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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » Linux as a music workstation
Call for Help! It's time for an E-M.com distro!
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jksuperstar



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2006 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks for the input Zynthetix. I agree about the window manager, I like fluxbox and blackox myself, not much for Xfce or the fatty WM's like gnome of KDE.

I'm REALLY like DSL (Damn Small Linux), and made a bootable thumb drive with it (after ditching Dynebolic and looking for a Debian Derivative), but the native copy is based on 2.4 kernels, and the newer "DSL-Not" allows DSL to grow past 50MB, but stills is small. It uses 2.6 kernels, and sports some more software, but is still too young to use as a base (it's not released yet, only release candidates are available.

However, I am settling in on Knoppix. DSL is a derivative of Knoppix, simply by removing lots of software from knoppix was this done. And since Knoppix (and DSL) are both Debian derivatives, apt-get does all the work of adding, updating/maintaining, and even removing unused software. Ubuntu began as a Debian "relation" but (I believe) has severed ties with Debian and went it's own way, so using a package manager can get ugly with it. Maybe there's still lots of tricks to learn from it's initrd, since I think it has better hardware detection than Knoppix at this point.

Knoppix still needs some hand-holding on my newer laptop (optimum video and network drivers), but runs good. And it's been around so long, tools for remastering are more fully developed, and I even have the O'Reilly book on hacking Knoppix. Cool I'm actually using Knoppix 5.0.1 Accelerated, which some guys from Japan made by reorganizing the data on CD and allowing concurrent hardware detection to happen. Otherwise, same release as Knoppix.

Originally I was hoping to use something that had a good Kernel to work with, but maybe rebuilding the Kernel should be a lesser concern. It will be required to address those pesky Xruns, but may be worth it in the end. Time to find a partition to build on.

So Jan, would you like to try Knoppix now? Very Happy
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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2006 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

brinxmat wrote:

A FreeBSD live-CD is available at http://livecd.sourceforge.net/


This to me seems to be a bit of a "hardcore" thingie ?

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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2006 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

jksuperstar wrote:
So Jan, would you like to try Knoppix now? Very Happy


Funny .. I had just started the download a little while before you posted this Very Happy

Ah and I see it's finished now. Probably I won't have really much free time though for some 4 or 5 weeks, I'll see how far I can get.

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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2006 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Very Happy it boots on my " new" PC, and I have internet. Must say I like this X-windows' look&feel much better. Especially windows being rezizable on all edges. But this one has a lot of moving crap as well by default Sad

Next I'll try to get some configuration memory on a USB stick, which seems possible from reading a bit, and then maybe try to make square pixels and round circles. Whoever invented LCD screens to do auto-sizing should be ... well ... you know ...

Till later.

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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2006 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ok, some mixed results sofar ...

On on my laptop knoppix (refered to with "it" later on) found a PCMCIA adaptor, unfortunately, as it crashes on that (nothing is in the slots).

On my floortop a lot of things work.

It can work with the USB stick (even when FAT32 formatted) and I managed to save some settings on it and so I could store desktop prefs and such.

It recognized the audio card (which is just as lousy as its modern as it sucks) and I had a mixer (with all the surround & echo & whatnot stuff even) and that all worked.

Ethernet and internet worked, could even configure a firewall.

Setting video to 1680x1050 was a problem, couldn't find nothing to configure that sofar, and anyway my video card was not recognized (some ATI thingie). I'm sure that could be solved though with some more time.

Tried to configure a printer (HP deskjet), but it insisted that it could send postscript to it (and lots of ^L's, "make_notepad( uint num_pages)" I guess ?.

I could play some video, no avi's but I had an asf and that worked. it said I should download some driver stuff from xxx.xxx.hu & it mumbled a bit about copyright issues. So apparently with some stealing it could be made to work ?

But then I ran some config utility that first asked what OS I was using, Linux or Other which I canceled. Still I got into that config tool, and it could config /everything/, seemingly, in german though. So I browsed around a bit, in the alsa section, in the apache section, etc. This seemed promising but I didn't want to fuck anything up and so I quit it, and I quit it, and once more, and I guess I should have sent it a kill then. Only ... I couldn't quite remember how to get a pid & details like that. Oh and I couldn't quit the X thing anymore, and ctrl+alt+del didn't work either ... so erm ... I sort of instead pressed the power button for a few seconds. Shouldn't have done that maybe as after that the file system on the USB device was not quite proper anymore and I couldn't mount the USB stick anymore - although my prefs could still be read from it ???

