I'm facing a problem with my Raspberry Pi while playing a sound through a web page. The page is built in with Django and is quite simple: you push on a button and a sound is played (a Python script is executed). I tested it on a Debian 7 in a VirtualBox environment successfully, but then I decided to move to my Pi.

Everything went ok but when I click on the "play" button, I receive a 500 error with the following message:

IOError at /alarma/triggerAlarm [Errno Invalid output device (no default output device)] -9996 Request Method:

  GET Request URL: ttp://localhost/alarma/triggerAlarm Django Version:  1.5.4
  Exception Type: **IOError Exception Value: [Errno Invalid output device (no default output device)] -9996 Exception**
  Location: /usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/pyaudio.py in __init__, line 442 Python   
  Executable:   /usr/bin/python Python Version: 2.7.3 Python Path:
      '/var/www/webapps/example_django/example', '/usr/lib/python2.7',
      '/usr/lib/python2.7/plat-linux2', '/usr/lib/python2.7/lib-tk',
      '/usr/lib/python2.7/lib-old', '/usr/lib/python2.7/lib-dynload',
      '/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages', '/usr/lib/pymodules/python2.7']
      Server time: Sat, 19 Oct 2013 17:39:54 +0200

I tried to play the file by hand in the python console without any problems, but when I try to do it through django it seems it can't.

I think the problem is related with this:

Ouput from aplay -L:

Discard all samples (playback) or generate zero samples (capture)
bcm2835 ALSA, bcm2835 ALSA
Default Audio Device

I searched in Google and tried several solutions like create an asound.conf file in the home directory, but none of them worked out. I really don't understand why sound is working from the aplay command and the python shell but no while the python script is excuted by Django.

  • What user is the web server executed as? What are the permissions on the device nodes in /dev/snd/? – CL. Oct 25 '13 at 12:01
  • /dev/snd is set for root user (root:audio), except /dev/snd/by-path which is (root:root). THe server I think is executed as "pi". Maybe this is the problem! – cabreracanal Oct 25 '13 at 12:40
  • What are the permission bits (rwx) on the files, not the directories? – CL. Oct 25 '13 at 14:22
  • Hey, if you're asking about /dev/snd permissions, first I have: "lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 12 Oct 25 15:17 /dev/snd/by-path/platform-bcm2835_AUD0.0 -> ../controlC0" and for the rest of the /dev/snd nodes (controlC0, pcmC0DCp, seq and timer) the permissions are crw-rw---T – cabreracanal Oct 28 '13 at 6:48
  • Login (or sudo) as pi, and try aplay. – CL. Oct 28 '13 at 21:31

A process that wants to play sounds must be able to access the device nodes in /dev/snd/ (and to read the files in /usr/share/alsa/).

In this case, this means that the web server's user must be made a member of the audio group.

| improve this answer | |
  • My webserver is gunicorn and it is executed as pi:pi. pi user belongs to the audio group (grep '^audio' /etc/group shows audio:x:29:pi). I changed permissions recursively (sudo chown -R pi:audio <directories>) for /dev/snd and /usr/share/alsa, but the problem is still there. Do you need any log? – cabreracanal Oct 28 '13 at 19:07
  • You were right. I was thinking that my gunicorn user was pi all this time, but it is not! The problem was with the supervisor config. I checked /etc/supervisor/conf.d/<your_project>.conf (supervisor launches gunicorn) and changed the user to pi (pi was already as an audio user). Now I can play the sound with a simple click from my web page. Thank you. – cabreracanal Oct 31 '13 at 14:01

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