February 4, 2015

Get Open Sound System (OSS) applications and games working in Ubuntu/Kubuntu Linux


Open Sound System (OSS) is an obsolete sound system for GNU/Linux used by many old games and applications. In recent modern Linux distributions such as Ubuntu/Kubuntu 14.10 the support for OSS in the kernel can not be found. OSS can have both kernel level drivers for actual digital sound processors aka sound cards or can be user space library. OSS provides an interface for applications to make use of sound devices.

Getting OSS support in Ubuntu based distributions

Instead of rebuilding the Linux kernel with OSS support, we can easily make OSS working by just installing few packages from standard Ubuntu repository.

Open up the terminal and install the osspd and osspd-pulseaudio packages by putting the following command:

sudo apt-get install osspd osspd-pulseaudio

Finish installing packages. Now you can reboot the computer or start the service that provides OSS support by putting the following command in the terminal:

sudo service osspd start

check weather OSS service running by the following command:

sudo service osspd status

You should find  * osspd is running output in the terminal.

And finally, now check weather OSS is actually working by the following command:

cat /dev/urandom > /dev/dsp

You should hear white noise. Stop the noise by pressing Ctrl + C keys together in the terminal.

Now, you can hear sound from many old applications which require OSS for sound.