Sunday, August 5, 2012

"/dev/dsp: Device or resource busy"

This's commonly the problem with old games which use legacy OSS sound system.

This issue is 100% reproducable in KDE cause phonon is always using the device, yet fusers doesn't return any process giving you any guesses.

The solution is to change the default device for all things (most importantly notifications) in system settings > multimedia > phonon > device preference to the exact hardware interface provided by ALSA, e.g. you may like to change it to hw:0.0.

This'll usually make /dev/dsp free.

In this situation I've assumed there're no sound servers like pulseaudio, which has it's own OSS emulation.

As an alternative, or along with the above technique, you may try to kill knotify4 process once. Then it'll respaws, but the resource will be free by then.

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