Sound Problems: 2 Chanel yes, 5.1 NO

Hey Guys, I’m new to openSuse and Linux in general, so please bare with me.

I am having some problems with my sound card, as the title suggest, I can get Left and Right channels to work fine. But I am trying to run 5.1 for movies ect, I find that my SPDIF connector is not working, and I have to change to Analog (3.5mm) to get any sound at all.

Hardware is fine, because it works fine in XP SP3.

Hardware details:

GIGABYTE Motherboard GA-MA74GM-S2
AMD 740G + SB700 Chipset


  1. Realtek ALC888 codec
  2. High Definition Audio
  3. 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel (Note 2)
  4. Support for S/PDIF Out
  5. Support #1 SMP 2008-10-21 16:30:26 +0200 i686 athlon i386 GNU/Linux for CD In

64bit cpu, but running the 32bit OS.

The application ‘Configure your Sound’ suggests:
SBx00 Azalia and a Radon HD3850 audio

speaker-test -Dplug:surround40 -c6 -l5 -twav device
This of course doesn’t output anything other then front left and front right.

Any suggestions would be appreciated, or command output can be posted for the missing info that I dont know how to provide.


By your kernel, it appears to me you have openSUSE-11.0. Still, you may find this thread of help:
sound card, surround 5.1 not working in opensuse 11.1 - openSUSE Forums

I do not have hardware that supports surround sound, so I have never learned the ins and outs of setting it up / troubleshooting it, and unfortunately those who do have it working, have not created an appropriate guide.

If it were me, and if I had the hardware, and if I wanted to set up surround sound, I would install the program xchat, and then log on to “freenode”, IRC channel #alsa and ask the guru’s who hang out there. One may need to log on at different times of the day and ask 1/2 dozen to a dozen times, before one finds a guru with the answer.

One comment though … your hardware appears to be very new, and you are using openSUSE-11.0 with an older alsa version. IMHO you may need the newest kernel (that comes only with openSUSE-11.1) and you may need the latest alsa versions (from this web site: Alsa-update - openSUSE ) in order to get this functioning.

Good luck.

Thanks OldCPU,

I have a look at both of those links and see what I can gather.