I wanted to bring up yet another ugly little hack that's required in Karmic Koala, all thanks to the failures of the PulseAudio brigade and their tomfoolery.

Now this is for those who do not believe in having PulseAudio in their cute cuddly Koala. If you have Karmic Koala, you're running ALSA and have multiple sound cards, this post is for you.

Alsa-utils no longer has asoundconf which, if you don't know, is like a car not having a transmission.

What it does: Allows the user to switch between two sound cards (for example, on-board sound and a USB headset)

When you need it: Only for certain situations where it is necessary to use a secondary sound card for specific things (Such as running a voice program in Virtualbox on a USB headset - which will not work with PulseAudio and some hardware, no matter how hard you try).

What you have to do: Cheap hacks. Let me repeat - This is a crappy little hack that should not have to be done.

Step 1: Go to http://packages.ubuntu.com/jaunty/alsa-utils and download the alsa-utils for your version of ubuntu (i386 or amd64).

Step 2: Open a terminal and cd to the download directory and run:

sudo dpkg -i alsa-utils_1.0.18-1ubuntu11_amd64.deb

Step 3: Now, after this mess, cd to /usr/bin and use this command:

sudo cp asoundconf /usr/

Which will copy (cp) asoundconf (the file you want) to the directory /usr/

Step 4: Run:

sudo apt-get install asoundconf-gtk

This will install a very nice simple gtk frontend for the asoundconf file that is no longer in existence in our software...wait what? Yeah I know, they kept the gtk and removed the actual file the gtk uses. Go figure.

Step 5: Anyhow, next step is to run your update manager in whatever style you prefer, I just use System -> Administration -> Update manager.

This will destroy all the fine hard work you did to install asoundconf to begin with. However! All is not lost...your alsa-utils are now updated.

Step 6: cd to /usr and type:

cp asoundconf /usr/bin/

You will now have asoundconf in /usr/bin and it will work just fine.

To test this, run asoundconf-gtk and see if it comes up, if it does, everything's fine. If it doesn't, something went horribly wrong.

If it worked fine, you can now select from the detected sound cards in your system.

Step 6 most likely will have to be repeated for each alsa-utils upgrade done, but hey, it's better than not being able to swap between two or more sound cards without using PulseAudio

For those wondering why this has happened, it's because the person who was maintaining asoundconf is no longer doing so. Seriously, that's the only reason. We just need someone who knows what they're doing to maintain it again and we won't have to deal with these inglorious hacks.

Stay loud, talk hard.