Sound with Via VT1708A

Forum: Multimedia
Topic: Sound with Via VT1708A
started by: RigasW

Posted by RigasW on Aug. 11 2007,13:31

I received my fanless silent via epia motherboard today. (The old one had a fan which was a little too loud ...)

But the new one is totally  silent .... the sound does not work. (There is no way to configure the bios as "Soundblaster" as  I could do with  my old board ....)

The soundchip is a VT1708A

When I start DSL with the ALSA keyword, the card is detected when booting. I start XMMs, swich to alsa, but get the error message that my sound card is not configured properly.

In myDSL I found several alsa scripts:

I downloaded:

(Did not help ...)

In the meantime I found out, that according to via they  do not support standard alsa sound driver ...

But on they list a lot of linux distros with drivers for this chip.
SO MY QUESTION: Is DSL a distro similar to slackware, debian, redhat, ubuntu ... or is it a distro of its own??

Any ideas?



Posted by curaga on Aug. 11 2007,16:39
of course DSL is it's own distro..

Try downloading the source and compiling yourself

Posted by RigasW on Aug. 11 2007,19:05

I tried compiling. I installed gcc and started the installation, which includes compiling the drivers.

It produced a lot of output, with the following line, which seems like an error to me:

Makefile.conf ... no such file or directory.

Nevertheless, it created an  alsa directory with a script "configure" in it.

I started that ... it ended with:

the file lib/modules/2.4.26/build/include/linux/version.h does not exist.
Please install the package with full kernel sources ...

So what do I have to install, before I compile the drivers ....?

Well, found it out myself: Package "Kernelsource" now the compilation seems to go through (it takes longer, produces more files, no error messages ...)

But this is obviously not the end .... it creates a lot of files and dirs .. but it does not install the driver. I have the impression, that it want me to compile the kernel from scratch ... for alsa.

Uffff ... any help is very wellcome ...

Thanx in advance


Posted by curaga on Aug. 11 2007,19:21
Oops, you need The Kernel Headers... Don't remember the name of the MyDSL ext, but the description says "use these when you need to compile drivers"
Posted by RigasW on Aug. 11 2007,19:25

I think we wrote at same time ....


Posted by curaga on Aug. 11 2007,20:11
It made the driver. It's a module. You can load it with insmod /path/to/module
and if you have a debian-type install, you can move it to the same place where the other alsa drivers are and then just modprobe it..

Posted by RigasW on Aug. 12 2007,15:41
Hi Curaga,

thanks for your help.

Today I tried again: This time I used the gcc with libs, so it compiled more and did not break up.

Unfortunately, the modules directory is empty, so I suppose it did not create any modules.

(Its hard if you try to install a driver ... and you do not even know the file looks ....)

I started xMMs and looked under preferences ... no ALSA  driver offered. So it did not install it ...

Any ideas?


Posted by curaga on Aug. 12 2007,15:56
Hard to say like this.. could you make a tarball of the compile dir after compiling so I can take a look? Include all output (compile with "make &> log")
Posted by RigasW on Aug. 12 2007,21:01
Hi Curaga,

thanks for your offer.
I will compile again tomorrow and send the results.

I wonder if DSL 3.3 would  recognize an SB compatible USB sound card (I'd rather spend another 40 Euros instead of spending my nights with ALSA .... :)


Posted by curaga on Aug. 13 2007,15:22
Not sure.. But you could get a pci Sound Blaster 16 for 0,50$ that will work with anything possible for sure
Posted by RigasW on Aug. 13 2007,18:48

I borrowed a usb sounblaster card.

Did not work very well (stopped operating after a view minutes of playing ... stopped after switching from xmms to a different music software ....

My mini ITX board is in a tiny  case (looks very cool in the living room) no PCI card possible.

I decided to send the new board back and stick to my old one, even if the fan is a little noisy. (The old one is a Via Epia-V 8000A)

Thanks again for your help.


Posted by tinker on Aug. 14 2007,11:52
Well RigasW, you've already made your decision but don't those VIA ITX boards have a pci slot? John sells a riser card in the DSL store that lets a PCI card lay flat over the motherboard so it can fit in an ITX case.

I understand how a noisy fan in the living room could be annoying.

As to the one with a noisy fan you are keeping, you might be able to replace the fan with one that has lower noise specs, yet cools just as well or even better than the original.

If you don't have a heat buildup problem in your case, you could even consider running the fan at 7v. instead of 12v. or adding a series resistor to the fan power lead to lower the current. This should only be tried by someone with electronic skills who will monitor the heat after modification to make sure it's still cooling properly. Note:Either of these probably voids the warranty.

Posted by RigasW on Aug. 31 2007,19:35

I just bought a incredible low priced via C7 based diskless computer at

I did not try to run it with DSL up to now, but the ZONBU distro has more or less everything that I need.


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