Intel High Definition Audio in Linux

A great number of laptops produced after 2004, including my vaio fz 190, come with an IntelĀ® High Definition Audio chipset. Interestingly, these chipsets have problems in both Linux and Windows. If you are using an old version of alsa, I would recommend you to upgrade it because newer alsa drivers are almost problem-free. However, sometimes even if you upgrade your alsa driver, the default setup is not enough, for example, your headphones may not be working. In that case you need to pass some extra options to make alsa driver recognize your card. I guess “model” option is the most important one here, setting it according to my sound card was enough for me. In order to pass “model” option to snd-hda-intel module, first you need to know the model of your card. You can find it out by running this command:

cat /proc/asound/card0/codec#* | grep Codec

After that, you can find the appropriate parameter for your model in alsa documentation:

/alsa-driver-VERSION/alsa-kernel/Documentation/ALSA-Configuration.txt

If your driver is already a new one or you want to use the one shipped with your distro, you can find these configurations in:

/usr/src/KERNEL_VERSION/Documentation/sound/alsa/ALSA-Configuration.txt

If you don’t have any of these files, you can find the one for alsa-driver-1.0.18 here.
After finding the appropriate options for your card, you need to pass them to your alsa-base file. You can do that by typing

sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base

or choose your favourite text editor. Add the following line to the end of that file:

options snd-hda-intel model=MODEL

For instance mine was:

options snd-hda-intel model=vaio

Then find the applications that are using alsa by typing:

lsof /dev/snd/*

and kill them with

killall APPLICATION

(you may need root priviliges for that) Unload and reload the module again by:

sudo rmmod snd_hda_intel
sudo modprobe snd-hda-intel

or if these do not work reboot your computer. Your sound should be working with no problems.

If you still have problems, please run this script and report it to the alsa-developer mailing list to get more help.

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