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Bones McCracker
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:05 pm    Post subject: ALSA PCM Plugins Reply with quote

How can one determine which ALSA PCM Plugins to enable (i.e., with USE flag ALSA_PCM_PLUGINS)?

The default (which seems to be a catch-all) is set in /usr/portage/profiles/base
Code:
# Build everything for the average user
ALSA_PCM_PLUGINS="adpcm alaw asym copy dmix dshare dsnoop empty extplug file hooks iec958 ioplug ladspa lfloat line
ar meter mulaw multi null plug rate route share shm softvol"

I found nothing relevant in the docs or forums. The ALSA wiki summarizes the functionality of most of the plugins, but does not answer my fundamental questions:
1. Will disabling those plugins I don't need reduce ALSA's resource consumption?
2. If so, is there a way to determine which of these plugins my system and applications depend upon or are making use of?

I appreciate any advice - thanks.
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Flameeyes
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm answering here so that it remains public.

ALSA_PCM_PLUGINS variable was mainly designed with embedded systems in mind (think about Nokia's Maemo platform for instance). The alsa-lib versions respecting this are under package.mask, changing it for the normal versions of alsa-lib will make _no_ difference on your system.

Yes, removing plugins will reduce the footprint of libasound, but not in a sensible way for modern non-embedded systems, so please don't even bother to try it out unless you really want to debug the problems (that will _certainly_ appear) yourself alone.

There is little documentation about some of the plugins in profiles/desc/alsa_pcm_plugins.desc, but that is of course not much useful.

You can find my blog post regarding this particular features at http://farragut.flameeyes.is-a-geek.org/articles/2006/12/13/minimising-alsa-lib .

Please note that after my blog post, i changed my own ALSA_PCM_PLUGINS variable to ALSA_PCM_PLUGINS="iec958 plug ioplug hooks empty route" to work with a few more things; also remember that I know how to debug the problems myself, and what i was looking for was to reduce the size of the debug information (which is an issue to me).
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Bones McCracker
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! :)

I hope I didn't simply alert people to yet another way to break their system.
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Atzeni
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flameeyes wrote:

Yes, removing plugins will reduce the footprint of libasound, but not in a sensible way for modern non-embedded systems, so please don't even bother to try it out unless you really want to debug the problems (that will _certainly_ appear) yourself alone.


If you are 100% sure then this is maybe something to write in the wiki
The guide there suggests to do the opposite, i.e. to set ALSA_PCM_PLUGINS empty as a starting point.
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Bones McCracker
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Atzeni wrote:
Flameeyes wrote:

Yes, removing plugins will reduce the footprint of libasound, but not in a sensible way for modern non-embedded systems, so please don't even bother to try it out unless you really want to debug the problems (that will _certainly_ appear) yourself alone.


If you are 100% sure then this is maybe something to write in the wiki
The guide there suggests to do the opposite, i.e. to set ALSA_PCM_PLUGINS empty as a starting point.


Go for it.
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