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Configuring Your Red Hat Linux System For Sound

4.3 Configuring Your Red Hat Linux System For Sound

By default, the only sound you'll hear out of your newly installed Red Hat Linux system is the ordinary, boring, default beep. If your computer system has sound hardware, chances are you can make it work under Red Hat Linux. In some cases sucessfully getting sound support to work requires a kernel rebuild. However, most of the time it's possible to use the modular sound drivers.

4.3.1 Modular Sound Drivers

Red Hat Linux 6.0 includes the standard OSS/Free sound drivers. This makes it possible to load and unload the various sound drivers without recompiling the kernel or rebooting.

For additional information, please consult the README files in the rhsound documentation directory (/usr/doc/rhsound*), and also the files in the kernel documentation directory (/usr/doc/kernel-doc-*/sound).

There is a mailing list associated with the modular sound drivers (sound-list@redhat.com). To subcribe, send mail to sound-list-request@redhat.com, with ``subscribe'' as the subject line.

4.3.1.1 Recognized Sound Cards

At this point, most sound cards should be recognized by the modular sound drivers; however, drivers for the following sound cards were among the first to be developed, and as such, have received the most testing:

4.3.2 Sound Card Configuration Tool

Also included in Red Hat Linux 6.0 is sndconfig, a screen-oriented utility that can properly configure modular sound card drivers.

There are a few things that you should know about sndconfig:

Plug and Play Aware -- sndconfig is able to detect and automatically configure Plug and Play sound cards such as the Sound Blaster 16 PnP. The configuration information is stored in the /etc/isapnp.conf file, along with the configuration information for any other Plug and Play devices. In order to ensure that no configuration will be lost, sndconfig saves your original /etc/isapnp.conf file as /etc/isapnp.conf.bak.

Modifies /etc/conf.modules -- sndconfig modifies the module configuration file (2) /etc/conf.modules by adding information about the module options required for your sound card. Note that sndconfig saves your original /etc/conf.modules file as (3) /etc/conf.modules.bak.

To set up your sound card, run /usr/sbin/sndconfig. Note that you must be root in order to run sndconfig. If your system contains a Plug and Play sound card, sndconfig will identify it, and configure it appropriately.

If you do not want sndconfig to probe for Plug and Play sound cards, run sndconfig with the --noprobe option. It is also possible to manually specify the settings for your sound card; to do so, run sndconfig with the --noautoconfig option.

If sndconfig cannot automatically identify your system's sound card (or you ran sndconfig with the --noprobe option), you'll be asked to select the type of sound card you have (See Figure 41). Use the [] and [] keys to scroll through the different cards listed, and position the highlight on the entry that matches your system's sound card.

Figure 41: Selecting Sound Card Type

If you've run sndconfig with the --noautoconfig option, you'll see a screen similar to the one in Figure 42. Here is where you can specify the settings for your sound card. Using the [Tab] key, select a field. Then use the arrow keys to select the desired setting for that field. When finished, select Ok, and press [Space].

Figure 42: Configuring Sound Card

After this screen, you may see an informational dialog box saying that /etc/conf.modules already exists. select Ok and press [Space] to continue.

Finally, sndconfig will attempt to play a sound sample to verify proper configuration of your sound card. If you can hear the sound sample (make sure the speaker volume is turned up), you're done!

Please Note: On cards that have a recognized MIDI synthesizer, sndconfig will attempt to play a MIDI sample as well.


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