[SATLUG] Making a sound card use a specific kernel module

John D Choate jdchoate at gmail.com
Thu Jan 21 14:11:56 CST 2010

Awhile back I bought a motherboard which came with a Sound Blaster X-Fi Extreme pci-e card. For quite awhile I never used this card, but recently learned that it has been available to use since kernel 2.6.31 with module snd_ctxfi. I am using kernel, btw.
I installed it yesterday, but am having troubles getting it to work. It gets module 'snd_intel_hda' assigned to it when the system boots and channels show in alsa mixer and kmix, but there is no sound output.
I'm running Mandriva 2010 by the way, and those with PCLinuxOS have the same 'drak' tools such as 'harddrake' to configure the sound card.
If I assign 'snd_ctxfi' to the card using harddrake then not only do I get no sound, no channels show in a mixer either. If I do 'lspci -v' it shows that the kernel module is still 'snd_intel_hda'. I have tried to 'modprobe -r snd_intel_hda' and 'modprove snd_ctxfi', but don't know enough about kernel modules to do more than that. I never do get the proper module assigned to the card and have no idea how to force it. I have found nothing in /etc/modprobe.conf or /etc/modprobe.d/* or /etc/alsa/* or /etc/pulse/* which specifically lists 'snd_intel_hda' anywhere.
So basically I am lost and clueless now and wish for input from somebody more knowledgeable.
I will not be too disappointed if I do not get this card working because my old Hercules Game Theater XP still works pretty well (but has some pulseaudio issues). I basically want to see if this card has more or less glitches with pulseaudio than my current card.
I already have my sights on a much more awesome card which I know will work, I just don't have the $220 yet that I will need for it ;)
*BTW* - No, I cannot enable on-board audio because it was stripped from the motherboard in order for the manufacturer to put on a copper heat-pipe chipset cooler. 
* I also am not interested in removing pulseaudio. I want to test this card with pulseaudio, so please do not respond with advice for removing pulseaudio.

John C.

More information about the SATLUG mailing list