Building OSSv4 from source

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Building the OSS sound system from source

Requirements to build the source code

  • OS: Linux 2.6+, Solaris v10+, FreeBSD 6+, UnixWare7
  • OS system headers, development libraries
  • Compiler: GCC, Sun Studio 10+, UnixWare C Compiler
  • Tools: GNU gawk - (Solaris versions at: (used for creating man pages)
  • Graphics Libraries: Runtime libraries and header files for GTK1 or for GTK2 (used by ossxmix)

Building the source

Obtain the latest stable source tarball for the OSS package.

OSS Stable Releases

OSS Current Testing Release

Make the source directory, current

cd /usr/src

Extract the source tarball

bunzip2 -c ~/oss-v4.0-build*-src-gpl.tar.bz2 | tar xvf -

Create a build directory, and make it current

mkdir ~/oss
cd ~/oss

Do not use a directory which is a subdirectory of the extracted source - the configure script will fail.

Run the configure script

Note that the configure script must be invoked using a full pathname. An error will occur during build, if a relative pathname is used


Run make build

 make build

Installing the OSS kernel modules

The kernel modules are build during a separate phase of the installation. It is necessary to become root to build the kernel modules:

 su root
 make install

This will create the appropriate kernel modules, and the Open Sound System tools.

Installation is now complete.

Testing the Open Sound System

To test the Open Sound System:


Errors during build

Error: Cannot open: No such file or directory

This error can occur when tar tries to extract to /usr/src but doesn't have write permissions.

bunzip2 -c /tmp/oss-v4.1-build*-src-gpl.tar.bz2 | tar xvf -
tar: oss-v4.1-build080509-src-gpl/RELNOTES.txt: Cannot open: No such file or directory 
tar: Error exit delayed from previous errors


Use a directory which you have write permissions to, or change to root (su/sudo), or change /usr/src permissions to allow writing.

Error: Too many levels of symbolic links

This error may occur when the configure script is being run within a subdirectory of the project directory:

# This may produce an error
cd ~/oss-v4.1-build*-src-gpl
mkdir build
cd build

This produces an error:

../build/cmd/.config: Too many levels of symbolic links


Use a build directory outside of the current project directory:

cd ~/
mkdir oss
cd oss

Error: No such file or directory

The configure script must be invoked using a full pathname. This error occurs, if a relative pathname is used.

Scanning .
Scanning ./cmd
Scanning ./cmd/ossdevlinks
./cmd/ossdevlinks/ossdevlinks.c: No such file or directory


Invoke the configure script with a full pathname.

Error: undefined reference to `oss_strcmp'

ossdevlinks.c:(.text+0x21c): undefined reference to `oss_strcmp'


You probably have had CFLAGS, OSFLAGS or LIBRARIES set in the environment before running configure. The best option is to unset them all and not to try to pass manual flags via configure - it's unlikely any flags will provide any performance gain at all, and far more likely they'll make the compilation fail somewhere.

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