Nostalgic as I am, I've put together some old hardware and installed a S.u.S.E Linux 4.3 from 1996 with kernel 2.0.18 from the original CDs.

It runs great including network and decent graphics.

Just sound is missing. The mainboard has no ISA slots, just PCI, has an onboard AC97 sound and I have a SoundBlaster 128/Ensoniq CT4750 PCI card, both don't seem to be supported. I've tried SoundBlaster 16 compatible and some other options without luck.

Upgrading to kernel 2.0.40 would be no problem but does not seem to provide additional support for sound cards. Kernel 2.2.x provides all new sound support for a lot of cards but the upgrade is not trivial and would significantly decrease the nostalgia factor.

Is anyone aware of a PCI sound card/chipset that is supported by kernel 2.0.x? I fear only ISA sound cards are supported.

1 Answer 1


Doing a lot of research, I could not find any evidence of some PCI sound card that is supported by kernel 2.0. Also grepping for "pci" in drivers/sound does not yield any matches.

I tried to find out if it could be possible to backport some driver from 2.2 but apparently the sound architecture has changed quite a bit, most if not all 2.2 sound drivers include some header files that don't exist in 2.0, so I've given up on that.

Eventually I upgraded to the latest kernel 2.2.26. Not properly following i.e. Moving to the Linux 2.2.x Kernels, I just configured and built the kernel and modules and upgraded to modutils-2.1.121 to get module loading to work. All appears to work besides xosview, but building a more recent 1.7.3 fixed it.

Then I got myself a "Creative Ensoniq AudioPCI 97 (ES1371)" for just a few bucks and after a modprobe es1371, the obligatory ls /dev > /dev/audio plays the well known sound! And after building an old mpg123, even MP3s play just fine.

Can't resist to add a screenshot...

S.u.S.E. Linux 4.3 kernel 2.2

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