SALSA Back In Development As A Small ALSA Library For Linux Systems

Written by Michael Larabel in Multimedia on 15 October 2021 at 06:03 AM EDT. 21 Comments
Linux sound subsystem maintainer Takashi Iwai of SUSE is back to hacking on SALSA, the "small ALSA" library that he started a decade ago but hadn't seen a new release in six years or any code activity for the past four years... until this week.

SALSA is a lightweight ALSA (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture) library intended for embedded-type systems. The SALSA documentation sums it up as:
SALSA-Lib is a small, light-weight, hot and spicy version of the ALSA library, mainly for embedded systems with limited resources. The library is designed to be source-level compatible with ALSA library API for limited contents. Most of function calls are inlined, and accesses directly to the hardware via system calls. Some components like ALSA sequencer aren't supported, and most of all, the alsa-lib plugins and configurations are completely dropped. Thus, neither dmix nor format conversion is available with SALSA-lib.

After the multi-year hiatus, Takashi pushed out a number of new patches into SALSA this week and tagged v0.2. SALSA v0.2 is the first update since SALSA v0.1.6 back in 2015 and the last time there had been any major activity to the project.

With this week's SALSA update, it should be compatible with ALSA at least up to version 1.2.5 compared to ALSA 1.0.28 was previously exposed. The new batch of SALSA changes implement more functions, updates the README, and other changes.

Those interested in learning more about the renewed SALSA for lightweight/embedded ALSA-compatible audio needs can find the code hosted on
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