HOWTO Setup Sound on PowerBook G4 Aluminum 15" 1.5 Ghz

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HOWTO Setup Sound on PowerBook G4 Aluminum 15" 1.5 Ghz

Postby bchat » 2013-12-18 02:48

Debian Version: 7.3
Hardware Description: PowerBook G4 Aluminum 15" 1.5 Ghz
Model: PowerBook5,4

By default Debian 7.3 PowerPC installer sets up the snd-powermac kernel module and blacklists the snd-aoa modules in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.local.conf. This is wrong for my PowerBook G4 Aluminum 15" 1.5 GHz, model PowerBook5,4. The snd-powermac module will not detect any sound cards. The snd-aoa module and its dependents have to be used instead.

  1. All the snd* entries in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.local.conf need to be removed and replaced with a single entry for snd-powermac. It might also be good to run "/usr/sbin/alsactl init". Then reboot so that the kernel can automatically detect the necessary snd-aoa modules.

  2. Check the setup with "aplay -l" to list the sound cards. The directory /proc/asound can also be checked to make sure there is something in it.

  3. You still will not hear any sound because all the sound levels get set to zero or mute at first. So, you HAVE to run alsamixer (the Gnome sound applet does not allow you to adjust all the parameters) and increase the Master and the PCM levels. I don't know what PCM stands for, it's just another stupid acronym, but if you don't provide a level for it, you get no sound. Also, you HAVE to use fn-F6 to switch the sound card from "default" to the actual card. Otherwise you won't even see a PCM level or anything but the Master level.

  4. Add the OSS legacy sound driver emulation modules to the kernel by putting them in /etc/modules:


    These drivers add the /dev/audio and other devices that one would expect. The ALSA devices are in /dev/snd.

PowerBook G4 15" Aluminum / 1.5 GHz PowerPC 7447a (32-bit) CPU with AltiVec Velocity Engine / 1 GB RAM / ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 (4X AGP) 64 MB
Debian Wheezy 7.8 ONLY / Gnome 3.4.2 Fallback Mode
$50 complete system cost
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Joined: 2013-12-18 00:25
Location: Ohio, USA

Re: HOWTO Setup Sound on PowerBook G4 Aluminum 15" 1.5 Ghz

Postby mrkapqa » 2015-08-02 11:29

hello ,

blacklisting SND-POWERMAC in the blacklist.local.conf did not work for me.
Still not finding any soundcards.

I am using a Powerbook G4 12'', though.
Posts: 142
Joined: 2014-04-22 08:30

Re: HOWTO Setup Sound on PowerBook G4 Aluminum 15" 1.5 Ghz

Postby davenate » 2015-11-06 15:20

This helped me:

sudo modprobe snd-aoa-i2sbus

found here: ... html#sound

make sure to add it to /etc/modules if it worked
Posts: 1
Joined: 2015-11-06 15:18

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