View Poll Results: Which do you find easier?

Voters
242. You may not vote on this poll
  • ALSA is easy, I use ALSA

    114 47.11%
  • OSS4 is easy, I use OSS4

    93 38.43%
  • I have never used ALSA or OSS4 (what do you use?)

    4 1.65%
  • I have never used ALSA or I have never used OSS4

    31 12.81%
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Thread: ALSA or OSS4

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Beans
    657
    Distro
    Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon

    ALSA or OSS4

    I was wondering what the ubuntu's community thinks about ALSA and OSS4. I've had lots of issues with ALSA and it was suggested that I switch to OSS4 but the information I was given about OSS4 was nazish fanboy stuff that was horribly biased (what else are geeks good for? )

    Anyways, what do you use?
    Which do you think is easier?

    Note: OSS4, not the old depreciated one!
    OSS4 has software mixing.
    Last edited by malfist; March 2nd, 2008 at 08:45 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Kingston, Ontario
    Beans
    1,919
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: ALSA or OSS4

    I'd choose Alsa over OSS, but PulseAudio over both. They're all lacking somewhere, for ALSA, it's playing multiple sounds at once, for PulseAudio, it's digital passthrough.

    I think a healthy mix of PA and ALSA would be the best choice.
    +Solace @DeviantArt | Awesome Guide | Beginners Team Member
    Canadian Forces 2007-present

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Beans
    657
    Distro
    Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon

    Re: ALSA or OSS4

    OSS4 has software mixing and can play multiple sounds at once. Currently my ALSA can only play one stream though

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Beans
    716
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: ALSA or OSS4

    oss4 because alsa doesn't support my x-fi card oss4 does. simple as that.

    alsa is easier to work with though

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Beans
    11

    Re: ALSA or OSS4

    I vote for OSS4! I've had problems with both ALSA and even Pulseaudio wich is so praised right now. I was first amazed that Pulseaudio supported software mixing, and also switching volume for all streams seperately.. however, this is all supported in OSS4 already! And PA seems slower, and all apps need to be modified to use it correctly. OSS4 works as it is, the only thing we need to change is the new ALSA-only apps.

    All apps that I could use OSS in worked as they should with full software mixing. I could even have WINE running at the same time as Kaffeine with sound from both. Now when we're switching to PA, WINE also needs to be modified in order to get PA support..

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Beans
    49
    Distro
    Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

    Re: ALSA or OSS4

    OSS4 has a lot of things going for it that most newer/inexperienced users may fail to see, since it is not provided as an easy alternative in Ubuntu (but I hope it might be added into the Hardy repos, since it is open source and GPL!). There's an article that I read a while ago that talked about some of the difficulties ALSA has that OSS4 is in some cases able to overcome... although it may sound biased, it is a very good read (and I hope some Ubuntu devs will make a note of it)

    The sorry state of sound in linux

    Please don't be turned off by the title, it's a very good read.

    Honestly, OSS4 is well-kept, well-updated, free (again)... the only problem I have with it at this point is that hardware MIDI sequencing was ripped out, due to it being mostly old code. Once that gets reimplemented (hopefully soon...), sky's the limit for OSS. That's my two cents, anyway

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Queen Creek, AZ
    Beans
    195

    Re: ALSA or OSS4

    Alsa here, but mainly because I don't know the difference.

    Begs the question from me... what's the difference? I'm mostly concerned with using a Logitech USB headphone with microphone (has a sound card integrated) in addition to WoW on Crossover.

    What would be the best in that situation?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Serbia
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: ALSA or OSS4

    I personally use ALSA, because I have no problems using it on both an integrated card in my Laptop, and a ens1371 (SB PCI 128 ) on my Desktop.

    ALSA may be a mess: it has user space libraries, and kernel space drivers, software mixing in user mode, and if you use it's OSS emulation, it goes from kernel mode to user mode to perform software mixing and then back to kernel mode to send that to device driver, but this is not something necessarily bad.

    For example one can set a default sound card using one configuration file, pass all data to userspace program (via plugins), for example to pulseaudio, setup a software volume control, mix channels and remap them... With pulseaudio you can even create 5.1 surround system from three stereo outputs... you can divert sound to another system on a network (even for OSS applications) etc. This is what ALSA can do.

    OSS can do software mixing with much less processor time spent (everything is in kernel mode), requires no setup and supports newer hardware, but can't do all things ALSA can.

    Maybe one day I'll be able to setup pulseaudio server on my system (for local applications and via network for applications on my laptop), set it to output sounds to OSS (with it's software mixing, if it is possibile), and tell all applications to use pulseaudio (via it's ALSA plugin, or native, and via ALSA's OSS emulation if possible), and make a perfect setup

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Beans
    49
    Distro
    Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

    Re: ALSA or OSS4

    Some people on the OSS4 team are working on SALSA (implemented, but still in development), which will hopefully be able to handle ALSA processes preoperly in the future, which would be the best of both world for me. I can get a similar thing happening with the alsa-oss packages, but that uses oss3, which isn't nearly as awesome. Also, since I'd rather use OSS4 for the majority of my work, leaving ALSA for the things that I absolutely have to, that would be a more preferable choice for me.

    derekr44, oss4 is sort of a pain to install (sort of, it may have gotten easier, but I believe you at least need to still install the deb running in a purely terminal session, so that alsa is not running and won't flip out at you), but it wasn't an extreme hassle to try once I figured that out. Also, since the alsa repositories are all in synaptic, it's easy to reinstall them if you have second thoughts. My advice is to try it! There's no harm in trying, and your programs will likely work fine with the change. You can get the deb here. Just remember, if you decide to switch back, be sure to uninstall oss before reinstalling alsa. They don't play nice (and probably won't until Ubuntu starts offering them both in the repos).

    Hope that's helpful, good luck.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Queen Creek, AZ
    Beans
    195

    Re: ALSA or OSS4

    Quote Originally Posted by DancemasterGlenn View Post
    derekr44, oss4 is sort of a pain to install (sort of, it may have gotten easier, but I believe you at least need to still install the deb running in a purely terminal session, so that alsa is not running and won't flip out at you), but it wasn't an extreme hassle to try once I figured that out. Also, since the alsa repositories are all in synaptic, it's easy to reinstall them if you have second thoughts. My advice is to try it! There's no harm in trying, and your programs will likely work fine with the change. You can get the deb here. Just remember, if you decide to switch back, be sure to uninstall oss before reinstalling alsa. They don't play nice (and probably won't until Ubuntu starts offering them both in the repos).

    Hope that's helpful, good luck.
    Thanks for the tip! I suppose I shall try it out and see...

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