I think some releases of Raspbian handle audio differently than the previous version. If the use of ALSA or Pulse Audio (or some other software) has changed with Raspbian releases, what do I need to learn that would let me find the answer on my own? I don't like the idea of annoying the community by posting my ignorant questions every time a new version of Raspbian is released.

  • Not an answer, but generally speaking it is easiest to familiarize yourself with the various options and learn to identify which is installed on the systems you use instead of trying to follow decisions on what is packaged for release and for what particular configuration, or you are lucky enough that it is something that is reported prominently in release change logs. Note that nothing prevents you, as the user, from overriding the decision made by os maintainer. Unfortunately the audio stack by its nature is quite convoluted and difficult to follow even for linux regulars.
    – crasic
    Commented Jan 4, 2019 at 4:39
  • @crasic You said, "...familiarize yourself with the various options..." What options do you mean, and where can II learn about them? "...learn to identify which is installed..." How do I tell what's installed? "...on the systems you use..." By system, do you mean Raspbian? I'm new and quite shaky with LINUX, so this part is over my head: "...follow decis----rticular configuration..."" I don't think I was following any decisions. And as for, "Note that nothing prevents you, as the user, from overriding the decision made by os maintainer." What prevents me from "overriding" is: no skills! Commented Jan 5, 2019 at 2:31

1 Answer 1


The first step to find what has changed on a new Raspbian version is to look at the release notes. You will find also a link to it on every image on the download site of Raspbian. For example a quick search on the release_notes.txt with keyword alsa give me some changes mostly used with bluetooth.

  • I've gotten in the habit of never reading release notes because I've never had any of the problems being fixed or really any idea of what is being said! So your suggestion was helpful in finding the change in audio talked about in the quesfion (2017-08-16) I think mentioning the release notes in question was misleading because "...the use of ALSA or Pulse Audio..." was meant only to reference the way "..Raspbian handle audio differently..." Like, how are these used by the OS, is there a start up or config file I can look at or a way to examine how the OS prosesses audio? Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 20:13
  • A usable log is the journal. it collects nearly all logging in one database. You can look at the latest entries with journalctl -b -e or extended journalctl -b -xe.
    – Ingo
    Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 20:41

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