Howto make one of two sound cards default?

Lowell Gilbert freebsd-questions-local at
Sat Nov 1 07:37:36 PST 2003

"Alexey V. Litvinov" <lial at> writes:

>  Problem: I have two sound cards one inserted into PCI slot and one
>  integrated into motherboard, all cards detected and working fine.
>  First is pcm0 and second is pcm1.
>  Since first (external) detected on boot first it is default to sound
>  output, but i wish to use second (integrated) card by default since its
>  more new.
>  My researches point me to /dev/dsp and i'm tried to make
>  ln -s /dev/dsp1.0 /dev/dsp
>  but system says: file is exists... (i doesnt see it in /dev ? )
>  How to make it default?
>  (FreeBSD 5.0-RELEASE)

To start with, you should definitely update your system to something
more recent.  5.0 was, after all, a very early "technology preview"
release from a branch that, after nearly a year, still isn't ready to
produce a production release.  Unless you have some (at least minimal)
skills at tracking down these kinds of problems, you should probably
move to the latest release, 4.9.

I can't give you very exact advice here, because I'm still running 4.9
myself, but I think you want to advise the devfs system by setting up
rules for these nodes, so that (for example) /dev/dsp will refer to
the device that you want.  The devfs(8) utility seems to be designed
for this, and I suspect there is a system startup script intended to
initialize such rules, if you can just find the right place to
configure it.

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