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Linux's Achilles Heel Apparently Revealed

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the or-not dept.

Operating Systems 1469

ahab_2001 writes "In Information Week's latest 'Langa Letter', Fred Langa points to something that he calls Linux's 'Achilles' heel': 'New Linux distros still fail a task that Windows 95 -- yes, 95! -- easily handles, namely working with mainstream sound cards.' After lamenting his difficulties in getting a particular sound card to work with nine Linux distros, he concludes that his experience 'empirically shows that, despite its many good points, Linux still has some huge, gaping holes--holes that Windows plugged almost a decade ago.' (Oddball note: Information Week prefaced the e-mail alert pointing to this article by saying 'Occasionally, we have news or analysis of such importance that it warrants a special alert to you.' Hmm...)"

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My ass (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8909196)

has finally be revealed for all of you to suck cmdrtaco's jiz from!

TACO (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8909202)

get your cock out of timothy's ass

Huh... (3, Funny)

darth_MALL (657218) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909206)

Is this a record moment for MS, when 95 outperforms a Linux boxen? I just heard a few coworkers keel over dead.

Re:Huh... (5, Insightful)

mr_tommy (619972) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909326)

It's no record moment; it is (as-ever) a wake up call to the slashdot croud who perpetually fool themselves as to how good linux is. As this article highlights, failing to interact with such basic hardware as a sound card makes it unviable for mom & pop situations! How can you possibly expect people to have to try 9 different distros just for them to get the music working?

Wake up guys. You need freeze the work geared up towards developers. You need to support these distro's that really make linux child's play. They need the support of as many developers as possible, because unless Linux can really break into the home deskop market it will never suceed truely as a competitor to Microsoft other than in server and techy environments.

People talk about this being the year of linux. Well, i've been reading slashdot for the last 5 years, and every year in Jan - April it's been Linux's year; if only it were true.

Re:Huh... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8909347)

'Boxen' is a plural form of 'box'. Much as 'oxen' is a plural form of 'ox'.

I don't like the use of the word 'boxen' at the best of times, but at least don't use 'a boxen'

Re:Huh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8909363)

woops...never thought of it that way. I feel edumacated now :) d_M

Damn (3, Funny)

platypussrex (594064) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909208)

I knew I should have kept my copy of Windows 95!

Win95 sucks at sound (0, Informative)

Old Wolf (56093) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909215)

I dont know about that: even on Win98 and WinME, it goes to shit if you try and have 2 different programs play sound at the same time. (Sometimes it bluescreens, sometimes just one of them works and the other doesn't).

Re:Win95 sucks at sound (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8909238)

and the sad thing is, that somebody somewhere will mod up your FUD as "interesting" or even "insightful."

Re:Win95 sucks at sound (4, Funny)

RomSteady (533144) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909256)

That's as maybe, but if you are implying that sound functioning 50% of the time is somehow worse than sound functioning 0% of the time, then I fear I have wandered into either a Monty Python sketch, the Twilight Zone, or Slashdot.

In any case, it can't be good for my sanity.

Re:Win95 sucks at sound (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8909264)

I agree. Even Windows 2000 and XP fuck up when you try to play sound in different programs.

Linux, of course, handles everything perfectly. Please use Linux instead. This article is FUD.

Re:Win95 sucks at sound (2, Insightful)

drakaan (688386) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909292)

"I agree. Even Windows 2000 and XP fuck up when you try to play sound in different programs."

uhh...no, they don't.

Re:Win95 sucks at sound (1, Funny)

ePhil_One (634771) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909343)

"I agree. Even Windows 2000 and XP fuck up when you try to play sound in different programs."

uhh...no, they don't.

These aren't the droids you're looking for...

Re:Win95 sucks at sound (0, Flamebait)

DaHat (247651) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909336)

This article is FUD.

Perhaps, but your comment is far worse.

WARNING! (4, Insightful)

mahdi13 (660205) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909221)

Some sound cards suck and are not supported by Linux...or the original manufactures that went out of business 10 years ago and took the specs with them

What's with all the Troll articles lately?

