Chicago Tribune: Linux Corner: No noise from your speakers? Here’s sound advice

“So you finally took the plunge and installed Linux on your
machine. You’ve proven your guru-dom by configuring X-Windows
properly and have even started to surf the Net, but when you go to
play XBoing or Quake, you aren’t hearing anything from your
speakers. That’s probably because your sound card has not been

Configuring a sound card under Linux is an obscure task
that hasn’t been automated by any Linux distribution other than Red
Hat, which attempts to configure SoundBlaster cards

“To configure other devices such as a CD-ROM or a modem under
Linux, you’d simply recompile the kernel with support for that
specific device enabled, but sound cards are a little trickier.
Currently, configuring the sound card under non-Red Hat
distributions requires that you know the DMA, IRQ, I/O address and
MPU I/O address of the card. These aren’t things that are readily
apparent, so the process involves two phases: reconnaissance for
sound card information and then using that information to compile
sound support into the kernel.”

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