[PlanetCCRMA] Linux distributions and audio (Was: drop outs with FC8...)

Hector Centeno hcengar at gmail.com
Sat Jan 5 16:43:01 2008


On Jan 4, 2008 1:06 PM, David Nielson <naptastic@comcast.net> wrote:
> I have a concern that this is turning into a large, off-topic, heated
> discussion.

It might not be that off-topic but it's interesting how things can
easily look "heated" when the only medium for communication is "cold"
text, he,he :-) (I guess that's what smilies are for).

Actually what I was trying to do is to trigger a friendly talk about
the issues and concerns we, the CCRMA Linux-Audio users have. Also is
important to realize that many of us have different approaches to how
and for what we use our CCRMA-Linux workstations. To some is about
having a DAW (for recording, mixing, editing, applying some EQ,
reverb, etc, and the burn to CD). For others it might mean a
multimedia workstation where video and audio are
edited/generated/synthesized/mixed/realtime-controlled together (for
this you need working Nvidia or ATI drivers). It might even include
sophisticated graphic design, web programming and daily administrative
tasks like emailing, text writing, keeping your contacts directory,
etc. I think computer power these days and Linux in general could be
ready for giving it all together. So my point is: let's all work
together to have it! By discussing, programing, packing, etc. At all
times I been highly appreciative of Fernando's work (actually that is
the only thing that makes me want to be patient with Fedoras erratic
direction) and I wasn't trying to criticize him or trying to imply
that he must do something extra or different. The fact that Fernando
is including in the repository many of the apps that are used for more
"alternative" kind of multimedia artistic production (PD,
SuperCollider, Csound, etc) and are not available in other distros is
of great value! So, I think a fully functional workstation with
CCRMA-Linux (whatever distro flavour), accelerated graphics (Nvidia,
ATI) and RT kernel is possible.



> (1) Anaconda is less crappy than it used to be, but I still like the
> Debian installer a hundred times better.
> (2) Yum is less crappy than it used to be, but I still like Apt on
> Debian better. (Apt on Fedora still "feels kloogey" to me, and I'm not
> sure why. Difference between .deb and .rpm, maybe?)
> (3) Ubuntu feels like "Debian for users we don't trust to configure
> their own firewall." I haven't tried Ubuntu Studio, but I have heard
> similar complaints about it. I won't complain until I've tried it
> myself, though.
> (4) Getting audio set up for Debian is a painful process. Just getting a
> -rt kernel is a lot of work. My complaint is that there "should" be a
> -rt kernel package that can just be installed simply, and it "should" be
> maintained by the regular package maintainers.
> (5) Studio 64 uses its own repositories and doesn't really stay up to
> date. You still basically have to CVS / SVN everything and rebuild it
> from scratch. (Has Studio 64 moved to 2.6.23 yet?)
> (6) RT kernels have been around a long time! They are a done deal! The
> code isn't mainline yet, but in the world of things I think "should" be,
> every major distro "should" have a -rt kernel package that can just be
> installed from the main repositories.
> The problem with complaints is that they miss out on what actually
> exists now. What we actually have, in reality, is:
> - Fedora with CCRMA
> - Ubuntu Studio
> - Debian
> - Studio 64
> - a bunch of defunct projects
> Each of these are working hard to get things to an "ideal" place, but
> many of the steps will be steps sideways instead of steps forward.
> Getting RT to work with NVIDIA drivers is not necessary for a DAW, but
> it is helpful in getting RT kernels into mainline repositories. Keeping
> up with the latest releases isn't necessary or even helpful for a DAW,
> but it keeps us close to the mainline, and falling away from mainline
> has proved fatal for many Linux DAW projects already.
> I think we all owe Fernando a great big THANK YOU, for all the time he
> spends keeping things up to date. It is irritating to have things not
> work--that's why I keep two separate installations on my computer (one
> "production," the other "testing")--but in the end, I find it worthwhile
> to put up with the irritation of Yum, Anaconda, and the occasional thing
> breaking. It is Linux, and I love the fact that I can be recording 16
> tracks, talking on IRC, downloading files, encoding MP3s, and monitoring
> my network, from one computer, with no dropouts. You can't do that with
> Windows, and Windows isn't free.
> Thanks for all your time.
> David Nielson
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