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Setting up HDMI Audio Output on Linux

So today I was building a new Arch Linux install for my desktop and I ran across an interesting problem.The HDMI ouput on my Radeon HD 4870 wasn’t working. So for about the past 2 hours I was digging around the Internet looking at what I would have to do to get this sucker working (if I even could). Finally came across the solution that should work for most Linux flavors and most of the ATI Radeon family.

Setting up HDMI Audio Output

Linux kernel version 3.0 disabled HDMI audio output by default so your going to have to edit your grub boot menu’s kernel line.

Step 1. Use your favorite text editor to open your menu.lst using one of the below commands sudo nano /boot/grub/menu.lst

Step 2. Locate your boot line which should be the name of your Linux distribution in my case Arch Linux.

Step 3. Find the line that starts with kernel and go to the end it should say ro

Step 4. Add radeon.audio=1 to the end of the line.

Step 5. Reboot your Arch Linux or Linux install after saving.

Step 6. Find out what your audio device is by typing aplay -l

Step 7. Then use the command aplay -D plughw:1,3 /usr/share/sounds/alsa/Front_Center.wav to test to see if your audio output works.

Step 8. If it works simply configure pulse audio to use it as your default output. On Arch Linux you will have to install paprefs and pavucontrol by using the command sudo pacman -S papprefs pavucontrol to be able to configure Pulse Audio.

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Patrick #

    Hi, I tried this guide, and I ran into the problem where I tried all the devices and cards, to no avail. Here is my aplay -l. I have 2 AMD 7800 cards, and Im using the xf86-video-ati driver.

    [patrick@Patrick-Desktop ~]$ aplay -l
    **** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
    card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 0: ALC898 Analog [ALC898 Analog]
    Subdevices: 0/1
    Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
    card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 1: ALC898 Digital [ALC898 Digital]
    Subdevices: 1/1
    Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
    card 1: HDMI [HDA ATI HDMI], device 3: HDMI 0 [HDMI 0]
    Subdevices: 1/1
    Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
    card 1: HDMI [HDA ATI HDMI], device 7: HDMI 1 [HDMI 1]
    Subdevices: 1/1
    Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
    card 1: HDMI [HDA ATI HDMI], device 8: HDMI 2 [HDMI 2]
    Subdevices: 1/1
    Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
    card 1: HDMI [HDA ATI HDMI], device 9: HDMI 3 [HDMI 3]
    Subdevices: 1/1
    Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
    card 1: HDMI [HDA ATI HDMI], device 10: HDMI 4 [HDMI 4]
    Subdevices: 1/1
    Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
    card 1: HDMI [HDA ATI HDMI], device 11: HDMI 5 [HDMI 5]
    Subdevices: 1/1
    Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
    card 3: HDMI_1 [HDA ATI HDMI], device 3: HDMI 0 [HDMI 0]
    Subdevices: 1/1
    Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
    card 3: HDMI_1 [HDA ATI HDMI], device 7: HDMI 1 [HDMI 1]
    Subdevices: 1/1
    Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
    card 3: HDMI_1 [HDA ATI HDMI], device 8: HDMI 2 [HDMI 2]
    Subdevices: 1/1
    Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
    card 3: HDMI_1 [HDA ATI HDMI], device 9: HDMI 3 [HDMI 3]
    Subdevices: 1/1
    Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
    card 3: HDMI_1 [HDA ATI HDMI], device 10: HDMI 4 [HDMI 4]
    Subdevices: 1/1
    Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
    card 3: HDMI_1 [HDA ATI HDMI], device 11: HDMI 5 [HDMI 5]
    Subdevices: 1/1
    Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

    November 30, 2012

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