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Via VT8235

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onboard SYNTAX SV266A

For example, an onboard SYNTAX SV266A motherboard lspci gives this:

00:11.5 Multimedia audio controller:
VIA Technologies, Inc. AC97 Audio Controller (rev 50)\~d98-jas/debian/debian-install-alsa.txt

I think I need ALSA, because I couldn't get mpg321 to play sound. I had entered manually the following lines into the file /etc/modules and the driver was recognised.

# nano /etc/modules

The mixer (apt-get install cam) worked fine, it started and the faders produced ugly digital noises when moved.. I connected a walkman headphones to the the microphone input (red) and another set of headphones to the output (green). I whistled into the microphone and adjusted the microphone volume fadres in cam and overall volume faders... all worked. But mpg321 responded witha dumb message libao - OSS cannot set rate to 44100 and the cam mixer worked, but no mp3 sound.

Debian users! here there is a step-by-step... just cut and paste!\~d98-jas/debian/debian-install-alsa.txt

First time, it did not compile .. I looked at the offending modules (pcm20 radio-card) and took them out .. then it compiled fine, deb'ed, rebooted.. hunky dory!! THX Jon!!

# /etc/init.d/alsa restart
No ALSA driver installed
No ALSA driver installed
ALSA driver isn't running.
No ALSA driver installed

Starting ALSA sound driver (version none):modprobe: Can't locate module snd

and of course mpg321 blabla.mp3 says: Can't find a suitable libao driver. (Is device in use?). The quest continues. I have in /etc/alsa two files


and in /etc/modutils one file


which has implanted itself into /etc/modules.conf because at some stage I ran the update-modules script I presume. YET the path in there points to something non-existent.

RedHat users

RedHat users may get joy out of this link:

As far as I can see, the configuration-file where my card is mentioned is /etc/alsa/modutils/0.9. Ok. Now I thought that maybe the card isn't compiled into the alsa-module-doodaa. I found on\~rknop/linux/debian_alsa.html the variable...

export ALSA_CARDS=ens1371

so I set it to via82xx and it failed, but via8233 IT COMPILED aargh, man, am I dumb! And the

dpkg -i /usr/src/modules/alsa-modules-2.4.20_0.9.0rc7-2_i386.deb

didn't work. I see. So I looked for the file and found it in another directory, under a different, but similar name:

dpkg -i /usr/src/alsa-modules-2.4.20_0.9+0beta12+3+p0+custom1_i386.deb

worked then and now alsa started! BUT still no joy.

# alsamixer
alsamixer: function snd_ctl_open failed for default: No such file or directory

aaaaaaarrrrgghhhh (real men stay calm.) googling found others who failed like me... Thorsten was no real consolation.

but Craig offered running a script that created the devices

so I ran


lot of links created, but still alsamixer failed to work.

# lsmod
snd-via8233             5024   0  (unused)
snd-pcm                52608   0  [snd-via8233]
snd-timer              11360   0  [snd-pcm]
snd-ac97-codec         22976   0  [snd-via8233]
snd                    27944   0  (autoclean) [snd-via8233 snd-pcm snd-timer snd-ac97-codec]
soundcore               3972   0  (autoclean) [snd]

returns that the modules are there. I must have restarted

/etc/init.d/alsa restart

because, believe it or not it works all of a sudden. ((alsamixer)) mixes and mpg321 plays. In another terminal window I accidentally executed


which is still running.. boy what a fool I am, because after the next reboot it will fry everything.  :-)

Like I thought. after a reboot, I am back to

alsactl store
/usr/sbin/alsactl-0.9: save_state:963: No soundcards found...

and hey I got it working again. I had to edit the conf file (via the symbol-link :-)

nano /etc/modutils/alsa

and enter


instead of snd-via82xx DUH! alsa restart and it worked, alsamixer starts. (the console brings a few messages about sharing IRQ10... and it still works after a reboot, phew, and I thought it was as easy as entering

apt-get install alsa

noises in xmms

I use custom kernel (2.4.23) with ALSA (0.9.8), my distribution is debian woody (3.0). I experienced strange noises while playing sound files with xmms (1.2.7). Other sound file players (mpg123) were ok. Solution seems to be load ALSA drivers with dxs_support set to 1 or 4 (both worked for me). Commands to do that can be:

# load module(s)
modprobe snd-via82xx dxs_support=1
# if nescessary, unmute PCM and Master
amixer set PCM unmute "68%"
amixer set Master unmute "68%"

To automate it in boot process, do:

# edit the file /etc/modutils/alsa
# run update-modules command
file /etc/modutils/alsa
#(actually link on debian woody) may look like this:

and add these lines

# ALSA part

alias char-major-116 snd
# for ALSA < 0.9.0beta11
alias snd-card-0 snd-card-via8233
# for ALSA >= 0.9.0beta11
alias snd-card-0 snd-via82xx 
options snd-via82xx dxs_support=1

# OSS/Free part

alias char-major-14 soundcore
alias sound-slot-0 snd-card-0

# card #1

alias sound-service-0-0 snd-mixer-oss
alias sound-service-0-1 snd-seq-oss
alias sound-service-0-3 snd-pcm-oss
alias sound-service-0-8 snd-seq-oss
alias sound-service-0-12 snd-pcm-oss

VX8255, Shuttle mobo, Debian woody/2.4.24 kernel, alsa 1.03

I found the above, as well as the rest of the ALSA documentation, helpful, but what clinched it was a document from VIA's own linux audio page,

The problem I had seemed to be that the via-rhine module would yank along kernel sound, and I couldn't remove the modules (with rmmod/modprobe) without removing the via-rhine module, which would have removed my ethernet support. I had to manually remove the modules, and then edit my /etc/modules to put the alsa modules for my integrated card above the load for via-rhine. On reboot, everything worked like a charm. There were some errors in the logfile, as it still tried to load the competing modules, but those were a small price to pay for having things work.

Key points, summarized from Alsa and elsewhere to avoid others having to search everywhere - Remove your alsa directory from /usr/src/modules, and download a fresh tar, if you're having problems. Make sure to do a make mrproper of your kernel source, but save off your .config first, and copy it back before compiling. If you've appended a version number to your kernel, make sure to check the makefile generated by Alsa's configure - mine only got the first append, not the second one. Make sure that you're compiling while running the kernel that you intend to use - so, first compile and install the kernel without ALSA, then add ALSA. Finally, make sure that no other, non-ALSA sound drivers are currently running or installed.

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Category: Sound cards