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Thread: Sound card not correctly detected openSuSE 11

  1. #1
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    Default Sound card not correctly detected openSuSE 11

    The sound functions on my openSuSE installation are not at all what I expect.

    It seems that openSuSE has decided that I have a Creative SB Audigy LS card installed; I don't. I have a Sound Blaster Live 24 bit card. Thse are physically quite different. As I result the sounds are quite confusing.

    I don't know if I have to install other drivers or not.

    I don't understand how to set things on the 'sound' option in the Control Centre. Nothing there refers to a Creative card at all - it is all in industry generic terms like CA0106, which I do not understand

    I do not know if I should be using ALS, ESD, OSS or PusleAudio.

    Could I have some advice on how to get full support for this sound card working, so that I can play audio CDs at least on this system. Later on I would like to be able to use Audacity to capture and record some particular music programs from BBC.

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    Default Re: Sound card not correctly detected openSuSE 11

    IMHO this is not for control center, which is mainly for the individual settings for a particular user.

    You are configuring the system itself, so try YaST > Hardware > Sound and see if it helps you.
    Henk van Velden

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    Default Re: Sound card not correctly detected openSuSE 11

    I have tried this repeatedly - the correct card is not listed and I can find no way of getting the card correctly configured.

    I am followng the advice given at SDB:AudioTroubleshooting - openSUSE but, much like the US military, documentation in the Linux world seems to come from the 'fire; aim; ready' school of management - it still needs a little attention on the 'aim' and 'ready' parts of that protocol.

    For example, in Step 1 in the above referenced document the speaker-test command fails with:
    *** PULSEAUDIO: Unable to create stream.
    Unable to set hw params for playback: Input/output error
    Setting of hwparams failed: Input/output error

    Which means nothing to me.

    In STEP2 NONE of the YaST configuration steps result in any change in sound output. Running 'alsaconf' provides nothing new.

    In STEP 3 NONE of the CAT commands complete successfully; all fail with unknown file error message.

    I have not yet run the scripts which the above refeneced site points me, to discover which codec I have - I already know that from an examination of the card and also noting its details from when I was using Win XP. Indeed this card is on the HCL for sound - but OpenSuSE incorrectly identifies it. In fact the card that Open SuSE thinks it has found is unknown to Creative Labs and does NOT appear in the HCL sound list.

    Even though I can identify the correct codec, I can find no way of installing it.

    So far this is not a good start to my conversion to Linux.

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    Default Re: Sound card not correctly detected openSuSE 11

    The audio troubleshooting guide, as explained at the start, is written such that it will try things in a very specific order of "escalation". It also notes if the 1st step fails to provide audio, move on to the next.

    Quote Originally Posted by XEyedBear View Post
    For example, in Step 1 in the above referenced document the speaker-test command fails with:
    *** PULSEAUDIO: Unable to create stream.
    Unable to set hw params for playback: Input/output error
    Setting of hwparams failed: Input/output error
    pulse audio in the most part is specific to openSUSE-11.0. This error is good to know about, as ultimately it may mean you will need to remove pulse audio. .... For now, just file this information, possibly to be acted upon later.

    Quote Originally Posted by XEyedBear View Post
    In STEP2 NONE of the YaST configuration steps result in any change in sound output. Running 'alsaconf' provides nothing new.
    It is important that you check your mixer as part of those steps. If they don't work, then simply move on to the next step, AS INSTRUCTED at the start of the document.

    Quote Originally Posted by XEyedBear View Post
    In STEP 3 NONE of the CAT commands complete successfully; all fail with unknown file error message.
    Those commands all work on the assumption that "/proc/asound" exists. If your card has not been selected/setup, and if that directory does not exist (and is not populated) then they won't succeed. In which case, simply move on to the next step, AS INSTRUCTED at the start of the document.

    Quote Originally Posted by XEyedBear View Post
    I have not yet run the scripts which the above refeneced site points me, to discover which codec I have
    This is one of the more important steps. PLEASE run those scripts. If you can't follow the directions there (for what ever reason), try and copy paste this one line command (to run the alsa-info.sh script) into an xterm/konsole:
    Code:
    wget -O alsa-info.sh http://www.alsa-project.org/alsa-info.sh && bash alsa-info.sh
    and then provide here the URL it creates.


