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

Len Ovens len at ovenwerks.net
Mon May 12 21:08:54 UTC 2014

On Mon, 12 May 2014, Louigi Verona wrote:

> Nope, I had to install 3.8 as opposed to 3.2 which comes with Ubuntu. Looks
> like when you are buying a new laptop what you should do is put on the
> latest system available and I typically try to stick with LTS.

LTS is 14.04 with a 3.11 kernel, 12.04 should be good for another year 
anyway. There are two 3.8 kernels though, there is the generic as well as 
the lowlatency. The low latency kernel seems to get less xruns in anything 
I have thrown at it. There were a few 3.8 kernels that had USB audio 
problems, but I am pretty sure the fix got put in so you should have it. 
(dmesg would show if there is a problem)

> Interestingly enough, I very rarely go lower 512 frames, which is around
> 46ms. And for some reason, midi is always precise even on 1024. I did test
> this and I remember I did work on a system where it made a difference, but
> not now.

I should have been clear, I have been quoting qjackctl's version of 
latency, so at 48k 512 would be 21ms... probably that is a calculated one 
way trip through jackd and of course doesn't include card delay. Certainly 
it should be high enough that CPU governing doesn't matter too much.

I try to test before I buy if I can. Boot what you want to run from a 
memory stick. Ubuntustudio's (if ubuntu is your thing) ISO probably has 
the SW or enough of it preinstalled to make testing possible running it 
live. Other audio distros have live ISOs as well. I try to do the same 
thing with audio IFs. I walk in with my netbook and make sure it works 
with linux... and how well it works... can I see all the channels? can I 
hear them? (semi)pro audio is kind of hit and miss right now.

Curious as to why you picked xubuntu over ubuntustudio. Ubuntustudio is 
based on xubuntu, but has audio set up out of the box and with 14.04LTS 
allows selection at install time of which SW not to install that is on the 
live ISO. Though, to be honest, I don't know what happens to packages 
those applications depend on if you don't install them. For example 
KDEnlive would have the kde libs on the ISO. If the KDE apps are not 
selected, do the kde libs still get installed? I'll have to ask. ubiquity 
does do some sort of clean up at the end of the install.

Len Ovens

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