[alsa-devel] Spurious "Unable to find definition 'defaults.pcm.dmix.device'"

Gavin Stark gavin at gstark.com
Mon Sep 20 17:05:45 CEST 2010

I am using ALSA in a gstreamer project.  When playing many videos (with audio) in the same application and the same gstreamer instance every once in a while (maybe once every 500 times) I will receive the following errors (in a call chain that passes through snd_pcm_open)

confmisc.c:1286:snd_func_refer: alsalib error: Unable to find definition 'defaults.pcm.dmix.device'
alsa conf.c:4154:_snd_config_evaluate: alsalib error: function snd_func_refer returned error: No such file or directory
alsa conf.c:4633:snd_config_expand: alsalib error: Evaluate error: No such file or directory
alsa pcm.c:2211:snd_pcm_open_noupdate: alsalib error: Unknown PCM default

The next playback will be fine.  Looking through the ALSA code it seems that the configuration data should be cached and re-used unless the number of config files changes, or the files themselves change (name, device, inode. mtime)  So I am wonder why on one instance of snd_pcm_open I'd end up with this error but not on most previous or subsequent calls.

All the ALSA configuration files are the defaults, I have no ~/.asoundrc, and I'm running version 1.0.23

Thank you,
Gavin Stark

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