    Quote Originally Posted by XEyedBear View Post
    I already know that from an examination of the card and also noting its details from when I was using Win XP.
    The idea is that you provide the codec. You have mentioned your card. That is NOT the same as the codec. Not all cards are identical, not everyone has your knowledge. To write a separate guide for each of the thousands of SUSE users out there, is not practical. Plus the diagnostic scripts provide a LOT more information than just codec information. Try it, and if you try it and can come back and say you knew in advance every last bit of information that the script provides, I will be .... surprised ...

    Quote Originally Posted by XEyedBear View Post
    So far this is not a good start to my conversion to Linux.
    Patience.

    And welcome to our forum.

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    Default Re: Sound card not correctly detected openSuSE 11

    Patience? That's not the requirement that I can see: I need to join some sot of extremist IT cult, learn strange incantations, speak in funny tongues, probably wear strange clothes and learn a secret handshake.

    OK, I've run the 2 scripts in the SDB Audio Trouble-shooting guide, as you suggested. I understand their purpose is to help identify what I already know - namely the codec I am using. Specifically the guide says "Now take a good look at those script pages, and try to determine what audio codec your PC sound hardware has". What script pages? I haven't got any script pages!

    The first script returned urls:
    http://pastebin.q/1055955
    http://pastebin.q/1055963

    (I can't be sure if these are correct - my writng and eyesight is a bit poor after spending more than 20 hours without a break trying to get sound to work). Unfortunately trying to run the script again now gives me 100% failues because the file alsa-info.sh does not exist. This happened about 6 or 7 times the fist time round. Now it fails 100% of the time.

    As I observed, Linux and the documentation seems to be a little less than fully cooked. I cannot think of any other reason why an end-user, wishing only to listen to some music, has to go through this amazing procedure to make something work, which should work right out of the box. When you stand back far enough you begin to see it for what is really is: a religion with sacred chants and procedures, far removed from the needs of ordinary people.

    Anyway, the second script returned URL tsalsa.txt - nopaste.com (beta)

    The bottom line is that running these scripts provided me with exactly zero information about my codec.

    However, knowing that it is the SB0140 I went to the ALSA-project main page (as directed by the SDB Guide), signed up for the mailing list, proved my card is supported (except that in practice it isn't), proved that testing my card fails, searched for the codec SB0410, was directed to a table showing me to look for ca0106 and linking me here:

    Matrix:Module-ca0106 - AlsaProject

    And this is where things really fall apart. It seems I've got to compile my own sound drivers or something like that. Great: I want to go for a drive in the country, but first I have to build the car!

    I've only spent about 6 hours studying this page, so I haven't tested everything yet. It says:

    "You must turn on the sound support soundcore module. This is in the kernel. Look in the sound drivers directory and it should be the first option. Most people enable the module setting."

    I have no idea where to look for the sound drivers directory. I spent about 1 hour wandering around the disk then realised that there are better ways to use my time. How can there be a 'first option' in a directory? This page is starting to give me a considerable lack of confidence in the whole process.

    Next: neither of the commands </hgcompile "or" make build> or <./configure> work - mainly because I cannot make sense of the instruction 'type in the shell of your choice'. I don't have a 'shell of my choice', but even if I did I am confident that I couldn't get the keyboard in it. And why the heck should it make any difference where I type?

    I followed the instruction: "Make a directory to store the alsa source code in:" - that worked - good sign.

    I followed the instruction:"Now unzip and install the alsa-driver package: "

    This doesn't work with the typical error message about unknown file or directory.

    At this stage I have to conclude that the process does not work and that the writers of these guides have the same problem as me: no idea what is going on - just make it up as they go along!


    What a depressing state of affairs for an industry which is now more than a quarter of a Century old.









    Fortunately, aftr a reboot the cat commands worked. cat /proc/asound/cards identified my card as 0 snd-ca0106 Live! 7.1 24 bit [sb0413] at 0xdf20 with irq 21. That's almost correct - the codec is an SB0140 - there is no 0413. This confirms what I already knew (but is in disagreement with what Yast says - it insiste the card is SB Audigy LS - a card that is unknown to Creative Labs.

