[LAU] Any success running Jack on a Chromebook that's running Crouton?

Patrick Shirkey pshirkey at boosthardware.com
Tue Aug 23 08:42:02 UTC 2016

> Hi all,
> I have a Acer C720 Chromebook, and I run Debian Stretch on it using a
hybrid OS approach using a technology called Crouton (
> https://github.com/dnschneid/crouton ).
> It runs some kind of audio server proxy called Cras to get the audio
from ChromeOS into Debian, and I have been unable to get Jack running
with it.
> I'm wondering if anyone has any hints or success stories about running
Jack and/or Ardour in a similar environment.
> I get a permission denied error (on /dev/sng/seq) when trying to start
jack using qjackctl with ALSA midi seq enabled. If I disable MIDI
support, I get "control open "hw:0" (No such file or directory)" and
"ALSA lib pcm_hw:1701:( snd_pcm_hw_open) Invalid value for card"
> I would like to do some audio production on the chromebook, or at least
get that stuff running to see if the performance for that would be
> Let me know what other information I should provide to try to get this

Hi Jeremy,

The reason you are not able to run JACK is because CRAS is blocking the
audio device. You will need to disable CRAS to get direct access to the
audio device so that JACK can run. However This is not an easy thing to
accomplish with ChromeOS.

My recommendation is to also send this email to the Chrome developers
mailing list. It's been a couple of years but in the past their response
has been that Chrome OS is "Open Source" so anyone is welcome to submit a
patch to CRAS that enables JACK support.

My position is that seeing as they are paid to implement the audio server
and seeing as they (Google) basically ripped off JACK and Pulse Audio in
order to implement both CRAS (and Android Audio Server) and seeing as they
also rely on ALSA (which was created by the Linux Audio community) that it
is basic etiquette that they also implement full JACK support.

However most likely their response will be that they are not interested in
supporting JACK because it is not in their roadmap and they will not get
internal support for adding to the roadmap. There are people at Google who
really don't want to support JACK on Chrome/Android. They also seem to
have a problem with professional audio in general.

Of course if enough ChromeOS users wanted it they might be convinced to
change their minds but so far it seems that ChromeOS users have not been
asking for it because they don't appear to have made any progress on it.

Patrick Shirkey
Boost Hardware Ltd

Patrick Shirkey
Boost Hardware Ltd

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