Re:WARNING! (5, Funny)

don_carnage (145494) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909289)

That's good -- put that on the box: "WARNING: Some sound cards suck and are not supported by Linux. Please select a sound card that doesn't suck before purchasing this distribution of Linux. Thank you."

Re:WARNING! (5, Interesting)

nightsweat (604367) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909317)

Doesn't help if you're the nontechnical user stuck with the bad card because the nice man at the store said it works just fine.

Kneejerk response prediction- "I am so SICK of people saying Linux has to work for nontechnical people! If you don't get it then you suxxor and shouldn't have a computer anyway and we're taking over teh desktop anyway!" How, without any non-technical users, is of course a mystery.

Winders does devices well because that's where the market's been. Linux would smoke Winders boxes in all tests if it had better drivers.

Re:WARNING! (5, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909321)

The point is, XP's got drivers for some of those historic cards. If it got a driver into Windows 95, it still works in Windows XP.

Linux's driver history doesn't go back that far... so some hardware that works with Windows just will never work with Linux.


DraconPern (521756) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909325)

Last I checked, Intel was still in business...

The system was based on an utterly mainstream Intel motherboard with an on-board Intel sound system

Did you RTFA?


gringo_john (680811) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909350)

I would agree. I have a Diamond Monster MX300 that uses the Aureal Vortex2 chip. It was a pain in the ass to get it to work the RH 9.

Sometimes it's also the soundcard manufacturer at fault. Ever heard of a Winmodem? We have desktop Dells that came with a so called Creative Soundblaster Live card. It turned out to be a Dell Creative Soundblaster Live for windows. It relied heavily on the windows drivers to work in windows. The linux soundblaster drivers obviously didn't work. (found out the hard way)

So until the manufacturers start providing real working drivers for their products, the linux support will always lag behind.

Shouldn't AC'97, and now azalia work? (2, Insightful)

Thinkit4 (745166) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909222)

If you just use AC'97, why would you get problems? And the new standard, azalia, should allow linux to work with much beter quality without individual drivers.

Re:Shouldn't AC'97, and now azalia work? (2, Interesting)

computational super (740265) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909313)

I had reams of problems getting my AC'97-compliant (Intel 80210) sound card working with the OSS modules that come bundled in kernel 2.6. However, when I installed ALSA, everything worked like a charm; I think this is, once again, an outside observer identifying a flaw in "Linux" when he really just means an oversight in the standard distros. Once they start bundling ALSA, we'll catch up (to Windows 95, anyway).

Re:Shouldn't AC'97, and now azalia work? (1)

Smitedogg (527493) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909338)

If you just use AC'97, why would you get problems? And the new standard, azalia, should allow linux to work with much beter quality without individual drivers.

I use ac97, and i810 sound with FC1, and it sounds horrible. The first time I plugged my headphones in, I thought that the speakers were damaged because the sound was horrendous. I hear that FC2, by virtue of using a 2.6 kernel, will have better sound, but even i810 sound - which has been supported since at least 2.2 and is as common as a soundblaster card - is poor.

This is the reason I haven't bought a seperate sound card; if onboard sound is so poorly supported, why waste money on something that won't sound better?


I reckon he tried 9 version of Mandrake (4, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909223)

The ones that came configured with the sound volume set to 0 by default.

My watch must be broken... (3, Funny)

SuperChuck69 (702300) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909227)

My watch says it's April 19th, not 1st.

Re:My watch must be broken... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8909286)

My watch says it's April 19th, not 1st.

You're looking at a calendar.

Re:My watch must be broken... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8909295)

You have a bizarre watch.
My watch says it's 3:40pm

FUD (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8909228)

This article is pointless FUD. I've installed Linux dozens of times, and it has always worked with my soundcards. Even so-called "winsoundcards" work just fine.

Sound cards?? (4, Informative)

CharAznable (702598) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909230)

I've had problems with video card, SCSI cards, RAID cards, Fibre Channel cards, PCI cow milking cards, but never, not once, have I had trouble getting a mainstream sound card to work under Linux.

