Hardware Configuration, Audio/Video

From FreeBSDwiki
Revision as of 12:58, 5 May 2016 by Sidetone (Talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search

Information on audio and video configuration of hardware.


Audio Selection

See Sound card for initial set up. To check the information on which sound output is used, type:

% cat /dev/sndstat

Example of command to choose the soundcard:

sysctl hw.snd.default_unit=0

To make the selection permanent, insert into /etc/sysctl.conf:


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/drm2/make clean; make; make install

See the previous section for selecting HDMI audio out, and reboot. Xorg should automatically load the Radeon driver for this to work. If working from a console, add kldlist="radeonkms" to /etc/rc.conf. You can see the loaded Radeon drivers by typing kldstat.

  • Note: Enabling audio on HDMI alters the tv zoom setting. Toggle the 'overscan' function on the remote to adjust it properly. If the tv doesn't have overscan, you may have to use analog audio.

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. Different brands of video cards generally don't work well together, but with newer software or implementation of this software, this may change.


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.


Many Intel video cards work for FreeBSD 9.1 and later.

For status on the currently unsupported Haswell (Xeon E3 V3 and i[357]-4xxx processors) cards, see


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, as in different outputs for each monitor.

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

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

Using the gui x11/arandr is another option.

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


  • FreeBSD related forums and documentation
Personal tools