Please re-enable CONFIG_SOUND_OSS* and CONFIG_SND_*OSS*

Bug #716814 reported by James Andrewartha on 2011-02-11
This bug affects 15 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
linux (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

ALSA OSS emulation was disabled in bug #579300 to help with migration to OSSp. This migration never happened, breaking many apps when 10.10 was released. Please revert this change.

Jeremy Foshee (jeremyfoshee) wrote :

Hi James,

Please be sure to confirm this issue exists with the latest development release of Ubuntu. ISO CD images are available from . If the issue remains, please run the following command from a Terminal (Applications->Accessories->Terminal). It will automatically gather and attach updated debug information to this report.

apport-collect -p linux 716814

Also, if you could test the latest upstream kernel available that would be great. It will allow additional upstream developers to examine the issue. Refer to . Once you've tested the upstream kernel, please remove the 'needs-upstream-testing' tag. This can be done by clicking on the yellow pencil icon next to the tag located at the bottom of the bug description and deleting the 'needs-upstream-testing' text. Please let us know your results.

Thanks in advance.

    [This is an automated message. Apologies if it has reached you inappropriately; please just reply to this message indicating so.]

tags: added: kernel-sound
tags: added: kernel-workflow
tags: added: needs-kernel-logs
tags: added: needs-upstream-testing
tags: added: kj-triage
Changed in linux (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
Timur Iskhodzhanov (timurrrr) wrote :

I've just installed 10.10 from an .ISO downloaded today from
My ossaudiodev python programs can't run anymore since /dev/dsp is missing, I suspect OSS is not present.
[the purpose of this comment is to subscribe and get the subscription options required for apport-collect]

tags: added: apport-collected

AlsaVersion: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture Driver Version 1.0.23.
 **** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
 card 0: I82801AAICH [Intel 82801AA-ICH], device 0: Intel ICH [Intel 82801AA-ICH]
   Subdevices: 1/1
   Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
Architecture: i386
 /dev/snd/controlC0: timurrrr 1214 F.... pulseaudio
CRDA: Error: [Errno 2] No such file or directory
 Card hw:0 'I82801AAICH'/'Intel 82801AA-ICH with STAC9700,83,84 at irq 5'
   Mixer name : 'SigmaTel STAC9700,83,84'
   Components : 'AC97a:83847600'
   Controls : 34
   Simple ctrls : 24
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 10.10
HibernationDevice: RESUME=UUID=80e23b27-40f0-4cd9-8373-9a367a38275a
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 10.10 "Maverick Meerkat" - Release i386 (20101007)
 lo no wireless extensions.

 eth0 no wireless extensions.
 Bus 001 Device 002: ID 80ee:0021
 Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
MachineType: innotek GmbH VirtualBox
Package: linux (not installed)
ProcCmdLine: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.35-25-generic root=UUID=b4e2b62a-8bc0-485b-a929-37f48b380679 ro quiet splash
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.35-25.44-generic
Regression: Yes
RelatedPackageVersions: linux-firmware 1.38.3
Reproducible: Yes

Tags: maverick kernel-sound regression-potential needs-upstream-testing
Uname: Linux 2.6.35-25-generic i686
UserGroups: adm admin cdrom dialout lpadmin plugdev sambashare 12/01/2006
dmi.bios.vendor: innotek GmbH
dmi.bios.version: VirtualBox
dmi.modalias: dmi:bvninnotekGmbH:bvrVirtualBox:bd12/01/2006:svninnotekGmbH:pnVirtualBox:pvr1.2: VirtualBox
dmi.product.version: 1.2
dmi.sys.vendor: innotek GmbH

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martinwguy (martinwguy) wrote :

Thanks for the automatic reply.

However, this bug is not dependent on the users' config and setup, since it was introduced system-wide in maverick by disabling OSS_COMPAT in the kernel for maverick, thereby breaking dozens of programs that use OSS.
See "bug" #579300 and its comments to see how unpopular this decision was with users.

