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Old 01-08-2018, 10:59 AM   #1
Mulsimine
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Question Some questions about picking a Linux distribution


I've been doing some research on the teams that make various Linux distros. This data has been very helpful in determining who I might be interested in actually utilizing. For example, Ubuntu has sold some information about its users in the past. One of the reasons I'm coming to Linux is for increased privacy protection. Windows 10 steals user data all the time. I found this unacceptable.

After doing this research I feel rather confident that Debian would be a pretty solid choice. The huge dev team, the increased software options, the stability of "stable", the ability to utilize cutting edge software (which I doubt I will need) by using "unstable", and I have some light experience with it. Almost a decade ago I wanted to run an online game server for Ragnarok Online. I handled the entire server via a SSH Tunnel. Had to install and configure the entire system using online guides. But I finally got it working.

There was no GUI in that situation but I succeeded in managing that server via the command line. I'm betting Debian is much easier to handle with a GUI and I know that I can handle the command line stuff. I think starting with the latest stable release is where I will start. If software becomes an issue in a year or two, I can always switch to unstable and expand my Linux skills in the process. I was hoping to have a low system maintenance requirement, so I'm really hoping that stable will suffice for my needs.

Question
One of the things I've been trying to figure out, is how I might improve a Linux system for lower latency for my guitar. I imagine all distros can be tweaked to a degree to improve this, but I'm not sure how. Is it as simple as using a low-latency kernel or is there more to it? I see some distros touting their low latency, but nobody is explaining what about the distro provides this improvement. Does anybody know?
 
Old 01-08-2018, 01:57 PM   #2
Rickkkk
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Hi Mulsimine,

Fellow musician and linux enthusiast here ... Welcome to LQ.

The 2 biggest single factors I have found important for reducing latency in any audio application are the real-time version of the linux kernel (assuming adequate hardware, of course) and an optimized Jack setup. Most distros will offer the real-time kernel option, but you may want to look into a couple of distros that are specifically constructed for audio-video:

- AVLinux: This (for you, anyway), has the advantage of being based on Debian using the XFCE4 Desktop, so you will have a head-start. It includes a real-time version of the kernel as well as a host of audio and video apps (Ardour, Audacity, Guitarix ... tons more ...) and a pre-configured working Jack setup integrated with Pulseaudio.

- KX Studio: Also Debian/Ubuntu based, but uses KDE Desktop. No experience myself with this one, but it's often mentioned in current linux audio forums.

Cheers and don't hesitate if you have any other questions.

Last edited by Rickkkk; 01-08-2018 at 01:59 PM.
 
Old 01-09-2018, 10:38 AM   #3
DavidMcCann
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There's also Ubuntu Studio: that's had good reviews over the years. AVLinux is largely a one-man effort I believe — in fact, the developer thought about giving a couple of years ago — so you never know how long it will last.

I'd go for a specialist distro. It's true that you can get a low-latency kernel for many distros, but how many people have bothered? With a dedicated media distro you know that lots of people will use it and so any bugs will be quickly spotted.
 
Old 01-09-2018, 10:58 AM   #4
Rickkkk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
There's also Ubuntu Studio: that's had good reviews over the years. AVLinux is largely a one-man effort I believe in fact, the developer thought about giving a couple of years ago so you never know how long it will last.

I'd go for a specialist distro. It's true that you can get a low-latency kernel for many distros, but how many people have bothered? With a dedicated media distro you know that lots of people will use it and so any bugs will be quickly spotted.
Hey David,

You're right that AVLinux is developed and supported by a single person, who has been frank concerning the non-guaranteed permanence of the project. That said, and as he mentions, he has no immediate plans to stop. Also interesting is that he actually doesn't define AVLinux as a distinct distro, in the usual sense. He describes it as Debian with customizations that he made initially for his own use. Which brings me to my next observation ....

I have both AVLinux and a customized installation of Arch that I've put together myself, as well as a version of Windows 10, all set up and multi-bootable on the computer I use for music. My intention in doing this was to remain as flexible as possible in being able to choose the best tool for my needs, irrespective of the OS, all the while moving progressively towards linux as my system of choice. So far between the 2 linux systems, I lean more towards the Arch install .. Why ? I'm more familiar with that distro, since it's what I run on all my computers. Also, it gives me a chance to learn the nuts and bolts of tweaking the system for audio production, particularly everything to do with JACK (absolutely not obvious to someone coming from music production on Windows ...).

Nice discussing with you - Cheers !
 
Old 01-10-2018, 10:42 AM   #5
DavidMcCann
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Although I'd never use Arch myself — too much trouble to install and maintain — I thought I'd point Mulsimine to the Arch wiki. That's a great source of information about Linux in general, as with their page on jack:
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php...Connection_Kit
 
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Old 01-10-2018, 12:55 PM   #6
Rickkkk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
Although I'd never use Arch myself too much trouble to install and maintain I thought I'd point Mulsimine to the Arch wiki. That's a great source of information about Linux in general, as with their page on jack:
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php...Connection_Kit
Good suggestion, David !
 
Old 01-11-2018, 01:24 AM   #7
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickkkk View Post
You're right that AVLinux is developed and supported by a single person, who has been frank concerning the non-guaranteed permanence of the project. That said, and as he mentions, he has no immediate plans to stop. Also interesting is that he actually doesn't define AVLinux as a distinct distro, in the usual sense. He describes it as Debian with customizations that he made initially for his own use. Which brings me to my next observation ....
i appretiate this honesty.
how many software projects use the majestical "We", and are still or almost one-person-projects.
also, more importantly, there's consistency: i used AVLinux many years ago, and it's still going strong.

and true. it is not a distro. when i was using it, updating was not recommended.
that kindof suggests that it's not meant for everyday desktop use.
 
  


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