[alsa-devel] speaker-test stalls

Takashi Iwai tiwai at suse.de
Fri Dec 14 16:39:37 CET 2007

At Sat, 08 Dec 2007 15:58:40 -0500,
Dave Dillow wrote:
> While working with Fernando to get the sis7019 driver working in his
> buildroot setup, we kept running into a lockup of the PCM stream when
> using speaker-test. aplay was fine, as was other I finally tracked it
> down to a combination of uclibc not doing block reads, which led to
> XRUNs, and what I thought was issue in snd_pcm_lib_write1() when trying
> to fill up the tail of the PCM buffer with a large write, when there was
> an intervening small write.
> As it turns out, the lockup problem may simply be in speaker-write's
> sw_params settings -- it calls snd_pcm_sw_params_set_avail_min() to set
> the minium write to the period size, and
> snd_pcm_sw_params_set_start_threshold() to start once the buffer has
> been filled. This doesn't account for odd wave file lengths and XRUNs.
> The problem arises when the wave data is not a multiple of the period
> size, and you get an XRUN when there is less than buffer_size samples
> remaining in the current loop. 

Hm, it sounds weird.  Basically XRUN means that you have *no* data in
the buffer while the stream is running.  So, when you get XRUN, the
data must be empty, no matter which buffer or period size is.

Anyway, could you get the same effect with another driver,
e.g. snd-dummy?  If it can be easily reproduced, it'll be much easier
to track down...



> So for example, period size is 8192, buffer is 32768, and the wave file
> has 71042 samples (Front_Left.wav for speaker-test).
> speaker-test will break that into 8 writes of 8192 samples, and one of
> 5506.
> If you get a XRUN in the last 32k of the file, the PCM will be stopped,
> and prepared, and we'll start loading data into again. Because we have a
> tail of 5506 samples, we get to the point where the available space is
> less than our minimum, and then snd_pcm_lib_write1() will wait forever
> for the available space to be >= runtime->avail_min, even though the
> channel is stopped.
> [snip from a trace, patch to pcm_lib.c attached]
> writei size 8192 avail 32768 min 8192 xfer 1 state 2
> writei size 8192 avail 24576 min 8192 xfer 1 state 2
> writei size 5506 avail 16384 min 8192 xfer 1 state 2
> writei size 8192 avail 10878 min 8192 xfer 1 state 2
> writei size 8192 avail 2686 min 8192 xfer 1 state 2
> writei loop avail 2686 min 8192
> writei loop avail 2686 min 8192
> writei loop avail 2686 min 8192
> writei loop avail 2686 min 8192
> Assuming that this is desired behavior from the kernel side, then I see
> three options to fix this in speaker-test:
> 1) snd_pcm_sw_params_set_avail_min() to 1 sample
> 2) snd_pcm_sw_params_set_start_threshold() to start when (nperiods - 1)
> are ready (or be even more aggressive)
> 3) call snd_pcm_drain() at the end of each loop to clear out the buffer.
> This won't help if the wave file has fewer samples than the buffer size.
> Options 1 or 2 seem to be best.
> Thoughts?
> Dave

More information about the Alsa-devel mailing list