Rorzik (rorzik) wrote :

As I understand it, this bug is the reason aumix is broken (bug #656890). To my knowledge this is the only ncurses-based mixer, and has no replacement. It doesn't seem sensible to remove basic functionality before replacements are ready.

Clóvis Fabrício (nosklo) wrote :

#579300 is what removed OSS support.
#634211 is also related.

Clóvis Fabrício (nosklo) wrote :

I use transcode, it's the only thing that can record from my capture card with reasonable speed; mencoder, ffmpeg and vlc all drop too much frames to be useful.

Changed in linux (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Confirmed
nzadLithium (cmaster2) wrote :

ossp works on 11.04. I downloaded the modified libfuse from this page: and ossp from this:

once libfuse was compiled and installed I had to modprobe cuse.
chmod 777 /dev/cuse (i'm sure theres better permissions but I'm lazy).
compile ossp
copy the ossp binaries to /usr/bin
run ossp -v -f
chmod 777 /dev/dsp
chmod 777 /dev/mixer
chmod 777 /dev/adsp

I had perfect sound output from the application aqualung when started with aqualung --output oss.
It appears that mmap is not currently working though. On this page:;a=log;h=HEAD it states that 7 months ago the fuse mmap api changed so mmap is currently disabled. There was another release of osspd (the one i'm using now) 2 months ago but that does not have working mmap, so games based on quake3 engine (and anything else using mmap) will still not work.

The output from ossp opens a connection and closes connection as expected with aqualung, however as soon as an mmap connection tries to open, it closes.

Dominik (dominalien) wrote :

I'm on 11.04 and I got osspd working. I didn't have to get any fuse other than the one that was already in the system. I got osspd ver. 1.3.2, compiled. Had to add myself to the audio group. Sound works fine with Adventure Game Studio now :-)

Bachsau (bachsau) wrote :

Don't do this. OSS is outdated technology, and the emulation does not allow software mixing. Everyone, please install aoss.

Jargon Scott (jarglpa) wrote :

Bachsau: OSS needs to be re-enabled.

Yes, the Kconfig in the kernel sources warns that OSS is deprecated.

Yet upstream Debian still ships with OSS enabled just like ALSA. And the upstream Linux developers recommend it too; see sound/core/Kconfig: "Many programs still use the OSS API, so say Y."

Indeed, they are right. There are plenty of packages written against the OSS API that still don't work correctly under aoss or ossp emulation. See bugs 605280, 605536, 613809, 619013, or try compiling the GPLed sources for Return to Castle Wolfenstein.

Ever since OSS was disabled in bug 579300 in May 2010, Ubuntu has shipped with broken packages. This is an embarassing problem that should be fixed. We can fix this problem by (a) finding and rewriting every single OSS-using package that doesn't work under aoss or ossp, or (b) re-enabling OSS. Re-enabling OSS is easier, saner, and it allows support for old applications that aren't packaged with Ubuntu.

The argument for keeping OSS becomes even strong when you consider that:

(a) The upstream folks at Debian have kept OSS enabled this whole time, and they're still alive.

(b) OSS operates peacefully alongside ALSA; it's not necessary to choose one audio system over another. (This applies to OSS 3, the version that was disabled in bug 579300 and that had been included with the kernel sources and compiled as a module up until Ubuntu Maverick. OSS 4 does not integrate well with othe audio systems, but that's not what we're talking about here.)

(c) The justification in bug 579300 for removing OSS was never sound in the first place: (1) A developer claimed they were "investigating using OSSp to shunt all apps attempting to use the older, in-kernel OSS API"; that experiment failed and left broken packages in its wake. Either those packages should be fixed or removed, or OSS should be re-enabled to allow them to work again. (2) If the developer merely wanted to perform testing as he said he did, then why did he disable OSS across all of Ubuntu and not confine his work to his own development environment? If he meant that a *decision* had been made to disable OSS and that lots of packages needed testing, he should have said so; it could have avoided needless discussion and criticism.

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