[LAU] what about a meta distribution system?

Carlos sanchiavedraz csanchezgs at gmail.com
Fri Dec 7 16:09:35 UTC 2012

2012/12/7 renato <rennabh at gmail.com>:
> On Fri, 7 Dec 2012 15:32:24 +0100
> renato <rennabh at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi, I just had a [very fuzzy] idea that might be worth,
>> or it might be not... I thought I'd just put it out here in the wild,
>> maybe someone finds it insightful and makes something out of it.
>> You're warned, it's quite a rambling... here it goes:
>> what about creating some sort of self-contained linux-audio package
>> manager, which is distro agnostic? I'm thinking of python (even perl
>> if I'm right has a similar tool), where you have tools like pip to
>> search, install and uninstall modules and you can easily create local
>> installations on your system (virtualenvs) where you can tinker all
>> you want without compromising system wide settings.
>> Ideally with this system for audio you would have access to
>> latest binaries of all audio apps and preconfigured environments...
>> You could download the exact binary versions and configurations the
>> professional and semi-professional on this list use and install them
>> in a local directory, ready to use and make music, without spending
>> time on configuration.
>> Of course there are things that would not be easy (or possible at all)
>> to fit in this scheme, like jackd, rt-kernel and audio card
>> configuration... But on the other hand I'd love it if when I wanted to
>> try out the latest apps I could just download a known working
>> configuration and start making music right away, instead of spending
>> days debugging compiling issues due to slightly mismatching library
>> versions or whatever...
>> The reason all this stems from is that I am only a computer-music
>> hobbyist and dedicate a little portion of my time to it. It often
>> happens I found out about a cool new app (din,giada,
>> non-software, muse2...) and when I find some free time to try and make
>> sounds with it, I never find binaries for it and I frequently can't
>> compile it the first time, so I have to start the usual cycle: report
>> bug to dev, wait for reply, supply more info, download patch,
>> recompile and so on.
>> I don't know if such a thing is technically possible... But don't the
>> latest video games from the Humble Indie bundles use something
>> similar? I.e. they usually supply a distro-agnostic installer which
>> puts all the binary it needs in a self-contained directory, and then
>> it runs more or less without interacting with the rest of the
>> system... Ok I'm not sure it's exactly like this, but I think at
>> least the critical libs which the game depends on are provided, to
>> ensure compatibility throughout many different systems.
>> Wouldn't such a thing, together with the possibility I was mentioning
>> before of sharing such micro-distributions (maybe using something
>> like PGP-signing to be sure you're downloading binaries only from
>> trusted sources), be a great boon for linux audio users?
> Forgot to add, a typical use case I had in mind would be to have a
> session manager in these micro-distributions with one or more
> sessions... That way one could easily achieve all in one audio
> environments (like reason, rezound, lmms) using properly configured
> single purpose software (yoshimi - hydrogen - qtractor for example)
> So I would here a tune someone posted on the LAU list, and I
> could download a single .zip archive he posted, extract it in a folder,
> launch a single script and have the exact same software alrready
> configured and connected the way he used to make the tune
> don't know maybe it's day dreaming but I thought it was worth a shot...
> it seems to me we're not so far away from that with non-session-manager
> and all...
> cheers,
> renato
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> Linux-audio-user at lists.linuxaudio.org
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Hi, renato.

At Musix we've tried to achieve something like that, trying to have
latest versions of programas, useful presets, launchers/mini-session
managers to make it easier for newer people in linux audio to just
clic and play/listen...

We're now in a point where we're re-thinking about our inner structure
and way of working in the project, scarce resources and a lot to do;
even considering doing most of the job as a Debian Blend (mostly
Debian Multimedia) and then make live CD/DVD of Musix with all
preconfigured and running.
That part, the Debian Multimedia Blend would be the root of many other
distros and projects where devs join forces to achieve more or less
what you say. Although this kind of approach is evidently less plastic
and dynamic that the idea of "micro-envelops" for apps.

Carlos sanchiavedraz
* Musix GNU+Linux

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