The Polypaudio sound server

Ryan Underwood nemesis-lists at
Fri Sep 10 01:25:23 EEST 2004

On Thu, Sep 09, 2004 at 08:54:06AM -0700, Jeremy C. Reed wrote:
> On Thu, 9 Sep 2004, Ryan Underwood wrote:
> > Not to bash your comparison, but there is nothing inherently
> > non-portable about the ALSA API.  In fact ALSA itself has been ported to
> > OS/2, and QNX implements the ALSA API at the moment.  FreeBSD would have
> > an ALSA port if it weren't for the GPL.
> Where can I find any work on porting ALSA to FreeBSD?

There have only been some mentions of it.  It seems that BSD people
_really_ like OSS, and the feeling is mutual from OSS developers:

You can find a reply from one of the OSS developers here:
under "Full of factual errors".

[Re: 4Front; I regard their caterwauling about the instability of the
ALSA API to be irrelevant.  Nobody claimed the API would be stable
before the 1.0 release, so IMO it's the folks who produced external
dependencies on a not set-in-stone API who should be blaming themselves.
The fact that they are concentrating effort on improving the already
adequate mixer API for the next release, instead of features more
relevant for professional audio applications, also strikes me as odd.

In the second link, he rags on ALSA for not being adequately supported
by XMMS, a 4Front product.  He also strangely insists that ALSA's
callback model is the wrong thing to do, without backing such a claim
up, and while pushing JACK, which, gee, also uses a callback model, but
happens not to be a competitor.]

Regarding *BSD specifically, here is a recent thread but it's not the
one I was trying to find:

The thread I was thinking about was someone specifically asking about
the feasibility of porting ALSA to FreeBSD, and the thread ended with an
open question about how GPL code in the kernel would be handled in terms
of distribution.

> I am curious because I have packaged alsa-lib and alsa-utils for NetBSD's
> pkgsrc (in the work-in-progress collection), but only useful for Linux
> now. (pkgsrc supports many operating systems.) I may be interested in
> adding patches for *BSD support if available.

I don't know of any actual work done. but I don't follow FreeBSD

> (By the way, the term "port" as commonly used by FreeBSD is for porting
> third-party software to the FreeBSD ports collection, their
> build-from-source system. The "ports" contains mostly GPL'd projects.  Of
> course, GPL'd code should be kept away from FreeBSD's own native code.)

I was referring to a port of the ALSA drivers and kernel API to the
FreeBSD kernel API.

Ryan Underwood, <nemesis at>
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