I was hacking around and hoping to direct some random data using pipes at /dev/dsa as follows

  cat random.file > /dev/dsa

...to get some random noise, but I can't manage to find an audio device. I have looked all around the dev folder, there is nothing called /dev/mixer or /dev/audio. I am running Ubuntu 11.04 on an Eeepc 1001p.

1 Answer 1


You might well be using alsa--If there is a /dev/snd directory, then that likely the case. Also, according to the Alsa-mini Howto, the results of running cat /proc/asound/cards should contain information on your soundcard.

  • 1
    I am of course assuming, that you mean that regular sound producing applications (eg: VLC, xmms, mplayer) produce sound okay.
    – C. Storey
    May 24, 2011 at 10:54
  • Yes, indeed, that is the device. Thank you. You wouldn't believe how much googling I did before I came here for such a simple question!
    – jones
    May 24, 2011 at 11:49
  • Note: this must be a fairly common problem since the latest Linux kernels (2.6+) has migrated to supporting ALSA, in place of OSS. /dev/dsa is OSS and /dev/snd is ALSA
    – jones
    May 24, 2011 at 15:28
  • I assume that you mean /dev/dsp rather than /dev/dsa. Funnily enough I didn't spot it the first time round either. :)
    – C. Storey
    May 26, 2011 at 12:46

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