Update headers in Debian 6 and now no sound card

Nov 25th, 2011 | By | Category: Linux / Freebsd

So I recently updated my headers and upon reboot was greeted with no sound.  Heh, now this is linux remember so when you boot up with no sound you don’t really panic because it happens every week and it’s usually the same thing.. so I checked on the regular culprits and saw nothing out of place  Then realized that instead of it just being a ‘no sound’ problem it had been escalated to a ‘no sound card’ problem.  Ugh, when alsa doesn’t even see the card that’s when I know it’s going ot be something new 🙂

So I’m not sure what it was in the end, but the solution was to manually upgrade alsa to 1.24(at the time of this writing).   I used the instructions found here to do the install: http://monespaceperso.org/blog-en/2010/05/02/upgrade-alsa-1-0-23-on-ubuntu-lucid-lynx-10-04/


But for convenience sake I’ll post the instructions below:

Installation :

To do this, we must begin by determining our version of alsa as follows :

cat /proc/asound/version
Advanced Linux Sound Architecture Driver Version 1.0.21.

To avoid problems during the upgrade of Alsa-utils, we need to stop it with the following command :

sudo /sbin/alsa-utils stop

We must then install the necessary tools to compile along with the kernel headers :

sudo apt-get -y install build-essential ncurses-dev gettext xmlto libasound2-dev
sudo apt-get -y install linux-headers-`uname -r` libncursesw5-dev

Then, we go in our personal folder and download alsa-driver, alsa-lib and alsa-utils :

cd ~
rm -rf ~/alsa* ~/.pulse*
wget ftp://ftp.alsa-project.org/pub/driver/alsa-driver-1.0.24.tar.bz2
wget ftp://ftp.alsa-project.org/pub/lib/alsa-lib-
wget ftp://ftp.alsa-project.org/pub/utils/alsa-utils-

After that, we create a new folder for the compilation and installation of the 3 files. Then, we move the 3 tar files that we just downloaded in this folder :

sudo rm -rf /usr/src/alsa
sudo mkdir -p /usr/src/alsa
cd /usr/src/alsa
sudo cp ~/alsa* .

Unpack the 3 tar files :

sudo tar xjf alsa-driver*
sudo tar xjf alsa-lib*
sudo tar xjf alsa-utils*

We compile and install alsa-driver :

cd alsa-driver*
sudo ./configure
sudo make
sudo make install

We compile and install alsa-lib :

cd ../alsa-lib*
sudo ./configure
sudo make
sudo make install

We compile and install alsa-utils :

cd ../alsa-utils*
sudo ./configure
sudo make
sudo make install

Then, we remove the 3 tar files in our personal folder that are not anymore necessary :

rm -f ~/alsa-driver*
rm -f ~/alsa-lib*
rm -f ~/alsa-utils*

Then, just restart your computer and your alsa version should be 1.0.23!

You can verify that you have now indeed have this version of alsa :

cat /proc/asound/version
Advanced Linux Sound Architecture Driver Version 1.0.24.
Compiled on May 2 2010 for kernel 2.6.32-21-generic (SMP).

Just to be sure everything is well configured, execute this command :

sudo alsaconf

and reboot again!


Again a big thanks to Stéphane Gaudreault for his tips on that even though it was for an older version of Ubuntu and for a different version of Alsa.. still did the trick!

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