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O'Reilly Network: Linux Soundcard Drivers: A brief guide for users and developers

May 20, 2001, 18:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dave Phillips)

This guide explains how soundcard drivers work, some common sources for them (using the kernel's built-in drivers, ALSA, or 4Front's OSS), and where Linux soundcard development is headed in the future.

"Linux applications depend on drivers to enable communications between an application and a hardware device such as a printer, CD-ROM drive, or soundcard. A working Linux sound system can be thought of as a sandwich, with application software as the top slice of bread and sound hardware (soundcard and speakers) as the bottom slice. Sandwiched in the middle is the meat (at least, the meat of this article) -- the audio device control software or soundcard device driver.

...Since drivers are hardware-specific, it should come as no surprise that one of the most frequently asked questions in Linux discussion groups is "Where can I find a driver for my [insert card name here] soundcard ?!". This article will help answer that question and others regarding the somewhat obscure world of Linux audio device drivers."

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