Re:Sound cards?? (1)

crackshoe (751995) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909280)

I've never had problems with my old sound blaster lives, but my sound cards with toslink or spidf sometimes have a little trouble - but fiddling in device manager usually makes it work out OK in the end. The only real sound issue i've had is wwith blue g3 macs (blah blah blah), where somehow, even yellowdog can't use the internal speaker (but the headphones work ok). But in general, linux has been able to handle almost anything i've thrown at it, even (is anyone really suprised) things that win2k or XP pro can't grok.

Re:Sound cards?? (1)

CharAznable (702598) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909316)

Agreed. Linux has advanced to the point where hardware support is almost not an issue. Almost.
I'd say that if people stick to standard, mainstream hardware, then they won't have any problems.

Never had need for one... (5, Funny)

Rorschach1 (174480) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909232)

I did set one up once, but all I got out of that was knowing how some weird dude pronounces 'leenucks', whatever that is.

Well, duh! (0)

Limburgher (523006) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909233)

I mean, maybe if the card manufacturers would open their specs more, the drivers would be better, and the problem would evaporate.

Re:Well, duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8909246)

Missing quotes in your .sig?

Re:Well, duh! (1)

joormotha (734786) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909281)

Even a binary driver would help a lot. Hello Creative, get a clue!!

Thats odd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8909235)

Seems funny that I have had no problems with my soundblaster audigy card under linux

Re:Thats odd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8909308)

Most people do have problems because they don't know how to unmute it

It's a driver issue, isn't it? (2, Insightful)

CGameProgrammer (650971) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909236)

Is the problem due to the OS or due to the sound card drivers? I assume the card makers simply didn't bother writing Linux drivers, but please correct me if I'm wrong, or clarify otherwise.

Re:It's a driver issue, isn't it? (1)

saintp (595331) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909342)

He claims to have proven it empirically, but all he's shown is that Linux doesn't play well with *one* sound card. As the posters here have already said, and as I can confirm, I've never had a problem with a sound card. What this writer needs to do to really prove a problem is a survey of sound cards as well as a survey of distros; this only proves that some hardware is unsupported. And frankly, we already knew that: Linux is a low priority for most hardware manufacturers, as is openness of protocols, which makes Linux drivers frequenly dodgy. But hey: blame Linux when a community of programmers freely giving their time and code can't overcome Windows-centric drivers and closed standards, while a group of highly-paid programmers in Redmond can take advantage of the luxury of having nearly all hardware come prepackaged to work with their product. Bah.

Is this true? (4, Informative)

Ianoo (711633) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909237)

I've never had problems with my sound cards in recent years. I am not a big audio afficionado - a basic 2.1 speaker setup plugged in to the motherboard's onboard sound chip is all I need, so I don't really know. The extent of my experience is that the intel8x0 ALSA driver seems to work okay. Has anyone had bad experiences with modern cards and ALSA?

Re:Is this true? (1)

MAXOMENOS (9802) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909315)

I have problems with *ANY* sound card and KDE. Otherwise, I've only had sound card problems when the sound card was an on-board piece of crap.

An Overstatement At Best (4, Insightful)

creep (150035) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909239)

I have never had a problem getting sound working in Linux in the 10+ personal (and friends') machines I've installed it on, including an array of laptops and manufactured computers. Linux might have a weakness, but I doubt it is support for sound.

Please... (2, Insightful)

RedOregon (161027) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909240)

"Linux has some huge, gaping holes?" Because one distro didn't auto-detect one card?
I'm willing to bet that M$95 would fail to detect many others, but we're not going to bring that up?

That many .. (1)

z0ink (572154) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909243)

.. 9 distro's? I thought the ALSA sound lib was used commonly accross them all.

While the article has some good points... (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909247)

...I give it about two days until it appears on the Microsoft propaganda machine's website [microsoft.com] .

Lame (1)

bkrrrrr (552481) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909248)

Annoying maybe, but really, sound cards are so NOT important.

Re:Lame (4, Insightful)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909282)

They damn well are to me. If my sound card doesn't work in Linux, and it works in Windows, me AND my MP3s are staying in Windows.

Luckily, sound cards really aren't that difficult to setup in Linux, though there are some hitches to overcome.

