What is the problem with the audio driver on Raspberry Pi 4?

I would like to understand what the problem with the audio driver on Raspberry Pi 4 is.

I know nothing about device drivers, but I do know something about C and C++. I am willing to contribute some time to this problem if I get enough information about it.



The following features are not working yet:

  • No sound via jack or HDMI (should land with kernel 5.10)

Is there still an audio issue that you’re experiencing?

If you want Linux with everything working - I suggest the Loboris image of Ubuntu - It has 100 % working except graphic acceleration.
I use it both of all my Pi4 8gb.

But it is the MATE desktop - Which I like since it looks line XP and Vista not 8 or 10.

It is 10.04 Ubuntu - he has a 10.10 - but 10.04 is like 15.2 - a LTS and 10.10 is like Tumbleweed

Link https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=131&t=279323&sid=6cc3e1dc7acea0e757545b00af5b91c8

Thank you for the prompt responses!

I guess I should clarify my intent. I am not looking for excuses why the problem is still out there a year and a half after the release of Raspberry Pi 4, nor am I looking for alternatives to openSUSE. Instead, I am trying to understand what is preventing the driver software from working under openSUSE. This is not my area of expertise, but who knows - I may be able to help.

I know for sure Raspbian has proper sound, and I take @larryr’s word that so does Ubuntu. I am hoping the problem is related to the compilation or the integration of the driver’s source code. Does that source code require some refactoring to compile and work on a 64-bit platform? Those are the things I am trying to understand.

The note that the problem will magically go away when a new kernel is introduced doesn’t make very much sense to me, because it doesn’t explain why Raspbian and Ubuntu work. I don’t think either of them has a newer kernel than Tumbleweed.

If you know somebody involved in the aarch64 distribution, please ask them to provide some technical details here.


That’s just the way openSUSE development works, work upstream… other distributions tend to hack solutions (in a lot of cases not acceptable upstream)… if you want to really get down to the nitty gritty, jump on IRC Freenode #opensuse-arm to find out the true status, bear in mind it’s holiday time for a lot of folks, so responses may be slow.

Well said Malcolm.

If you want more details - I would suggest you as Loboris in the Pi forum. He seems to be way ahead of even the Ubuntu folks. He has his own repository and you should be able to see his source code. I have stopped developing code for Unix/Linux drivers when they went streams in System V. I have enough trouble keeping all my friends computers working.

Microsoft - Making Screen Doors for Submarines since 1981.

Why promote another distribution? Whilst I don’t have an RPi4 (yet, might go for a rock board), have RPi3’s running both openSUSE and SLES, on the issues I’ve had both from a hardware/software perspective have been happily resolved via IRC, Submit Requests or via bug reports…

Agreed. Work with the openSUSE maintainers towards a resolution.

Thanks, @malcolmlewis. This sounds like a good next step.

@larryr, I don’t want to ditch openSUSE for another distro. It’s been good to me for almost 20 years. I want to do my part to keep it that way.

Admin/moderator folks, please keep this thread open for a few more days in case a techie comes around.


Because it is the only one that works on a PI 4 as a desktop out of the box and it also has the latest kernel support if you want it.

I try OpenSUSE for the PI 4 every other week - not even close. I don’t want Raspberian OS. I like Linux and MATE desktop. I expect things to work. It is OK for a server - fails as a desktop - too many “it is in the next release”. There does not seem to be any rush to support the largest non-Android/non-Apple ARM hardware platform. I doubt that any Apple users want to move from IOS to OpenSUSE.

I can see banks of Pi 4 servers with OpenSUSE - that part seems to work but the desktop is what most hobbyist are looking for and so far this has not happened.

Ubuntu has its quirks, apt-get instead of zypper - everything else is the same in Linux. I want my hardware to work, I don’t care if it is not OpenSUSE. - Maybe with over 15 million Pi 4’s - OpenSUSE should get Loboris to fix the code for the Pi 4. He fixed the boot logic to work with USB drives as well as the SD card slot.

I tried over 34 different xz linux images for the Pi 4 - Laboris (in New Zealand) had the only one that worked 1080P with VLC and played You Tube videos. Some had sound but no video, some had video and no sound like OpenSUSE. Some only had sound on HDMI but no video, some sound only works on the audio jack and could not sync with the video. Many could not get wifi working or the ethernet working. I know it is not easy to fix all the drivers - I never invent anything that someone has already invented.

OpenSUSE boots fine on the Pi 4 - but the desktop and apps just did not cut the mustard.

