PCBSD 8.1 & OSS4

‘ve been fooling around with PCBSD since late last year (2010). Quite frankly, I love it. Not only is it easy too setup it’s for the most part functional right out of the box. However I didn’t build my system with BSD in mind, and one of the battles to be fought (I’m building a webdev env) was enabling sound. If you’re like me you have a computer full of FLAC audio files on your HD to keep your wheels spinning as you’re coming up with programmatic solutions for your designs. So without ado here is how to setup OSS4 from FreeBSD’s Ports colection on PCBSD.

The first things first, you need to know that PCBSD has it’s own sound system and sound detection scripts in place. They need to be disabled.


nano /etc/rc.conf

Find the following portion of rc.conf and edit it as OSS needs to be the only active sound engine (unless you know something I don’t).

# Enable sound-support

Now open/boot/defaults/loader.conf and look under the section labled…

Sound Modules

since our sound drivers are part of the OSS4 sound system we do not need to load any drivers. Unless you have a good reason they should be set NOT to load.




Be careful not to change anything else in this file and that you use correct syntax.

Now, we just have one config file left.

Open /boot/loader.conf and find

# Load sound-support

My loader.conf looks like this, but the main points are that you load the OSS module and disable any other sound systems that might conflict with it.

# Load sound-support


We have now cleared the way for OSS4 to take charge of your systems sound, but we haven’t installed nor configured it itself yet.

Short version: Update your port tree, make config and install audio/oss then run the command “soundon” to enable OSS and “osstest” to see if it worked. If so, reboot and you should be good.

Long version.

cd /usr/ports/audio/oss/

make config

make install



I hope you hear sound, cause that’s the end of this guide. After a reboot and under “Multimedia” in “System Settings” all of my other sound devices disappeared and I was left with “OSS default output”. Furthermore, if you pay attention when you reboot you should see something to the effect of “Starting Open Sound System” fly by during startup.

I hope someone finds this of some use, it took me about 4 hours of scouring the net looking for bits and pieces of information until I got it working. I blogged it selfishly so that I will not have to go through all of it again, but hey if it works for you too =D.

For the sake of your curiosity I am running PCBSD 8.1 and I have a Xonar DX soundcard that was added to the Jan 5th 2011 build of OSS4.

Good luck, I got some more hacking and setting up to do, now to the drum of John Bonham *devilhorns*.




For further discussion click see http://forums.pcbsd.org/showthread.php?t=14124

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