Update: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/OpenSound says "Canonical/Ubuntu has chosen to disable OSS support in their kernels and ignore any bugs filed against OSS4 packages." The question is, do the drivers provided by 4Front work on their own or do they require OSS4?

I have just installed elementary OS 0.3 Freya and followed this by installing the Open Sound System for Linux by 4Front technologies. I used the DEB package from the opensound website, which was picked up by the Software Center. I had a warning about code quality, which I happily ignored.

At the command line, osstest will correctly play sounds through both speakers but the card itself, a LynxTWO from Lynx Studio Technology doesn't show up in the elementary "Sound Settings". Here is the partial output of osstest, before it goes on to other channels:

Sound subsystem and version: OSS 4.2 (b 2011/201501272304) (0x00040100)
Platform: Linux/x86_64 3.16.0-48-generic #64~14.04.1-Ubuntu SMP Thu Aug 20 23:03:57 UTC 2015

*** Scanning sound adapter #-1 ***
/dev/oss/lynxtwo0/pcm0 (audio engine 0): LynxTWO-A Play 1
- Performing audio playback test... 
  <left> OK <right> OK <stereo> OK <measured srate 48044.00 Hz (0.09%)> 

The OSS install also added some utilities, like ossinfo. The output seems fine:

Version info: OSS 4.2 (b 2011/201501272304) (0x00040100) 
Platform: Linux/x86_64 3.16.0-48-generic #64~14.04.1-Ubuntu SMP Thu Aug 20 23:03:57 UTC 2015 (greg-eos)

Number of audio devices:    27
Number of audio engines:    31
Number of MIDI devices:     0
Number of mixer devices:    4

Device objects
 0: osscore0 OSS core services
 1: lynxtwo0 LynxTWO-A interrupts=168 (168)
    Firmware revision: 32 PCB Revision 2
 2: oss_hdaudio0 Intel HD Audio interrupts=809 (809)
    HD Audio controller Intel HD Audio
    Vendor ID    0x80861c20
    Subvendor ID 0x10438444
     Codec  0: ALC887 (0x10ec0887/0x10438444)
     Codec  3: Unknown (0x80862805/0x80862805)
 3: oss_usb0 USB audio core services

MIDI devices (/dev/midi*)

Mixer devices
 0: LynxTWO-A Adapter (Mixer 0 of device object 1)
 1: LynxTWO-A Record/Play (Mixer 1 of device object 1)
 2: LynxTWO-A Outputs (Mixer 2 of device object 1)
 3: High Definition Audio ALC887 (Mixer 0 of device object 2)

Audio devices
LynxTWO-A Play 1                  /dev/oss/lynxtwo0/pcm0  (device index 0)
LynxTWO-A Play 2                  /dev/oss/lynxtwo0/pcm1  (device index 1)
LynxTWO-A Play 3                  /dev/oss/lynxtwo0/pcm2  (device index 2)
LynxTWO-A Play 4                  /dev/oss/lynxtwo0/pcm3  (device index 3)
LynxTWO-A Play 5                  /dev/oss/lynxtwo0/pcm4  (device index 4)
LynxTWO-A Play 6                  /dev/oss/lynxtwo0/pcm5  (device index 5)
LynxTWO-A Play 7                  /dev/oss/lynxtwo0/pcm6  (device index 6)
LynxTWO-A Play 8                  /dev/oss/lynxtwo0/pcm7  (device index 7)
LynxTWO-A Record 1                /dev/oss/lynxtwo0/pcmin0  (device index 8)
LynxTWO-A Record 2                /dev/oss/lynxtwo0/pcmin1  (device index 9)
LynxTWO-A Record 3                /dev/oss/lynxtwo0/pcmin2  (device index 10)
LynxTWO-A Record 4                /dev/oss/lynxtwo0/pcmin3  (device index 11)
LynxTWO-A Record 5                /dev/oss/lynxtwo0/pcmin4  (device index 12)
LynxTWO-A Record 6                /dev/oss/lynxtwo0/pcmin5  (device index 13)
LynxTWO-A Record 7                /dev/oss/lynxtwo0/pcmin6  (device index 14)
LynxTWO-A Record 8                /dev/oss/lynxtwo0/pcmin7  (device index 15)
LynxTWO-A 7.1 output              /dev/oss/lynxtwo0/pcm8  (device index 16)
HD Audio play front               /dev/oss/oss_hdaudio0/pcm0  (device index 17)
HD Audio play rear                /dev/oss/oss_hdaudio0/pcm1  (device index 18)
HD Audio play center/LFE          /dev/oss/oss_hdaudio0/pcm2  (device index 19)
HD Audio play side                /dev/oss/oss_hdaudio0/pcm3  (device index 20)
HD Audio play pcm4                /dev/oss/oss_hdaudio0/pcm4  (device index 21)
HD Audio play spdif-out           /dev/oss/oss_hdaudio0/spdout0  (device index 22)
HD Audio play spdifout            /dev/oss/oss_hdaudio0/spdout1  (device index 23)
HD Audio play spdifout            /dev/oss/oss_hdaudio0/spdout2  (device index 24)
HD Audio rec mix                  /dev/oss/oss_hdaudio0/pcmin0  (device index 25)
HD Audio rec mix                  /dev/oss/oss_hdaudio0/pcmin1  (device index 26)

  /dev/dsp -> /dev/oss/oss_hdaudio0/pcm0
  /dev/dsp_in -> /dev/oss/lynxtwo0/pcmin0
  /dev/dsp_out -> /dev/oss/lynxtwo0/pcm0
  /dev/dsp_ac3 -> /dev/oss/oss_hdaudio0/spdout0
  /dev/dsp_mmap -> /dev/oss/lynxtwo0/pcm0
  /dev/dsp_multich -> /dev/oss/lynxtwo0/pcm8

And, again osstest manages to play the test tune fine. What further steps are required to make elementary OS notice the existence of this card, or the integrated Intel HD Audio?

edits: soundcard spec added, discovered cli tools for OSS.

1 Answer 1


It seems you've answered your own question. OSS isn't supported in Ubuntu and thus isn't supported in elementary OS. As recommended on that Ubuntu help page, if you really want/need OSS for some reason you should look into Arch Linux or another distro that supports it.

  • The linked Ubuntu help page does make the unsupported status of OSS very clear. But it goes on with a how to make OSS work, and I really love both my soundcard and elementary OS. The "some reason" is that I can only use the integrated audio controller which is no good for music production. Anyway, you are correct. Arch it is. Cheers. Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 8:55
  • @GregoryHouldsworth for what it's worth, Pantheon support is much better on Arch these days. Good luck! Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 15:08

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