Command explanations <kernel-version> should be replaced with your kernel version, including any EXTRAVERSION such as -ac1 or -aa2. If you are using a normal kernel tarball, it will simply be the standard number (such as 2.4.19). <path-to-kernel-source-tree-to-build-for> should be replaced with the directory where the kernel source tree is for the version of the kernel you wish to build for. For example, if you want to build for kernel 2.4.19, it may be /usr/src/linux-2.4.19. This is needed because the alsa drivers must be compiled against the correct version of the kernel headers. --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.