[LAU] Help with configuring a laptop for Linux Audio work

Louigi Verona louigi.verona at gmail.com
Mon May 12 07:43:20 UTC 2014

Hey guys!

Recently I've bought a Lenovo IdeaPad B590 laptop. As it is announced as an
Ubuntu-certified laptop
I did not think twice if buying it and thought that there would hardly be
an audio problem - I've used Lenovo laptops before and audio worked very

However, I was disappointed. Not only had I to use wired Internet, as wi-fi
does not work without installation of proprietary drivers, not only had I
to install a later kernel, as video card was freezing the system, but Linux
Audio does not work well at all.

I am using Xubuntu 12.04 with kernel 3.8 now.

Here's what has already been done.

1. All real-time priorities and audio group and such standard stuff set up,
checked and rechecked by myself and other people at LAC.
2. Autostatic was kind enough to help me turn off bluetooth and webcam,
which did seem to help a little bit. His tutorial on this is

However, my problems persist.
There are two distinct problems.

*Problem 1. Xruns.*

Even if nothing is done on the computer and/or with audio, xruns are
generated. For instance, since I started writing this letter, JACK was on
and right now I have an indicator of xruns in qjackctl which says: 7(13).
Note, no audio programs are open at all. If I do nothing, just turn on JACK
and leave laptop running, xruns are also generated.

*Problem 2. USB interruptions.*

This problem occurs when I am using USB soundcard or USB headset. I get
regular audible interruptions of audio signal. It has no bearing on xruns
and occurs even outside of JACK, just when I am listening to Audacious, for
example. I tried switching from PulseAudio to ALSA, same result. I though
do not remember checking this with YouTube videos, for instance, and right
now have no usb devices at hand to check.

I would be very grateful for all the suggestions as it would be a pity if
this laptop would eventually turn out to be not suitable for audio work.
But I would rather find that out sooner than later, while I can still sell
it and perhaps buy another model.


Louigi Verona
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