Creative X-Fi 5.1 on Ubuntu Hardy
I am ... still trying to get the creative x-fi 5.1 working satisfactorily. I have tried the OSS drivers, which would not suit my purpose, I need alsa support, so am now compiling a kernel as per the info here http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=4823915&postcount=675 for installing the open source creative (beta and apparently buggy) 'official' drivers. Comments if you got it working somehow appreciated.
UPDATE (08-25-2008): It seems that I was remiss in researching this... To recap, OSS drivers will not load, complaining that no recognized device could be found, I assume the x-fi 5.1 has a different USB ID. Compiling a new kernel and attempting to install the 'beta' creative drivers also failed, since it is looking for the device to load by doing lspci in their install script, when it is a USB device?!? Anyways, to make a long story short, and this is a good one, it seems that ALSA already included support (not sure how full that support is yet) into the kernel being used in Hardy already! So, sound actually works OOTB, with caveats. I cannot so far control volume (little issue hehe), and I cannot control it at all through alsamixer since it cannot find mixer elements for it.
UPDATE2 (08-25-2008): It seems this device will not work through USB1.1, I get messages about not enough bandwidth in dmesg thrown by alsa. It sucks because everything else was working apparently, but jackd cannot initiate the alsa driver (I am assuming it is because the device is duplexed, with mic and line in, but the bandwidth available on the USB is not sufficient for duplex operation). I attempted to force lower sample rates and toyed with modprobe options to no avail. Looks like this box will be traded for something a little newer.
Update3 (02-25-2009): Mandar has written me to say "I purchased the USB X-Fi few weeks back. Its working well with ALSA. Have a look here http://mndar.phpnet.us/usbxfi/ "