Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 26th Nov 2009 19:41 UTC, submitted by Gabor
FreeBSD Astute readers probably already saw this one waiting in our backend, but since there was no official announcement yet, I decided to wait. Now that it's officially here, let's rejoice: the FreeBSD team has released version 8.0 of their operating system, packed with new features and improvements.
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Doc Pain
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That's one thing I've always like about FreeBSD: sound just works! Their modified version of OSSv3 that supports in-kernel mixing, auto-device cloning (apps just open /dev/dsp, the kernel auto-maps that to either a hardware channel (/dev/dsp0, /dev/dsp1) or a software channel (/dev/dsp0.0, /dev/dsp0.1) and everything just works and sounds nice. Been that way since the 4.x days (possibly earlier, but I didn't use FreeBSD as a desktop until 4.0, 3.x was just on servers).

In the 4.x days, sound was a bit complicated because it required you to build a custom kernel, as far as I remember, because the KLD infrastructure wasn't so comfortable those days. Took 24 hours on my 150 MHz P1. :-) Today, you can just kldload the proper module and sound runs.

But all imaginable sound devices worked, starting with an ISA SoundBlaster, and today I'm using a PCI sound card that supports the cmi driver - I try to avoid using the AC'97 kind "sound emulator through CPU". Works like a charm, and worked for many years. It's interesting that playing audio doesn't create massive CPU load on FreeBSD systems.

One problem I see is the already present idea to moving all stuff to USB; I'm talking about "USB sound cards", USB microphones, USB headphones and other stuff. Support for them may lack.

But as I said earlier: I don't own it - I don't care for it. :-)

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