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[SOLVED] Skype takes a LONG time to start (alsa problem)
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Fran
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Joined: 29 Feb 2004
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Location: Coruña (Spain)

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:29 pm    Post subject: [SOLVED] Skype takes a LONG time to start (alsa problem) Reply with quote

When I start skype, it takes a long time to login. Also when I try to start a conversation with someone. Meanwhile, in the terminal, I see a ton of messages like these:

Code:
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib control.c:953:(snd_ctl_open_noupdate) Invalid CTL front:CARD=SB
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib control.c:953:(snd_ctl_open_noupdate) Invalid CTL surround40:CARD=HD
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib conf.c:4692:(snd_config_expand) Unknown parameters CARD=HD
ALSA lib control.c:953:(snd_ctl_open_noupdate) Invalid CTL sysdefault:CARD=HD
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave
ALSA lib pcm_dmix.c:1018:(snd_pcm_dmix_open) unable to open slave

In the end it connects, and works more or less fine (sometimes I get no sound, but that fixes itself after a restart). This only happens in my desktop, where I have an USB camera with integrated microphone. I can see the camera light flicker while skype is looking for (?) sound devices. In my laptop, with only one sound card, everything works fine. No errors and Skype is fast. Is there any way to force skype not to test for sound cards? I've already told it which sound cards to use in the settings panel, to no avail.

Or, alternatively, is there any freakin' open software that allows me to video chat with someone who uses windows? Something that "simply works", preferrably. I don't have good experiences with pidgin and STUN.


Last edited by Fran on Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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FRIGN
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Joined: 12 Jan 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Fran,

What should resolve this issue is adding
Code:
pcm.!default {
type hw
card 1
}

ctl.!default {
type hw
card 1
}

to your .asoundrc.
Edit it accordingly if it doesn't apply to your configuration and work at first.

cheers

FRIGN
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PaulBredbury
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Skype takes a LONG time to start (alsa problem, it seems Reply with quote

Fran wrote:
Is there any way to force skype not to test for sound cards?

I don't think so :( It seems to iterate though all ALSA PCMs, bizarrely.

Quote:
open software that allows me to video chat

Maybe try ekiga - has a recent version 4.
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Fran
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Location: Coruña (Spain)

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Skype takes a LONG time to start (alsa problem, it seems Reply with quote

PaulBredbury wrote:
Fran wrote:
Is there any way to force skype not to test for sound cards?

I don't think so :( It seems to iterate though all ALSA PCMs, bizarrely.

Quote:
open software that allows me to video chat

Maybe try ekiga - has a recent version 4.

I've been trying it, but it's horribly buggy. With +xv, everytime I start the camera it crashes with
Code:
The program 'ekiga' received an X Window System error.
This probably reflects a bug in the program.
The error was 'BadMatch (invalid parameter attributes)'.
  (Details: serial 20962 error_code 8 request_code 70 minor_code 0)
  (Note to programmers: normally, X errors are reported asynchronously;
   that is, you will receive the error a while after causing it.
   To debug your program, run it with the --sync command line
   option to change this behavior. You can then get a meaningful
   backtrace from your debugger if you break on the gdk_x_error() function.)
Inconsistency detected by ld.so: dl-close.c: 758: _dl_close: Assertion `map->l_init_called' failed!

With -xv I can start the camera and see myself (I even managed to do an echo test) but if I try to change the volume I get that error again. It has also crashed several times randomly while doing other tasks. Seriously, it's the crappiest piece of software I've ever tried.


FRIGN:
What should resolve this issue is adding

Hm, don't think so. After posting here I found this: https://jira.skype.com/browse/SCL-810
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PaulBredbury
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ekiga 4.0.1 is out - fixes crashes.
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Fran
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PaulBredbury wrote:
ekiga 4.0.1 is out - fixes crashes.

Made an ebuild, tried it, still crashes with one in every three actions.


Now I'm searching for a way to disable PCM devices and leave only one for capture and one for playback. That way skype wouldn't need so much time to start. But I can't find a way to *remove* PCM devices (without removing them from alsa.conf).

At least I've discovered that selecting some devices in skype settings instead of leaving them as "default" makes everything a bit faster (it seems to test for fewer devices).
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Fran
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I ended up commenting these two lines in /usr/share/alsa/alsa.conf
Code:
pcm.default cards.pcm.default
pcm.sysdefault cards.pcm.default

(I don't care about losing the "default" pcm, since I have skype in a 32bit chroot that I use just for skype/wine/android). Now skype spits a bunch of
Code:
ALSA lib pcm.c:2217:(snd_pcm_open_noupdate) Unknown PCM default

but it's fast and I get sound. Better than nothing, I suppose.

(edit) Better solution
Code:
--- /usr/share/alsa/alsa.conf   2013-03-01 17:28:12.000000000 +0100
+++ /mnt/gentoo32/usr/share/alsa/alsa.conf   2013-03-03 16:05:01.686054312 +0100
@@ -125,8 +125,8 @@
 # redirect to load-on-demand extended pcm definitions
 pcm.cards cards.pcm
 
-pcm.default cards.pcm.default
-pcm.sysdefault cards.pcm.default
+pcm.default cards.pcm.front
+pcm.sysdefault cards.pcm.front
 pcm.front cards.pcm.front
 pcm.rear cards.pcm.rear
 pcm.center_lfe cards.pcm.center_lfe

Now skype doesn't spit error messages, starts fast and sound works fine! :D
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