Audio (alsamixer) in T42

I realised that audio on my T42 was not working only when I tried to play a youtube video today. I have installed alsa-utils, volume was not muted when checked in volume control applet (I’m on MATE),  changing volume does nothing. A quicklook at wiki mentioned that we need to be in ‘audio’ group which I was. When I tried ‘alsamixer’ from both my account and root, it showed error ‘…no such file or directory’. The permissions on /dev/snd were proper (atleast as it was in LMDE). So, what was the problem?

Output of ‘cat /proc/asound/cards’ showed my card.
genT42 linux # cat /proc/asound/cards
0 [I82801DBICH4 ]: ICH4 - Intel 82801DB-ICH4
Intel 82801DB-ICH4 with AD1981B at irq 11
5 [ThinkPadEC ]: ThinkPad EC - ThinkPad Console Audio Control
ThinkPad Console Audio Control at EC reg 0x30, fw 1RHT71WW-3.04

Output of ‘lspci’ showed the following:
genT42 ~ # lspci | grep -i audio
00:1f.5 Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corporation 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) AC'97 Audio Controller (rev 01)

Since, I usually compile everything into kernel and not as module I was not sure if necessary drivers were compiled in. So, I checked menuconfig and found by default “Intel HD Audio” was compiled-in and “Intel/SiS/nVidia/AMD/ALi AC97 Controller” was not selected.

I then compiled AC97 controller as a module (snd_intel8x0), rebooted and voila! I have sound.

Device Drivers
   > Sound card support
      > Advanced Linux Sound Architecture
        > PCI sound devices
         > Intel/SiS/nVidia/AMD/ALi AC97 Controller

Following the wiki, I added the alsasound to boot with,
rc-update add alsasound boot

This would ensure the volume levels would be retained at next boot.

It’s time to enjoy some music 😉


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