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Proc Files of ALSA Drivers
Takashi Iwai <>
ALSA has its own proc tree, /proc/asound. Many useful information are
found in this tree. When you encounter a problem and need debugging,
check the files listed in the following sections.
Each card has its subtree cardX, where X is from 0 to 7. The
card-specific files are stored in the card* subdirectories.
Global Information
Shows the list of currently configured ALSA drivers,
index, the id string, short and long descriptions.
Shows the version string and compile date.
Lists the module of each card
Lists the ALSA native device mappings.
Shows the status of allocated pages via ALSA drivers.
Appears only when CONFIG_SND_DEBUG=y.
Lists the currently available hwdep devices in format of
<card>-<device>: <name>
Lists the currently available PCM devices in format of
<card>-<device>: <id>: <name> : <sub-streams>
Lists the currently available timer devices
Lists the OSS device mappings.
Provides the output compatible with /dev/sndstat.
You can symlink this to /dev/sndstat.
Card Specific Files
The card-specific files are found in /proc/asound/card* directories.
Some drivers (e.g. cmipci) have their own proc entries for the
register dump, etc (e.g. /proc/asound/card*/cmipci shows the register
dump). These files would be really helpful for debugging.
When PCM devices are available on this card, you can see directories
like pcm0p or pcm1c. They hold the PCM information for each PCM
stream. The number after 'pcm' is the PCM device number from 0, and
the last 'p' or 'c' means playback or capture direction. The files in
this subtree is described later.
The status of MIDI I/O is found in midi* files. It shows the device
name and the received/transmitted bytes through the MIDI device.
When the card is equipped with AC97 codecs, there are codec97#*
subdirectories (desribed later).
When the OSS mixer emulation is enabled (and the module is loaded),
oss_mixer file appears here, too. This shows the current mapping of
OSS mixer elements to the ALSA control elements. You can change the
mapping by writing to this device. Read OSS-Emulation.txt for
PCM Proc Files
The general information of this PCM device: card #, device #,
substreams, etc.
This file appears when CONFIG_SND_DEBUG=y.
This shows the status of xrun (= buffer overrun/xrun) debug of
ALSA PCM middle layer, as an integer from 0 to 2. The value
can be changed by writing to this file, such as
# cat 2 > /proc/asound/card0/pcm0p/xrun_debug
When this value is greater than 0, the driver will show the
messages to kernel log when an xrun is detected. The debug
message is shown also when the invalid H/W pointer is detected
at the update of periods (usually called from the interrupt
When this value is greater than 1, the driver will show the
stack trace additionally. This may help the debugging.
The general information of this PCM sub-stream.
The current status of this PCM sub-stream, elapsed time,
H/W position, etc.
The hardware parameters set for this sub-stream.
The soft parameters set for this sub-stream.
The buffer pre-allocation information.
AC97 Codec Information
Shows the general information of this AC97 codec chip, such as
name, capabilities, set up.
Shows the AC97 register dump. Useful for debugging.
When CONFIG_SND_DEBUG is enabled, you can write to this file for
changing an AC97 register directly. Pass two hex numbers.
For example,
# echo 02 9f1f > /proc/asound/card0/codec97#0/ac97#0-0+regs
Sequencer Information
Lists the currently available ALSA sequencer drivers.
Shows the list of currently available sequencer clinets and
ports. The connection status and the running status are shown
in this file, too.
Lists the currently allocated/running sequener queues.
Lists the currently allocated/running sequencer timers.
Lists the OSS-compatible sequencer stuffs.
Help For Debugging?
When the problem is related with PCM, first try to turn on xrun_debug
mode. This will give you the kernel messages when and where xrun
If it's really a bug, report it with the following information
- the name of the driver/card, show in /proc/asound/cards
- the reigster dump, if available (e.g. card*/cmipci)
when it's a PCM problem,
- set-up of PCM, shown in hw_parms, sw_params, and status in the PCM
sub-stream directory
when it's a mixer problem,
- AC97 proc files, codec97#*/* files
for USB audio/midi,
- output of lsusb -v
- stream* files in card directory
The ALSA bug-tracking system is found at: