Open Sound System
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/dev/dsp is the default audio device in the system. It's connected to the main speakers and the primary recording source (such as microphone). The system administrator can set /dev/dsp to be a symbolic link to the desired default device. The ossinfo utility can be used to list the available audio devices in the system.
/dev/dsp_mmap, /dev/dsp_ac3, /dev/dsp_multich and /dev/dsp_spdifout are default audio devices for specific applications such as games or media (DVD) players.
OSS 4.0 (and later) will create audio devices under /dev/oss/<device> directory. For example /dev/oss/sblive0/pcm0 is the first audio device that belongs to the first Sound Blaster Live! or Audigy card in the system. These direct devices are used when an application needs to access specific audio device (instead of the default one).
You can use the ossinfo utility with the -a option to get a list of the available audio devices in the system.
Traditionally OSS has created device files like /dev/dsp0 to /dev/dspN for each audio device in the system. OSS 4.0 still supports this legacy naming. These files are symbolic links to the actual device files located under /dev/oss. The ossdevlinks utility is used to manage these links and it will be automatically invoked when OSS is started.
See the Audio Programming section of the OSS Programmer's Guide ( DSP ) for more info.