OSS4 in Testing/Wheezy

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OSS4 in Testing/Wheezy

Postby kedaha » 2012-06-24 21:17

I've been having a look at Wheezy again recently to see how configure it to my own liking which includes, of course OSS4.
I successfully installed OSS4 from the main repository and sound quality seems to be just as good as in Squeeze but it doesn't seem to be very compatible with pulseaudio although I have tried configuring /etc/pulse/default.pa
Code: Select all
uname -r
3.2.0-2-amd64

To install oss4, it's necessary have the headers:
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aptitude install linux-headers-$(uname -r)

Now, if you go ahead with the usual:
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# aptitude install oss4-base oss4-dkms oss4-gtk

You will run into this error:
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First Installation: checking all kernels...
Building only for 3.2.0-2-amd64
Building initial module for 3.2.0-2-amd64
Error! Bad return status for module build on kernel: 3.2.0-2-amd64 (x86_64)
Consult /var/lib/dkms/oss4/4.2-build2006/build/make.log for more information.

So I consulted the log and found this little gem:
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make[3]: dpkg-architecture: Command not found

Solved after:
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# aptitude install dh-exec

The oss4-dkms installed just fine and osstest worked. After this I configured the system to use OSS4 instead of ALSA in exactly the same way I do in Squeeze, as detailed here
The issue now is what to do with pulseaudio so my first attempt has been to try and configure it to be used with OSS4 according to Step 4 in a How-to I found here. The results are not satisfactory; the voulume control is useless for controlling the volume, unlike the gnome-volume-control-applet in Squeeze which works perfectly. When I right-click on it to edit the Sound Preferences for my 5.1 surround sound system, all I see is:
Choose a device for sound output
AudigyLSfront

I'm only able to use ossmix commands and ossxmix to control sound.
I don't know how Wheezy is going to solve the OSS4/pulseaudio combination. I can't see any need for pulseaudio at all. I notice in mageia (a community-driven fork of mandriva, for those who are not familiar with it) not only allows the user to choose between ALSA and OSS4 during installation but also allows pulseaudio to be disabled in its control centre; however, in Wheezy, pulseaudio is, as I've commented elsewhere, entangled with everthing else. For example, if you simulate its removal, this results in something like this:
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[size=85]$ aptitude remove --purge -s pulseaudio
The following packages will be REMOVED: 
  pulseaudio
0 packages upgraded, 0 newly installed, 1 to remove and 135 not upgraded.
Need to get 0 B of archives. After unpacking 4,835 kB will be freed.
The following packages have unmet dependencies:
 libcanberra-pulse : Depends: pulseaudio but it is not going to be installed.
 pulseaudio-module-x11 : Depends: pulseaudio but it is not going to be installed.
 pulseaudio-esound-compat : Depends: pulseaudio but it is not going to be installed.
 gnome-core : Depends: pulseaudio but it is not going to be installed.
The following actions will resolve these dependencies:

     Remove the following packages:                                             
1)     gnome-core                                                               
2)     libcanberra-pulse                                                       
3)     pulseaudio-esound-compat                                                 
4)     pulseaudio-module-x11                                                   
5)     task-gnome-desktop                                                       

     Leave the following dependencies unresolved:                               
6)     gnome-media recommends pulseaudio                                       
7)     gnome-settings-daemon recommends pulseaudio                             
8)     task-desktop recommends task-gnome-desktop | task-kde-desktop | task-lxde


Accept this solution? [Y/n/q/?] [/size]

Has anyone else tried OSS4 in Wheezy? Any comments? Thanks for reading.
Desktop, laptop and server: Stable: 3.2.0-4-amd64, 7.6 "wheezy"
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Re: OSS4 in Testing/Wheezy

Postby cynwulf » 2012-06-24 21:58

gnome-core depends on pulseaudio, so you will need to get rid of the gnome-core and gnome meta-packages - there as a recent thread on this: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=81055

You should then be able to surgically remove pulseaudio, but:
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$ aptitude why pulseaudio

To check for further dependencies (don't worry about any recommends or suggests)
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Re: OSS4 in Testing/Wheezy

Postby kedaha » 2012-06-24 23:03

cynwulf wrote:gnome-core depends on pulseaudio, so you will need to get rid of the gnome-core and gnome meta-packages - there as a recent thread on this: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=81055

You should then be able to surgically remove pulseaudio, but:
Code: Select all
$ aptitude why pulseaudio

To check for further dependencies (don't worry about any recommends or suggests)

Nice one! Thanks for the reply: That's blown away pulseaudio and from my Wheezy.
While I was about it, I also got rid of
libasound2-plugins (See Edit below]
vlc-plugins-pulse
gstreamer0.10-pulseaudio
pulseaudio-utils

