What would make you switch to Linux?

Anything about MUSIC but doesn't fit into the forums above.
KVRist
321 posts since 14 Nov, 2011

Post Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:03 am

Note: This thread was originally titled 'What stops you switching to Linux?' but after 8 pages of rather generic Linux-bashing it was suggested I may get better quality responses by changing the topic. Worth a shot!

Once upon a time people dismissed Linux due to hardware support. Whilst that may still not be perfect, its not perfect under Windows either and Linux generally supports more older hardware than Windows does. The killer double punch of Android taking over the world and now Steam for Linux has forced hardware vendors to take Linux more seriously at the same time as addressing another common complaint that there are no games for Linux. As a result, with the latest Nvidia drivers you can get up to 20% better performance under Linux than Windows in some cases and I suspect things will only improve there as more AAA games get ported to Linux:

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=a ... in81&num=1

On the audio hardware side of things, things have also improved largely due to the success of the iPad which has persuaded manufacturers to start making USB 2 class compliant devices, many of which work with Linux and JACK out-of-the-box (as opposed to JACK in-the-box ;) ).

Windows 8 needs no explanation - I'm sure this has inspired millions to (re)consider switching to Linux. As for Apple, they've lost their leader and not everybody approves of nor wants to buy into the costly 'walled garden' Apple ecosystem. I've been there and I'm not going back although I will admit I prefer OSX to Windows.

Last but not least we now have quite a nice selection of native DAWs under Linux - Bitwig, Tracktion, Mixbus, Renoise, EnergyXT, Ardour, qtractor, sunvox... there is something to keep most everybody happy out of that selection

BUT

Where are the plugins? Unless I'm missing someone I'm only aware of 3 commercial plugin vendors who support Linux - Loomer, LinuxDSP (obviously) and DiscoDSP. Whilst Linux only has a handful of DAWs, I personally could care less about having 100's to choose from as I'm already happy enough with the options we have there but the selection of pro-quality plugins under Linux leaves a lot to be desired to say the least.

So, what plugins, apps or whatever else would you need under Linux before you could switch? I suspect it would only take NI and Uhe to support Linux and we'd start seeing a fair number of people on here make the switch.

PS If you're new to Linux or want to give it another go for music production I can highly recommend KXStudio
Last edited by danboid on Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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KVRAF
21027 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from not here

Post Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:36 pm

If Cubase and VE Pro are not supported by it, it's very simple, I have zero use for it.

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KVRAF
7950 posts since 2 Aug, 2005 from Guitar Land, USA

Post Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:37 pm

Fear of instability/compatibility/not necessarily needed

Every Windows build has run w/low cpu, everything you need is available free/open source/portable.
The only site for experimental amp sim freeware & MIDI FX: http://runbeerrun.blogspot.com
https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCprNcvVH6aPTehLv8J5xokA -Youtube jams

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KVRAF
4357 posts since 5 May, 2005 from Stockholm, Sweden

Post Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:44 pm

It's a pain in the hole.

KVRAF
12455 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Post Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:47 pm

Linux is nowhere close to being usable for audio on a daily basis and I use linux daily for my work and have for years. It has been steadily getting better, but it's not interesting enough yet to commit. I suppose if you have very simple hardware needs, but I like my MOTU interfaces more than I like the idea of doing music on linux.

Further, I'm even more fluid about my linux configurations than I am about windows/os x. The point here is that I wouldn't tolerate any type of C/R with limits under linux. The fact is that I find myself forced to upgrade my linux OS in a manner that requires reformatting far more often than I do windows or OSX. I would even be concerned about NI and they don't appear to be very strict at all.

KVRAF
27840 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:50 pm

I use Linux as the only OS on my laptop. It's ok for stuff i don't need Windows for (mainly games, or audio apps). It always had, and always will have a couple more bugs than Windows has, and for some stuff, you need to have knowledge of terminal commands, or hacking in config text files. A frequent problem is the lack of up to par with Windows software. E.g. i was looking for an audio editor for Windows. Tried Audacity, horrible GUI and handling. Tried OcenAudio, and it missed the meter that Wavelab has when opening the record dialog... also i found it very weird that playback stops at the end of the displayed waveform part. I'm sure i only missed an option, but i couldn't found it when i looked for 5 minutes so i uninstalled it and did the job in Wavelab (always loved the program). The whole audio thing in Linux is pretty miserable.

Oh, and one thing that pisses me off multo grande is the way the Linux community acts very frequently. Gift horse attitude, upnosed behavior towards Windows in general, even though it's totally unjustified, the unwillingness to open to standard market procedures as patents and proprietary licensing. The whole "we want to live in a box inside the box" thing. Mainly because you get that on a daily base, when you're often browsing Linux forums...
Last edited by chk071 on Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

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KVRAF
1614 posts since 1 Mar, 2010 from Paris

Post Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:54 pm

I simply don't need to!
I'm completely content using Win 7 as it supports software I've been using for years and it's as robust as Windows has ever been.
ghostwaveaudio.com | soundsets for Synplant, Sylenth1, Diva and more

KVRAF
1824 posts since 24 Apr, 2010

Post Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:21 pm

I never know what it's called; Linn-ux or Line-ux ? Either way, I've never liked the sound of it, so I'm out.

