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This guide will help update your version of the ALSA modules under Debian GNU/Linux 5.0. This is useful for people who's sound is not currently working with their current version of ALSA. We will be covering the installation of the the latest stable drivers, the latest development and the CVS ALSA modules.
We will be using 'nano' as our text editor of choice but you can use whatever you wish.
While this guide is mainly focused to laptop users there isn't any difference for desktop users.
You should run a full update for your installation of Debian to ensure you have all the latest packages installed.
You will need a working internet connection.
Depending on your sound controller you will need to make the decision on which version of ALSA you will need to install. If you are not sure you should start with the stable drivers and then if necessary move on to the development or CVS driver.
The stable drivers have received the most testing and are the recommended drivers to use if they support your sound controller. The development drivers haven't been tested as much as the stable ones have but still typically work well. The CVS drivers are up to date drivers with the latest developments however this means that this version has barely been tested so should only be used if absolutely necessary.
Here are the steps to installing the ALSA modules:
1. Download your chosen set of drivers from http://www.alsa-project.org for the stable and development drivers and from http://ftp.suse.com/pub/projects/alsa/snapshot/driver/ for the latest CVS drivers. In this guide we are going to use alsa-driver-1.0.19 as at the time of writing these are the latest stable drivers. You just need to substitute your driver version with the version used here. You only need to download the alsa-driver package, the other packages (alsa-lib, alsa-utils etc.) are not necessary.
2. Load up a terminal window if you are in the graphic interface.
3. Switch to the root user by entering the command “su -” (without the quotes) and typing in your root password.
4. Type in the following commands to install gcc and the kernel headers:
apt-get install build-essential module-assistant m-a update m-a prepare
5. Move to the /usr/src/ folder with:
6. Extract the contents of the file you downloaded with:
tar -xjvf /path/to/alsa-driver-1.0.19.tar.bz2
Remember to replace the “/path/to” in this command to the path of where your file is.
7. Move into the newly created folder with
8. Run the configuration script with:
9. Now start the building process with:
This will take a while.
10. And finally we install these drivers with:
11. Reboot your computer and the newer ALSA modules will be used.
Remember that you may need to adjust your volume settings.