I want ALSA back!

Issues Related to Hardware (Sound, Video, Printers, Scanners, Webcams, Touchpads, Keyboards, Sensors, Drives, GRUB, etc.)

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Ponder
Simple Hen
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 21:30

I want ALSA back!

Post by Ponder » Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:51

Yesterday I upgraded Sabayon to the latest release and lost the ability to use ALSA as a user.

Background:

When I first installed Sabayon I had major sound issues, which I solved by replacing the pulseaudio binary with a script that does nothing. Since then I've had no problems at all with sound and have been able to use it perfectly for both playback and recording.

Since yesterday I've been unable to use ALSA as a user. It works fine as root, and the user is in the audio group, but any attempt to access any ALSA function just freezes the program that's trying (CTRL-C or kill -15 both work to stop the program).

Now, it works though pulse, but it's awful! Flash games (Flash 11 64 bit) have a noticeable latency Wine programs sound really really bad, like an emulated MAME game on a slow CPU, and as for MAME itself (advmame) it's silent.

In the past, similar issues with other areas have been solved by adding the user to another group, but I have a feeling it's a different matter here. How do I get back the ability for a user to use ALSA?

As for searching for a solution, I spent 5 hours last night and nothing. It's a new issue and I appear to be the first to be hit. An ideal solution would be for me to be able to remove pulse altogether but it's too tightly integrated into the system, which is a bad, bad thing with such a temperamental piece of software. ALSA works, why fix what's not broke?

Sisko43
Growing Hen
Posts: 195
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:59

Re: I want ALSA back!

Post by Sisko43 » Tue Oct 18, 2011 15:38

You can disable pulseaudio at any time by executing as root in terminal:

Code: Select all

mv /usr/bin/pulseaudio /usr/bin/pulsestop
reboot

If you need pulseaudio in the future simply revert this command.

Ponder
Simple Hen
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 21:30

Re: I want ALSA back!

Post by Ponder » Tue Oct 18, 2011 16:04

That doesn't get ALSA back. I already know how to disable pulse, as I've described in my original post, but I then get no sound at all unless I'm root. I need to be able to access ALSA as a user. Adding user to group audio is no longer suffiucient, what has changed?

Sisko43
Growing Hen
Posts: 195
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:59

Re: I want ALSA back!

Post by Sisko43 » Tue Oct 18, 2011 17:03

Have you tested your sound problems with a new user account?

Ponder
Simple Hen
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 21:30

Re: I want ALSA back!

Post by Ponder » Tue Oct 18, 2011 17:17

ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave

New test account, in group audio, alsa ruinning.

Sisko43
Growing Hen
Posts: 195
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:59

Re: I want ALSA back!

Post by Sisko43 » Tue Oct 18, 2011 17:58

So when you write alsa running, it means you can hear something?

Ponder
Simple Hen
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 21:30

Re: I want ALSA back!

Post by Ponder » Tue Oct 18, 2011 18:40

Not as a user. It works fine as root.

I've checked everything I can think of or find. User(s) are in group audio, all audio entries in udev are root:audio 660, so are the /dev entries. Also, aplay lists the relevant devices, though these aren't the same in the multimedia properties.

Code: Select all

aplay -l
**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 0: SB [HDA ATI SB], device 0: ALC889A Analog [ALC889A Analog]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: SB [HDA ATI SB], device 1: ALC889A Digital [ALC889A Digital]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 1: HDMI [HDA ATI HDMI], device 3: HDMI 0 [HDMI 0]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
Image

I think the discrepancy is due to pulse.

All the relevant drivers are installed and active, but there's something wrong somewhere with permissions, and I can't, for the life of me, figure out specifically what it is!

Ponder
Simple Hen
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 21:30

Re: I want ALSA back!

Post by Ponder » Tue Oct 18, 2011 19:24

May I request a "back to basics" here and forget KDE for the moment.

Before any GUI is loaded I have no sound as a user with group audio permissions.

It works fine as root.

aplay -l gives the same as above.

Any ideas from this angle?

Sisko43
Growing Hen
Posts: 195
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:59

Re: I want ALSA back!

Post by Sisko43 » Tue Oct 18, 2011 20:17

What gives this command:

Code: Select all

ls -l /dev/audio*
Should be something like this:

Code: Select all

crw-rw----+ 1 root audio 14, 4 18. Okt 20:32 /dev/audio
Try:

Code: Select all

cat /dev/urandom > /dev/audio
You should here white noise.

Stop playback with Ctrl+C. If you hear something then there's a way of accessibility. Maybe adding your user to the group "root" solves this.

Furthermore I would once again try as root:

Code: Select all

usermod -a -G audio YOURUSERNAMEHERE
followed directly by a reboot, not later.

If this doesn't help, I would rename/delete the file "asound.state" in "/var/lib/alsa"

Maybe this helps.

Ponder
Simple Hen
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 21:30

Re: I want ALSA back!

Post by Ponder » Tue Oct 18, 2011 20:36

Output to /dev/audio produces noise. User is already in group audio. I've checked all permissions I can find. I've done a reboot, I can't for the life of me figure out what's happening.

Going to reboot again. Let's see if it helps.

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