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Chapter 8. Audio, Video, and General Amusement

Configuring a Sound Card

Sound capability is included, but is not configured to run automatically when you install Red Hat Linux. If you want to hear sound, you'll need to configure your sound card with the sndconfig utility.

To use sndconfig:

  1. From a shell prompt, use the su - command to become root.

  2. Type sndconfig at the command line.

To navigate through the Yes, No, Cancel, and option buttons, use your [Tab] and [Enter] keys.


Is Your Sound Card Supported?


Many sound cards are supported for Red Hat Linux, but there are sound cards that are not completely compatible, or even compatible at all. If you're having trouble configuring your sound card, check the Hardware Compatibility List at to see if your card is supported.

The sndconfig utility probes your system for sound cards. If the utility detects a plug and play sound card, it will automatically try to configure the correct settings by playing sound samples. If you can hear the samples, just select Ok when instructed and your sound card configuration is complete.

If the probe doesn't find any cards, you'll be presented with a list from which you can pick your card. Use the up and down arrow keys to scroll through the list. If your card is listed, highlight it, then press [Enter] (or [Tab] to the Ok button and press [Enter]).

Your next task will be to select the correct I/O port, IRQ, and DMA settings. These settings are determined by the jumper settings of the sound card. You can find information about these settings in your sound card documentation. If you share your machine with Windows, you can also find your sound card's settings in the Device Manager tab, in the System section of your Control panel.

Once you've selected the right settings for your card, you'll be presented with sound samples. If you hear the samples, select Ok and sound configuration is complete.

After your card is configured, type exit. You will be returned to your user account.

If sndconfig Doesn't Work

If sndconfig doesn't work (if the sample doesn't play and you still don't have audio sounds), there are alternatives, although they're not quite as simple as running sndconfig. You can edit your modules.conf file as discussed below (this strategy is not recommended for novices), or refer to the documentation that came with your soundcard for more information.

If your soundcard is not a plug and play card, you can manually edit your /etc/modules.conf file to include the sound card module that it should use, for example:

alias sound sb
alias midi opl3
options opl3 io=0x388
options sb io=0x220 irq=7 dma=0,1 mpu_io=0x300

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