Well, it remains to be seen whether pulseaudio and its gui interface will be compatible with OSS4 when wheezy is released as stable without having to remove it and associated packeges manually. Probably not since it is assumed everyone wants ALSA. So your reply will definitely need to be referenced in a future how-to for OSS4 in Wheezy.
Edit: i restored libasound2-plugins because, without it, there was no sound using flash.
Last edited by kedaha on 2012-06-25 19:54, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: OSS4 in Testing/Wheezy

Postby squeezy » 2012-06-25 03:42

I've routinely done builds where I've stripped away ALSA without installing Pulse at all. I then install an OSS4 .deb I created from the source on the opensound.com site. Takes about 15 seconds to install on my old single core Athlon but then it's my default and only sound system in use.
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Re: OSS4 in Testing/Wheezy

Postby kedaha » 2012-06-25 08:08

squeezy wrote:I've routinely done builds where I've stripped away ALSA without installing Pulse at all. I then install an OSS4 .deb I created from the source on the opensound.com site. Takes about 15 seconds to install on my old single core Athlon but then it's my default and only sound system in use.

OSS4 on an old Athlon? Interesting; just curiosity, but, what sound card is it? How does audio compare with ALSA?
I too have built OSS4 from source as described in viewtopic.php?f=16&t=52919&start=15#p395847 but, since there's nothing wrong with OSS4 in the wheezy repository, it's naturally first choice. Besides, for an old computer like that, it might be interesting to build a customised kernel to optimize performance but for that, I'd install OSS4 from the repositories beforehand so that it gets built in.
Yes, it's easy to remove ALSA and now - with cynwulf's tip - pulseaudio, which was a bit of a spanner in the works in wheezy.
Now I'm looking at finding a replacement for the pulseaudio volume control applet/sound preferences which got removed with pulseaudio.
Desktop, laptop and server: Stable: 3.2.0-4-amd64, 7.6 "wheezy"
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Re: OSS4 in Testing/Wheezy

Postby squeezy » 2012-06-25 14:46

Old sound card as well, VIA VT8237 AC97, actually a Realtek codec, ALC 658 I think. The OSS4 package I made has a module for this device so it works perfectly. The OSS4 packages in wheezy and sid used to not install so that's why I ended up building my own. I'll have to try the repo version again, it's been several months since I last tried the prepackaged version.

With this lowend hardware it's hard to hear a huge difference but I found OSS4 to be a bit clearer sounding with more L/R definition in the soundscape.

The stock kernels work fine on this machine. In fact, I haven't really had any hardware support or performance problems to speak of with this old rig. I've run everything from squeeze to sid to Ubuntu 12.04 and various Mint releases on it with no problems. Keeps the old machine kicking!
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Re: OSS4 in Testing/Wheezy

Postby kedaha » 2012-09-11 15:33

I installed wheezy on a desktop computer today with the standard Gnome 3 debian desktop installed with tasksel and, as usual, decided to install OSS4 for superior sound quality from the sound card identified as:
Code: Select all
$ lspci |grep -i audio
04:00.0 Multimedia audio controller: Creative Labs CA0106 Soundblaster

For anyone interested in the details, installation of the necessary packages was straightforward but first it was necessary to get rid of the following 3 metapackages as explained by Cynwulf above. Note: The following command may look a bit drastic but it does NOT blitz the entire desktop environment but, if anyone wishes to simulate it in their normal user teminal, just append an -s thus:
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$ aptitude purge -s gnome gnome-desktop-environment gnome-core
Before going ahead with:

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# aptitude purge gnome gnome-desktop-environment gnome-core

Then get shot of pulseaudio and alsa thus:
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# aptitude remove --purge pulseaudio
# /etc/init.d/alsa-utils stop
# aptitude remove alsa-base alsa-utils

Then proceeded to install the oss4 packages with:
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# aptitude install oss4-base oss4-dkms oss4-gtk

This failed to build the first time and I got the following error:
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Loading new oss4-4.2-build2006 DKMS files...
First Installation: checking all kernels...
Building only for 3.2.0-3-686-pae
Building initial module for 3.2.0-3-686-pae
Error! Bad return status for module build on kernel: 3.2.0-3-686-pae (i686)
Consult /var/lib/dkms/oss4/4.2-build2006/build/make.log for more information.
[ ok ] Unloading Open Sound System kernel modules: done (OSS not loaded).
[FAIL] Starting Open Sound System: failed (No kernel modules detected).
Setting up oss4-gtk (4.2-build2006-2) ...