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    Default Re: Sound card not correctly detected openSuSE 11

    Quote Originally Posted by XEyedBear View Post
    I followed the instruction: "Make a directory to store the alsa source code in:" - that worked - good sign.
    I have made a mistake here: what actually fails is this instruction: cp /downloads/alsa-* .

    I can find no directory called 'downloads'. I also not sure if the space between the * and the . is valid. But there again, I only wanted to use the soundcard, not write the software for it!

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    Default Re: Sound card not correctly detected openSuSE 11

    Quote Originally Posted by XEyedBear View Post
    Patience? That's not the requirement that I can see: I need to join some sot of extremist IT cult, learn strange incantations, speak in funny tongues, probably wear strange clothes and learn a secret handshake.
    I am wondering if you understand that those of us who contribute to forums like this happen to all be volunteers. There is no secret handshake. No strange clothes. No funny tongues. No incantations. Just normal people, who are volunteers.

    Quote Originally Posted by XEyedBear View Post
    At this stage I have to conclude that the process does not work and that the writers of these guides have the same problem as me: no idea what is going on - just make it up as they go along!
    Well, since I happened to have written that guide you refer to, and since I asked for contributions from the community and obtained mostly NONE, ... I rather take exception to your remark.

    When I started that guide there was nothing comparable. Please, if you find a superior page, point me to it, and I will gladly delete that guide.

    You appear to be an expert in how guides are written, then since you don't like the guide, then please improve on it. That is the idea behind a wiki. ... And since you trashed my guide, I'm debating if there is a point to me trying to help you here ...

    Anyway, it looks to me like you may have messed up your mixer settings.
    Code:
    Amixer contents for card 0 [CA0106] _____________________________________        
    amixer set 'Line in',0 Capture 207 81&#37; Capture 207 81%        
    amixer set 'Mic',0 Capture 0 0% Capture 0 0%        
    amixer set 'Phone',0 Capture 207 81% Capture 207 81%        
    amixer set 'IEC958',0 off        
    amixer set 'IEC958 Center/LFE',0 67% 67%        
    amixer set 'IEC958 Front',0 81% 81%        
    amixer set 'IEC958 Rear',0 81% 81%        
    amixer set 'IEC958 Unknown',0 81% 81%        
    amixer set 'Aux',0 Capture 207 81% Capture 207 81%        
    amixer set 'Analog Center/LFE',0 81% 81%        
    amixer set 'Analog Front',0 81% 81%        
    amixer set 'Analog Rear',0 81% 81%        
    amixer set 'Analog Side',0 81% 81%        
    amixer set 'Analog Source',0 Items: 'Phone' 'Mic' 'Line in' 'Aux' Item0: 'Line in'        
    amixer set 'CAPTURE feedback',0 81% 81%        
    amixer set 'Digital Source',0 Items: 'IEC958 out' 'i2s mixer out' 'IEC958 in' 'i2s in' 'AC97 in' 'SRC out' Item0: 'i2s in'        
    amixer set 'Shared Mic/Line in',0 Items: 'Line in' 'Mic in' Item0: 'Line in'
    Are you using digital audio? If so, you need to switch ON IEC958 (its off now).

    Quote Originally Posted by XEyedBear View Post
    It seems I've got to compile my own sound drivers or something like that.
    Why? I dont' see that need. What evidence do you have that updating your alsa is going to help you? The guide provides guidance to search the alsa web site, and only do an update if there is evidence that will help. From my searches based on the script output, I see no evidence that an alsa update will help. Instead, it looks to me like it could be a mixer problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by XEyedBear View Post
    Fortunately, aftr a reboot the cat commands worked. cat /proc/asound/cards identified my card as 0 snd-ca0106 Live! 7.1 24 bit [sb0413] at 0xdf20 with irq 21.
    Glad to read, you are gradually making progress.

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    Default Re: Sound card not correctly detected openSuSE 11

    Quote Originally Posted by oldcpu View Post
    Are you using digital audio? If so, you need to switch ON IEC958 (its off now)
    If you are not using digital audio, then I recommend you put IEC958 back to OFF, ensure Digital Source remains as "i2s in", and check to see if removing pulse audio helps.

