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Linux 2003
Conference and Tutorials
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Thurs 31st July - Sun 3rd August 2003
Edinburgh, Scotland

Takashi Iwai - SuSE

Sound Systems on Linux: The Past and the Future

Paper (HTML) and Paper (PDF) and Paper (TeX) and Slides (HTML)

The development of the sound system in Linux has a history almost as long as Linux itself. Since early Linux kernels, there have been OSS (Open Sound System) drivers, which are still considered standard in the 2.4 kernel series. However OSS lacks support for high-end audio systems and new devices. ALSA (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture) has been developed to fill that demand, and is now integrated into the 2.5 kernel tree while OSS has been deprecated. In this talk, the basic structure of ALSA and its current implementation will be explained.

As well as the sound driver, the Linux kernel itself plays a very important role in the audio system. Many audio programs are supposed to work as real-time applications, which requires real-time scheduling and timing to be available. Current development and problems in the kernel are discussed in this talk, too.

For the high-level layers of the sound system, there are sound servers and network servers such as JACK and MAS. The talk will also cover the recent development of such systems, and future directions of the sound system as a whole will be discussed.


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