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What's the simplest way to work with Linux sound? If I install Gentoo or something, presuming I have X and a WM up and running but no sound, what's the simplest way to get desktop-quality audio?
General audio software thread as well I guess, since we need something more than this to discuss. Discuss ways of improving the Linux audio mess.
>What's the simplest way to work with Linux sound?
In practice? Just stick with ALSA plus JACK for DAWs and other audio work and run anything that requires PulseAudio through apulse. PulseAudio just adds another layer of mess above ALSA, aka more stuff that can break, and I've had more problems with it than ALSA on its own.
Your main alternatives are OSS4 and sndio. I have no idea if anyone uses OSS4 but it sounds cool even with the poor hardware and software support nowadays, while sndio is mostly used by OpenBSD users and Voidfags. There's also whatever the fuck PipeWire is, which is trying to replace PulseAudio, JACK, and some video stuff. I know jack shit about it, but it's by a Red Hat employee so there's a good chance it will be cancer.
>Discuss ways of improving the Linux audio mess
Maybe some OSS4 fags can chime in, but it sounds promising to me.
>If I install Gentoo
On Gentoo you can just enable the alsa USE flag in your /etc/portage/make.conf and enable the relevant options for ALSA and the HD audio in Linux kernel config (i.e. after you run make menuconfig) The tl;dr for PukeAudio is that you enable the kernel options that the ALSA/PukeAudio gentoo wiki articles tell you to enable and just enable the pulseaudio USE flag globally in your /etc/portage/make.conf
If anyone uses mpd + alsa, make sure to resample to 32bit with libsamplerate. Audible difference.