Since Linux Kernel 4.8 the sound card is initialized in I2S instead of the old HDA mode. However, in Ubuntu versions of the 4.8 kernel there is some config change that makes the sound card still initialize in HDA. (Fedora and Arch initialize in I2S, which works great for my XPS 13 (9343) dual-booting with Windows)

For example:

Ubuntu 16.10 using the 4.8 kernel -- initializes the sound card in HDA

Fedora 25 using the 4.8 kernel -- initializes the sound card in I2S.

I would like to build my own kernel and make the config changes as per this guide so that my Ubuntu kernel initializes the sound card in I2S.

How would I do this? Which config option would I need to change?

Are there still issues with I2S in Ubuntu that's preventing the switch from HDA to I2S?

  • I updated the answer. I thought you wanted HDA.
    – Pilot6
    Jan 24 '17 at 19:34

The option you look for is


Set the option to n to switch to I2S mode.

Make sure that you edit kernel config a debian way.


fakeroot debian/rules clean
fakeroot debian/rules editconfigs

Then say "yes" to the flavour you want to edit. When you get into "menuconfig" interface, find the option by pressing / and clear the field by pressing "Space" key.

Then exit the intrface by "ESC" key and save the config.

Now you can build your kernel.

  • so I need to change that one to n ?
    – Bill D
    Jan 24 '17 at 19:22
  • You need to switch it to y.
    – Pilot6
    Jan 24 '17 at 19:22
  • I see it is already y in the Ubuntu 4.8 kernel. So I see no problem with that.
    – Pilot6
    Jan 24 '17 at 19:32
  • Oh, I see. You want the I2S. You need to set it to n.
    – Pilot6
    Jan 24 '17 at 19:33
  • Thanks so much for the help. I am using Ubuntu 16.04. If I want to get and build the 4.8 kernel in 16.04 do I just do git clone git://kernel.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ubuntu-yakkety.git ? Or is there a better way to get the 4.8 kernel source?
    – Bill D
    Jan 25 '17 at 0:05

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