Windows plugged almost a decade ago?? (5, Insightful)

Mrs. Grundy (680212) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909249)

Giving windows credit for working with sound cards gets thing rather backwards don't you think? Considering the MONOPOLY windows has, they don't need to to be compatible and work well with the sound cards. The sound cards need to make sure they work well with windows. Microsoft can do what ever they want and the world must switch it's practices and standards to suit it--which of course is the problem now isn't it.

ALSA (4, Insightful)

sn0wman3030 (618319) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909250)

ALSA supports most mainstream soundcards, and (as I'm sure most of you are aware of) it's integrated into the kernel as of 2.6. Linux's sound support is getting much better than where it used to be (OSS). It would really help if the card manufacturers would help us out though (ie. It would be nice if Creative handed us an opensource EAX). Microsoft has it easy because the manufacturers produce Windows drivers with each sound card.

Notice... (4, Insightful)

mikeophile (647318) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909252)

He didn't reveal what sound card he was actually working with?

hmmmm Empirecal Evidence eh? (1)

pigscanfly.ca (664381) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909253)

Well I have some so called Empirical "evidence" of my own.
I have never had to recompile a kernel for audio drivers and the soundcard has in every system that I have set it up and used it on worked out of the box (that would only be 3 mind you , but given the sample used by "informationweek" I think that it holds its own)....
If only "evidence" was so easy.....

Oh my god! (3, Funny)

smartin (942) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909255)

Say it isn't so, Linux doesn't support his on board sound chip set. We're fucked now!

On the other hand, one usually looks into these sort of things before one purchases one's hardware.

Re:Oh my god! (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909330)

Yup. I'm purchasing my hardware FOR my operating system. That's it.

Interesting... (3, Informative)

robochan (706488) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909257)

Considering that every MS Windows install I've ever done (Win 3.1-Win2k, I haven't installed XP) I've had to use external party drivers - either having to have driver floppy(s)/cd or had to go to the manfacturer's website before I had any sound. Even for Soundblasters and SB clones, PCI or ISA, it was always that way.

The article's tripe.

conclusion (1)

nadda (613664) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909260)

Bottom line: For broad hardware support, Windows is still much better than Linux. That's not bias--it's a demonstrable fact.
He has a problem with an un-named sound card, and concludes with that comment?
Is Info-week an MS site or what?

Appearently... (4, Insightful)

Cytlid (95255) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909262)

...this guy's never had an irq conflict where his sound card wants to use the only irq that his isa nic card requires.

We all remember the Win98 Scanner incident, don't we? That was televised...

Give this guy enough blue screens and he'll be begging for penguin.

This is a Joke, Right? (0, Insightful)

osewa77 (603622) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909265)

This is the experience of one man, one sound card, one Linux distribution and he feels he has discovered the Linux Archilles heel! And that's not all, he wont tell us exactly what the companies are or what board he is talking about. Wow!

Well I gotta agree... (5, Insightful)

ajiva (156759) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909266)

So I gotta agree with this guy, Linux does have its share of problems, but its not because Linux is deficient in anyway, its just that there is a different mentality about Linux than Windows. Lets take his sound card example, the manufacturer of the sound card had two choices, support Linux and spend money on potentially smaller market, or save that money and focus entirely on Windows. The company probably hoped that some Linux driver coder would just whip up a driver and save them the hassle. That's the wrong mentality, and until companies see Linux as a financial win, these sorts of problems will exist.

Sigh, I can relate with this guy, I've tried and tried but my DLINK DWL-520 rev e PCI wireless card still doesn't work under Linux.

some valid points, but ridiculous conclusions (3, Insightful)

untermensch (227534) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909267)

Bottom line: For broad hardware support, Windows is still much better than Linux. That's not bias--it's a demonstrable fact.

Even if we assume for the moment that this guy's sound card problems were, in fact Linux's fault and not the fault of the sound card vendor or himself, this is still a completely false statement.

Linux may indeed be behind Windows in supporting some of the latest and greatest hardware, particularly those where the vendor doesn't open the specs or provide linux binary drivers, but Windows only supports one architecture.

That fact alone means Linux supports a much broader hardware base than Windows.

Also, I notice that he doesn't mention what sound card he's using, I have to wonder why.

