After writing the 2.6.0-test4 on RedHat9 HOWTO-ish page, I've been emailed requesting information about ALSA. So, I thought that I'd put this page together on how to get ALSA working properly and nicely with RedHat9. (I'm using a Dell Inspiron 8100)


This page should now be considered historical. There are far better ways of configuring ALSA than this. If this still helps, that's great, but YMMV. Debian Unstable runs ALSA nicely by default I believe - either that or I can't remember configuring it. (I have since switched away from Fedora for my desktop because of the release cycle.)

Files Used:


Before attempting to configure the drivers, I upgraded the kernel to 2.6.0-test5, using the same procedure as 2.6.0-test4, apart from using the latest NVidia patch from I had a few problems under 2.6.0-test4, but under 2.6.0-test5, it was a snap.

HOWTO install ALSA

Firstly, download alsa-drivers, alsa-lib and alsa-utils from the ALSA Project Home that's linked to above. Untar each package with tar jxf [package]

Then do the following:

    $ cd alsa-driver-0.9.6
    $ ./configure --help

From this, you'll need to find out what soundcard you have, and specify it on the configure line. For example, I have an ESS Maestro3 (maestro3). A SBLive is emu10k1. You should compile with OSS support too, and sequencer support if you wish.

    $ ./configure --with-sequencer=yes --with-oss=yes --with-cards=maestro3
    $ make
    $ su
    Password: [entered my password]
    # make install
    # ./snddevices
    # utils/alsaconf

You'll then need to install alsa-lib. This was as easy as changing to the correct directory and running ./configure ; make install

After installing this, you'll need to install the alsa utils so that you're able to set levels. This was also really easy - change to the correct directory and ./configure ; make install

Great - now what?

Now that you have ALSA installed, you'll have multiple voice support. You should disable artsd and esd, both of which, in my opinion, are terrible kludges. You can just keep using sound via OSS emulation, or you can enable ALSA support. Unfortunately, this has to be done for each separate application.

Both of these are easy to install - just untar and ./configure ; make ; make install You'll need to restart XMMS though.

I'd also recommend that for MPlayer you grab an RC tarball and compile it with --enable-gui, and grab the required files. (Font and skin)

There is also alsasound added to /etc/init.d To have it automagically set up levels on reboot and so forth, just run as root chkconfig --add alsasound

After this, ALSA should be working great!