Multiple consumers of /dev/dsp

Josef Karthauser joe at
Tue Aug 2 08:37:44 GMT 2005

On Mon, Jul 25, 2005 at 10:28:38PM +0200, Ulrich Spoerlein wrote:
> On Thu, 21.07.2005 at 14:43:45 +0100, Josef Karthauser wrote:
> > In the past I'm sure that we supported the mixing of audio in the kernel
> > so that multiple applications could open /dev/dsp at the same time.  Was
> > this a function of the audio card driver, or of the audio subsystem?
> > Currently on my new machine I don't get any mixing, and applications
> > fail to open /dev/dsp if it's already open by something.
> > 
> > Am I imagining that this use to the case or isn't it enabled by default?
> You want to set hw.snd.pcm0.vchans=4 (or higher). The SB Live! has 4
> hardware channels (not need to set anything) other cards only have one
> channel and need the "virtual channel" setting.

Excellent! Just what I was looking for. Thanks :)

Josef Karthauser (joe at
FreeBSD (cvs meister, admin and hacker)
Physics Particle Theory (student)
================ An eclectic mix of fact and theory. =================
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