Tag Archives: Sound

PulseAudio on Debian Testing

I just replaced ESD by the new sound server Pulseaudio.

Pulseaudio brings up some great improvements and is already chipped by Fedora 8.

Getting it to work on my Debian Testing was very easy :

$ aptitude install pulseaudio pulseaudio-esound-compat pulseaudio-module-gconf pulseaudio-module-hal pulseaudio-module-jack pulseaudio-module-x11 pulseaudio-module-zeroconf pulseaudio-utils libasound2-plugins

However there were two issues to face : no more sound with Flash and Skype.

To solve the flash issue, you have to download and set up this package (more information or sources on this page).

Concerning the Skype problem, you have to create – or edit if existing – an /etc/asound.conf file as follows :

pcm.card0 {
type hw
card 0

pcm.dmixer {
type dmix
ipc_key 1025
slave {
pcm "hw:0,0"
period_time 0
period_size 2048
buffer_size 32768
rate 48000
bindings {
0 0
1 1

pcm.skype {
type asym

playback.pcm "dmixer"
capture.pcm "card0"

pcm.!default {
type plug
slave.pcm "skype"

Then, restart alsa-utils :

$ /etc/init.d/alsa-utils restart

Finally, just select “skype” as sound device in the Skype preferences and it should work. I hope it will help !

Sound issue on Debian testing

Gnome sounds are based on the ESD mixing system (allowing to play different sounds at the same time with the same card), which is itself based on the OSS sound service.

The problem is that it does not work by default with a Debian Testing system.

And if you try to start Esd in a terminal, you get :

$ esd
/dev/dsp: No such file or directory

First, you have to make sure to have the right packages set up (we consider that you keep using the more modern Alsa sound service instead of OSS) :

$ aptitude install alsa-oss gstreamer0.10-esd

But still, the /dev/dsp device will be missing.

The solution is to create this peripheral manually :

$ mknod /dev/dsp c 14 3

Problem : the next time you boot your machine, the device will be deleted.

Udev, the new device manager, load the peripherals dynamically, when they are detected (part of the kernel or included as a module).

If you want to check that Udev is in use on your machine :

$ ps -ef | grep udevd

Our problem is that a module – snd-pcm-oss – is not loaded at startup. We are using Alsa but we want to be able to use the deprecated OSS, still required by some applications.

The snd-pcm-oss module is emulating OSS for use with the Alsa system.
So, you need to do :

$ echo snd-pcm-oss >> /etc/modules

.. and the module will be started at the boot time, creating the suitable /dev/dsp.