9.1 Feature: Sound Configuration and Hardware Compatibility GUIs

While PC-BSD is pretty good at detecting the sound card and the default audio device, occasionally a user needs to use sysctl to change the default audio device.

Beginning with 9.1, two GUIs have been added to Control Panel to assist in configuring sound from any logged in desktop. The first is a Hardware Compatibility GUI which provides a quick indication if that system’s video card, sound card, and wireless device are compatible with PC-BSD. This GUI is also displayed as the installer starts, meaning that you can tell ahead of time if these devices will be supported. An example can be seen here.

The Sound Configuration icon can be used to view the detected audio inputs and to change the default. Instructions for using it are here.

If you would like to try these before BETA1, use the instructions in New Features for the Impatient. You will also need to download:

  • http:// ​trac​.pcbsd​.org/​b​r​o​w​s​e​r​/​p​c​b​s​d​/​c​u​r​r​e​n​t​/​o​v​e​r​l ​a​y​s​/​d​e​s​k​t​o​p​-​o​v​e​r​l​a​y​/​u​s​r​/​l​o​c​a​l​/​e​t​c​/​s​u ​d​o​e​r​s​?​r​e​v​=​1​7​651 (download link is at bottom of page) and copy it to /usr/local/etc/sudoers.
  • http:// ​trac​.pcbsd​.org/​b​r​o​w​s​e​r​/​p​c​b​s​d​/​c​u​r​r​e​n​t​/​o​v​e​r​l ​a​y​s​/​d​e​s​k​t​o​p​-​o​v​e​r​l​a​y​/​u​s​r​/​l​o​c​a​l​/​s​h​a​r​e​/ ​s​o​u​n​d​s​/​t​e​s​t​s​o​u​n​d​.​o​g​g​?​r​e​v​=​1​7​652 and copy it to /usr/local/share/sounds/
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Written by dru. Posted in 9.1, new features

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Comments (20)

  • Silvio Arnone
    July 13, 2012 at 1:00 pm |

    I have been very disappointed by PC-BSD 9.0 but I am happy reading news like that.
    Go ahead! 🙂

  • July 14, 2012 at 5:40 am |

    Want to make certain before I attempt this, when you say: “and copy it to /usr/local/etc/sudoers.”
    and also:
    “copy it to /usr/local/share/sounds”

    should we be merging the new info into the old files? Or completely replacing/overwriting what is already in the old files? Thanks in advance. 🙂

    • July 14, 2012 at 5:47 am |

      In the case of sudoers, you’ll be overwriting (you can save a copy of the old one first if you prefer). In the case of testsound.ogg, it is a completely new file.

      • July 14, 2012 at 6:40 am |

        Oh ok cool, Thanks and have a great weekend. 🙂

  • mato
    July 18, 2012 at 1:58 am |

    There’s one important issue with concept of default audio device in PC-BSD (and FreeBSD) — you can have just one regardless of its capabilities. However, quite common scenario I encounter in real life is that users want to use HDMI for sound playback and USB camera for sound recording. What to do about it ?

    • July 19, 2012 at 5:30 am |

      We’ll look into it.

  • jaxxed
    July 25, 2012 at 10:09 pm |

    Great work with PCBSD 9.1. It is impressive enough that I actually wiped my work machine to reinstall from scratch, and stick with the defaults apps instead of switching to ports and area51 kde-base.
    I am curious though why we are falling back to custom audio management instead of trying to integrate into existing systems. Audio is one of these cases. My PCBSD 9.1Beta install came with pulseaudio installed, but the KDE phonon-pulseaudio integration doesn’t work and there is a custom audio management tool on a custom pcbsd admin menu. It is understandable with the network management, as I understand that the linux networkmanager doesn’t migrate well to freebsd, but why are we doing this with audio, when a ports compile of phonon->pulseaudio->oss seems to be stable (and gives the pulseaudio advantages.)
    Additionally, I am curious why so many of the gtk management tool PBIs have been maintained over their qt versions?

    Are we on the custom route in order to support the additional desktops? I notice that the custom tools work well on gnome/xfce/lxde.
    Also, are they all written in gtk? The look and feel is … different.

    • July 26, 2012 at 6:09 am |

      Right now we are just trying to work with the default OSS sound-system built-into FreeBSD. Phonon / PulseAudio are neat, but are just layers on top of the existing OSS system, and as such not all apps are going to be able to use them. We have to be able to support non KDE / QT / GTK stuff also.

      As for GTK utilities, not sure to what you refer. All our stuff is written in QT, pretty much everything in the control panel.

      • Jaxxed
        August 7, 2012 at 3:32 am |

        My mistake, I was wrong about the panels.

        My thinking came from the disparate presentation (they look different) and the reliance on gksu.

        I am looking into my mistake now.

