I wanted to try out audio on the Raspberry Pi, using the Raspbian OS. Here's how I got it to work.
The installer I used for Raspbian was the minimal network installer by hifi. This will use up only about 150MB of space and will not install a desktop, so you'll save a lot of resources with this approach.
After installing Raspbian, this is what I needed to do in order to get sound output.
First, login as root (default password = raspbian - change it ASAP!).
Update the package list for APT, the package installer tool of Debian:
apt-get install alsa-base
At this point I discovered that the minimal installer doesn't include the sound card module of the raspi.
Alsa's aplay is a wav file player, and with it I could check which sound devices are available:
Discard all samples (playback) or generate zero samples (capture)
... and when trying to enable the sound card module, I got an error:
libkmod: ERROR ../libkmod/libkmod.c:554 kmod_search_moddep: could not open moddep file '/lib/modules/3.10-3-rpi/modules.dep.bin'
Just in case, I installed apt-utils first and configured some packages the minimal Rasbpian installer had left unconfigured:
apt-get install apt-utils
Then to update the raspberry pi firmware and kernel!
apt-get install git-core
apt-get install rpi-update
After the update process, I checked the firmware version:
Linux pi 3.10-3-rpi #1 Debian 3.10.11-1+rpi3 (2014-01-01) armv6l GNU/Linux
Then a reboot and check the version again:
Linux pi 3.10.33+ #656 PREEMPT Fri Mar 14 18:19:28 GMT 2014 armv6l GNU/Linux
Now, modprobe will enable the sound card!
And the sound is working! You can try this out with speaker-test (ctrl-c to break):
Or you can use aplay and the sounds included in ALSA: