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Encyclopedia > Open Sound System

The Open Sound System (OSS) is a standard interface for making and capturing sound in Unix operating systems. It is based on standard Unix devices (i.e. POSIX read, write, ioctl, etc.). The term also refers sometimes to the software in a Unix kernel that provides the OSS interface; in that sense it can be thought of as a device driver or collection of device drivers for sound controller hardware. The point of OSS is to allow one to write a sound-based application program that works with any sound controller hardware, even though the hardware interface varies greatly from one type to another. Filiation of Unix and Unix-like systems Unix (officially trademarked as UNIX®) is a computer operating system originally developed in the 1960s and 1970s by a group of AT&T employees at Bell Labs including Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie and Douglas McIlroy. ...


OSS was created in 1992 by the Finn Hannu Savolainen and is available in 11 major Unix-like operating systems.


Following the project's success, Savolainen started the company 4Front Technologies and made his support for newer sound devices and improvements proprietary, considered by many as a backdoor for privately exploiting the public software project, and motivated the creation of Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA). However, free operating systems such as GNU/Linux and *BSD include their own free reimplementations under the GNU GPL or one of the BSD licenses. 4Front Technologies is the company behind the Open Sound System for Linux and Unix operating systems. ... Proprietary software is software with restrictions on using, copying and modifying as enforced by the proprietor. ... A screenshot of alsamixer ALSA (an acronym for Advanced Linux Sound Architecture) is a Linux kernel component intended to replace the original Open Sound System (OSS) for providing drivers for sound cards. ... This article is about free software as defined by the sociopolitical free software movement; for information on software distributed without charge, see freeware. ... Unix systems filiation. ... Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD, sometimes called Berkeley Unix) is the Unix derivative distributed by the University of California, Berkeley starting in the 1970s. ... GPL redirects here. ... The BSD license is a permissive license and is one of the most widely used free software licenses. ...


OSS in relation to ALSA

In the Linux kernel, there have historically been two uniform sound APIs used. One is OSS; the other is ALSA (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture). ALSA is a Linux-only thing, and as there is only one implementation of the ALSA interface, ALSA refers equally to that implementation and to the interface itself. The Linux kernel is a Unix-like operating system kernel. ... A screenshot of alsamixer ALSA (an acronym for Advanced Linux Sound Architecture) is a Linux kernel component intended to replace the original Open Sound System (OSS) for providing drivers for sound cards. ...


OSS is the standard up through the 2.4 series of official (kernel.org) Linux kernels. ALSA was added starting with 2.5, and in those versions, Linux kernel authors deprecate OSS. ALSA is also available separately to add to later 2.2 and 2.4 official Linux kernels.


ALSA provides an optional OSS emulation mode that appears to programs as if it were OSS. Similarly, there is an ALSA emulation mode in the Linux implementation of OSS.


While ALSA is the recommended interface for software that is intended to work on modern Linux only, software intended to be portable across Unices typically uses OSS instead (or both).


See also

In computing, the Enlightened Sound Daemon (ESD or EsounD) is the sound server for Enlightenment and GNOME. It mixes several sound streams into one for output. ...

External links

  • http://www.opensound.com/

  Results from FactBites:
 
Sound card - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1784 words)
Multi-channel digital sound playback can also be used for music synthesis if used with a digitized instrument bank of some sort, typically a small amount of ROM or Flash memory containing samples corresponding to the standard MIDI instruments.
Most sound cards have a line in connector where the sound signal from a cassette tape recorder or similar sound source can be input.
Sound cards for computers based on the IBM PC were uncommon until 1988, leaving the internal PC speaker as the only way early PC software could produce sound and music.
Open Sound System - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (284 words)
The Open Sound System (OSS) is a portable sound interface available in 11 different Unix systems.
In the case of the Linux kernel, OSS was the only supported sound system used up to the 2.4.x series.
Starting with version 2.5, ALSA, the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture was introduced, and the OSS interface became deprecated by Linux' authors.
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