    You can tell which pulse audio applications are installed by typing:
    rpm -qa | grep pulse

    You can then remove these applications, and after removal restart your pc, and check your sound (being certain to double check your mixer again).

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    Default Re: Sound card not correctly detected openSuSE 11

    I am wondering if you understand that those of us who contribute to forums like this happen to all be volunteers. There is no secret handshake. No strange clothes. No funny tongues. No incantations. Just normal people, who are volunteers.
    No, I actually have no idea how this development community works in the Open World - it's all quite new to me - somewhat akin to a parallel universe. I should say that my background (before reaching a feeble age and being judged unemployable) did place responsibility upon me to ship technical products to consumers, in a company that had a long track record of creating reasonably good, trailing edge reliable products with notably execrable documentation. The cost to the company in support and loss of customer loyalty was enormous. I spent a long time (years) shouting at my product managers and their techies until they began to understand that end-users do not, have no desire to, nor should they have any need to understand detailed technical internals. They just want to use the products
    to add value in their work.

    The Open world appears to me to have this problem in an extreme form: pick away at the thin veneer of desktop usability and you are immediately plunged into the maelstrom of uncoordinated, non-integrated processes and
    procedures, presented in Ritchie-speak.

    So, all those volunteers (and I understand the meaning of this word - I am one myself) are clearly working hard for the benefit of us all, but are directing their efforts at a subset of their potential target audience - to the technically fluent, technically informed and technically interested. This does not help the less informed, but more numerous, end-user. And surely, if the Open world is going to provide a more attractive proposition than the Beasts of Redmond (shudder), it must address the needs of the end-user as well as the hobbyist?

    Well, since I happened to have written that guide you refer to, and since I asked for contributions from the community and obtained mostly NONE, ... I rather take exception to your remark.
    Oops - understandably so. Sorry about the implied personal insult. I'll try to explain it as the result of being too old and bad-tempered; too lacking in patience (as you had previously observed) and too anxious about life slipping away rapidly when there is so much more I want to do.

    It's an opportunity for you to demonstrate that you are a much greater person than I have ever been by accepting my apology - please! I'll even work on changes to style and content if you wish.

    Quote Originally Posted by oldcpu View Post
    When I started that guide there was nothing comparable. Please, if you find a superior page, point me to it, and I will gladly delete that guide.
    You probably know that it is the only guide that I have been able to find - and I have to observe that it did not immediately jump out at me from a literature search - I think I had spent some hours fruitlessly wandering about the web trying a bit of this and a bit of that. That's a clue to a problem, isn't it? Surely there must be a better organisation (read 'co-ordination' too) for all this documentation? I have found it all far too confusing to locate the right information for the task.

    Quote Originally Posted by oldcpu View Post
    You appear to be an expert in how guides are written, then since you don't like the guide, then please improve on it. That is the idea behind a wiki. ... And since you trashed my guide, I'm debating
    if there is a point to me trying to help you here ...
    Nah, far from it. Appearances can be deceiving. I'm an expert at picking holes in things, not in building them up. That's a character defect, I know it's not nice, but some one has to be that way to show how much more pleasant the rest of humanity is (with the notable exception of specific individuals in the North West).

    'Trashed your guide'? Hardly - it's much more robust than that. It just is too difficult for a naive end-user to use. And there-in lies the rub: the fact that support for my (very common, yeah anodyne even) sound card does
    not work 'out of the box' on a new install of OpenSuSE - as it does for Windows.

    Quote Originally Posted by oldcpu View Post
    Anyway, it looks to me like you may have messed up your mixer settings.
    Quite possibly - but in my ignorance you understand. For example I didn't even know there is a mixer and could not at first understand your guidance to check it. I looked around diligently for such an object. I didn't find it. I finally tried a command line. So I don't know how I messed it up.

