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

This page describes how to enable support for sound devices based on CS46xx chipsets on Debian systems.

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

At 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.

At 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


You are required to supply one firmware file for device use.

  1. Install the alsa-base, alsa-utils and build-essential packages:

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

    $ wget
  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, add your user account to the audio group, then log out and log back into your system:

    # adduser yourusername audio
    # exit
    $ exit
  11. Run alsamixer(1) to unmute channels and raise the volume levels.

  12. Test the sound device, for example:

    $ aplay /usr/share/sounds/alsa/Noise.wav
    $ speaker-test -t sine -f 440 -c 2
    $ speaker-test -t wav -c 2


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 (2.6.32-46) kernel images.

See Also

CategoryHardware | CategorySound