Goes against my experience... (2, Informative)

ejaw5 (570071) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909268)

Two computers..

1.) Ensoniq PCI sound card - detected by redhat/debian/slackware/SuSE and setup in the Install. Had to use the driver CD in windows 2000.

2.) Intel OnBoard/Laptop i810 audio (labeled Yahama XC-something under windows) -detected and setup by redhat/debian/slackwaare/SuSE install. Also works with ALSA. Windows: had to download drivers from notebook manufacturer website.

BULLSHIT!!! (2, Interesting)

suso (153703) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909269)

I had equally if not more trouble getting stuff like sound cards and modems to work properly with win95. In fact, those items always seemed to be what was causing it to crash.

It was written by a Windows Fan... (4, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909270)

Fred Langa's main claim to fame was as one of the key personalities in CMP's now-defunct Windows Magazine. Therefore, he's much more familiar with Windows than Linux. Let's face it, he's paid to be a pundit that writes stories that sell magazines.

Although, this doesn't exactly invalidate his point. Microsoft's got a deep driver library database included in Windows XP... containing many cards that there is no known Linux drivers for.

Critical! (5, Funny)

blunte (183182) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909272)

I know that where I work, having a sound card is critical to operation of the company.

I cannot imagine how someone can function without hearing that Ding! each time a new email arrives. I'd be lost, ever wondering, "do I have another Symantec AV warning about an attempted incoming virus message?"

Linux is doomed if it can't even Ding! when email arrives.

Re:Critical! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8909340)

Ding? Pishposh.... every time the mail arrives it should say a la eurotrip: "mail mothafucker!"

Critical Achilles Heel Discovered in Other Systems (1)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909273)

NASA's Mars Rovers have no sound cards!

Someone mail a Windows 95 CD to NASA right away!

And its true (1)

freaksta (524994) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909275)

Have you ever tried to run xmms and a game at the same time? how about teamspeak and a game? How about any two sound programs? ALSA is a good start, but linux sucks with sound support. I love linux. I use it 24/7 but i have to admit that I am continually frustrated with the support provided for sound. Although, I can say that the benefits still outweight the cons of running windows. I'll deal with shitty but improving sound support. BTW.. most cards WORK, the problem comes from trying to mix sound applications output.

Why sound is important (3, Funny)

prell (584580) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909277)

Sound is important on Windows machines because how else are you supposed to know that IIS has gone down or become infected with a virus for the third time this week, than with a lot of "dinging" noises, while you're huddled under your desk?

Re:Why sound is important (1)

Doppler00 (534739) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909319)

Good idea. Change the subject and hope no one will notice Linux's weaknesses.

Windows 95 better than linux?!?!? (1)

lordsali256 (769585) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909278)

I'm a windows user, and I still like sound editing and playing better on linux!!!!

my media box runs linux with onboard ac97 sound perfectly, never had any problems

Holes that windows plugged a decade ago... (4, Funny)

azav (469988) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909279)

And that Apple plugged in the 1980's

Oh, wait. On the Mac sound is built in. You don't need a sound card.

Well, geez.

Retarded (1)

esdjco (698572) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909288)

How lame is this. So you can't get a sound card to work in Linux. All hardware should be supported? Just buy a new card that works with both windows/linux.

Linux has a million benifits to it and if a particular sound card doesn't work oh well. I will still take my linux boxen any day over windows.

Sometimes there are hardware conflicts (1)

komby (556843) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909290)

I have a windows 2000 box that because of a MB / Sound card conflict its sound card doesnt work.

my... brain... hurts... (1)

vkevlar (545808) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909291)

"And if the hardware was to blame, how could XP handle it out of the box, with no special drivers or setup?"

Um... because windows came with the driver for the chipset in question?

What do I win?

so why doesn't he tell us (2, Insightful)

aurelian (551052) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909293)

which distros, what hardware and which card? That would make it sound a lot less like FUD.

hardly an achilles heel (2, Insightful)

laurent420 (711504) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909296)

anyone who is farmilliar with the greek myth of achilles knows that his heel was the means to his end. allegedly poor soundcard support will hardly be the end of this stellar operating system.

