Command explanations <kernel-version> should be replaced with your kernel version, including any EXTRAVERSION such as -ac1 or -ac2. If you are using a normal kernel tarball, it will simply be the standard number (such as 2.4.19). --with-sequencer=yes : This tells the alsa-driver package to build the sequencer modules for whichever soundcards you are building for. Most people want them so you will usually want to leave it set to yes. --with-oss=yes : This tells the package to build the OSS/Free emulation modules. Again, most people want this so it's probably best to stick with yes. --with-isapnp=no : Most sound cards these days are PCI and so ISA Plug and Play support isn't needed. If you are using an ISA soundcard, it's best to say yes here. --with-cards=... : You can tell the script just to build the drivers for your particular sound card here. For full information on which drivers are available see ./configure --help. If you aren't sure which chipset your soundcard uses, have a look in CARDS-STATUS in the alsa-driver source tree. If you want to build all drivers (for some reason) then simply leave out the --with-cards statement entirely.