This is a information page and a howto on installing and using the alsa-oss package.

The alsa-oss package contains a program loader, aoss, which wraps applications written for OSS in a compatibility library, thus allowing them to work with ALSA.

Use of the alsa-oss library is recommended over the use of OSS-emulation drivers if you want to use ALSA's PCM plugin layer.

ALSA is the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture:

OSS is the free version of the Open Sound System

Installing alsa-oss

Alsa-oss is installed by getting the package alsa-oss from the Universe software channel. For more information on installing packages, see InstallingSoftware.


There are two ways of getting an application to work with ALSA if the application was written for OSS. The first way is to load the special ALSA drivers that emulate the OSS kernel interface; these allow the application to open /dev/dsp0 and other OSS device files.

The second way is to wrap the application in the libaoss library provided in this package; the wrapper causes the application to access native ALSA device files such as /dev/snd/pcmC0D0c instead of OSS device files.

Most commonly it is used by starting applications with the "aoss" command, something like this:

aoss /path-to-program/program-executable

Programs running in Wine are started like this:

aoss wine /path-to-program/program-executable


alsa-oss (last edited 2008-10-10 20:32:45 by littlergirl)