[linux-audio-user] Looking for a distro strategy

Dave Phillips dlphilp at bright.net
Mon Jan 19 12:35:25 EST 2004

Greg Reddin wrote:

>So, anyway, how are you guys handling these issues?  Do you install
>from scratch?  Do you install audio on top of an existing distro? 
>Which one?  RedHat, Mandrake, Debian, SuSE, Gentoo, etc?  Does Planet
>CCRMA work well for you?  What about Agnula?  How do you upgrade
>individual packages?  How do you back out the upgrade if there's a
>problem?  Do you manage a separate "test" environment to keep from
>bringing down your DAW?
Hi Greg:

  I've been running Linux audio apps for many years. I started out with 
a Slackware installation and learned how to './configure; make; make 
install' tarball packages (i.e. packages in the *.tar.gz or *.tgz 
format). I liked doing things that way because everything was then 
customized for my system.

  Later I started using Red Hat (I think my first use was RH 6.2). I 
didn't really get into installing RPMs, still preferring to install 
things out of tarballs, but I did work a little with RPMs and at last 
got the hang of installing and uninstalling with the rpm command.

  Later still I installed Debian on a laptop and tried to learn how the 
apt system worked. Alas, I didn't do too well, I didn't understand the 
Debian way of doing things, so I didn't put in the time to learn the 
details of working with the apt system. However, I did enjoy the system, 
and I'm very attached to the Debian philosophy.

  And that brings me at last to Planet CCRMA. I was hired to build two 
machines for audio/video work, and I had been reading the Planet's docs, 
so I decided to take the plunge. I already had broadband (DSL then) so I 
put the hardware together and set up one machine using the CD method 
(downloaded the RH ISOs and burned discs here at home) and the other 
using a network installation. Both installations were relatively free of 
problems, and I was very happy with the results (so were my clients).

  So I decided to install Planet CCRMA on my own machine. I've been 
running it for a while, and I'm very happy with it. Upgrading is as 
simple as following Fernando's excellent instructions on the PlanetC 
site. Apt-get is used to update and upgrade your packages, or you can 
use the "synaptic" GUI. I like using apt-get to upgrade my system, but I 
also like using synaptic to delete packages I'd rather not have. It's 
all very easy for me, and I must admit I've become a Planet CCRMA partisan.

  I also installed AGNULA's DeMuDi, the Debian half of that project, on 
a second drive in my machine. I'm rapidly becoming as fond of AGNULA as 
I am of Planet CCRMA, and I can recommend either system in good 
conscience. Performance is excellent in both systems, and the base apps 
are quite similar. I'll be upgrading to AGNULA 1.1.0 later this week, 
using apt-get again, and I'm looking forward to having a more up-to-date 
AGNULA here.

  So there's my two drachmas. I've written a brief article about PlanetC 
and AGNULA, it's here if you'd like to read it :


  Beware, it's not a HOWTO or a substitute for reading the distro docs, 
but it might give you some more impetus towards either or both those 

Best regards,

Dave Phillips

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