Hardware Configuration, Audio/Video

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Information on audio and video configuration of hardware.


Audio Selection

To check the information on which sound output is used type:

cat /dev/sndstat

Example of command to choose the soundcard, that can also be inserted into /etc/sysctl.conf:

sysctl hw.snd.default_unit=0

Radeon HDMI audio out

Partially supported Radeon video cards, linked to in the section "GPU Hardware" below, usually don't support HDMI audio out. Other Radeon cards require extra configuration.

To do this, edit the line "int radeon_audio" in /usr/src/sys/dev/drm2/radeon/radeon_drv.c to:

int radeon_audio=1

After this, you may rebuild the modules only or whole kernel as typical:

/usr/src/sys/modules/make clean; make; make install

See the previous section for selecting HDMI audio out.

  • Note: Enabling audio on HDMI may alter the tv setting. Nothing is wrong with the software implementation, just adjust the resolution or scan settings on the tv.

GPU Hardware

Here is a list of FreeBSD supported video cards, . There is also hardware compatibility information at FreeBSD's "Hardware Notes" pages under As of this writting, select Intel, Nvidia and Radeon cards work with FreeBSD. Check for the latest compatibility information before purchasing a card.


Many Radeon cards are compatible with FreeBSD. As of this writing, Radeon cards generally only work when the modules are auto-loaded: loading the modules won't work by loading it through /boot/loader.conf nor compiling it into the kernel configuration file. Not all outputs or functions may work on partially supported video cards.


Nvidia cards haven't always been compatible with FreeBSD, but recently they are and have video card support.

Multiple Monitors

Use the program xrandr to be able to use and configure multiple monitors. With this program, a basic video card can use both of it's HDMI and DVI outputs for dual configured monitors.

Example of command line that can be used in the file .xinitrc:

xrandr --output DVI-0 --right-of HDMI-0

To see the obsolete way of configuring dual monitors for Nvidia cards, see Dual Screen

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