A Year Later, X-Fi Drivers Still Horrific
After Creative Labs Duped Linux For Vista, it was just a year ago that they had released their X-Fi Linux driver. That initial driver in 2007 had only supported 64-bit Linux, wasn't targeted at newer versions of GCC, and had a whole host of other problems. This past April they then tried again at X-Fi Linux drivers and this time managed to deliver 32-bit and GCC 4.x support. Since then though no new binary drivers have appeared and a year later we remain with only a half-functioning beta driver.
This driver released back in April was certainly a step forward, but it goes without S/PDIF pass-through support, no external I/O modules support, and contains a number of bugs. To this day there are still a number of known issues including build failures, bad installations, incompatibilities with newer versions of the Linux kernel, and even the driver killing the X server. Creative Labs has yet to provide any word on when a new beta (or official) driver may appear.
The open-source outlook for the Creative X-Fi sound cards also remains bleak. We were excited when 4Front Technologies had added X-Fi support to OSS (the Open Sound System) earlier this year thanks to header files and other documentation provided by Creative. Since then though there hasn't been any major advancements. Any day now will be the release of ALSA 1.0.18 and the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture has no form of Creative X-Fi support at this time.
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