Realtek AC97 Support

Andrew P. infofarmer at
Sun Oct 2 23:54:59 PDT 2005

On 10/3/05, Mark Kane <mark at> wrote:
> Jason C. Wells wrote:
> > I haven't had any luck guessing at how to provide a driver for my
> > onboard Realtek AC97 audio under FreeBSD 6.  Has anyone made this work?
> >
> > Can I use the linux ALSA driver with FreeBSD?  Realtek provides this on
> > their website in source.  I haven't manage to complete a compilation of
> > the driver yet.  If such a thing has actually been done by someone here,
> > I'll try harder.
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Jason C. Wells
> I haven't really used 6.x at all, but I'm assuming it's pretty similar
> if not the same as 5.x.
> There is great documentation on how to set up a sound card here:
> What you probably want to do is to load the "snd_driver" metadriver as a
> kernel module to see which driver works with your soundcard:
> # kldload snd_driver
> Then, to find out which driver it loaded:
> # cat /dev/sndstat
> You can either leave it as a module and load it at startup as the
> handbook explains, or you can compile that driver into the kernel which
> the soundcard setup chapter also documents well. I always do the latter
> but I'm sure the module would work fine too.
> By the way, ALSA is for Linux (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture), so
> those drivers won't work on FreeBSD.
> -Mark
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One also needs to make sure that he actually has a
Realtek soundcard. In M$ Windows, Realtek drivers
are magically compatible with most of AC97 codecs.
That's not true with FreeBSD.

If you fail to set up your sound with the stock drivers
or if you need some advanced features, not present
in the driver, you can visit
for a free, but closed-source driver.

Andrew P.

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