[alsa-devel] Alsa OSS - who is maintaining it?

Hannu Savolainen hannu at opensound.com
Thu Mar 29 16:28:04 CEST 2007

Carlo Florendo wrote:
> I'm new to sound progamming in Linux.  If OSS is already obsoleted by 
> ALSA, why is OSS still maintained?
Some clarifications:

The OSS/Free drivers still included in Linux are based on some10+ years 
old version of the OSS3 API (the same is actually true with ALSA's OSS 
emulation too). It's obsolete and should be removed from the kernel ASAP.

However OSS (www.opensound.com) is a separate product that is completely 
independent from the old v3 based junk. It's actively developed and 
maintained by 4Front Technologies. In addition to Linux it's only 
available for most Unix variants. We have released the latest v4.0 
version just two weeks ago.

OSS is very different than ALSA and it has been designed to hide the 
hardware differences from the applications. ALSA in turn makes it best 
to expose all aspects of the hardware to the programs.

There is a white paper at http://developer.opensound.com/oss4white.pdf 
that explains why OSS is what it is.

Best regards,


More information about the Alsa-devel mailing list