5.8:     Sound Configuration

See also Section 8.2


ALSA, which stands for Advanced Linux Sound Architecture, is a suite of hardware drivers, libraries and utilities that provides audio and MIDI functionality for the Linux operating system. For specific configuration needs, consult the ALSA Wiki in Links and Guides.

Restricted formats

People wishing to play back video and audio files in proprietary formats will need to install these packages:


These are available through Synaptic after checking the box next to this repository (see Section 7.1):

deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org etch main

NOTE: The use of these packages is illegal in some countries, so please check your local restrictions before installing.

Install multimedia codecs & libdvdcss in Debian Etch:

Basic configuration

Kmix is the recommended way to adjust your sound.

  1. Open KMix by clicking KMenu --> Multimedia --> KMix, or by clicking the speaker icon in the system tray (right end of kicker) and clicking on Mixer.
  2. On the Output tab, make sure the Master volume (on the far left) is turned up.
  3. Also, make sure PCM is turned up (the control with the blue squiggly line above it).
  4. Make sure that the little round buttons (green lights) above these slider controls are on (lighted).
  5. On the Input tab, check that the channels you need (CD, etc.) are not muted. The mute buttons look like green LEDs.
  6. On the menu bar click Settings --> Configure Kmix and make certain that Restore volumes on login is checked.

NOTE: you cannot play an audio CD by clicking on the CD-ROM icon on the desktop. You must use an installed player (see Section 8.2).

Fixing KsCD

KsCD is KDE's lightweight CD player for MEPIS Linux, but it needs to be configured in order produce sound:

  1. Click KMenu --> Multimedia --> KsCD
  2. Click Extras --> Configure KsCD...
  3. Highlight CD Player
  4. In the CD-ROM Device box on the right, check "Use direct digital playback"
  5. Click OK, returning you to the KsCD main screen.

System sounds

You can control KDE system-wide sound settings by following these steps:

  1. Click KMenu --> Control Center --> Sound & Multimedia
  2. Click on any topic to change the settings


Before you start, you will need to know what sound card you have. Open a terminal by clicking KMenu --> System --> Konsole, and enter this line:

lspci | grep -i audio

This command asks that all devices be listed that contain the word “audio” in their description, and the output will tell you your card manufacturer and model. Here is an example of output:

0000:00:1f.5 Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corporation 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R)

With this information, you can use the MEPIS Wiki sound driver database found under Links and Guides to track down more information and help, or turn to other resources linked below. In rare cases, you may have to load a module for your card following the directions linked below.

NOTE: Many of the drivers do not include the snd- prefix; you will need to add that to get the actual module name.