After a day of web searching and frantically asking for help in #ubuntu IRC channel, I have succeeded! Now I will share with you my secret so that you too may enjoy the rich sounds of the SoundBlaster Audigy 2 Value sound card in Ubuntu Hoary. This should also work for the SoundBlaster Audigy 2 LS sound card according to some websites, but I have not tested it myself.
The default 2.6.10-5 kernel, which comes with Ubuntu Hoary, has an outdated ALSA 1.0.6 module which does not support the Audigy 2 LS or the Audigy 2 Value sound cards.
Replace the kernel’s ALSA 1.0.6 module with the newer ALSA 1.0.8 module, because the latter has support for Audigy 2 sound cards. We do this by downloading the latest ALSA source package, recompiling the module, and installing it onto the kernel.
Install the necessary packages:
sudo apt-get install module-assistant build-essential linux-headers-$(uname -r) alsa-source
Launch the module assistant program:
- Choose “Select” from the menu.
- Choose “alsa” from the list.
Choose “No” for adding ISA PnP support.
Choose “No” for adding debugging support, unless you are an able ALSA hacker.
- Choose “Get” from the menu.
- Choose “Build” from the menu.
- Choose “Yes” when asked if you want to install the newly built module.
- Choose “Exit” from the menu.
Load the newly built and installed ALSA module into the kernel:
Verify that the kernel now has the correct version (1.0.8) of the ALSA module:
Instruct the system to always load the new ALSA module into the kernel whenever it boots:
sudo echo snd-ca0106 >> /etc/modules
Reboot your computer:
Verify that the system has detected your Audigy sound card:
Make a note of the number at the beginning of the line which describes your Audigy sound card. I will refer to this number as CARDID_ from now on.
Enable the audio output of your Audigy sound card:
alsamixer -c CARD_ID
Press the right arrow key until you see the following near the top of the screen:
Item: Audigy Analog/Digital Output Jack [Off]
Press the M key and verify that you now see the following near the top of the screen:
Item: Audigy Analog/Digital Output Jack
Press the escape key to exit the program.
Now you should be able to play some audio and hear the output on your speakers. Instruct the system to remember the alsamixer settings:
sudo alsactl store
Numerous people in the #ubuntu IRC channel on irc.freenode.net