Problem with sound card driver installation

Hello. My sound card is C-Media CMI8738 and I have CD with driver. I have some problem with English and I’m newbie at Linux - it was installed a few days ago. I have tried to find sound directory, but nothing. Should I compile driver before installation? How to do it? Please, help me.
In archive I found files:


The further Readme file content:
"Audio driver for CM8338/CM8738 chips by Chen-Li Tien


C-Media CMI8338
C-Media CMI8738
On-board C-Media chips


  1. Backup the and Makefile in the sound driver directory
    The provide help when you config driver in step
    4, please backup the original one (/usr/src/linux/Document) and
    copy this file.
    The cmpci is document for the driver in detail, please copy it
    to /usr/src/linux/Document/sound so you can refer it. Backup if
    there is already one.

  2. Extract the tar file by ‘tar xvzf cmpci-xx.tar.gz’ in the above

  3. Change directory to /usr/src/linux

  4. Config cm8338 driver by ‘make menuconfig’, ‘make config’ or
    ‘make xconfig’ command.

  5. Please select Sound Card (CONFIG_SOUND=m) support and CMPCI
    driver (CONFIG_SOUND_CMPCI=m) as modules. Resident mode not tested.
    For driver option, please refer ‘DRIVER PARAMETER’

  6. Compile the kernel if necessary.

  7. Compile the modules by ‘make modules’.

  8. Install the modules by ‘make modules_install’


  1. Before first time to run the driver, create module dependency by
    ‘depmod -a’

  2. To install the driver manually, enter ‘modprobe cmpci’.

  3. Driver installation for various distributions:

a. Slackware 4.0
   Add the 'modprobe cmpci' command in your /etc/rc.d/rc.modules you can start the driver automatically each time booting.

b. Caldera OpenLinux 2.2
   Use LISA to load the cmpci module.

c. RedHat 6.0 and S.u.S.E. 6.1
   Add following command in /etc/conf.modules:

   alias sound cmpci

also visit [C-Media Company Information]( for installation instruction.


Some functions for the cm8738 can be configured in Kernel Configuration
or modules parameters. Set these parameters to 1 to enable.

mpu_io: I/O ports base for MPU-401, 0 if disabled.
fm_io: I/O ports base for OPL-3, 0 if disabled.
spdif_inverse:Inverse the S/PDIF-in signal, this depends on your
spdif_loop: Enable S/PDIF loop, this route S/PDIF-in to S/PDIF-out
speakers: Number of speakers used.
use_line_as_rear:Enable this if you want to use line-in as
use_line_as_bass:Enable this if you want to use line-in as
modem: You will need to set this parameter if you want to use
the HSP modem. You need install the pctel.o, the modem
driver itself.
joystick: Enable joystick. You will need to install Linux joystick

My sound card is C-Media CMI8738

Mine too. Works out of the box in suse. Just make sure if you have on-board sound too you are actually using the c-media
onboard will be listed as sound device 0
c-media as device 1

If it’s the only device just configure in yast
Then make sure you have the correct channel selected (master) in the sound mixer in your panel.

Obviously I formulated my question incorrect. I have C-Media CMI8738 sound card. And it is working fine. But I want to understand how to install drivers like that. Because it are not *deb or *rmp format. I want to install native driver. As I said I’m a new user in Linux. And I look forward to your support.

It’s working and you want to install drivers?
Mine is working too, so why would I want to install drivers?
Come again

Since you appear curious about sound in Linux, here is a link to a description of some basic sound concepts: Sound-concepts - openSUSE

OSS is very uncommon now adays. While it was eventually made openSouce, but that time alsa had improved significantly and the Linux world moved to alsa. And alsa comes with an OSS emulator.

As for audio drivers packaged by the hardware manufacturer’s for Linux, I can not think of one case where they are superior to the alsa driver. Thats not to say there is not such a case, but IMHO if alsa works, then stick with alsa. I do know one is highly likely NOT to get support with a manufacturer’s audio driver, but one will get support with alsa.