How to enable sound in FreeBSD 8?

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

Step 1 – Detect Your Sound Cound

  1. Install all sound kernel modules by running the following command:

    FBSD# kldload snd_driver

  2. Check which kernel module was able to bind to your sound card by running this command:

    FBSD# cat /dev/sndstat

    The output will be similar to this but of course you may have a different sound card:

    FreeBSD Audio Driver (newpcm: 64bit 2009061500/amd64)
    Installed devices:
    pcm0: at io 0x2040 irq 16 kld snd_es137x [MPSAFE] (2p:1v/1r:1v channels duplex default)
  3. Notice on the last line after kld there is a snd_. This is you sound card kernel module.

Step 2 - Enable the kernel module for your sound card

  1. Configure your the kernel module of your sound card to load at boot by adding it to the /boot/loader.conf as follows.

    FBSD# echo 'snd_es137x_load="YES"' >> /boot/loader.conf

    (Of course when you run the command, replace "es137x_" with the letters you see in the output for your sound card.)
    Note: If you look at the /boot/default/loader.conf you can find information on proper syntax exactly for your module and other modules.

Your sound card should now be working.