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1. Introduction

This is the Sound Blaster AWE HOWTO. It gives you detailed information about getting the most out of your Sound Blaster 32 or better, including Wave Table synthesis. This document covers all SB cards up from the SB 32.

The Sound Blaster series is well-known in the DOS and Windows community, and a lot of Linux users want to use this sound card under Linux as well. Unfortunately, Creative Labs only provides a sound driver for Windows and DOS, so it is not trivial to install and use a SB card under Linux. This document tries to describe how one can use the features of the SB AWE series under a Linux environment.

1.1 Acknowledgments

This documents contains information I got from the AWE Driver FAQ and the ISA PnP FAQ. See section Sources for author and location of this documents. Thanks to the authors, the SB AWE support is possible.

A lot of essential work was done by Hannu Savolainen, who developed the sound driver that comes with the Linux kernel. Thank you!

I want to thank Nicola Bernardelli for testing the AWE64 stuff. Without him, many errors would have remained undetected.

Thanks to the SGML Tools package, this HOWTO is available in several formats, all generated from a common source file.

1.2 Revision History

Version 1.0

first version

Version 1.1

corrected spelling (thanks Curt!), added version requirement for isapnp, now available via sunsite and lots of mirrors

Version 1.2

French version now available!, minor corrections, lots of spelling fixed (thanks to ispell)

1.3 New versions of this document

The latest version can be found on my Home Page, namely at Sound Blaster AWE HOWTO.

New versions of this document will be uploaded to various anonymous ftp sites that archive such information including

Hypertext versions of this and other Linux HOWTOs are available on many World-Wide-Web sites, including Most Linux CD-ROM distributions include the HOWTOs, often under the /usr/doc directory.

Thanks to Arnaud Launay, a French version of this document is now available! The latest version can be found via http or anonymous ftp.

If you make a translation of this document into another language, let me know and I'll include a reference to it here.

1.4 Feedback

I rely on you, the reader, to make this HOWTO useful. If you have any suggestions, corrections, or comments, please send them to me,, and I will try to incorporate them in the next revision.

i would especially welcome information about the startup procedure (boot scripts etc.) of other famous Linux distributions, e. g. Red Hat or SuSE Linux.

If you publish this document on a CD-ROM or in hardcopy form, a complimentary copy would be appreciated. Mail me for my postal address. Also consider making a donation to the Linux Documentation Project to help support free documentation for Linux. Contact the Linux HOWTO coordinator, Tim Bynum, for more information.

1.5 Distribution Policy

Copyright 1997 Marcus Brinkmann.

This HOWTO is free documentation; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This document is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but without any warranty; without even the implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You can obtain a copy of the GNU General Public License by writing to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.

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