So, openSUSE is a do-ocrity, if developing/packaging folks don’t know about the issues, they are not going to magically fix themselves? Bug reports might be the best option, like I indicated the IRC channel is probably the best place for one on one with the developers. This time of the year is very slow and some of the ARM folks are not there… help make the openSUSE version better for all?

There are fixes and there are fixes, why doesn’t the developer of Loboris push it upstream, then all distributions can benefit? If it’s upstream, we all reap the rewards…

Just a FYI, this is a help forum for the openSUSE distribution, plenty of other places to promote the endeavors of other distributions… :wink:

I hear you @larryr. I’ve had my Pi 4 for 8 months now, and I share your frustration. Using the Pi as a media center is an important feature IMO, and it is disappointing that that use case doesn’t get proper attention.

On the other hand, I concur with @malcolmlewis about doing things for the long run. There are many things that openSUSE has been doing better than other distros. For instance, distributing all the popular desktops as part of the same bundle, unlike Ubuntu that bears no responsibility for non-Gnome desktops. As a result, the desktop I use is not available on Pi at all.

That’s why I figure it is better to spend the time to keep openSUSE competitive (when it needs help) than to keep getting used to a new distro and a new desktop all the time. I recently had to ditch KDE after almost 20 years (because it has become so memory-hungry that it cannot boot on a 64-bit system with 4GB of RAM, including Pi 4). I don’t want to ditch openSUSE.

MATE is gnome 2. I dislike gnome 3 and KDE. If I wanted a Windows 10 look, I would be using Windows 10. NO, I don’t want my desktop computer to look like a cell phone. Give me the XP desktop look. I hate looking for things in new places. Maybe I am just too old to want to change again.

I left Windows Vista for Centos 4. I evaluated many Linux versions for the worlds largest retailer and they selected SLES 11. So I left Centos for OpenSUSE the only thing different was zypper instead of yum and packman for things OpenSUSE lawyers forbid. Many upgrades later now 15.2 in a few month 15.3.

I have a religious backup and restore strategy. I had to develop it for supporting the worlds largest retailer. I validate it on bare iron (new drive) every month to make sure I don’t forget how to do it. I help all my neighbors with their computers and have convert over half to OpenSUSE with the MATE desktop.

Luckily Gecko Linux has a MATE version of OpenSUSE for easy installs. I wish OpenSUSE supported MATE directly - that would allow most of Ubuntu’s users to move as 75% of them use MATE as the desktop. (Mint Linux is Ubuntu with MATE and Debian with MATE). But we get a 1-click for MATE - thats better than a poke in the eye.

I don’t use IRC, or any social media - there is enough spying on us as it is - I use gmail but duck duck go instead of google - too much data capture.

Sorry for the rambling - almost started in on btrfs.

Just as a FYI - there is an OpenSUSE group in the Raspberry Pi forum.
OpenSUSE ARM folks should look over there.

Link https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewforum.php?f=87

@larryr - thanks for the link to the Raspberry Pi forum. I took a quick look at it. It looks like folks like ourselves, who suffer from the same issues, but with no help from insiders.

@malcolmlewis - after hanging on IRC for a few hours, I realized that a stateless chat is not a good way to interact with customers, especially across time zones. If there is an insider communication channel, please post for a techie to join this thread.

I feel that we all are in a violent agreement that SUSE has differentiated itself from other distributors, which keeps us as SUSE users. (We just express it in different ways. :slight_smile: ) That doesn’t mean that SUSE doesn’t make mistakes. Plenty of them. We, the community, want to help SUSE stay on track, one issue at a time. So, please get the insiders to listen.

FWIW, a quick search of bugzilla turned up this bug (No sound on Raspi4)…

It has the attention of Nicolas Saenz Julienne (a Senior Linux Kernel Engineer at SUSE and Takashi Iwai (a SUSE Engineer working with ALSA and package maintainer), so that’s a good sign. Looks like they’re waiting for upstream kernel support.

In particular, comment #8 from Nicolas…

See patches (in the rpi linux tree):


They most probably depend on other patches I didn’t take into account.

Note that, they might need a lot of clean-up before being acceptable for upstream, but feel free to have a go at it :). It’s staging code so it doesn’t have to be perfect.

@deano_ferrari - Thank you very much!

I hadn’t thought about this:

Obviously, all this works with Raspberry Pi OS, but they use their own tailor made downstream kernels.

The P5 priority is bothering me though. I urge people who think this is a problem to upvote the bug - 1177169 – No sound on Raspi4