Detect and Enable Your Sound Driver in FreeBSD 5.3

General Information

FreeBSD doesn’t enable the sound by default. However it is simple to detect and enable your sound card.


  1. You must have root access
  2. You must have a sound card


To detect you sound card in FreeBSD 5.3 do the following in a command prompt as root:

# kldload snd_driver

To see what driver ended up being loaded type this command:

# cat /dev/sndstat

You should get an output similar to:

FreeBSD Audio Driver (newpcm)
Installed devices:
pcm0:  at io 0xdc00, 0xd800 irq 11 bufsz 16384 kld snd_ich (1p/1r/0v channels duplexdefault)

Find the letters listed after the part that says snd_. In my example it was snd_ich

Configure your loader.conf so that support for your sound card will be loaded on boot up by typing in the following command:

# echo 'snd_ich_load="YES"' >> /boot/loader.conf

(Of course when you run the command, replace “ich” with the letters you see in the output for your sound card.)

Now reboot and your sound card will be working.

Note: If this process fails with errors, you may want to look at the hardware notes on the FreeBSD website. Most sound cards are supported, but there are some that are not.

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