SBPCI Solaris Driver

This is the home page for the free PCI soundblaster driver for Solaris. It was written with zero "inside" help from Sun. We develop it on Solaris 8, but in principle you could compile the sources on anything as far back as Sol2.4, maybe.

USA site:
European site:

Solaris has had a "soundblaster" driver for a while, called "sbpro". Unfortunately, it was only for the old ISA based cards, and required a lot of hand tweaking, even if you had a "supported" card.

If you have one of the somewhat newer PCI based soundblaster cards, this new sbpci driver may work for you with a minimum of fuss. Unfortunately, the

Cards reported to work with this driver

Card nameAlternate names
Sound Blaster 16 PCICT5880 chip (Creative Labs),CT4740
Sound Blaster PCI128EN1371 chip (Ensoniq), (CT4700?),(ES1371)

Unfortunately, sometimes, there are variations even within cards of the same marketing name. So if you have a problem with a "sound blaster 16", for example, please email us with the labeling of the big chips on the card.

If your card is not listed, feel free to try out the driver anyway... as long as you dont mind potentially crashing your system!!!
(backups are your friend)
The good news is, if your card IS an official SBPCI16 or SBPCI128, the driver seems very stable.

If your card is not listed, you'll probably want to download the source code, and build the driver there. Be sure to read the README file in the distribution for possible tweaks to get it working. And if you do get it working with an unlisted card, please email back, so we can let other people know !


1.0 version

1.1 version

1.3 version

Has improved smoothness of play, for both sparc and intel, plus some bug fixes.

To install the binary version, gunzip, and then use pkgadd -d file.pkg as root.

Disclaimer: It is still possible that this driver will crash your system, even for cards listed above! But at this point, it does not seem to. If you do have a problem, please email is, and we'll try to give you a hand sorting things out. But no promises.

Disclaimer #2: I'm not sure that the 64-bit-sparc version will work at all. If you have the appropriate hardware to test it on, please email us and let us know whether it works or not.

Netscape and Flash plugin

For another semi-related sound issue: if you want to get "flash" plugins and sound working on solaris intel, check out Juergen's flash patches. (also one for GNU flash)

i810 support

For the next generation of the drivers, with a modular framework and i810 support, take a look at

Volume tip

Random tip: If you want to adjust the default volume of the audio device to max from the command line, you can use
/usr/dt/appconfig/sdtvolctl/audioctl -p -U50
This says, "Adjust the p)lay volume U)p by 50 units".


This driver was written by Juergen Keil and Philip Brown. Please email any comments to
('sbpci' is the name) at
spam is an evil thing, that makes me munge email addrs.. But my own personal address is already in spam-hell, which is why it is directly included below 8-/

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