Ubuntu supports a wide variety of sound hardware and software. Two models of sound card drivers compete for prominence in today's market:
• ALSA, the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture, which is entirely open source
• OSS, the Open Sound System, which offers free and commercial drivers
Ubuntu uses ALSA because ALSA is the sound architecture for the 2.6 series kernels.
ALSA supports a long list of sound cards. You can review the list at http://www.alsaproject.org/alsa-doc/. If your sound card is not supported, it might be supported in the commercial version of OSS. You can download a trial version of commercial software and test your sound card at http://www.opensound.com/download.cgi.
Ubuntu detects most sound cards during the original installation. If you add or replace a sound card after the initial install, Ubuntu will automatically detect and configure it at the next reboot.
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