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*nix Thread, No sound on Debian in Technical; Hello All, I'm setting up my new netbook, an Acer Aspire One 522 based on AMD's new "Brazos" platform - ...
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    No sound on Debian

    Hello All,

    I'm setting up my new netbook, an Acer Aspire One 522 based on AMD's new "Brazos" platform - an AMD C-50 processor coupled with integrated Radeon HD 6250 graphics. I've upgraded the hardware a bit to 4GB of RAM and a 32GB solid state harddrive. The idea is to set this up as a Chromebook-style device, so it just needs to run a web browser and associated plugins. I've installed a basic, text-only copy of Debian Squeeze 64-bit from a "netinst" install CD, then installed X and Xfce (apt-get install xorg, apt-get install xfce4). I've then installed Iceweasel, Debian's re-branded version of Firefox, and made sure it's up-to-date as detailed here:

    Debian Mozilla team APT archive

    I then install the Flash player by adding "contrib" to the first line in /etc/apt/sources.list and doing:
    apt-get update
    apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree

    This gets me a system with a basic desktop and a working web browser with Flash player. However, there is no sound. When I try running speaker-test from the command line I get the error message:

    Code:
    ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
    Playback open error: -2,No such file or directory
    I've tried the same hardware with Linux Mint Debian. The initial install works fine - I can play YouTube videos with sound. However, running a system update (which finds something daft like 500 updates to install) causes the sound to stop working again. Interestingly, with Mint I keep getting an error message pop-up on screen telling me that the sound level is either muted or at 0%, but there just doesn't seem to be a way to bring the volume up to get any sound.

    Is there some issue with the latest updates to Debian causing problems with sound that anyone knows of?

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    When I try running speaker-test from the command line I get the error message:

    Code:
    ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
    Playback open error: -2,No such file or directory
    Although it turns out that if I directly specify the playback hardware I at least loose one error message - doing "speaker-test -D hw:0,0" now just gives:

    Code:
    Playback open error: -2,No such file or directory
    This implies the first error message is simply due to a confiruration error in a config file somewhere, but does anyone know what the second error message is referring to - which file or directory is it that it can't find? Something in /dev/snd?

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    Does alsaconf show up any cards to play with?

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    dhicks (21st July 2011)

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    jinnantonnixx's Avatar
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    Have you tried installing the 'firmware' packages?

    There are free and non-free versions.

    I had Debian running fairly successfully on a laptop (sound was fine), as you did from a 64 bit netinst. But it was a bit of an ache recompiling every so often as I was using the nvidia proprietry drivers. Much as I like Debian, I installed Ubuntu on the laptop as it was easier.
    Last edited by jinnantonnixx; 21st July 2011 at 08:51 AM.

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    dhicks (21st July 2011)

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    jinnantonnixx's Avatar
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    I see you're using XFCE. Have you tried installing the Gnome volume control just for a laugh?

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    dhicks (21st July 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by kmount View Post
    Does alsaconf show up any cards to play with?
    Seemingly, alsaconf was removed from Debian's alsa-utils package a while ago:

    alsaconf - Debian Wiki

    Doing "cat /proc/asound/cards" beings up two entries:

    HDA-Intel - HD-Audio Generic
    HDA-Intel - HDA ATI SB

    Also, "cat /proc/asound/version" reckons I'm running 1.0.21 - I could have sworn that said 1.0.24 yesterday, but maybe I imagined that. I'll try downloading and compiling the latest version of Alsa, see if that has any effect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jinnantonnixx View Post
    Have you tried installing the 'firmware' packages?
    Debian's alsa-firmware-loaders package, you mean?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jinnantonnixx View Post
    I see you're using XFCE. Have you tried installing the Gnome volume control just for a laugh?
    I could give it a try, I guess. The thing is, I think the problem is somewhere before the GUI even loads - if I understand correctly, running "speaker-test -D hw:0,0" should work from a text-only login, before I've run startx to start up Xfce.

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    The alsa firmware packages didn't mention Intel, so I doubt this would be of use.

    There are a few firmware binary packages on Squeeze; I was thinking of
    Debian -- Details of package firmware-linux in squeeze
    and
    Debian -- Details of package firmware-linux-nonfree in squeeze

    They are usually for getting wireless working (and sometimes graphics drivers), but I see they contain some Intel code so you might be in luck with your audio.

    This won't help, but my laptop's sound worked fine when I ran Squeeze on it. It's a HP G6000 range, which I think uses the Intel audio. The only thing I had to do was install the nvidia driver.
    As I said before, much as I like Debian, I found Ubuntu supports my laptop hardware faultlessly.
    Last edited by jinnantonnixx; 22nd July 2011 at 10:31 AM.

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