How to configure a default soundcard

kpfuser kpfuser at
Thu Aug 16 21:22:57 UTC 2007

The need to configure a default sound card arose from the installation of an external USB sound card (Creative Sound Blaster Extigy) in a system that has an on-board sound card. Based on instructions in

the shell command cat /proc/asound/modules returned

0 snd_intel8x0
1 snd_usb_audio

showing that the on-board sound card was set as default automatically. Following a suggestion in

I disabled the on-board sound card using the BIOS setup trying to make the external sound card default. However, this failed as cat /proc/asound/modules now returns

1 snd_usb_audio

To make the external sound card default, the first of the above listed documents suggests the following:

   Now type sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base 
   At the very end of the file, add the following (assuming you have 3 cards with module names A, B and C and you want to have them in the order CAB

options snd-C index=0
options snd-A index=1
options snd-B index=2

I take this to mean that I should run the command sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base options snd-usb-audio index=0
Is this correct?

If it is, the output reads

# autoloader aliases
install sound-slot-0 /sbin/modprobe snd-card-0
install sound-slot-1 /sbin/modprobe snd-card-1
install sound-slot-2 /sbin/modprobe snd-card-2
install sound-slot-3 /sbin/modprobe snd-card-3
install sound-slot-4 /sbin/modprobe snd-card-4
install sound-slot-5 /sbin/modprobe snd-card-5
install sound-slot-6 /sbin/modprobe snd-card-6
install sound-slot-7 /sbin/modprobe snd-card-7

# Cause optional modules to be loaded above generic modules
install snd /sbin/modprobe --ignore-install snd $CMDLINE_OPTS && { /sbin/modprobe -Qb snd-ioctl32 ; : ; }
install snd-pcm /sbin/modprobe --ignore-install snd-pcm $CMDLINE_OPTS && { /sbin/modprobe -Qb snd-pcm-oss ; : ; }
install snd-mixer /sbin/modprobe --ignore-install snd-mixer $CMDLINE_OPTS && { /sbin/modprobe --Qb snd-mixer-oss ; : ; }
install snd-seq /sbin/modprobe --ignore-install snd-seq $CMDLINE_OPTS && { /sbin/modprobe -Qb snd-seq-midi ; /sbin/modprobe --quiet snd-seq-oss ; : ; }

# Cause optional modules to be loaded above sound card driver modules
install snd-emu10k1 /sbin/modprobe --ignore-install snd-emu10k1 $CMDLINE_OPTS && { /sbin/modprobe -Qb snd-emu10k1-synth ; }
install snd-via82xx /sbin/modprobe --ignore-install snd-via82xx $CMDLINE_OPTS && { /sbin/modprobe -Qb snd-seq ; }

# Load saa7134-alsa instead of saa7134 (which gets dragged in by it anyway)
install saa7134 /sbin/modprobe --ignore-install saa7134 $CMDLINE_OPTS && { /sbin/modprobe -Qb saa7134-alsa ; : ; }

# Load snd-seq for devices that don't have hardware midi;
#   Ubuntu #26283, #43682, #56005; works around Ubuntu #34831 for
#   non-Creative Labs PCI hardware
install snd /sbin/modprobe --ignore-install snd $CMDLINE_OPTS && { /sbin/modprobe -Qb snd-seq ; }
# Prevent abnormal drivers from grabbing index 0
options snd-bt87x index=-2
options cx88-alsa index=-2
options saa7134-alsa index=-2
options snd-atiixp-modem index=-2
options snd-intel8x0m index=-2
options snd-via82xx-modem index=-2
options snd-usb-audio index=-2
options snd-usb-usx2y index=-2
# Ubuntu #62691, enable MPU for snd-cmipci
options snd-cmipci mpu_port=0x330 fm_port=0x388

                                                                      [ Read 38 lines ]
^G Get Help               ^O WriteOut               ^R Read File              ^Y Prev Page              ^K Cut Text               ^C Cur Pos
^X Exit                   ^J Justify                ^W Where Is               ^V Next Page              ^U UnCut Text             ^T To Spell

This output leaves me utterly befuddled! What am I supposed to make out of it? Is it a sequence of shell commands  I am supposed to run one after another, excluding those preceded by #? If not, how can I interpret this output and, most important, what am I supposed to do next?

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