Configuring the audio and updating ALSA for Fedora 9

Author(s)

Bill Giannikos

Introduction

This guide will help update your version of the ALSA modules under Fedora 9. This is useful for people whose sound is not currently working with their current version of ALSA. We will be covering the easiest method first which is installing the latest stable drivers and then later we will discuss updating to the development and CVS ALSA modules.

Notes

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.

Prerequisites

You should run a full update for your installation of Fedora to ensure you have all the latest packages installed. Unlike most other Linux distribution, Fedora update their distribution to newer versions of the kernel as they are released. It is possible that by just updating your Fedora installation that sound will begin to work.

Installing the latest stable ALSA modules

For an easy install we will be using the ATrpms repository.

1. Load up a terminal window if you are in the graphic interface.

2. Switch to the root user by entering the command “su -” (without the quotes) and typing in your root password

3. Edit the file /etc/yum.conf. Using nano we type the command:

nano -w /etc/yum.conf

4. If you have already configured yum to use the ATrpms repository then append “*alsa*” to the end of the “includepkgs” line and skip the next 3 steps. Otherwise continue on.

5. Add the following to the bottom of this file:

[atrpms]
name=Fedora $releasever - $basearch - ATrpms
baseurl=http://dl.atrpms.net/f$releasever-$basearch/atrpms/stable
gpgkey=http://ATrpms.net/RPM-GPG-KEY.atrpms
gpgcheck=1
enabled=1
exclude=*kmdl*i586*
includepkgs=*alsa*

6. Save the file. In nano you press Ctrl-X, answer yes to the “Save modified buffer” question and then press enter on the file name to write.

7. If you have not previously setup ATrpms execute the following command:

rpm --import http://ATrpms.net/RPM-GPG-KEY.atrpms

8. Now execute the following command:

yum install alsa-driver

9. Reboot your system and you will be using the updated ALSA module.

Remember that you may need to adjust your volume settings.

Installing the latest development ALSA modules

If the stable ALSA modules aren't new enough to support your sound card then you may need to install the development drivers. It should be noted that these drivers have not been fully tested and so may cause some unexpected issues. You should only install these if the stable drivers do not work for you.

1. Download the latest development drivers from http://www.alsa-project.org. In this guide we are going to use alsa-driver-1.0.17rc2 as at the time of writing these are the current ones. 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 to install gcc and the kernel headers:

yum install gcc kernel-devel

5. Move to the /usr/src/ folder with:

cd /usr/src

6. Extract the contents of the file you downloaded with:

tar -xjvf /path/to/alsa-driver-1.0.17rc2.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

cd alsa-driver-1.0.17rc2

8. Run the configuration script with:

./configure

9. Now start the building process with:

make

This will take a while.

10. And finally we install these drivers with:

make install

11. Reboot your computer and the newer ALSA modules will be used.

Remember that you may need to adjust your volume settings.

Installing the CVS ALSA modules

The CVS drivers are right up to date with the latest developments. However these have barely been testing so should only be used if absolutely necessary.

The steps to installing these drivers are exactly the same as those for the development version except for the file you need to download. You can download these drivers from http://ftp.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/people/tiwai/snapshot/. Grab the latest version. Then just follow the instruction above by substituting the development version with the CVS version.


Discussion

Anonymous, 2008/09/13 16:14

perhaps you will be able to help

your tutorial was great… until i got a vmlinuz error, which i can't figure out how to update the darn thing… if you know, i would appreaciate your help :
yum install alsa-driver
Loaded plugins: refresh-packagekit
atrpms | 951 B 00:00
primary.xml.gz | 186 kB 00:01
atrpms 789/789
livna | 2.1 kB 00:00
fedora | 2.4 kB 00:00
updates-newkey | 2.3 kB 00:00
updates | 2.3 kB 00:00
Not using downloaded repomd.xml because it is older than what we have:
Current : Wed Sep 10 10:55:13 2008
Downloaded: Tue Aug 12 13:07:10 2008
Excluding Packages from Fedora 9 - i386 - ATrpms
Finished
Reducing Fedora 9 - i386 - ATrpms to included packages only
Finished
Setting up Install Process
Parsing package install arguments
Resolving Dependencies
–> Running transaction check
–> Processing Dependency: alsa-kmdl-1.0.17-70.fc9 for package: alsa-driver
–> Running transaction check
filelists.xml.gz | 636 kB 00:02
–> Processing Dependency: /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.25.14-108.fc9.i686 for package: alsa-kmdl-2.6.25.14-108.fc9
–> Finished Dependency Resolution
alsa-kmdl-2.6.25.14-108.fc9-1.0.17-70.fc9.i686 from atrpms has depsolving problems
–> Missing Dependency: /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.25.14-108.fc9.i686 is needed by package alsa-kmdl-2.6.25.14-108.fc9-1.0.17-70.fc9.i686 (atrpms)
Error: Missing Dependency: /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.25.14-108.fc9.i686 is needed by package alsa-kmdl-2.6.25.14-108.fc9-1.0.17-70.fc9.i686 (atrpms)
root@localhost ~# yum install vmlinuz-2.6.25.14-108.fc9.1686
Loaded plugins: refresh-packagekit
Excluding Packages from Fedora 9 - i386 - ATrpms
Finished
Reducing Fedora 9 - i386 - ATrpms to included packages only
Finished
Setting up Install Process
Parsing package install arguments
No package vmlinuz-2.6.25.14-108.fc9.1686 available.
Nothing to do

Bill Giannikos, 2008/09/13 16:42

It doesn't appear that you have updated your Fedora installation. Run the following:

yum update

If that doesn't work run:

yum install kernel
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configuring_the_audio_and_updating_alsa_for_fedora_9.txt · Last modified: 2009/02/12 04:02 by billg
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