How to view your sound card information using the terminal in Ubuntu 18.04

In this short tutorial , you will learn how to find your sound card information in a simple way in case your Ubuntu distribution cannot automatically detect it.

What is a sound card?

The sound card is a hardware device that enables your machine to play audio. In this tutorial, you will see how to get details about the sound card hardware and the sound card driver in your Ubuntu distribution.

How to find the sound card using the terminal ?

You just need to type in the command below :

cat /proc/asound/cards

To see the number of cards available, type in the command below :

ls -ld /proc/asound/cards

How to obtain the sound card manufacturer details?

In order to view some details about the manufacturer of the sound card as well as the sound card driver, you would simply need to use the lspci command as follows :

lspci -v | grep -i audio

or using alsamixer tool as shown below :

alsamixer

Which will bring out the screen below :

Read: How to fix sound issues on Ubuntu 18.04

How to check the devices which are connected to the sound card (speakers, microphone ..)?

This can be easily done using the command below :

cat /proc/asound/devices

From the above output, we can see that there is one audio playback device (Speaker) and two audio capture devices (microphones). The remaining details are information related to the sound card.

Read: How to manage sounds using PulseAudio on Ubuntu 18.04

You can also use the aplay command to get device details:

aplay –list-devices

How can I get the details of the kernel module or sound driver for my sound card?

The module related to the sound card is represented by the snd string in its name. So, if you can look up the /proc/asound/modules file or the output of the lsmod command , you will be able to find out which sound card driver is being used, as shown below :

lsmod | grep snd


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Nikolaus Oosterhof

Nikolaus has a degree in software development. He is passionate about gadgets with a screen, nostalgic for phones, a retired gamer and open source programmer. He likes also to write about macOS and Windows. design web pages and debug long programs!

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