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Kernel Log: ALSA driver for the X-Fi, debate over TuxOnIce

May 21, 2009, 20:34 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Thorsten Leemhuis)

"ALSA and kernel developer Takashi Iwai has received an open source driver for X-Fi PCI sound cards from Creative, which he evaluates as being of a sufficiently high standard to be included in the ALSA driver package and the Linux kernel. Not being a proud X-Fi owner, however, he has been unable to test the snd-ctxfi driver himself and has therefore called on users who do own an X-Fi card to give the driver a whirl -- and over the last few days several users have indeed done so, providing plenty of feedback.

"The odds look good that the new driver will find its way into the next version of ALSA and into version 2.6.31 of the Linux kernel. This should be the end of a long odyssey for X-Fi sound card Linux drivers. Creative originally made repeated promises of a proprietary driver, but never delivered. A preliminary version of the driver was released in 2007, but it had so many rough edges as to be more or less unusable. An open source driver for the more or less obsolete Open Sound System (OSS) was released out of the blue in early 2008, and there were also reports that Creative planned to provide open source developers with documentation for their sound chips. This was followed by another long silence, before Creative finally released their own open source driver in November. However this driver again proved to be a little too rough and ready and was taken up by only a small number of distributions. The snd-ctxfi driver should be spared this fate, since its merger into the kernel will see it included in most new distributions."

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