No it dosn't........yes it does (1)

MrIrwin (761231) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909300)

Windows 95 does not have drivers for most soundcards

It is easy to download and install a driver for W95.

Linux distros contain many drivers for sound and printers and other.

It is not easy for a supplier to make a single file available that users can download and install onto a distro, even just the subset intended for desktop users and not hackers.

sound out (1)

jini (153221) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909301)

Well that seems to be that case now things were alot simpler back in the old days when it was sb16 :-) A SuperProbe for audio devices would be great.

I have yet to get my sound working on my Dell 5150, everytings else was easy to configure. I just couldn't be arsed hunting down the correct kernel setting. I miss Kernel 1.2.13 we had such great times.

Good thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8909303)

Good thing I don't need sound on my servers

Yeah (4, Interesting)

ryanr (30917) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909304)

Sound (and USB) support on Linux can be a pain. He doesn't give any specifics as to what sound hardware, kernel versions, etc... so there's no hope in trying to second guess what he did wrong. I'm inclined to guess that after he got ALSA working the first time, after reboot he probably just needed to crank the volume back up, or forgot some insmod lines (both easy to do.)

I've fought the software to get sound working on linux, and got there without too much trouble most of the time.

It goes both ways. I spent a fair amount of time trying to fight Windows ME on a relative's machine to trying to get sound working reliably. I had to give up and take him to XP, where they seem to finally have interrupts sorted out properly.

FUD (1)

vegetasaiyajin (701824) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909310)

I'm using linux since many years ago and have never had problems with 'mainstream'sound cards.
I don't know if there are problems with advanced sound cards, but I have had no problem with the mainstream ones I have used.

What sound card? (1)

Roadkills-R-Us (122219) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909312)

I only read the first page, but this looked like a rant rather than a useful article. What sound card are we talking about? Something ancient and off the charts? Something really new with W95 drivers? Something Linux developers can't get specs for but comes with W95 drivers? What?

This isn't quite down to Wonkette's standards, but he seems to be trying.

No problems here.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8909318)

Had more problems finding the windows driver disk for my sound card than I did getting sound running under Debian. Whoever wrote this obvously has sand in their vagina.

Hmm... (1)

PTDC (690049) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909320)

When linux doesn't support a particular device, it's not the developer's fault, it's the manufacturer's fault for supporting one proprietary operating system and not releasing specs or source code. I can understand why the wouldn't because of competition etc, but binaries would be nice.

never trust a jew (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8909322)

Remember the Jews don't care about your soundcard they only care about Israel!

This is stupid (2, Insightful)

DVega (211997) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909324)

This is stupid. I can show you a lot of hardware that works on Linux and not on Windows 95 (ex. USB devices).

If your sound card is not supported by Linux, then is not a problem of Linux (properly speaking), but of the soundcard manufacturer, that provides only Windows drivers.

Maybe you're missing teh point... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8909327)

So, you get the sound card working... great. You can play the "ding" .wav over and over.

What about what you do with it? Try installing Festival / FestVox on a Linux distro to make a desktop usable by someone with poor or no sight. Now try using a modern Windows version's TTS / disabled user features.

While there are excellent Linux resources for sound for the blind (blinux, for example), it's the first real world example of what the article is talking about that jumped at me.

*** NEWS FLASH *** (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8909328)

Sometimes hardware makers don't provide sourcecode for their drivers or specs for their hardware so that we can write our own.

Solution: Don't buy shitty hardware from ignorant manufacturers! Film at 11.

A Second Linux downfall! (4, Funny)

amichalo (132545) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909331)

I also recently discovered that RedHat 9 does not recognize the external 5.25" drive that my C64 so easily manages without a hitch.

Do you think Linux will support my Adam tape drive? I better go check...

Linux's Achilles' Heel (1)

timealterer (772638) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909332)

Eureka! Linux's true failing has finally been revealed! Failure to function with obscure sound cards is the weak underbelly of the otherwise perfect world that is Linux.


Of all the choices for the Linux's Achilles Heel award, this is what they choose?

Meh (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909335)

Look at all the zealots in a tizzy.

Yeah, piddly stuff like sound, video, net cards, usb and video capture devices are a pain in the ass to get working, but linux is still vastly superiour to anything microsoft has written, because it's free, and I'm cheap.

