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This article describes the setup of a playing sound with JACK (JACK Audio Connection Kit).

JACK is a sound server where applications like mpv can connect to to play their sound.


JACK uses ALSA for accessing the sound card hardware, be sure ALSA is working.


First, emerge the sound server itself.

root #emerge --ask media-sound/jack2

USE flags for media-sound/jack2 Jackdmp jack implemention for multi-processor machine

classic Enable building of jackd
ieee1394 Enable FireWire/iLink IEEE1394 support (dv, camera, ...)
opus Enable Opus audio codec support
pam Add basic realtime configuration via sys-auth/realtime-base
readline Enable support for libreadline, a GNU line-editing library that almost everyone wants
sndfile Add support for libsndfile

The global USE flag jack enables support for JACK in other packages, so they can submit sound to a JACK server:

root #euse -E jack

The euse command is part of app-portage/gentoolkit.

After setting this be sure to update the system so the changes take effect:

root #emerge --ask --changed-use --deep @world


Sound Server

A good JACK configuration and control software is media-sound/cadence.

root #emerge --ask media-sound/cadence


JACK can route sound which was sent to other sound systems like PulseAudio and ALSA through itself.