You can get full 5.1 surround sound in Linux using Gnome MPlayer. Here is what needs to be done.
- Install Gnome MPlayer and mplayer following the instructions using your distribution’s repository.
- Visit http://www.lynnemusic.com/surround.html to download a 5.1 surround sound audio file to test the settings.
- Start up Gnome Mplayer.
- Select Edit -> Preferences from the menu. Within that, in Audio Output select USB PnP Sound Device Analog Stereo (PulseAudio) from the drop-down.
- In Audio Channels select 5.1 Surround from the drop-down to Output 5.1 Surround.
- Close the window and play the audio file you downloaded from lynnemusic.com and test