After that I gave it a try on the laptop.

I like knoppix better than dyne sofar. I'm not done with it yet, but I better go do some reading maybe first.

And I loved the BB ascii art demo on it !

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brinxmat



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Blue Hell wrote:
brinxmat wrote:

A FreeBSD live-CD is available at http://livecd.sourceforge.net/


This to me seems to be a bit of a "hardcore" thingie ?


I use Ubuntu at work, and BSD at home.

BSD feels more robust -- this is surely a good thing for music apps.

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jksuperstar



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Jan, Knoppix has a ton of "cheat codes", those commands you type in during the initial boot. SO you could:

> knoppix screen=1600x1050 xmodule=radeon nopcmcia desktop=fluxbox

and that might help. For ultimate "safety" of your system, you could add "nofstab", which will prevent Knoppix from scanning your system and mounting your hard drives. No access to your data, but you also forgo the chance of screwing things up until you're more familiar.

This is also a good list of more codes than you can find by hitting F1/2/3/4 at the bootprompt:
http://www.knoppix.net/wiki/Cheat_Codes

I don't know yet if these can be saved to a USB or not.


As for BSD, there might be lots of difficulties, since ALSA isn't 100%, and it seems there are also lots of problems getting things to compile for BSD. Googling around, I can't find many cases of people using BSD as a DAW, or even more rare, as an instrument. If you have any links, please share!
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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I tried several cheat codes on my laptop.

nopcmcia ccauses it to stop a bit later in "hot plug hardware detection"

failsafe did not help, both failsafe and nopcmcia neither.

Then I went to the cheatcode link presented above and followed the suggestions given there, but after trying :

acpi=off pnpbios=off noapic noapm

the CD seemed to be damaged and I got lots of cloop errors. So I burned a new one on a much lower speed and repeated all of the above, but ran into exactly the same problems, cloop trouble again.

Just to be sure about the CD I booted from it with "knoppix testcd" then on my "floortop", the CD seems to be OK.

Maybe the RAM disk is the problem, I 've seen knoppixs remember certain settings over reboot without it having a writeable disk available, it's not trying to do smart things with checksums in RAM I hope ?

Going to try some more things ... must reboot again now Very Happy

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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I found : http://www.de-brauwer.be/wiki/wikka.php?wakka=LinuxTecraS2

suggesting it should all be possible on this laptop with the right bios, the right linux kernel and the right drivers. So I updated the bios, the kernel version seems ok. But i still get the same results as above when trying to boot knoppix.

BTW ... the network problems I have on this pc (under windows) worsened quite a bit with the bios upgrade, so I had to try&fix that as good as as possible, using various drivers - it still sucks. Whenever you have a choice involving this Yukon Marvell thing, don't take it, it stinks, it sucks and it don't even make no nice wobbly noises. Twisted Evil

Ok, I'll be out for the rest of the weekend & probably monday as well.
My dad turned 80 last week Exclamation

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jksuperstar



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

"nofirewire" used to work wonders on my older laptop. I think some Linux systems will mistakenly detect one firewire core, while another is actually used. Hence the crash. If you don't use firewire, probably a good thing to shutdown anyway...
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brinxmat



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Regarding BSD: there doesn't appear to be "standard" midi support anyway, so it would be dead in the water.

And yes, latency is always a problem with properly multitasking systems. Which would explain the popularity of Win/Mac! Hurrah!

This is a shame.

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brinxmat



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Blue Hell:

The joys of generic hardware!

What kernel version does your liveCD have? I read that the tecra S2 worked best with >2.6.16

Found this: http://www.knoppix.net/forum/topic-16223-0-50.html

Which would indicate that it should be possible to boot knoppix.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

A bit of a side track : vmware.

I saw a bit of vmware more or less accidentily last weekend, my brother uses it to run some server oriented and some client oriented os-es all on the same laptop.

I tried to do some quick performance measurements on it with a known program/environment, the Clavia Nord Modular demo software. One on the native windows and another on a windows in a vm. It's not easy to get hard numbers, especially when the processor is speed modulated all the time, but a rough estimate would be that I lost about half the processor for the virtualized windows.

Wondered what other peoples experiences ar with this.

And another side track, I got some hints on how to make a bootable USB stick, a 2 GB stick might allow for a bit of real work to be done maybe.

I'll come back on the above posts later, its a bit late now after a long day.

