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Cirrus Logic Sound Fusion CS4280, CS461x, CS462x, CS463x devices

This page describes the state of support for sound devices based on CS46xx chipsets on Debian systems.

snd-cs46xx is a kernel module supporting Cirrus Logic's Sound Fusion CS46xx audio controllers. It is an ALSA driver provided in Linux 2.6 mainline kernels.

In linux-2.6 2.6.23-1, the binary-only firmware in this driver was removed (see the package changelog), due to discovered firmware licensing issues. The driver was disabled at this time. Firmware was also removed from the alsa-source package to resolve bug 483918.

In linux-2.6 2.6.31-1~experimental.1, the snd-cs46xx driver was re-enabled and patched to use firmware from userspace (resolving Debian bug 464197).

Device firmware is unable to be distributed by the Debian project, as the snd-cs46xx driver has no license.1 A free redistribution license has been requested from Cirrus Logic.2



The snd-cs46xx module is not present within 2.6.26 Debian kernel images.


2.6.18 kernel

The snd-cs46xx module is included within 2.6.18 Debian kernel images. No firmware from userspace is required.

2.6.24 kernel

The snd-cs46xx module is not present within 2.6.24 Debian kernel images.


The snd-cs46xx module is included within 2.6.32 Debian kernel images. You are required to supply one firmware file for device use.

  1. Install the build-essential package:

    $ su
    # aptitude update
    # aptitude install build-essential
    # exit
  2. Download cs46xx_image.h from Linus' kernel tree:

    $ wget ';a=blob_plain;f=sound/pci/cs46xx/cs46xx_image.h;h=dc93f62db2c2b6ec624eda7bcb80a38baee5f47e;hb=HEAD' -O cs46xx_image.h
  3. Download source code for a program to write out firmware from cs46xx_image.h:

    $ wget '' -O write_images.c
  4. Download a patch against cs46xx_image.h:

    $ wget ';att=0;bug=464197' -O cs46xx_image.diff
  5. Apply the patch:

    $ patch -i cs46xx_image.diff
  6. Compile the write_images program:

    $ gcc -o write_images write_images.c
  7. Execute the program to write out firmware:

    $ ./write_images
  8. Install the firmware:

    $ su
    # mkdir -p /usr/local/lib/firmware/cs46xx
    # cp cs46xx/cs46xx-old.fw /usr/local/lib/firmware/cs46xx
  9. Reload the snd-cs46xx module:

    # modprobe -r snd-cs46xx && modprobe snd-cs46xx
  10. If not already performed, install the alsa-base and alsa-utils packages:

    # aptitude install alsa-base alsa-utils
  11. If not already performed, add your user account to the audio group, then log out and log back into your system:

    # adduser yourusername audio
    # exit
    $ exit
  12. Run alsamixer, unmute channels and raise sound levels:

    $ alsamixer
  13. Test your sound device:

    $ aplay /usr/share/sounds/alsa/Noise.wav


Supported Devices

The page HowToIdentifyADevice/PCI explains how to identify a PCI device.

The following list is based on the alias fields of modinfo snd-cs46xx in Debian 2.6.32 kernel images.

See Also

CategoryHardware | CategorySound