USB sound devices with FreeBSD-CURRENT

Waitman Gobble gobble.wa at
Wed Sep 16 04:38:17 UTC 2020

On Tue, Sep 15, 2020 at 7:40 PM Ralf Mardorf <ralf-mardorf at> wrote:
> On Wed, 16 Sep 2020 01:24:57 +0200, Ralf Mardorf wrote:
> >Given that it connects with the audio devices
>                                        ^^^^^^^
> This should read "device" (singular), one at a time, but it's possible
> to switch between audio devices.
> If switching between devices is possible "on the fly", depends on the
> definition of "on the fly".

I have used SNDIO with Firefox and USB audio, it works. However you
have to sysctl hw.snd.default_unit=(# of dev) and set the USB audio
device as the default _before_ you start Firefox.

If you use SNDIO and connect to the hardware device directly, it is
kind of a pain especially if you disconnect the audio device. You
pretty much have to reboot or it will fill up your logs with errors.

AFAIK OSS doesn't 'know' anything about USB audio. USB audio goes
through uaudio kernel module.
Pulseaudio can work, it's a shim / api between client and hardware.
You can change audio devices easier.
Somebody mentioned the virtual_oss package, that might work with USB
audio? It's a shim as well.
Maybe ALSA works? But that's Linux sound. It's not interesting to run
ALSA on FreeBSD IMHO.  SNDIO is 'tastes great, less filling'. I'm
pretty sure there's nothing gained with ALSA.
Make Jack works great too. But It's kinda like one has to go to a 12
week training program to learn to use. At least that's how I feel
about Jack.

Waitman Gobble

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