    Quote Originally Posted by oldcpu View Post
    Are you using digital audio? If so, you need to switch ON IEC958 (its off now).
    It's not a question that I understand. Do you mean do I have a TOS-link directly off the read-head of my hi-fi D player that produces a bit stream that I could 'inject' into the card? The answer is no - I don't see any (external) digital input connector on the card. But if you mean do I have an internal connector from my CD/DVD device to the sound card, the answer is yes - but this could just as well be an analogue signal for all I know. If you mean you mean 'does the card receive data from the CD/DVD device via DMA or PIO'? surely that's how they all work, isn't it?

    I should also say that I do have an analogue connector from my tuner and/or amplifier (depends on which room the computer is in) into 'Line-In' on the card. In fact that's the whole long term objective: to be able to record straight off air (FM in UK gives a better signal than DAB - believe it or not). I also want to listen to music CDs and downloaded MP3 on the computer.

    So do I have digital audio or not? I'll have to take your advice on that.

    Quote Originally Posted by oldcpu View Post
    Why? I dont' see that need. What evidence do you have that updating your alsa is going to help you? The guide provides guidance to search the alsa web site, and only do an update if there is evidence that will help. From my searches based on the script output, I see no evidence that an alsa update will help. Instead, it looks to me like it could be a mixer problem.
    Well, I think that is a pointer to how confused I was by the guide. Part way through I was sure that there is support fro my codec (even though it appears to be recognised as the wrong device). But I imagined that the
    guide was advising me to get an updated driver (that's the usual response in the Wintel world). And as soon as I take a few steps down that road then I am in deep ordure because the process to build my own kernel just doesnt work as described - when in the hands of an ignorant like myself. In that sense the guide (actually we are talking about 2 separate documents here I think) is not 'correct' for some definitions of 'correct'.

    Quote Originally Posted by oldcpu View Post
    Glad to read, you are gradually making progress.
    Yeah, well I was -sort of. I bit like Darwinian progress. I had got to the slime developing a central nervous system stage, I think. Then I 'copulated' it all up: I installed Evolution Email and immediately lost all ability to get to any web-site, lost SAMBA connectivity to my home network, lost all ability to get email. In fact I really have a PC which cannot do much now: can get data into it only via the keyboard and out of it only via the monitor. (Don't mention the printer support in OpenSuSE to me just now: I have 5 different models of printer here - NONE of them work).

    About as much use as a chocolate teapot.

    I'm using Firefox under windows to access this forum now.

    More after I have done a re-install.

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    Default Re: Sound card not correctly detected openSuSE 11

    I have done more work pending a resolution of my connectivity problem, but this raises more questions.

    I can get sound out of the system in Sound Preferences (Devices tab) only when setting ALSA for playback of sound events, music & movies and Audio Conferencing. When tested I get a continuous tone at middle C I guess - is this correct?

    I cannot set both playback and capture devices at the same time - does this mean I will be able only to playback sounds or record sound, but not both?

    Even so, when I test some sound events (on the Sounds tab) some of them seem to play an inappropriate sound. 'Siren' for example plays a single short 'bong' sound. Is this correct?

    I do not understand how to set up the 'Default Mixer Tracks' of the Sound Prefs. window (Devices Tab):

    I do not know which 'device' is the correct one. I have chosen CA0106 (AlsaMixer) as a best guess.

    I don't know what IEC958 entries are - I'm not an electrical engineer.

    I don't know which analog tracks to select for play of Desktop speakers (I guess there are so many options because my sound card is described as 7.1 - is this correct?)

    I don't know what Capture feedback is.

    Normally I would expect to solve such questions myself by access to the Help facility, but the help screen presented for Sound Prefs does not seem to apply to the functions or appearance of my Sound Prefs. window. Most of my questions are about the Device tab of Sound Prefs. No such tab is mentioned or described in the help file.

    The help file describes a General tab (which my Sound Pref.s window does not show), but section 8.45.1 of the help document does not seem to apply and Tables 8-17 and 8-18 do not apply.

    Even when I select multiple tracks for Alsa-mixer, the execution of the alsa-mixer command results in an old DOS-like screen from the early 80's containing one single vertical bar - the master volume control. There are no other controls for individual track level mixing. This DOS window also suggests that PulseAudio is being used. I don't recall selecting that. So where did that come from?


    This is getting to be hard work just to get sounds to play correctly!

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