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Date:      Fri, 22 May 2020 11:47:38 +0200
From:      Ede Wolf <>
Subject:   Re: best sound subsystem for freebsd for a desktop
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <>

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Just a clarification maybe, as you have mixed those up. And hopefully 
additional private lessons for me.

If I am not mistaken, there are two soundsystems in FreeBSD: OSS and the 
newer pcm. OSS may just be layer ontop of pcm, these days.

Those soundsystems speak to the hardware. Think of this as the drivers 
basically. With some added magic.

Then on top of that one may have a sound server, running in userspace. 
Most popular nowadays being pulseaudio, the successor of ESD. Or jack, 
popular for low latency audio work.

A sound server abstracts the low level audio api and allows stuff like 
multiple audio streams (like "you have new mail" and listening to bsd 
now on youtube), in case the hardware (or the underlying sound system) 
does not.

Now the FreeBSD audio subsystem, to my little knowledge, allows for 
mixing multiple streams. The question is, does this need a special setup 
for typical desktop applications? I do not know.

If not, you may skip using a soundserver.

Due to the popularity of linux, most applications will be fine with 
using pulseaudio and, while not using it myself, I suspect it will run 
out of the box on FreeBSD.

Pulseaudio is said to work quite well out of the box these days, after a 
couple of, um, let's say, problematic years. Decades?

Deping on your choice of windowmanager or desktop environment, it would 
get started automatically or you may have take care of that yourself.

I stand happy to be corrected in every aspect, I am aware of the thin 
ice I am walking on, but I suspect, the issue of terminal bells has not 
been the primary focus of this question ;)

And of course, terminal bells are annoying. Notwithstanding, they often 
do contain more information than your typical youtube video, but that's 
another story.

Am 19.05.20 um 16:19 schrieb tech-lists:
> Hello,
> What's in thes list's opinion would be the "best" sound setup for a freebsd
> desktop? The use case is this:
> 1. things like youtube videos, twitter multimedia, playable on firefox,
> 2. vlc for streaming etc
> 3. system noises like you'd expect from a desktop
> 4. 12.1-stable
> 5. pcm3 Realtek ALC1150 2+1 config
> Reason for the question is partly because there's all kinds of "sound 
> system"
> like pulseaudio alsa jack oss ... which is the best for my use case? The 
> other
> reason is there seems to be a lag between selecting something to play 
> like a
> youtube video and sound coming out. Something like 2-5 seconds; it's 
> annoying
> and I have no idea how to diagnose it or fix it. Any clues please?
> thanks,

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