Issues and no idea how to begin addressing them


I’m using Trident, downloaded 2 days ago.

The first time I booted there was no audio (I have an old Soundblaster 5.1 card). Despite selecting what I thought was the correct option in the drop down menu, the audio system did not respond, then the entire machine locked solid. On next boot the audio behaved as expected.
An hour or so later and I had Firefox open with three youtube tabs open, 2 playing audio and one with search results. Again, pretty much as soon as the second YT tab opened, the audio system got jittery, then stopped and again, the entire machine was locked solid. This has happened a couple of times since. Firefox/youtube seems to be a common denominator.
I have no idea where to hunt for possible information on what’s happening. I can’t find any Error logs in /var/log. I’m not sure if its Firefox, or the audio system itself. On the same equipment on Linux I can have 4 or 5 youtube tabs open all playing at the same time (I suffer with tinnitus and layering white noise washes and thunderstorm sounds makes it disappear from the background, which is a blessed relief).
Where might I begin to track this naughtiness down?

Many thanks in advance for any pointers - I’m happy to read and try to learn if you’re happy to help this noob over the hurdles.


So you are using a “Pre-Release” version of Trident, right?

  1. Does your computer meet the minimum system requirements for Trident?

  2. Have you tried upgrading to the Trident 18.12 release?

  3. Does your system freeze only when you are using the audio system but otherwise functions fine if you are not using audio?

  4. Does your system freeze if you try to use audio-only (i.e. not using Firefox) such as playing a CD or an MP3?

  5. If your system freezes when playing audio-only, will removing your Soundblaster card improve the situation?

  6. Does your GPU/Video Adapter have a sound chip on it that you can use instead?

  7. If not #6 above, do you have a different sound card you can use to test?


I was using the pre-release version, but also tried the most recent release. The most recent release stayed up and running for 5-6 hours before falling over in the same manner.

  1. Yes. 256GB Samsung EVO SSD, 4GB RAM, quad core Xeon processor (It’s a Dell Precision T5500).
  2. see above
    3)I suffer with tinnitus. If the computer is on, it’s playing some sort of white noise/thunderstorm type sound file from youtbe.
  3. Not tried this yet. It’s sort of not appropriate, see above.
  4. This I have not tried as yet. The thought had occurred to me. I’ve just come from several years of primarily using Macs and I miss the sound quality very much. In previous experiences with Linux, the SB card had a better sound quality than any onboard chip.
  5. Not as far as I know. It’s an NVIDIA 9500GT - dual DVI out and one HDMI. The monitor in use does not have a headphone socket to pipe the audio to the amplifier.
  6. The built in to the motherboard one could be tested.

I shall go forth and experiment. Thanks for taking the time to reply.


Following up since we exchanged posts . . .

  1. I am wondering whether the SoundBlaster is too old. That is why I was inquiring whether your video card had a sound chip. Your Nvidia 9800 GT is a good card and I believe it also includes a sound chip. If it does, the audio signal (and video signal) from the Nvidia 9800 GT is transferred to your monitor with an HDMI cable.

  2. Another thing I wonder about is whether your SB 5.1 was intended for 32-bit operating systems? Trident is a 64-bit system, but does run some 32-bit hardware. Just wondering whether that is something to check out.

  3. You stated that your motherboard contains a sound chip. It is enabled and disabled in the BIOS. If you are not using the built-in sound chip, you must disable it in the BIOS in order to cause no interference with an add-in sound card. If you are using the motherboard sound chip, you must remove the SB 5.1 and then enable the motherboard sound in the BIOS.

  4. Another thing to check is to make sure you have the correct driver for your sound card. I reviewed the FreeBSD 12-RELEASE Hardware Notes (found @ I could not find any notes on FreeBSD 13 (which is what Trident is based on). The Hardware notes state the following with respect to SoundBlaster cards (You will have to figure out which SoundBlaster name in the notes matches up with “SoundBlaster 5.1.”):

============= Begin Quote ==================
The [snd_emu10k1(4)] driver supports the following sound cards (note the (4) refers to which part of the FreeBSD “man” pages (instructions for specific commands, how to setup devices, etc.) :

  • Creative SoundBlaster Live! (EMU10K1 Chipset)
  • Creative SoundBlaster Audigy (EMU10K2 Chipset)
  • Creative SoundBlaster Audigy 2 (EMU10K2 Chipset)
  • Creative SoundBlaster Audigy 2 (EMU10K3 Chipset)

The [snd_emu10kx(4)] supports the following sound cards:

  • Creative Sound Blaster Live! (EMU10K1 Chipset). Both PCM and MIDI interfaces are available.
  • Creative Sound Blaster Audigy (CA0100 and CA0101 Chipset). PCM and two MIDI interfaces available.
  • Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 and Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 4 (CA0102 Chipset). PCM support is limited to 48kHz/16 bit stereo (192kHz/24 bit part of this chipset is not supported).
  • Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Value (CA0108 Chipset). PCM support is limited to 48kHz/16 bit stereo (192kHz/24 bit part of this chipset is not supported). There is no MIDI support for this card.

The [snd_emu10kx(4)] driver does not support the following sound cards (although they have names similar to some supported ones):

  • Creative Sound Blaster Live! 24-Bit, identified by FreeBSD as
  • Creative Sound Blaster Audigy LS / ES, identified by FreeBSD as
  • All other Creative sound cards with -DAT chipsets.
  • All Creative X-Fi series sound cards.

============= End Quote ==================

  1. You should also review the FreeBSD Handbook @ Section 7.2. that is titled “Setting Up the Sound Card” You can access the Handbook here:
    Then you can navigate through the Table of Contents to Section 7.2

  2. Can your sound quality be adjusted by tweaking its settings to ensure that you have a high quality output? Newer computers, including Macs, use “high definition audio” which is capable of sampling resolutions from 8 to 32 bits and sampling rates of up to 192 kHz. I do not know if an SB-5.1 can meet those specs. I have read that Mac’s are set at 44khz, 16 bit stereo output.

In conclusion, troubleshooting is aided by reference to Discourse like you have done, but it is also aided by reference to the FreeBSD manuals – the FreeBSD Handbook and the FreeBSD Hardware Notes – both linked above. (Trident is based on FreeBSD) The Handbook often identifies the commands to perform troubleshooting, the configuration files on your system to edit, and the changes that are made to the commands in the files.


That is a most excellent response. Thankyou.
I got delayed after watching a video on youtube showing the just released “Archman JWM edition” (arch linux with the Joe Wing window manager (?)). That took up my spare drive while I played - very fast. A lovely desktop experience. Also, the 4.20 linux kernel now runs my QHD monitor at the correct 25601440 resolution, which previously had not occurred since it was plugged into a Mac mini.
I looked in the BIOS and found that the onboard sound was enabled, so I’ve disabled it. I’ll reinstalll and work my way though your post.