Quick Tip: Old games can't find /dev/dsp

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Howtos

If your old games, like UT, Quake2, or Rune, won't start or don't have sound due to the error "can't find /dev/dsp" on your modern Linux systems, it's because they were made when OSS (Open Sound System) was the preferred sound system in Linux. Alsa doesn't make the old /dev/dsp device so old games can't find the device to use.

If you run a Linux system like Mandriva or Ubuntu, that build their kernels to try and suite the masses, then OSS emulation is probably built as a module but maybe not loaded at boot. In that case all you really need to do as root is:


/sbin/modprobe snd-pcm-oss


If you built your own kernel, you may need to make sure you have:

CONFIG_SND_PCM_OSS=m

or

set: Device Drivers > Sound Card Support > Advanced Linux Sound Architecture > OSS PCM (digital audio) API to M