[PlanetCCRMA] The all-ALSA, PulseAudio-free FC12; asoundconf

Fernando Lopez-Lezcano nando at ccrma.Stanford.EDU
Thu Jan 21 12:56:09 PST 2010

On Wed, 2010-01-20 at 10:43 -0500, Peter Kirn wrote:
> Thanks to everyone for your help on my earlier issue. Despite the work
> done on making PulseAudio coexist better (specifically with JACK), I'm
> liking so far working without PA. It seems there's a terrific FAQ on
> the subject here:
> http://fedorasolved.org/Members/fenris02/pulseaudio-fixes-and-workarounds
> -- including how to address PA issues *without* removing PA, but also
> a complete PA removal process. And it seems that Fedora, unlike
> Ubuntu, can pretty effectively excise PA via its packages and one
> config change, so it should be reasonable to revert to reinstalling PA
> if for some reason you changed your mind.

If you are using Jack and the Planet CCRMA jack build then it should not
be necessary to disable PA. Pulse will relinquish the card when Jack
starts and reaquire it when jack stops. 

> My next question:
> I thought asoundconf was part of ALSA itself, but it seems specific to
> Debian. 

I don't know if it is a part of the ALSA tarball (latest versions), it
was a while back. It is not really relevant anymore, see below. 

> That is, it's a Debian-specific addition to alsa-utils. When
> working with more than one sound card, you definitely want some sort
> of script for swapping them. 

It is not really possible to do that (but there's a workaround). 

> ALSA itself has documentation for making
> such a script, but I wonder if there's any reason I shouldn't try
> "porting" asoundconf from Debian to Fedora? Anyone tried this, or do
> you just use your own scripts for swapping cards? (Or do you just, you
> know, use one card? I guess if you only ever run audio apps that allow
> you to switch interfaces, this isn't an issue!)

The recommended way to use one particular card is to just use its name
(instead of the index number which can change from boot to boot). To do
that just "cat /proc/asound/cards" and use the name of the card between
the [] brackets instead of the index (as in "hw:M66" for a delta 66 card
instead of "hw:0"). 

See the (newly updated) pages in the Planet CCRMA web site, a workaround
is documented there but it will _not_ work if USB soundcards are
involved (the driver for them is loaded very early in the boot process
and will not obey local.conf AFAIK). 

-- Fernando

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