Sharing sound hardware

Michael Wiktowy mwiktowy at
Sat Feb 5 23:37:11 UTC 2005

> Date: Fri, 04 Feb 2005 18:10:32 -0800
> From: Ryan Gammon <rgammon at>
> Message-ID: <42042B18.2090207 at>
Sorry for the lack of threading ... I get message digests.
> Hi guys,
> I've been catching up on my mailing list reading on fedora, helix, and 
> general sound server interaction, and saw a couple threads of interest 
> from late last year.
> I'm curious to know what the current fedora thinking is on software 
> mixing & sharing sound hardware, particularly with sound devices that 
> don't have any hardware mixing support.

As a regular user who is stuck with one of those onboard soundcards that
is quite capable *except* for the seeming lack of hardware mixing, I
would be extremely happy to see someone focusing on this. A complication
that I have is the need to run programs that are OSS only (Teamspeak2
and Quake3 to be specific) and the OSS emulation via ALSA seems to add
an extra wrinkle into getting any sort of software mixing (particularly
sound capture) working properly. I have played around with
arts/esound/.asound with no success.

One project that I noticed recently is oss2jack that I thought might
solve my problem by plugging OSS directly into JACK instead of the OSS
emulation in ALSA. I would hate to have to wedge this stuff into my
configuration every single kernel update though (I have recently given
up running on the GATOS treadmill to keep my ATI AIW TV tuner
working ... I am crossing my fingers to see some of that stuff natively
in Xorg) and I sense that the chance of any of these thing making it
upstream are slim especially without someone knowledgeable of such
things (read "not me") pushing it along.

Anyways, JACK seems to list ALSA as a supportee. Maybe the OSS emulation
in ALSA could be modified to run more smoothly with JACK/dmix/etc. and
let ALSA figure out if there is a hardware mixer available or not.
Hoping that OSS applications go away is not the way to go.

Linux falling on its face due to sound hardware contention is one of the
last embarrassments left when I am trying to sell Linux as a true
Windows replacement to friends and family.


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