/dev/dsp "device busy" - one possible solution

Mike Harding mvh at ix.netcom.com
Sun Feb 8 16:58:37 PST 2004

I was playing around with kde 3.2 and a crashing artsd was locking up
my sound system - any further attempts to use sound from gnome or xmms
or anything failed with

/dev/dsp - device busy

messages.  fstat and lsof showed nothing holding the device.  A reboot
would fix it, but why reboot FreeBSD?

I then remembered from a while ago that if I did the following...

# cat /dev/dsp

and then of course cntl-C to stop the output

the device was no longer busy!

I don't know why, but on my hardware at least (Turtle Beach Santa
Cruz) this will 'unfreeze' the dsp output device.

I'm just sending to the group as I searched for a while before I
remembered my fix, and found no answers.  So, if you are having the
same problem looking for an answer, give this a try and report on your
success.  Maybe we can get this in to the FAQ.

- Mike H.

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