Rock Pi4B, Audio not working

I have been trying to get my New Rock Pi working with ffmpeg now for a week without success. I first tried Armbian. After compiling ffmpeg and running it, ffmpeg didn’t find the Alsa library and with libpulse installed and enabled, It didn’t find the Rock’s hardware, CARD=rockchipes8316c or CARD=0,DEV=0. In further checking, I find that audio is not working at all, HDMI or on the audio jack, in or out of Armbian. I finally got tired messing with Armbian deficiencies and installed Ubuntu Server on a new microSD card.

I booted the Rock Pi4 with Ubuntu Server and found the same problem, No audio on any input or output devices. I started searching through Ubuntu’s configuration and found almost no setup or configuration files for the audio system. The few I did find were empty files.

Right now, I am beginning to think that the audio chip inside my Rock Pi4 is bad and therefor the OS nstall cicn’t install the necessary audio driver but that cannot be because aplay -L does find the device listed and I don’t think that a defective rock audio chip would keep the HDMI driver from working.

Could I just have a bad Rock Pi4b board or Is it because there is no driver available for this Rock chip?

Right now, I am loading in the gnu desktop to try to get audio working with the graphic config tools. It is of little use to Google for answers for command line solutions since most all posted solutions start with clicking on the desktop.

Any pointing in the right direction would be very helpful.


The main desktop image is

I would try that first.

I installed the xubuntu desktop and that installed the full audio system with it along with the whole xubuntu desktop package that I do not need. I still had to install a whole bunch of libraries that weren’t included just to get libgnutls up and running. I now have a fully bloated desktop package that I don’t need just to get a headless version of ubuntu server working properly. I am, however, glad that installing the full desktop added the audio services that I needed so that I don’t have to move on searching for an OS package that I can use for streaming. If anyone has a suggestion as to a more appropriate OS that runs on the Rock Pi that runs trim and headless and is more suited for streaming, I am sill keeping my eye out for other possibilities.

Ffmpeg now compiles properly with gnutls and now I can create a functioning stream to Facebook. The fact that ffmpeg compiled okay using “plughw:CARD=rockchipes8316c” is a good sign that the audio is all there and working, but as of yet, I haven’t able to get any audio in or out of the system through the 4 circuit audio jack. Am I missing something or is there anything that I need to do to activate the audio jack?

After messing with xubuntu, I installed the official Debian image for the Rock Pi and wala! I now have audio playing back through the RK3399’s DAC to headphones. I still have a problem that the audio-in is still not working. I have summarized that my issue is caused by 2 problems, one is that my Rock Pi4B’s analog audio-in is faulty so I’ll have to use a USB audio adapter. The other reason is that the 3rd party builds for the Rock are deficient or buggy.

I do have a problem with the official Debian for the Rock release.There is a lot of utility missing in it but hopefully I may be able to at least get it to work for what I need it for.

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You’re saying that other distros - like xubuntu desktop cannot even detect the Rockpi4 audio hardware. But then the ‘official Debian image for the Rock Pi’ does and the audio suddenly works fully ??


DietPi is a lightweight Debian. And it is not detecting the audio hardware on the RockPi4 either. Maybe there’s some driver in the Debian image that can be added from Debian into DietPi…

IDK :man_shrugging:

Diepti is a script that replaces some base system services that were designed by professionals with their amateur versions (nobody actually verified) in order to hide them and fake lightweight system. Cron is replaced / renamed with dietpi-cron, rc.local with dietpi-startup, …
tl;dr; = proprietary scripts that turns Debian / Armbian / someones work into fake lightweight system. They even alter htop to con you that it looks lighter and compare their images with server images of other systems, not with their core / minimal variants … to make them look better. Once you start installation of whatever, applications dependencies anyway installs all the crap they suppose to remove …

Their development and support means they have invested < 5 minutes into downloading image from someone following by automated transition into “diet” image (Probably they took this one from Armbian. If they didn’t credit, its a theft, which would again be nothing unusual for them). All their development is concentrated into copy from someone script, proprietary and useless system script rename and application installer. Nothing related to Rockpi or single board computers.

Hi @igorp your opinions on DietPi are noted.

Do you have any thoughts/comments on getting the Rockpi4 audio hardware detected ? Seems to be same problem in: Armbian, Xubuntu and Dietpi - and possibly other distros also .

Once problem is solved in Armbian, its also solved in Dietpi. Never the other way around. Since you support Dietpi, nothing can be done. Support = cover the time developers needs to fix the problem they don’t have. You have a problem.

In this case the problem was reported - in Armbian - 5 months ago… And nothing has been done about it, by the Armbian devs, in that time. They have not even responded acknowledging the problem report.

It was reported as a problem in DietPi - only yesterday . And they actually responded - within a couple hours - confirming it to be a problem (check details on github ). But neither distro has a solution. Time will tell which is more responsive.

So the whole - net summary - of your posts are:

  1. You have an unexplained, and irrelevant, grudge against DietPi that I care very little about.
  2. You have no solution, no advice on progressing towards a solution, and nothing constructive to say on the actual topic - other than agreeing that I have a problem. .

Have a nice day @igorp :beer::sunglasses:

Dietpi is waiting that bug is fixed. They never fixed a single bug on hardware level. They are just a crooks and the reason why Armbian developers has no will to fix a bug in first place. Sales (Dietpi) will happily inform you that bug was fixed … look how happy they made you for doing exactly nothing. Oh, confirming that the bug exists …

Hey @igorp if you want to keep dumping on Dietpi, please go ahead - do whatever you like… BUT please start a NEW topic, about DietPi, and do it there. I have zero interest in that. The actual topic in these posts - is “RockPi4B, Audio not working”.

It was reported as a problem for xubuntu 3 years ago - no news from them about having done anything about it either. I guess you want to dump on them also ?

Anyway - the good news - on the actual topic, is that apparently, as reported by @ThomasJ - that the problem did not exist in the Debian image. So maybe there is some hope for a solution…:pray:t2:.

I also have zero interest to deal with them, but as you are coming from there, its always a good opportunity to speak up. If someone is trying to insult my intellect, I will gladly share my findings. That’s all.

Perhaps you start to understand how open source development works? Sometimes bugs are filed for 10 years before someone nail it down. Nothing unusual. You (and dietpi) have absolutely no rights to press on developers to fix bugs on their expense - what you are asking can be a week of work. Will you work a week for some developer perhaps in exchange?

Research and development is hard work. Its already a problem because they are not telling you that. They are telling between the lines that they are the good guys and developers are crooks for not fixings problems …

If its hard work involved, amateurs won’t do it …

“debian” means nothing, kernel define hw functions.

For those researching their own “Audio on RockPi4” problems:

Solved - music playing now - DietPi and RockPi4 :sunglasses::beer::musical_keyboard::musical_note:
Details here :

The first part of the solution was upgrading kernel from 5.15.76 to 5.15.80.
After that - the Analog sound hardware in RockPi4 was detected.
The second part - was mostly usage related - understanding Alsamixer.

Which comes from Armbian