For those who do not know, alsa is the sound “driver” that comes with openSUSE (packaged as rpms), where these rpms include kernel modules that load providing sound. My understanding is the kernel also contains a version of alsa, where the kernel’s sound modules can be replaced by updated rpms …
I was curious about what was being updated in openSUSE-11.2 (to be released in November) so I jotted down these notes … and I thought here that I would share a few links.
openSUSE-11.1 was released with a mix of 1.0.17 and 1.0.18 alsa (plus some very recent openSUSE alsa fixes that were on their way upstream to alsa). It looks like openSUSE-11.2, when released in November-2009, will have version 1.0.20 of alsa. So what will the differences be ?
I note these URLs:
- Changelog between 1.0.17 and 1.0.18 releases - Changes v1.0.17 v1.0.18 - AlsaProject
- Changelog between 1.0.18 and 1.0.19 releases - Changes v1.0.18 v1.0.19 - AlsaProject
- Changelog between 1.0.19 and 1.0.20 releases - Changes v1.0.19 v1.0.20 - AlsaProject
I anticipate there may also be some custom openSUSE alsa packager “fixes” to alsa in the version of 1.0.20 delivered with openSUSE.
In addition, the openSUSE-11.2 kernel-2.6.31 will have 1.0.20 of alsa provided in the kernel. See this thread for discussion on the kernel: Whats new in 2.6.31 vs 2.6.27 kernel ? - openSUSE Forums
I note that 1.0.20 of alsa has superior hardware automatic configuration than the older 1.0.17/1.0.18 combination. Together with the new 2.6.31 kernel, it also has some support for XFi audio hardware, where lack of support for that until now has always been a disappointment for some Linux enthusiasts.
Skimming thru the release notes, from what I can see is there are also many bug fixes, updated documentation, and improved support for a lot of the newer PC/motherboard sound hardware.
I also noted in a separate thread , that the naming convention for files under /etc/modprobe.d will change in 11.2, and it now appears (based on milestone releases) that the previous “sound” file in that directory will instead be called 50-sound.conf.