Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Sound was working fine with PulseAudio, but I installed something in order to try to get xawtv to work, but that just caused the audio to stop working.

So I tried to install some packages to get OSS to work, because I read that OSS is better than PulseAudio (is that true?)

Anyway, I'm unable to get OSS to work either. What packages do I need to install, and how do I get this set up?

share|improve this question
Possible duplicate?… – fossfreedom Jun 30 '12 at 20:09

OSS4 is an alternative for ALSA, not for PulseAudio.

I tried OSS4 with ubuntu, the sound is good, perhaps better than ALSA, but i reverted back to ALSA because of a couple of problems:

  1. OSS4 does not detect automatically the plugging in of a headphones jack (at least for my audio card)
  2. the flash plugin work bad or crashes with OSS4

Anyway, I have some notes I saved from my short experience:

  • add your user to the audio group;
  • install the package linux-source;
  • extract the tar archive installed with the previous package in /usr/src/linux-source-3.2.0/ (or equivalent, depending on the kernel version)
  • create a symlink /lib/modules/3.2.0-24-generic-pae/source to /usr/src/linux-source-3.2.0/linux-source-3.2.0/
  • install the packages oss4-{base,source,dkms,gtk} and liboss4-salsa2
  • run sudo dpkg-reconfigure linux-sound-base and choose OSS4
  • modify /etc/pulse/
    • comment the line: load-module module-udev-detect
    • add the line: load-module module-oss device="/dev/dsp" sink_name=output source_name=input mmap=0
  • run gstreamer-properties and choose OSS4
  • create ~/.asoundrc with content:

      type oss
      device /dev/dsp
      type oss
      device /dev/dsp

Good luck

share|improve this answer
Is OSS4 better than PulseAudio? – z-buffer Jun 30 '12 at 21:12

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.