Creative Core3D Audio Linux Support

Hello, I was wondering what is the current audio support for this chip on linux? To be specific, I have an opportunity to get Gigabyte z270 Gaming 9 motherboard for a price of of mid-range MSI and ASUS motherboards in my country.  However, no audio under linux is a deal breaker.

I found some contradictory information on internet.  It looks like it's supported since 2012:

However, initial support was some sort of intel audio driver hack. To get definitive answer, my question is: can someone with Core3D audio motherboard download the latest fedora workstation ISO, boot it from USB and check is the sound and headphone output are working? This info would be probably be useful for others linux users as well.

Usually, support for audio cards in Linux is great. Creative has never been a big problem on Linux, except about 10 or so years ago when they had the first batch of their X-Fi cards. These cards contain DSP's that are usable separately in Linux, and because Linux is open source, Creative had to either make proprietary Linux drivers, which don't work because Linux - especially back in those days - didn't have one single audio subsystem, but had 4 of them, or Creative would have had to accept that users could pretty much use those DSP's in Linux like they would use UA interfaces, with a user programmable DSP. Creative went for the latter solution, and open sourced a big part of the driver code and some tools. Since then, Creative products usually have great native Linux support.

General rule for hardware compatibility is simple: if it works on a fresh install of Windows or Mac, before specific drivers have been downloaded and installed, it is probably "class compliant", and it will just work in Linux without any problems.

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Looks like core 3d audio is named as ca0132 in ALSA drivers. The same chip is used on Sound Blaster ZxR PCIx card. Judging by this list of bug reports, it seems linux support is not quite there yet:

I guess I'll have to buy motherboard with ALC codec to be on the safe side. Shame... that Gigabyte z270 Gaming 9 board looks very impressive.

I might try it tomorrow with a Sound Blaster Z, although the last time I tried with Ubuntu 14.04 it didn't work at all.

Beware though, Ubuntu is not Fedora and Fedora is not Ubuntu. Ubuntu always has more sound problems, maybe just out of spite because their system didn't really make it lol...

Oh I know, its just that Creative gave the open source community the big F U with their Core 3D based cards and it's taken a long time for the cards to work on anything other than Windows.

I just finished making a Fedora USB so I'll test in a little bit.

My sound blaster z does not work. Tested 4.0 through 4.7 kernels in Ubuntu Gnome. I'll try fedora tomorrow but I wouldn't get my hopes up.

Ok, just finished testing and I only have bad news. Out of the box(no updates) the rear stereo output and input didn't work at all, neither did the front(and the microphone jack was recognised as the headphone jack, weird). The optical output and input worked however, but it was short lived since it stopped working after re-trying the analog ports. After updating the system(just using the GUI updater), it didn't fix anything. Using the lspci command in terminal it shows the card, and the card is even recognised in the sound manager/settings, but it still doesn't work. I re-tested in Windows and the card worked fine in all scenarios.

If anybody wants me to try something specific just let me know, at the moment my PC is used for learning and "science", so I have nothing to lose.

Edit: almost forgot

Do a dmesg and look for messages relating to the card. My guess is that there will be a message that the sampling frequency could not be recognized or set. If that is the case, you can configure it manually, and the system will stop blocking the card.
It's just an idea, to start somewhere

I didn't really see anything notable about the card, do you want me to copy the dmesg output here?

nope, not necessary

you say it should be a variation of snd_hda though right?

you can see how the card configs itself by running

dmesg | grep snd

and what inputs the card declares by running

dmesg | grep sound

for instance. Those should give you about 8-10 lines each

I gave up on idea of buying a board with Core3D audio processor. It seems there's some trickery to initialize audio chip by booting into windows, and then rebooting into linux, but that's very unreliable and waaaay too much hustle for daily use. For linux audio, ALC codecs or Xonar PCIx cards are still only way to go. And external audio DAC/AMP through SPDIF or USB, of course. Thanks everyone.