aRts is the old KDE Sound daemon which appeared around Version 2.0 of the KDE. Its purpose was mixing multiple music channels in real time – in other words playing a beep sound while playing music and so on as the common soundcard wasn’t able to do this. Later on hardware and drivers moved on and the main developer retired from the project. In other words, the project went pretty dead and is depreciated by now.
Nevertheless I used aRts for quite a long time – honestly, I have used it since two days ago and it has caused too many problems. As aRts is depreciated, it was time to remove it from my system. As I am using Gentoo Linux, the KDE 3.5.10 update and the buggy kde-base/kdemultimedia-arts ebuild were the best time to do so.
Removing aRts is quite simple. First of all, we start by deactivating the Soundserver using the KDE Control center. But as we want to have some noise on our box, we can adjust the system sound settings to use an external player. As I want to keep it simple, I’m using the “play” binary from the media-sound/sox package.
As those changes were made, it’s a good thing to test the current setup to see if things are working. If the sound still works, it’s time to remove the arts USE-flag from the make.conf. The next step is emerging the packages depending on arts and arts itself. And that’s all.