"/dev/dsp is in use by another program"

Gavin Dudley gavin at mavenmedia.co.za
Fri Apr 7 09:07:17 UTC 2006

> ------------------------------
> Message: 2
> Date: Thu, 06 Apr 2006 13:09:34 -0300
> From: Derek Broughton <news at pointerstop.ca>
> Subject: Re: "/dev/dsp is in use by another program"
> To: kubuntu-users at lists.ubuntu.com
> Message-ID: <v2rfg3-iur.ln1 at news.pointerstop.ca>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
> Gavin Dudley wrote:
> > Hi everyone. As a Linux newbie I have found this list invaluable,
> > thanks.
> > 
> > I am unable to get my Amorok media player working because it throws an
> > error "/dev/dsp is already in use by another program". I have no other
> > multimedia apps running, but I suspect that it may be related to
> > Firefox. Is that possible/likely?
> In KDE, programs _should_ not be writing to /dev/dsp directly - that's why
> we have the arts daemon.  Two things will help - first, look for
> configuration options in Amarok to use ALSA (which should avoid /dev/dsp
> completely) and/or ARTS (which routes output through the daemon, which
> handles sharing); the second is to lower the timeout in the KDE "Sound &
> Multimedia"/"Sound System" settings.  Set "auto suspend if idle after" to <
> 10 seconds (mine is set to 2 without any problems, so far).  This lets
> artsd let go of the sound card when it isn't using it, so that any program
> that insists on exclusive use can have it.
> -- 
> derek

Hey, great many thanks for this help, Derek. it sheds a lotta light on
my various config probs.

Is there any way to explain why, when I first set up my PC, "Autodetect"
worked fine for my audio system, which used mostly ALSA. Now Autodetect
throws an error on boot and reverts to Null. Against my better judgement
I have been hacking on the sound system just to get some audio to come
out sometimes. Why won't my system use ALSA? (I have re-installed all
the ALSA components using Synaptic).


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