sound-card/driver question

Polytropon freebsd at
Thu Feb 1 11:13:03 UTC 2018

On Wed, 31 Jan 2018 15:02:30 -0800, C Gray wrote:
> I have a Dell PowerEdge T300 server which has the following slots available:
> 	slot 1:    3.3-V, full-length PCIe x4 with x8 connector
> 	slot 2:    3.3-V, full-length PCIe x4
> 	slot 3:    3.3-V, full-length PCIe x8
> 	slot 4:    3.3-V, full-length PCIe x8
> 	slot 5:    3.3-V, full-length PCI-X
> The system is based around:
> 	Xeon X3440 @ 2.50 GHz Quad core
> 	2GB DDR3 RAM.
> It's been said that a driver supported for Vista will work with for FreeBSD.

That sounds very strange. Both systems are so fundamentally
different in architecture and binary interfaces.

> The card I am looking at works with Microsoft Windows7, Vista, and XP.
> It's PCI-X based, and would, thus, be inserted into [my] slot 5:
> 	Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Gamer SB0770 7.1-Channel
> PCI Sound Card
> My question is whether the CD of sound card drivers are in a
> standardized format such that, 
> FreeBSD/TrueOS can use them, as is, just as the Microsoft-verified
> environments do?

Probably not.

But it's not needed. FreeBSD provides the drivers needed and loads
them automatically at system startup once the hardware has been
detected properly. There usually is no need to manually download
or install something.

I've been using Creative Labs SoundBlaster cards in the past, and
the OS automatically loaded the correct driver. You can easily
verify this with

	# pciconf -lv | less


	# cat /dev/sndstat

The sound card should then be listed, and the corresponding driver
right next to it.

SoundBlaster cards have a long tradition of out-of-the-box support
on FreeBSD. Even on Linux, ALSA seems to provide support for this
particular card.

> Do they even use the same suffix?

What kind of suffix are you talking about?

> Are they well-written enough to discover the platform whereon
> they are expected to run (*that is, to "drive").

Probably not. Drivers made for "Windows" will only work on a
specific subset of "Windows" versions, i. e., the "driver system"
they have been created for. So their use is even limited within
the "Windows" ecosystem, and outside of it, they are more or
less useless.

> It the OS discovers the driver rather than the driver 
> discovering the OS, the same functional use may be achieved,
> however, I'm ignorant other than 
> guessing as to how drivers work and what is required for that
> to take place.

As I said, manually supplying drivers is not needed on FreeBSD
because the drivers are already there. The OS discovers the
hardware and loads the driver. Simple and easy. :-)

> Where are they stored in Windows and in FreeBSD, and how do I
> install the proper one from the 
> disk accompanying the card (most likely meant for Microsoft's
> toolset/installer.

You don't. The OS already has the drivers installed.

> Suggestions?

If you have the card at hand, install it as recommended into the
system and boot FreeBSD. With the commands mentioned above, check
if (a) the device has been recognized, and (b) the appropriate
driver has been loaded. There isn't much more you have to do, as
FreeBSD is a "plug & play" OS. :-)

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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