KVRist

Topic Starter

321 posts since 14 Nov, 2011

Post Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:45 pm

jancivil:

Fair 'enuff! You like what you know and know what you like!

RunBeerRun:

I'd say your fears are unfounded. Linux is rock solid, its more resource efficient than Windows and OSX and its rare to find hardware that doesn't work with Linux these days. MOTU are a notable exception! ;) As for Windows software running under Linux, its amazing how good wine is these days but if Windows software is all you care for - stick with Windows.

ghettosynth:

I think many would disagree with you about Linux not being usable for audio on a daily basis - certainly Bitwig, Harrison, Tracktion and everyone over at Linuxmusicians would say otherwise.

I usually run Debian or Ubuntu and I can't remember the last time I had any upgrading issues. Thats one of the reasons I use these distros as I know this isn't the case for some other more experimental / rolling-release or rpm based distros.

I'm not sure what C/R is?

chk071:

Modern Linux desktop distros like Mint, Ubuntu, opensuse etc require about as much terminal usage as Windows or OSX ie not much, if any. The more advanced stuff you do, the more the terminal may creep in under all OSs.

My fave wave editor for Linux is mhwaveedit. Its pretty simple but stable and does what I require.

If you've not tried Cadence to manage your audio under Linux, you need to give it a go.

I totally disagree with your comments on the Linux community. I've found Linux users to be more intelligent and respectful than your regular forum users, and I've had a good 18 years experience now. Its true we generally don't like Windows, I'll give you that but I know I have my reasons (I'm not a fan of rebooting for one).

bob bobwood:

It's Linn-ux, as you'd spell it. Don't knock it 'til you've tried it!

KVRAF
12455 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Post Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:08 pm

danboid wrote: ghettosynth:

I think many would disagree with you about Linux not being usable for audio on a daily basis - certainly Bitwig, Harrison, Tracktion and everyone over at Linuxmusicians would say otherwise.

I usually run Debian or Ubuntu and I can't remember the last time I had any upgrading issues. Thats one of the reasons I use these distros as I know this isn't the case for some other more experimental / rolling-release or rpm based distros.

I'm not sure what C/R is?
I didn't ask anyone else, you asked us, so I don't give two shits who disagrees with me. I'm certain that you don't have any MOTU drivers for the six or so MOTU products that I have so I'm pretty damn sure that neither you or anyone over at LinuxAudioWhatever.com can make linux useful for me as a daily driver. Let me know when you've got some MOTU drivers, ok?

As I said, it's not ready. Bitwig supports it, so what? They are trying to capture market share and they started from ground zero in an era where Linux support for audio apps is finally at least practical. That will not help all of the other devs who have years entrenched in windows/mac and do not want to support another platform.

JanCivil told you point blank that Cubase is a deal breaker. I've told you that MOTU is a deal breaker. Neither one of us is particularly afraid of technology. I'm sure that the vast majority of users on this site have some deal breaker that they depend on. Most musicians, however, ARE afraid of technology and are simply not interested in mucking about with Linux. In my opinion, there is at least another ten year cycle before you will see this change dramatically. It will take a lot of time before people tire of their existing interfaces that are not class compliant and have no choice to move to something that is. Linux will have to make more inroads onto the desktop in other markets first. The effort a few years ago to save some cost by selling cheap machines with linux as web machines failed miserably. Both Microsoft and Apple rose to the challenge and I doubt that we'll see much difference now.

It's a strategic decision to support linux and except for a few "early adopters" like Bitwig and friends, it will take years for Linux to be supported in a mainstream sense. That's EXACTLY what I mean by it being NOT READY TODAY!

C/R is challenge/response. If you haven't run into upgrading issues then your use of linux must be fairly mainstream. I was forced to upgrade recently because the latest version of R wasn't supported on the release of Mint that I was using and there was no non-trivial way to run certain packages that I needed to run. This happens a lot with open source and, in general, it's recommended to reformat rather than just upgrade in place. Upgrade in place has worked often, but it's not without issues and the more obscure stuff that you use the more likely it is to break something.

When something breaks, you'd better be comfortable with the command line because that's almost always how you fix things.

If you use Ubuntu then you know that they are on a six month release cycle so this means upgrading your system every six months. There is no way in hell that I would upgrade that often for an audio system or even consider dealing with C/R re-auth every six months should the upgrade break my authentication. As it is I use LTS variants of Mint and still run into issues more often than I would like. Compared to Windows and OS/X, which I just install and leave alone pretty much until the OS is no longer supported, this time is measure in years, generally. OS/X here is more annoying than Windows in this regard.

Bitwig is C/R, I'm not going to install them on a linux system today because it is simply not as stable as Windows/OS/X. I don't mean stability in terms of reliability, I mean in terms of the system installation as discussed above.

Don't get me wrong, I love linux. You can wrestle "sudo apt-get install my-favorite-package" out of my cold dead hands for work. But what makes linux great is the open source nature of the beast and I would not in any way want to give that up for work, i.e. make Linux more mainstream, just to run audio apps. In short, I don't' care about Linux being mainstream, it's great as it is. I don't want a bunch of standalone installers, I hate that, they often break shit. We had this a lot back in the slackware days.

