I have used both solutions successfully. However I noticed while working on a speech synthesis system (I was involved in a small accessibility project), that the kernel driver does not seem to be able to re-sample, whereas Alsa does it perfectly.
So we will be compiling the latest sources from ALSA, which should work for all other distributions as well... only the kernel sources will change because mandrake uses specific patches.
You may get your kernel sources from your distribution or from http://www.kernel.org
Here can be found Mandrake sources for the kernel used in 8.0:
(link seems to be broken, I wish I had made a copy if someone needed but here is the problem with that distribution, mirrors are not kept long enough)
and grab the tarball from ALSA:
Install your kernel sources, in my case:
rpm -ivh kernel-source-2.4.3-20mdk.i586.rpm
Then decompress alsa drivers:
bzip2 -d alsa-driver-0.9.0beta10.tar.bz2 && tar -xvf alsa-driver-0.9.0beta10.tar
Make them and install them and create the devices files:
cd alsa-driver-0.9.0beta10 && make install && ./snddevices
/etc/modules.conf to set everything, and add to it the following
warning: Christian Cardinale email@example.com reports that he had to change 'snd-card-intel8x0' for 'snd-intel8x0', which corresponds to what I have for my Debian system, I no longer remember, but I think this one is the mandrake name, if it doesn't work, just use to the other, ok?
alias char-major-116 snd alias char-major-14 soundcore alias sound-slot-0 snd-card-0 alias sound-service-0-0 snd-mixer-oss alias sound-service-0-1 snd-seq-oss alias sound-service-0-3 snd-pcm-oss alias sound-service-0-8 snd-seq-oss alias sound-service-0-12 snd-pcm-oss alias snd-card-0 snd-card-intel8x0
I've switched to Debian some time after writing this howto and wanted to give some instructions about it: Things may change a little depending on which version you're using, I use Debian sarge, currently the testing version.
First of all, you can directly download the appropriate precompiled alsa modules: find out which kernel you're using
2.4.20-3-k7 (should be 2.4.18-k7 or something like that for a woody/stable)
apt-get install alsa-modules-2.4.20-3-k7
the card is the "intel8x0 (PCI: Intel i810/i820/i830/i840/MX440 integrated audio)"
you should also install the recommended package alsa-utils
apt-get install alsa-utils
now, check the file /etc/alsa/modutils/0.9 against the one given further on this howto. It may also be necessary to run update-modules as root to ensure that these lines get into /etc/modules.conf, although the package installation probably does it itself.
I was forced to recompile my kernel when I got an usb adsl modem. (make-kpkg binary --initrd is something you want to look at someday, but it's off topic)
I'm assuming, you've done at least the following steps:
install the alsa sources and two useful packages: apt-get install alsa-source alsa-utils alsa-base debconf will ask you the following questions:
Say Yes if you want to build ALSA driver with ISA PnP version. If your computer doesn't support ISA PnP, you may say No. Build ALSA driver with ISA PnP?
You can safely select 'no'
Say Yes if you want to build ALSA driver with debugging code. Build ALSA driver with debugging code?
We don't need that either, so select 'no'
You can choose cards to be built by selecting cards you want. Each selection is a same name to a option of configure script '--with-cards'. The following list are short descriptions of the options to show what they mean. Select cards to be built.
Select card intel8x0 (PCI: Intel i810/i820/i830/i840/MX440 integrated audio) and exit.
tar xzvf alsa-driver.tar.gz
make && make install
now, check the file /etc/alsa/modutils/0.9 against this following one.
I only remember changing the cards_limit from 4 to 1, to prevent warnings, any modification of it should be followed by running update-modules in order to regenerate /etc/modules.conf
### DEBCONF MAGIC # This file was automatically generated by alsa-base's debconf stuff alias char-major-116 snd alias char-major-14 soundcore alias snd-card-0 snd-intel8x0 alias sound-slot-0 snd-card-0 options snd major=116 cards_limit=1 device_mode=0660 device_gid=29 device_uid=0 alias sound-service-0-0 snd-mixer-oss alias sound-service-0-1 snd-seq-oss alias sound-service-0-3 snd-pcm-oss alias sound-service-0-8 snd-seq-oss alias sound-service-0-12 snd-pcm-oss
If you are using a 2.4 or later kernel you can use the Audio Codec '97 (AC'97) sound driver, as the integrated sound card is AC'97 complaint.
You may enable your soundcard with a kernel module, as a matter of fact, you should be able to just use the module without even recompiling your kernel, because most GNU/Linux distributions have it already, just type:
and you should see something like this in your syslog:
Intel 810 + AC97 Audio, version 0.21, 21:31:04 Apr 15 2002 i810: SiS 7012 found at IO 0xd800 and 0xdc00, IRQ 11 i810_audio: Audio Controller supports 2 channels. ac97_codec: AC97 Audio codec, id: 0x414c:0x4710 (ALC200/200P) i810_audio: AC'97 codec 0 supports AMAP, total channels = 2
dmesg | less and scroll to see the kernel messages.
If everything went fine, you may add
/etc/modules so it will autoload everytime you boot:
echo "i810_audio" >> /etc/modules
or you like monolitic kernels (no modules), follow the step above to install
the kernel sources
and say Y to
Sound card support and Y to
Intel ICH (i8xx) audio
compile your kernel, install, reboot and now your integrated soundcard is
If you don't know how to compile a kernel, read the Kernel HOWTO, it's easy and you'll get a optimized kernel for you system, also you'll learn a bit about that talk of using the source code (yes you are already taking advantage of it :-)