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mosc
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I don't know if this article is of any value in this discussion, but maybe.

click here

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jksuperstar



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ok, I was away for a few weeks, but have still kept an eye on distros. Here's my breakdown so far:

Ubuntu - Works with everything on my newest laptop. But I can't find good documentation on modifying the livecd (remastering), and I also know the kernel is heavily patched, so to maintain this level of hardware compatibilty, and add new low-latency patches, may be very difficult.

Knoppix - Works with most things. Has TONS of documentation on how to modify, remaster, and has lots of utilities to save config files, user files, all files, or install new software on the fly.

Morphix - A version of knoppix that's even more modular for adaptation, but will require more work to do so. Also WELL documented. There's a version called Asork which is an attempt at an audio workstation.

Demudi - well used, but again I can't find a friendly way to remaster the livecd. Also, it's in a holding pattern in terms of development until Debian makes it's next release in a few months.

Elive - Just an example of Enlightenment, a very lite, fast, and beautiful window manager. I might like to go with this (as a window manager, not as a base for a distro), since it has such a great feel, great features, but is always intended to run on even the oldest & slowest hardware. Also, works well with gnome AND kde apps. The distro is based on Morphix.

Dynebolic - Ways for building itself, for remastering, installing, or saving just config files like knoppix, but a little less support for various hardware. Has some very cool apps for distibuting media on the web. Doesn't use debian, redhat, or any other major system of package and dependency management, so most likely this will require some serious library and download management to modify things to any custom capacity. Maybe the first step is to add apt-get if this is the best way to go.

I've also tried a few complete failures, such as the Keyboard Mag version of OpenSUSE, that despite any attempt at cheat codes to coherce the kernel to avoid problems it was having, it would not complete booting.
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majutsu



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

what about gentoo . .. . ? i like debian too i suppose, the next one, which is like what?, 2011 or so Very Happy or what about slackware? i think one of those 3 are good choices. debian next is probably my tops. i just mention the other because i didn't see them brought up yet, but i might have missed.

what sort of apps would you have? i was thinking pd, sc (emacs and swingosc), chuck, hydrogen, rosegarden, audacity, ams, beast, cecilia/csound, jack/alsa/oss of course, and maybe (on the outside) open music. those would be nice apps for any electronic musician to boot up to first time. also maybe firefox, evolution and office org, so you can throw your em music system on a laptop and not have to switch os for little tasks here and there.

those are just a few thoughts.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I like the idea of gentoo, especially for an install, but I wanted to go for a LiveCD, that minimizes the hastle and study required for a full audio-Linux install for the whole community. If I was installing on my own PC, Gentoo would be a serious choice. Gentoo LiveCD's seem to exist mostly for the reason of making the installation process easier.

Slackware is also good (was my first linux), but Debian has sooo many derivatives, that what ever you want to do, it's already very well documented. I don't intend to be based on an official release of Debian, just that the apt-get tool is very good for dependencies, and I'd like the ability to:
1.) Run Live (boot & play)
2.) Copy the image to run from a HD, so it's faster and releases the CDROM.
3.) Copy only user data/config to a USB thumb disk, so the user can take their setup anywhere.
4.) Provide for a "full" install. Not more software, just installed & configs setup for the user, with all files Rd/Wr.
5.) If possible, include all tools for someone to rebuild the CD optimized for their own machine.
6.) Support for MacIntels?

Haven't decided on whether to go with single user or multi-user yet. Single user would make things easier for the user, and I'm not thinking about security at the moment. But multi-user may be helpful if this becomes what I hope, which is that it allows for live jamming for those nearby each other, and maybe those far apart one day.

Number one it has to provide everyone with the same tools for educational and availability reasons.
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jksuperstar



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Oh, but if you have some info or a good recommendation, please point me in that direction. I started this, but won't be able to do it all alone Smile So, I'm always open to suggestions. I guess Gentoo wouldn't be a bad idea, since to start off, any "developer" would need to install this on their system before we build it into a LiveCD...so Gentoo offers the single file as the source of the build. Hmmmmmm.....
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jksuperstar



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

What about naming? Here's my 4 cents:

electro-nix (combo of electro-music and Unix, also reminicent of electronics, the forefather of electronic music.)

emcd (electro-music.community distro). The name says it all.

electro:dyne - Relating e-m.com and dyne:bolic, if dynebolic was used as the base.

e-musix - e-m.com and music/unix. All in one. "These are a few of my favorite things!.....blah, blah, blah, and when I'm feeling sad, I put in my emusix live cd, and then I don't feel...so....bad!")
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