Introduction to ALSA Library

The ALSA Library package contains the ALSA library used by programs (including ALSA Utilities) requiring access to the ALSA sound interface.



Development versions of BLFS may not build or run some packages properly if LFS or dependencies have been updated since the most recent stable versions of the books.

Package Information

ALSA Library Dependencies

Recommended (Runtime)




If the recommended runtime dependency is not installed, you may need to run any application requiring ALSA library as the root user or a user in the audio group.


Doxygen-1.11.0, alsa-ucm-conf, and Python2

Kernel Configuration

If needed, enable the following options in the kernel configuration and recompile the kernel:

Device Drivers --->
  <*/M> Sound card support --->                                          [SOUND]
    # Select settings and drivers appropriate for your hardware
    # in the submenu:
    <*/M> Advanced Linux Sound Architecture --->                           [SND]

In the Device Drivers ⇒ Sound card support ⇒ Advanced Linux Sound Architecture section of the kernel configuration, select the settings and drivers appropriate for your hardware. If necessary, recompile and install your new kernel.

Installation of ALSA Library

Install ALSA Library by running the following commands:

./configure &&

If you have Doxygen installed and you wish to build the library API documentation, run the following commands from the top-level directory of the source tree:

make doc

To test the results, issue: make check.

Now, as the root user:

make install

To install the API documentation, run the following command as the root user:

install -v -d -m755 /usr/share/doc/alsa-lib-1.2.12/html/search &&
install -v -m644 doc/doxygen/html/*.* \
                /usr/share/doc/alsa-lib-1.2.12/html &&
install -v -m644 doc/doxygen/html/search/* \

Configuring ALSA Library

Config Files

~/.asoundrc and /etc/asound.conf

Configuration Information

The default alsa.conf is adequate for most installations. For extra functionality and/or advanced control of your sound device, you may need to create additional configuration files. For information on the available configuration parameters, visit


Installed Program: aserver
Installed Library: and
Installed Directories: /usr/include/alsa, /usr/share/alsa and /usr/share/doc/alsa-lib-1.2.12

Short Descriptions


is the ALSA server

contains the ALSA API functions

contains API functions for the ALSA topologies