The problem lies here... (1)

Fiz Ocelot (642698) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909339)

...In between seat and desk. He never mentioned which kernel version he's using, let alone recompile it with support for his card.

Ok well not exactly. This is exactly what that new thing groklaw is doing needs, more feedback from people who don't know what they're doing.

Granted, sound card support isn't amazing, but I've booted knoppix on many pcs where the sound did work just fine. Hell my tv card even works on the SuSe live cd too!

Pure FUD (3, Funny)

RoLi (141856) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909344)

From the FA:

I couldn't get XYZ to work with my sound card


  • 1. Never say what part is supposed to have a problem. Just say "my sound card" or "my video card". If people bug you, tell them the vendor but not the model. If they continue to bug you, dissapear.
  • 2. Never say what distribution you are using. Say "XYZ" instead. If people bug you, tell them which distribution but not the version. If they continue to bug you, well see above.
  • 3. Just make the assumtion that any supposed shortcomings of "XYZ" apply to all Linux distributions.

BTW, I couldn't get "my harddrive" to work with Windows XY.

P.S.: Actually I really had a Western Digital 40GB harddrive that crashed the BIOS in both an Athlon and P2 and therefore wasn's usable in Windows98, since Linux ignores the BIOS the harddrive worked fine (of course booting off it was impossible).

That's the way it is. (1)

tunabomber (259585) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909351)

This isn't a problem inherent in Linux, but rather ANY operating system that runs on commodity hardware that has a small user base. Until Linux is popular enough that the hardware manufacturers write drivers or release specs, we're just going to have to bite the bullet and buy only stuff that is known to work with ALSA.

The converse can be true: (1)

c_waddington (681862) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909352)

After selling an old Dell laptop to that I was using (for fun) as a Mandrake Linux 9 box, I attempted to reinstall Windows 98 only to find that it didn't recognize half the hardware in the machine such as the ESS Maestro soundcard, the ATI video card, the Xircom network card etc. All of these had been detected successfully by the Linux install. What followed was about 2 hours of searching the web trying to find the appropriate Win 98 drivers, downloading them to a Mac and burning them onto CD (since I couldn't transfer them over the network since the network card wasn't recognized). So the article is a little disingenous.

OSNews discussion pretty much covers it already. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8909353)

How gratious to way until 24 hours after OSNews [osnews.com] ran this!

It's not worth discussing.

doubts (1)

marcjw (546823) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909360)

Ignore for a moment the obvious baiting in Langa's article. He's such a shill it's not even funny. Forget that he didn't even try a Redhat based distro for his experiment (Red Hat, Fedora, Mandrake, etc). Forget all that. Is it possible that there is such a mainstream sound card, embedded or not, that has such problems being recognized by Linux? I'm skeptical considering he didn't even name the card.

Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8909361)

"On no, this guy found a flaw in Linux! Get him!!!!"

Sound card support in Linux is ... bla (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8909366)

End of story. Linux has always been in need of more driver support for obvious reasons. Of course you won't have any problems if you get the card everyone uses, but if you are looking a little extra, then problems begin.

I still have an Audigy 2 card which works with only 5% of all its features, and i had to wait for kernel 2.6.5 in order to make it work appropriately. Yes i knew about the sourceforge project before this kernel update, and yes i have tried it and yes it was a joke and yes it never worked properly without the worst audio quality ever. I still need to google/read/search ( perhaps it'll take me 1 week or 2 ) to find out how to use the other features in a convenient manner.

I have another card on my desk, a Monster Sound MX300. That was some powerful sound card, under windows that is. I had to wait almost 1 year to get some working linux drivers.

Bottom line: Linux needs more support from hardware companies and no one in the community currently seem to be able to convince them. Maybe we have the wrong approach?

So, wait. (1)

DaveJay (133437) | more than 10 years ago | (#8909367)

I thought it was sound card MANUFACTURERS who wrote these drivers, if they wanted to sell their cards to people who use Windows.

In fact, I remember once upon a time when every piece of hardware you purchased came with a driver disk, and not all of them were compatible with Windows...
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