Pseudo-random GNU/Linux FAQ Edition #1: Testing a Microphone in Fedora 22 (and Linux-based operating systems in general)

So, this seems like one of those questions a lot of people encounter at some point or another; I know I encountered it (again) recently and, having used GNOME to troubleshoot my issue prior to using KDE, I asked almighty Google and found a particularly good site:

http://linuxconfig.org/how-to-test-microphone-with-audio-linux-sound-architecture-alsa

I love discovering new /proc virtual file system resources; successfully making routine use of that resource is a clear indicator (in most cases) of familiarity with the kernel at a deep level.  These aplay and arecord commands have their origin in:

$ rpm -qf /bin/aplay
alsa-utils-1.0.29-1.fc22.x86_64
$ rpm -qi alsa-utils-1.0.29-1.fc22.x86_64 
Name        : alsa-utils 
Version     : 1.0.29 
Release     : 1.fc22 
Architecture: x86_64 
Install Date: Thu 21 May 2015 02:56:50 PM EDT 
Group       : Applications/Multimedia 
Size        : 1970302 
License     : GPLv2+ 
Signature   : RSA/SHA256, Fri 27 Feb 2015 01:05:49 PM EST, Key ID 11adc0948e1431d5 
Source RPM  : alsa-utils-1.0.29-1.fc22.src.rpm 
Build Date  : Fri 27 Feb 2015 06:24:26 AM EST 
Build Host  : buildvm-16.phx2.fedoraproject.org                                                                      
Relocations : (not relocatable)                                                                                      
Packager    : Fedora Project                                                                                         
Vendor      : Fedora Project                                                                                         
URL         : http://www.alsa-project.org/                                                                           
Summary     : Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) utilities                                                     
Description :                                                                                                        
This package contains command line utilities for the Advanced Linux Sound                                            
Architecture (ALSA).

That’s kinda cool, eh?  I imagine these tools are common to every GNU/Linux operating system distribution which supports ALSA, and that’s…all of them (I can’t find any which don’t, anyway; Debian, Fedora, and OpenSUSE do, so most package management platforms do..)!

Those commands are killer.  I was able to locate my microphone, test it with a brief 10 second recording, and start up Steam confident that it would work; and it did!

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