FireFly 808

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i'd like to report that i just connected my new phonic firefly 808 to my laptop, fired up qjackctl and got the device working within seconds!

ffado version: from svn trunk
jack version: 0.112.0

Hello i have ubuntu studio and i dont know how this soundcart gets to run.
Can you help me, please?

does the phonic 808 work on ubuntu?

Here are a few notes to help Ubuntu users of the Phonic Firefly 808 Universal, all based on my recent experience getting it working on my own systems.

- First of all, don't bother trying to get the 808U to work with USB, as there are no Linux drivers for the USB audio interface on it as of yet.

- It WILL work with FFADO, however FFADO Mixer will not work. The mixer will dump lots of errors if you try to use it, so it can be a bit deceiving. It will work through jack, so you can run any jack-enabled mixer to adjust levels. I assume this means that the internal mixing functions of the 808U can't be modified from Linux at this point (e.g. you need Windows/Mac to actually change the crossfaders inside the unit).

- There are a few things you need to tweak on the newer versions of Ubuntu. Starting with version 10.04 (?) there is a new version of the firewire stack in the kernel. Apparently it is still a bit "bleeding edge" and doesn't yet work with this device. Versions 10.xx of Ubuntu also ship with the legacy firewire stack, so its easy to switch out if you can follow instructions (notes on this below). NOTE however, this legacy firewire stack has been deprecated/eliminated beginning with Ubuntu 11.04. All is not lost however - if you've upgraded from 10.xx, you probably have an older kernel laying around to boot from which contains the legacy drivers. For instance, booting Ubuntu 11.04 using a 10.10 kernel, such as 2.6.35-28 will allow you to get it working.

- From my experience, the versions of FFADO that ship with Ubuntu 10.xx will NOT work with the device. If you're using a pre 11.xx version of Ubuntu Studio, you should consider installing the latest version of FFADO from source, grabbing the package from 11.xx (I didn't try that, but it should work as long as the package depenencies didn't change too much). You might also check for an Ubuntu development PPA of FFADO (again, just a suggestion, I haven't tried it).

The only Ubuntu system of mine that I was able to get the device functioning on is a 10.10 system upgraded to 11.04, running a 10.10 kernel (2.6.35-28). If you follow the guidelines above you likely can get it working on nearly any system. The key is the newest FFADO version possible + the legacy kernel firewire drivers.

Visit this Ubuntu firewire page for the basics... mainly paying attention to the section at the bottom titled "Driver Confusion: FireWire stacks explained":

The steps I took to get it working:
1. Check which version of the firewire stack you're running:

grep 'firewire\|1394' /proc/interrupts

2. If you're running the new, switch it to the old:

sudo modprobe -r firewire-ohci
sudo modprobe ohci1394
sudo modprobe raw1394

(and if you need them for firewire video:)

sudo modprobe dv1394
sudo modprobe video1394

3. Run jack using the firewire driver. I tried it initially without any buffer options and got very distorted playback. The following is a good starting point that you can tweak depending on your needs/performance. If it works, you can decrease the -p and the -n numbers until you get distortion, then back off a bit. Also, you can change -r to the bitrate you want.

/usr/bin/jackd -T -ndefault -p 1024 -T -d firewire -n 3 -r 48000 &

4. Run your jack-enabled application and route the audio to/from the appropriate outputs/inputs to test it.

If everything is working well, save your settings to the kernel module config:

1. Edit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-firewire.conf, commenting out the blacklist entries for ohci1394, sbp2, dv1394, raw1394 and video1394. Uncomment the blacklist entries for firewire-ohci and firewire-sbp2. (For newbies, commenting is done by placing a # at the start of the line, and simply deactivates that line.)

2. Rebuild your init ramdisk (not as scary as it sounds):

sudo update-initramfs -k all -u

Now on subsequent boots, the legacy firewire drivers should load.

Thanks to Phonic ( for this great piece of equipment, and for their Knowledgebase mention that their products work on Linux! And of course, great job FFADO development team! Keep up the good work!

Can you say is it DICE-based or FreeBOB device?

Sorry, I don't know off-hand.