        Is there a roadmap for 9.1 – I am curious if kde4.9 will be integrated before release?

        • August 7, 2012 at 5:51 am |

          The roadmap is here: http://wiki.pcbsd.org/index.php/PC-BSD_9.1_TODO. However, the UI was frozen on July 12 so we are in bug-fix mode only. WRT to KDE, whatever version is the latest in ports when RELEASE is built will be included, so most likely 4.8.4. 9.1 will have weekly-ish package sets, so once 4.9 is available, it will be available soon after in Update Manager.

  • sam
    August 12, 2012 at 4:52 am |

    Does PC BSD Support auto updation like UBUNTU? currently on PCBSD 9.0 (First Time User and do not know much about PC BSD) and can I install tools like Metasploit, RUBY, Python and Perl ?

  • August 12, 2012 at 5:19 am |

    Yes, you can read about the Update Manager in the Handbook PDF on the desktop. Ruby, Python, and Perl are installed with the OS. Metasploit can be installed with the command “pkg_add -r metasploit”. Most other applications should be available using AppCafe which is also described in the Handbook.

  • wenever
    August 17, 2012 at 5:23 am |

    Hi i new girl on pc-bsd 9 i try to copy the files in to directories you suggest but i have no permission to make it.. if my suggestion to add instructions for make the changes are by complete i mind for newbies like me thanks a lot. i wait for it. bye.

    • August 17, 2012 at 5:30 am |

      Correct, you will need to be the superuser in order to complete the instructions. Simply type su and enter the administrative password when prompted.

  • mark3586
    August 24, 2012 at 2:20 pm |

    I think that PC-BSD as well as FreeBSD should avoid getting codes and layers and specs from Linux. Linux hardware device drivers and API layers are just atrocious, after so many years it’s still a mess.
    I think that PC-BSD and FreeBSD programmers should come up with their own APIs and new hardware abstraction layers. Yes, it’s hard work, yes it means having to rewrite thousand drivers from scratch, yes it could take more than a year.. but then what?
    FreeBSD and PC-BSD as well as other BSD based editions need to be able to become full PnP (plug-and-play) and as easy as Microsoft Windows or Apple OSX at configuring and using hardware devices. Yes, OSX doesn’t need to support as many hardware devices although known unofficial mainly ported/modded from Linux ones do exist for illegal installations.
    It’s time to step up or BSD based systems like FreeBSD and PC-BSD will always keep having serious issues at supporting hardware devices properly.

  • Tiesto
    August 25, 2012 at 2:43 am |

    Disappointed with PC-BSD ? … Because BSD does not allow to set the default sound device like headphones digital/analog output (spdif) instead a Monitor speakers well . Like a Deejay i have the issue so frustrated to find the way to get sound. no body say you how to set, because they no have a clue how to get it for you in your personal environment (machine).
    About 4 months and 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours for search on the www. and no way to get help for it, i decide install some software to get access with. i install MIXXX a dj app on AppCafe outdated for sure but you can’t get the latest because the official repository don’ have it. on the way less than some seconds the MIXXX app get mapped and route sound card. then on preferences i set it manual the options to:
    Master: /dev/dsp2/ channel 1-2 (to spdif)
    Headphones: /dev/dsp1 channel 1-2 (to headphones)

    And My 3.000 us dollar HP machine works ! and i get sound to work.
    But only on a MIXXX environment. and realize the fact to PC_BSD 9.0 is able to work on a high end Machine.
    So i say it. wee can no tell or sugest to others avoid BC-BSD because is not enough “Hardware Compatibility” or it no easy to configure it for a Person who comes from Microsoft Windows. in fact bout Developers and Users might improve the way to help us to migrate to a Unix/Linux friendly.
    I hope version 9.1 improve the usability of this Magnificent Operative system.
    Thanks a lot for a brilliant effort.
    I keep my expectation to coming version.

  • Heinrich Fleck
    September 11, 2012 at 2:20 pm |

    Hi, after finished installation PCBSD 9.1 and after reboot, after root password and configure username, it is impossible to close the window and the mouse (arrow) not respond.

    Sincerelly, Heinrich Fleck

    • September 12, 2012 at 6:02 am |

      What type of video card and wireless chipset in this system?

  • Jonas W
    November 7, 2012 at 7:51 am |

    Hi! I just wanted to say i’m deeply impressed with PC-BSD. I run PC-BSD 9 on an old Intel Pentium D, and it works flawlessly except that it can’t find the microphone. My other desktop with Ubuntu 12.10 has a lot more serious issues. I would switch that to PC-BSD right away hadn’t i been stuck with AMD graphics.

    • November 7, 2012 at 7:54 am |


      More work is being done on the sound subsystem, so there will be many more improvements for 9.2. Here’s hoping that TTM is also ready for 9.2…

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