Current best live Linux distro for audio/studio enviroment: thoughts?

Might be a lot less likely to happen post license switch. Lot of the repos shy away from even stuff like Ardour.

I think kxstudio does let them in where it’s allowed; they had pianoteq in one of them.

Yes I’m seeing Ardour here, non-sequencer etc, rosegarden, hydrogen, muse. VCV would fit right in :slight_smile:

Oh my, vcv is in fact included in their repo! Just not installed by default
:frowning: but the laptop does not support opengl2

I’ve never seen a Linux distro that doesn’t want to include GPL software, like Ardour. Citation needed?

Ardour was not in Debian and I have it in OpenSuSE under a third party repo.

Debian would require an indefinitely transferable trademark grant (c.f. Debian iceweasel problem.) I don’t know what the SuSE criteria is (for OBS, just being open is enough); VCV might qualify upstream so long as it didn’t ship with anything remotely patentable (cf. crippled VLC dilemmas)

I’m happy to give them a trademark grant if they need it, but I don’t know any VCV users using Debian so I doubt they’ll bother. Certainly doesn’t have anything to do with Rack’s relicense, since Debian’s repos have always contained thousands of GPL packages.

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oh man! This is really nice!

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hey Nik, my stack is also VCV & Bitwig on Ubuntu! Maybe in the future I will run a dual booth with Windows, to get proprietary drivers for the audio interface and other hardware.

I don’t get this part.
It is possible to boot in Linux and use windows drivers for certain hardware?

Currently I have only Linux installed. In the future I plan to run dual booth with Linux/Windows installed separately. I will use Windows for audio & Linux for work. This is because there are much more VSTs and support for Windows.

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Ah ok, then I understood wrong from your writing.
I thought you had figured out some magic way to use windows drivers for audio interface in Linux. :upside_down_face:

I have been an Ubuntu user for about 4 years and I really love it. But I plan to get an audio interface, or a digital mixer with audio interface and none of these companies (e.g. Allen & Heath or PreSonus) supports Linux :disappointed:

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Yes i am with you on this, it is what truly holding me back for switching totally, and putting an effort in setting up a Linux environment.
There are some good working and supported interfaces out there, but not what i have (A&H ZR16 / MOTU ultralite mk4) my old RME Hammerfall adat card is working fine in Linux, but i don’t use it here where i am now.
Also another thing that is holding me back, is the 1 DAW that i use really a lot, Reason is not available in Linux.
So i am really happy that VCV and Bitwig are available in Linux, now only Reason left for me, and some way to get the audio interfaces fully working.
Then i am fine with a full switch :slight_smile:

Motu comes with Windows/Mac drivers
Most audio interfaces will work in Linux with the Alsa driver, but that’s always sub optimal than using the official drivers with the software that they give with the purchase (like a software mixer that comes with the audio interface).


Well this I know ofcourse.
But is not working fully. That’s like all analog + adat + 64 virtual channels! :wink:
So… not supported yet in Linux.

Installed the Ubuntu Budgie distribution this past weekend. So far I like it the best of what I have tried (Fedora, Xubuntu, Budgie) Any significant backend difference versus stock Ubuntu? Just noticed the “minimal installation” option, which may suit me better as all I am just running VCV Rack, treating it like an appliance. Jack is not a concern for me (at this point).

I use Debian Stretch, RT kernel with KX Studio repositories added. It’s stable, secure and rock solid. Advantages are it rarely updates (unlike Mint and Ubuntu), the base installation is as minimalist as it gets and although 9.9 is still behind with certain libraries I’ve managed to tweak it to install all apps I need. I also use KDE which took some getting used to after being hardcore XFCE but find that it is immensely configurable, pristine and light weight once all the eye candy and services are disabled.

The only thing I can say is if you intend on using Linux, dedicate a computer to it rather than dual boot and make sure you have a separate ‘/home’ and ‘/’ partition in case you want to re-install.

That being said, for someone delving into Linux Audio for the first time I’d likely suggest Ubuntu Studio.


I have been using Manjaro for a couple of months and am finding it to be a really nice way to access Arch Linux’s bleeding edge without getting cut–or at least I have not had to shed much blood myself. I have used Debian-based distros and just cannot stand how slow they are to update software. In the digital audio world, things change quickly, and I want the new stuff because it almost always does more things and better things then the old stuff.

Manjaro is based on Arch but uses its own repos. Arch updates are tested before they are put on the Manjaro repos, and anything that breaks will not make it into Manjaro until the bugs are squashed. Although this is not completely foolproof, since they can only test updates on those systems that the testing volunteers have set up, I have found it to be much less of a nail-biting experience to keep my machine updated than I was having with other Arch go-between distros.

They have three official desktop flavors: XFCE, Gnome, and KDE. The community provides many others, but if you are at all new to Linux, it would probably be easier to start with Gnome or KDE. XFCE is more lightweight, but a little bit more likely to have you editing config files in a text editor.

I am running Openbox myself, and absolutely adore it. But I’ve been hopping distros for more than a decade at this point and don’t have a problem with searching the Arch Wiki for answers to obscure problems. However, with Manjaro, I find myself doing this very infrequently.

And also? The community is orders of magnitude more friendly to noobs than the Arch community. They will tell you when you haven’t done your basic troubleshooting, but they will do so nicely. :smile:

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same here,been using manjaro for a year.i ran slackware for years before that.
but i did start with linux ubuntu when it first came out.
i dual boot as i use proprietary software in my artwork and music.
i have a motu mk3 and a focusrite scarlett.i can tell you motu is not linux friendly at all.
most others work fine.anyway vcv on manjaro i have not done yet but i am doing so today!

Almost any distro is fine, you just need to know how it works and what to change to make it good for audio. If you need a daw and vst/lv2 plugins then the package managers can become important and whether you want/can spend time/cpu compiling.

I would say if you are inclined to delve into linux then gentoo/funtoo is the way to go (personally I don’t see the point in arch when you can use gentoo, it’s convenient but the difference is like arch to ubuntu), and if not then whatever suits you needs. Debian/ubuntu based is always handy for the kxstudio repo.