, run­ning tests and so on (even lit­tle help mat­ters). I hope the sound page will show a sim­i­lar benefit.

So dear reader, do you play some music some­times? Do you play an instru­ment which can be con­nected to some other stuff (MIDI)? Do you use acroread, skype, or some other linux soft­ware? If yes go to the wiki pages and read them please. When you’re fin­ished please donate 5 – 10 min­utes (I don’t mind if you sepnd more) of your time and try to tell us at or about stuff you think could be lis­tet there (instead of smok­ing a cig­a­rette, argue­ing about bad behav­ior of peo­ple around you, or sim­i­lar neg­a­tive stuff). Thanks in advance and trust me, you will earn good karma when you do this!

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5 Responses to “Try­ing to get some more soundsys­tem related progress”

  1. Casper Andersen Says:

    Hi Alexan­der

    I hope this com­ment will not be left unseen and it will get a response,
    if there is a more appro­pri­ate method for leav­ing a com­ment to you,
    let me know.

    Cur­rently using totem I’m play­ing some mp3’s.
    sound: snd_ich
    fbsd 6.2-RC1/releng
    xorg 7.2-rc3
    gnome 2.16.2

    prob­lem 1
    * I hear momen­tar­ily lapses of sound, small breaks while
    play­ing. Like the sound stream is dis­rupted. This is expe­ri­enced
    while cpu is under heavy pres­sure, which is com­mon here.

    I am won­der­ing if there is some­thing I can do to make the sound
    stream flu­ent, or whether this is a gen­eral prob­lem with the freebsd
    sound system.

    prob­lem 2
    now while at it.. flash and sound. the linux/unix flash player sound
    sys­tem is cur­rently based on ALSA, the linux sound sys­tem. is there
    any devel­op­ment in the direc­tion of court­ing the flash devel­op­ers
    to con­sider sup­port­ing a freebsd sound sys­tem model along­side
    ALSA, or have there been con­sid­er­a­tions toward imle­ment­ing
    an ALSA com­pat­i­bil­ity ‘layer’ ? Last I heard was that the flash
    linux/unix team man­ager were open to other unix sys­tems using
    the flash plu­gin if pos­si­ble (they changed from a license word­ing
    that said it could only be used on Linux to a more gen­eral word­ing
    that com­forted the rest of the crowd, freebsd included).

    keep up the good work.

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  2. Casper Andersen Says:

    another note..

    we have:
    cups — com­mon unix print­ing system

    can we have:
    cuss — com­mon unix sound sys­tem
    cuas — com­mon unix audio system

    with your involved in the sound sys­tem projects,
    have you heard any­thing about such a won­der­ful idea?

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  3. netchild Says:


    prob­lem 1: do a “sysctl –a | grep latency”. If some­thing shows up in the sound sys­tem related area increase the value and try again (I have to use 64 for my snd_es137x). If this doesn’t help, ask on

    prob­lem 2: Search the multimedia@ mail­inglist. Some­one wrote a plu­gin which uses OSS instead of ALSA (the flash devel­op­ers pro­vided some hooks for just this reason).

    cups/cuss: CUPS is a user­land solu­tion for hard­ware which is con­nected exter­nally via a con­nec­tion which allows this. In the soundsys­tem only an USB audio dri­ver would be pos­si­ble in user­land, but you would need spe­cial appli­ca­tions using this user­land solu­tion. All real sound­cards (“real” as in con­nected to the PCI bus) need some stuff in the ker­nel. So you have to write ker­nel stuff in any case. So you can’t use CUPS as a pat­tern here.


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  4. Video4Linux support in FreeBSD « The Daily BSD Says:

    […] Try­ing to get some more soundsys­tem related progress […]

  5. Pedro Giffuni Says:

    Hi Alexan­der;

    FWIW, I spent some time tak­ing a cou­ple of head­ers from NetBSD and OSS to replace GPL’d head­ers in the sound sys­tem. The GPL is, I under­stand, the main rea­son why we don’t com­pile in work­ing sound by default on FreeBSD.
    I hope some­one looks at kern/153901 and kern/153920. I should also men­tion that OSS car­ries the header required to make the csa dri­ver
    GPL free, but I never found a moti­vated indi­vid­ual to help me with that one.

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