The error is easily solved by installing the package build-essential which was missing in the newly-installed system, then purge and reinstall oss4-dkms thus:
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# aptitude remove --purge oss4-dkms

Now after
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# aptitude install oss4-dkms

there was sound after the usual
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# dpkg-reconfigure linux-sound-base

and flash after editing /etc/asound.conf exactly as described in viewtopic.php?f=20&t=70166&start=15#p394523
OK so everything works fine but with regard to the wheezy 1.7 version of minitube, after the above steps, simulating installation results in:
Code: Select all
root@new-host:~# aptitude install -s minitube
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  alsa-base{ab} alsa-utils{a} fonts-freefont-ttf{a} gstreamer0.10-alsa{a} libcddb2{a} libcrystalhd3{a}
  libdirac-decoder0{a} libdvbpsi7{a} libebml3{a} libiso9660-8{a} libmatroska5{a} libphonon4{a} libqt4-dbus{a}
  libqt4-network{a} libqt4-opengl{a} libqt4-xml{a} libqtcore4{a} libqtgui4{a} libresid-builder0c2a{a}
  libsdl-image1.2{a} libsidplay2{a} libtar0{a} libupnp6{a} libva-x11-1{a} libvcdinfo0{a} libvlc5{a} libvlccore5{a}
  libwebp2{a} libxcb-composite0{a} libxcb-keysyms1{a} libxcb-randr0{a} libxcb-xfixes0{a} libxcb-xv0{a} minitube
  phonon{a} phonon-backend-gstreamer{a} phonon-backend-vlc{a} qdbus{a} vlc{a} vlc-data{a} vlc-nox{a}
  vlc-plugin-notify{a} vlc-plugin-pulse{a}
0 packages upgraded, 43 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 26.2 MB/27.5 MB of archives. After unpacking 88.3 MB will be used.
The following packages have unmet dependencies:
 alsa-base : Breaks: linux-sound-base but 1.0.23+dfsg-4 is installed.
The following actions will resolve these dependencies:

     Keep the following packages at their current version:
1)     alsa-base [Not Installed]                         

     Leave the following dependencies unresolved:         
2)     alsa-utils recommends alsa-base (>= 1.0.15)       
3)     gstreamer0.10-alsa recommends alsa-base (>= 0.9.0)


Accept this solution? [Y/n/q/?] y
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  alsa-utils{a} fonts-freefont-ttf{a} gstreamer0.10-alsa{a} libcddb2{a} libcrystalhd3{a} libdirac-decoder0{a}
  libdvbpsi7{a} libebml3{a} libiso9660-8{a} libmatroska5{a} libphonon4{a} libqt4-dbus{a} libqt4-network{a}
  libqt4-opengl{a} libqt4-xml{a} libqtcore4{a} libqtgui4{a} libresid-builder0c2a{a} libsdl-image1.2{a} libsidplay2{a}
  libtar0{a} libupnp6{a} libva-x11-1{a} libvcdinfo0{a} libvlc5{a} libvlccore5{a} libwebp2{a} libxcb-composite0{a}
  libxcb-keysyms1{a} libxcb-randr0{a} libxcb-xfixes0{a} libxcb-xv0{a} minitube phonon{a} phonon-backend-gstreamer{a}
  phonon-backend-vlc{a} qdbus{a} vlc{a} vlc-data{a} vlc-nox{a} vlc-plugin-notify{a} vlc-plugin-pulse{a}
The following packages are RECOMMENDED but will NOT be installed:
  alsa-base
0 packages upgraded, 42 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 26.2 MB/27.4 MB of archives. After unpacking 88.2 MB will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n/?] y
Would download/install/remove packages.

Looks OK but, to judge by other tests, while a compiled version of minitube works perfectly for me in stable, the 1.7-1.1 version from the wheezy repository does not work very well, sometimes jumping from one video to another before it has ended or even stopping so the solution for the time being seems to be to compile minitube from source in virtualbox as described in viewtopic.php?f=16&t=51504&start=60#p402252
Desktop, laptop and server: Stable: 3.2.0-4-amd64, 7.6 "wheezy"
Raspberry Pi, Raspbian (LXDE)
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Re: OSS4 in Testing/Wheezy

Postby kedaha » 2013-04-13 12:34

For the few users who are interested in an alternative to alsa+pulseaudio, I thought I'd just add that, I've been having another look at OSS4 in wheezy recently and was surprised to find that the step:
Code: Select all
# dpkg-reconfigure linux-sound-base

is no longer necessary.
On my testing, I've set Gnome 3 to classic mode, not new-fangled mode; however, an annoying thing is that, after getting rid of PulseAudio as described above, the handy little volume control disappears from the upper gnome panel. A way to keep it is to retain PulseAudio and to configure it to work with OSS4 as described in the opensound wiki, Configuring_Applications_for_OSSv4#Pulseaudio. I've tried this and it works; at least there is a volume control applet but the sound preference options are practically non-existent in comparison with the alsa-based setup. Perhaps there's a better solution but I haven't found one yet. But audio is - as always with OSS4 on my system - stellar.
[Edit 04 May 2013.]:
Volume Control Applet for OSS4 in Gnome 3
Note, after instlling OSS4 in Gnome 3 Classic Mode, after rebooting there will be no volume applet on the upper panel. To remedy this, use the Super key + Alt and right-click -> add to panel ->add Volume Control to panel.
My advice is: Do not configure pulseaudio to be used with OSS4 but remove it as already detailed in this topic.
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