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I'm in the process of trying to debug a program that uses the legacy OSS /dev/audio interface to play sounds. However, Ubuntu and others no longer include a /dev/audio interface. Are there any relatively-modern Linux distributions that I could download in a virtual machine to test with?

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Doesn't oss-compat solve this? – page4096 Oct 29 '12 at 20:56
Hmm, it looks like it's supposed to, but it didn't work for me. – Matt Patenaude Oct 29 '12 at 23:25
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If your computer uses PulseAudio (Ubuntu does), run the program via padsp:

padsp yourprogram

It will intercept attempts to open /dev/audio, /dev/dsp, and other related devices (using a LD_PRELOAD shared library) and send the sound directly to PulseAudio.

For systems that use plain ALSA, the equivalent is aoss from the "alsa-oss" package.

aoss yourprogram

aoss should work on Ubuntu too, since by default ALSA itself is rerouted through PulseAudio, but better use padsp in that case.

Most kernels also have the snd-pcm-oss module, which provides real /dev/dsp and /dev/audio devices using ALSA:

sudo modprobe snd-pcm-oss

I've heard it doesn't work as good as aoss, though, and I'm not sure whether it works at all when PulseAudio is running.

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Works great, thanks! – Matt Patenaude Oct 29 '12 at 23:25

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