More news from my recent Ubuntu escapade …
I have an Intel 865GBF motherboard with a built in Intel 5.1 sound card. After I installed Ubuntu and updated to Edgy Eft, I noticed that I was only getting Stereo sound.
After researching online for a couple of days (my busy schedule prevented me from actually sitting down and fixing the problem in a day), I found out that installing ALSA (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture) drivers would be my best shot at getting my 5.1 back. But BEFORE you do anything fancy, first thoroughly go over your sound settings. I found out that 5.1 is by default muted in Ubuntu (at least it was for me). Even after I installed the ALSA drivers, I wasn’t getting surround sound, and so that’s when I double clicked the volume control, went to Edit > Preferences, and enabled the following components:
Make sure you have these sounds unmuted, or else you can install all the drivers you want, you won’t get a squeak out of your subwoofer, center and rear channels.
If doing that doesn’t fix your problem, then I present the procedure that I followed while installing the ALSA package (drivers, lib and utils).
First you need to go to the ALSA Soundcard Matrix and pray to the soundcard gods that ALSA supports your card. Use the list of Vendors near the bottom to search for your card. You can find the chipset name of your card by going in System > Preference > Sound. It’ll be one of the entries in the dropdown list of drivers. For me, it was the Intel ICH5 (driver page @ ALSA). Click on the driver’s name (for the ICH5 sound card it’s Intel8x0) in the ‘Drivers & Docs’ column and you’ll be taken to the driver’s page.
Here I deviated and followed some initial steps from this simple guide to installing HdaIntel ALSA drivers.
sudo apt-get install build-essential ncurses-dev
This will install the required tools.
sudo apt-get install linux-headers-'uname -r'
This will install kernel headers
- Now you should download the latest ALSA driver, lib and utils. I went for 1.0.13, since 1.0.14 is still an RC.
- Now setup the installation directory in /usr/src/alsa like so
sudo mkdir -p /usr/src/alsa
sudo cp /home/desktop/jaffer/alsa-downloads/* .
sudo tar xjf alsa-driver-1.0.13.tar.bz2
sudo tar xjf alsa-lib-1.0.13.tar.bz2
sudo tar xjf alsa-utils-1.0.13.tar.bz2
- Now you need to go back to the ALSA driver page and fire the specific configure command for your driver. In my case it was
./configure --with-cards=intel8x0 --with-sequencer=yes;make;make install
Here the –with-cards=intel8x0 is the important part since that depends on your driver.
- Then setup proper access rights
mod a+rw /dev/dsp /dev/mixer /dev/sequencer /dev/midi
- After that is done install lib
- and utils
I didn’t follow the rest of the steps outlined in the driver installation page, except that I made the .asoundrc file in my /home/jaffer directory. The file contained:
After doing all of this, I was still getting stereo sound, at which point I went into the sound settings mentioned above, which fixed everything. All the above steps have been taken from here and here. If you tried something different and it worked, do comment! 🙂