Question Regarding Sound in KDE

Sven Jacobs sven.jacobs at
Thu Mar 17 14:22:11 GMT 2005

Hello Ryan!

> Hey guys, I'm not sure if this question belongs in this group so I
> apologize ahead of time if this ends up being an OS issue.
> I'm trying to get the sound working in KDE 3.3 running on freeBSD 5.3.
> I am able to enable sound w/o KDE but when I start the X windows, the
> KDE intro window and sound will come on but the sound would stop half
> way though. I went to the control center to test the sound but nothing
> comes out. When I test the sound driver on terminal emulator, I get
> "driver busy".
> If I start the operating system without sound and enable the sound
> driver AFTER starting KDE in terminal window, the sound works fine.

By default KDE uses arts which is a sound wrapper daemon. It mixes 
several sound sources (=applications) into one stream which can be 
played by your sound card. Without arts only one application can use the 
sound device at once. Modern soundcards support hardware mixing though 
which makes arts obsolete.

Looks like arts is started and thus blocks your sound device. If your 
soundcard supports hardware mixing then try to disable arts (see 
KControl/Sound & Multimedia/Sound system). Your applications then need 
to use the native ALSA driver. If you need to use arts then make sure 
that all your applications are compiled with arts support and that they 
use arts output plugins (like XMMS for example).

Sven Jacobs
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