So, for me, what it comes down to is that I like the Open Source dominance in Linux and to the extent that I want audio to succeed there it's in an open source sense. So, no, I'm not really motivated to push for linux support in plugins.
Last edited by ghettosynth on Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

KVRist

Topic Starter

321 posts since 14 Nov, 2011

Post Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:27 pm

ghettosynth:

That's fair enough - I can't argue with most of that.

Ubuntu does get a new release every 6 months but there is often no real need to upgrade when a new release comes out. If it ain't broke.. In the case of Ubuntu/Mint, there are usually PPA's for most popular packages which allow you to stay current with your most used apps without updating everything or compiling stuff yourself, as I'm sure you're aware. I'm running Kubuntu 14.04 in work but I'm still running 12.04 on my home laptop and I feel no need to upgrade yet but I dual-boot with Debian Testing, just so I can check out newer apps / desktops without clogging up my main OS. Yes, I suppose I could play with Debian or whatever in a VM but I like to see how OSs run on bare metal.

You may have a point w/ Linux going mainstream in respect to the quality of responses you can expect in forums etc. My experience with Android forums is not what I'm used to with GNU/Linux forums.

KVRAF
12455 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Post Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:38 pm

danboid wrote:ghettosynth:

That's fair enough - I can't argue with most of that.

Ubuntu does get a new release every 6 months but there is often no real need to upgrade when a new release comes out. If it ain't broke.. In the case of Ubuntu/Mint, there are usually PPA's for most popular packages which allow you to stay current with your most used apps without updating everything or compiling stuff yourself, as I'm sure you're aware.
Yes, to be clear, adding a PPA and updating is, from my point of view, trivial. I'm talking about complex package interactions and dependencies that cannot be overcome. For some software, in fact, including R and latex, I don't use the distribution packages in the first place, so to even install them I have to add new repos. Believe me, when I'm facing a deadline the last thing that I want to do is reinstall or upgrade my OS so if there's an alternative solution, I'm all over it.

The problem with not upgrading when the new releases come out on non LTS variants is that you increase your chances of having to do a reformat reinstall when something breaks.

KVRAF
2042 posts since 20 Dec, 2002 from The Benighted States of Trumpistan

Post Wed Jun 04, 2014 3:10 pm

Every now and then I play with Linux, since there are so many tangible benefits (and I use an awful lot of ported GNU apps constantly), but it doesn't take long before its lack of apps, poor performance, flaky emulators, and filesystem drive me away.
Joy and kindness are acts of resistance -- fight the power!

KVRAF
6865 posts since 7 Oct, 2005 from NZ

Post Wed Jun 04, 2014 3:40 pm

I had my interest in Linux 16 years ago, then in 2000 I bought Suse from a computer shop. It was nice and ok for basic needs and learning programming but after time I realised it is not ready for my other needs (music, web design and games). Then this occured again and again (almost every two years). I download a distro (or three!) and trying them, then spend one month or so , then reach to the same conclusion "It is nice and OK but not ready for my needs".

Three years ago, I stopped completely trying Linux (I also abandoned Java programming). I am now a happy user (sometimes C# programmer) of Windows 8, although to be honest I really dislike Metro and the online user (actually I hate it, so stupid), but other than that I'm faster in everything (more than OSX or Windows 7). Press the Windows key, scroll with mouse, click the desired program! Done! If it is not there, type some letters, and when it appears in the list, right click and pin to Start. Done!

Although still hating the Metro apps. Yesterday I tried to install Kindle Player to read the book I bought from Amazon. It took 5 or so screens of trying to complete the installation from writing the password of the offline user, then login in the online user, waiting for the activation code in my mobile phone, then filling and try to login, then after that there is an error message telling me "The user already exists in this computer" WTF?!! :x I googled how to log off (I didn't know!), then it was there in the Start screen. In short, I can only read the book now when I login in the online user! :evil:

Luckily, except of the Start menu, I don't use any Metro app. On the other hand, solving windows problems are easy enough for me. I bought emedia piano & keyboard software. It worked fine but the problem I can't hear the Midi. It turned out that Microsoft has dropped (or disabled) the Microsoft GS Midi thing (it was the only once I needed it :hihi:). I could find a solution after 10 mins googling/downloading and started my Piano lessons :-)

I had also a very good experience with OSX (a hackintosh install). Beautiful OS with an excellent design. I used also the terminal few times (very similar to Linux). But OSX is miles a head of Linux in commercial support (especially music and design apps). I decided to buy a iMac but I could have a little bit better spec for a custom built PC with Win 8.1 for about the half price.

What I meant is, I feel more comfortable to just invest my time and effort in a finished product ;-)
Cubase Pro 11, NI, Arturia, u-he, Synapse Audio, etc.
PC with Win10, MODX 6, KeyLab MK II, iTwo interface, DT 990 Pro and HS7 monitors.

KVRAF
7075 posts since 17 Feb, 2005

Post Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:01 pm

I don't use it because I'm not a computer scientist!

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