ALSA Utilities

Jump to: navigation, search
Download Source:


Introduction to ALSA Utilities

The ALSA Utilities package contains the command line utilities for the ALSA project. This package can be compiled only with the installed ALSA driver and the ALSA C library.

Project Homepage:





If you do not have xmlto add --disable-xmlto to the configure command. If building with systemd add --with-systemdsystemunitdir=/lib/systemd/system to the configure command.

Compile the package:

./configure &&

Install the package

make install


This package does not provide any libraries so only one installation is needed.


If you do not have xmlto add --disable-xmlto to the configure command. If building with systemd add --with-systemdsystemunitdir=/lib/systemd/system to the configure command.

Compile the package:

CC="gcc ${BUILD64}" ./configure &&

Install the package

make install

Configuration Information

If using systemd, no configuration is needed and you can safely skip the rest of this page. Else, use a bootscript to store the values at shutdown.

As the root user, install the init script /etc/rc.d/init.d/alsa included in the bootscripts package.

make install-alsa


All channels of your sound card are muted by default. You can use the alsamixer program from the ALSA Utilities to change this.

As the root user, install a new Udev rules file to create the audio device nodes and run the restore script:

cat > /etc/udev/rules.d/15-alsa.rules << "EOF"
# Give the audio group ownership of sound devices
SUBSYSTEM=="sound",       GROUP="audio"
SUBSYSTEM=="snd",         GROUP="audio"

# ALSA Devices
# When a sound device is detected, restore the volume settings
KERNEL=="controlC[0-9]*",  NAME="snd/%k", ACTION=="add", RUN+="/usr/sbin/alsactl restore %n"
KERNEL=="hw[CD0-9]*",      NAME="snd/%k"
KERNEL=="pcm[CD0-9cp]*",   NAME="snd/%k"
KERNEL=="midiC[D0-9]*",    NAME="snd/%k"
KERNEL=="timer",           NAME="snd/%k"
KERNEL=="seq",             NAME="snd/%k"
chmod 644 /etc/udev/rules.d/15-alsa.rules
udevtrigger /etc/udev/rules.d/15-alsa.rules

Using Newer udev, udevtrigger is removed from the install, use

udevadm trigger /etc/udev/rules.d/15-alsa.rules
  • Note for users with multiple soundcards

Alsa tutorial for multiple soundcards

The first time the alsactl program is run from the udev rule above, it will complain that there is no state in /etc/asound.state. You can prevent this by running the following commands as the root user:

touch /etc/asound.state &&
alsactl store


Installed Programs: alsactl, alsaconf, alsamixer, amidi, amixer, aplay, iecset, aconnect, aplaymidi, arecordmidi, aseqdump, aseqnet, speaker-test
Installed Libraries: None
Installed Directory: /usr/share/alsa/speaker-test, /ut/share/sounds/alsa

Short Descriptions

alsactl is a utility for soundcard settings management.
alsaconf is the ALSA driver configurator script.
aplay/arecord is a utility for the playback/capture of .wav,.voc,.au files.
amixer is a command line mixer.
alsamixer is an ncurses mixer.
amidi is a utility to send/receive sysex dumps or other MIDI data.
iecset is a utility to show/set the IEC958 status bits.
aconnect  ???
aplaymidi  ???
arecordmidi  ???
aseqdump  ???
aseqnet  ???
speaker-test  ???
Personal tools