Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've been using an mbox2 as a external sound card on windows- it sounds better than my onboard soundcard or my ipod, and pretty much rocks my socks. There's a few small hitches - it only works with apps that supports ASIO, and only supports a single stream at a time - which is not too bad- system sounds work over the normal soundcard, and music over the mbox2.

Now.. there's a experimental driver for linux which, while incomplete and unsupported, and possibly not going to be updated in future, that'll let me use the mbox2 in linux, and dosen't have some of the shortcomings of the windows driver. However this means compiling a whole new kernel apparently, and i'd rather not do that. I'm wondering if there's a way to compile this as a module (the comments hints at this) on its own, rather compiling a whole kernel.

share|improve this question
up vote 0 down vote accepted

There are some possibilities. If it's something what adds a whole new option into the kernel, you have to patch a kernel source (most likely an older one) and run make menuconfig. There you can enable it only as a module. Of course, you have to recompile your kernel. (If the box which is running linux crappy (cough slow), you can just cross-compile and copy the kernel there. IF you know how to, or have the mood for this.)

Oh I checked the source. Yes, only the patching kernel works since this is not a module. It modifies the basic ALSA behavior if I can see that right. So yeah, you may want to compile it as a module, but I doubt it'll be possible. (Try to use the -git tree, maybe he fixed this ..since this is NOT an acceptable way of fixing things.)

share|improve this answer
chances are he hasn't fixed it. Its an experimental driver, which apparently he's no longer developing. That makes me a sad panda since i'm not sure if its worth jumping through hoops just to get a soundcard working ;p – Journeyman Geek Jun 25 '10 at 9:13
Well..then you have to stick with this. :) – Shiki Jun 25 '10 at 12:44

While it may be possible to build it as a module, it is intended to replace an existing module provided by the kernel package for your distro. As such it would cause you to lose any advancements made in that module in the mainline kernel.

The proper way to handle it would be to get the kernel source package for your distro, find the sound-card-specific code in the source he supplies, patch it into the source package, and rebuild the binary package. It's a harder path, but it will have better results.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.