Need some help - Linux distros

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IamNotROOT
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Need some help - Linux distros

Postby IamNotROOT » Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:43 pm

Hello. I am poor. Dirt poor. I have a Pixelbook i5 2 core with 8G of RAM I would like to use to run evaluation copies of Bitwig and Harrison Mixbus. I have tried to use the beta version of Linux included in Pixelbook, but it seems half-baked. I have installed Bitwig but none of the drivers work with the internal audio.
I am ready to take the plunge and install a real audio version of Linux, preferably an Ubuntu version since that is what Bitwig supports. My experience so far with the terminal has been painful. Is there an audio distro with a GUI for the totally inexperienced? I would preferably like something that is well documented for a layperson and easy to maintain. Thanks.

rghvdberg
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Re: Need some help - Linux distros

Postby rghvdberg » Tue Sep 03, 2019 5:53 am

Maybe try avlinux.
but I'm not sure how well Linux runs on a chrome book.

IamNotROOT
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Re: Need some help - Linux distros

Postby IamNotROOT » Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:34 am

thank you very much. AVLinux looks good. I read that it works well for older machines with limited hardware resources. On the downside, it is maintained by one person. I noticed Ubuntu Studio. It seems to have a sizable community. A gentleman has written a living document called Ubuntu Studio Audio handbook on the Ubuntu Studio User Wiki with constant updates - https://ubuntustudio.org/audio-handbook/ That looks like a valuable resource for the uninitiated.

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Linuxmusician01
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Re: Need some help - Linux distros

Postby Linuxmusician01 » Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:10 am

IamNotROOT wrote:[...] Is there an audio distro with a GUI for the totally inexperienced?

Unfortunately: no.

Especially if you want to use something other than a browser and a word processor (like: music production) you're gonna have to prepare for a steep learning curve. And using a terminal (command line) is very, very important. No matter what distro you use because at heart they're all the same (Linux = Linux).

I don't know if you have a Chromebook, but I do. I installed Linux (Ubuntu) on it using "Crouton". This is NOT for the faint of heart or for the Linux beginner!!! Anyway, if you want to use Linux then choose a distro that a lot of people use, like Ubuntu. That way you can ask for help in lots of forums. And if you want to use Linux for music production then i.m.h.o. you have to choose an Ubuntu or Debian based distro so you can use the KXStudio repositories for music production.

Good luck! :)

IamNotROOT
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Re: Need some help - Linux distros

Postby IamNotROOT » Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:06 pm

Linuxmusician01 wrote:
IamNotROOT wrote:[...] Is there an audio distro with a GUI for the totally inexperienced?

Unfortunately: no.

Especially if you want to use something other than a browser and a word processor (like: music production) you're gonna have to prepare for a steep learning curve. And using a terminal (command line) is very, very important. No matter what distro you use because at heart they're all the same (Linux = Linux).

I don't know if you have a Chromebook, but I do. I installed Linux (Ubuntu) on it using "Crouton". This is NOT for the faint of heart or for the Linux beginner!!! Anyway, if you want to use Linux then choose a distro that a lot of people use, like Ubuntu. That way you can ask for help in lots of forums. And if you want to use Linux for music production then i.m.h.o. you have to choose an Ubuntu or Debian based distro so you can use the KXStudio repositories for music production.

Good luck! :)


Thank you! I am reading this step by step guide to Ubuntu Studio and it is very good: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Ubunt ... ioHandbook
I think I am going to try a clean install of Ubuntu Studio unless somebody has a better idea. I am open to anything. I would like to try to save my bookmarks from Chrome and somehow transfer them to the browser in Ubuntu studio though.

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Re: Need some help - Linux distros

Postby khz » Tue Sep 03, 2019 1:10 pm

:Welcome:

A very good overview can be found here: Pro Audio Linux Distributions >> https://thecrocoduckspond.wordpress.com/2015/10/22/pro-audio-linux-distributions/.
And a rather chaotic ;-) ~Howto DIY (not specially written for Debian) here: GNU/Linux Debian installing >> Linux Audio Workstation LAW >> https://linuxmusicians.com/viewtopic.php?p=92293#p92293.

Just test different distributions and take the one that works best for you.

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GNU/LINUX@AUDIO ~ /Wiki $ Howto.Info && GNU/Linux Debian installing >> Linux Audio Workstation LAW
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Linuxmusician01
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Re: Need some help - Linux distros

Postby Linuxmusician01 » Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:29 pm

IamNotROOT wrote:[...]
I think I am going to try a clean install of Ubuntu Studio unless somebody has a better idea. I am open to anything. I would like to try to save my bookmarks from Chrome and somehow transfer them to the browser in Ubuntu studio though.

Did you know that there is such a thing as "Long Term Support" (LTS) Linux releases? Every few years or so a certain version of a Linux distro (like Ubuntu 18.04 codename "The Bionic Beaver" or "Bionic" for short) is supported longer than the regular releases. Bionic is supported until 2023 (i.e. gets software and security updates, after 2023 you can probably still download and install software, but it's old). But Ubuntu 19.04 "Disco" is supported until jan. 2020 (i.e. for 4 months). See https://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=ubuntu

So I'd always choose an LTS release of my favorite Linux distribution. Now I read on Ubuntu Studio's website that their version of Ubuntu 18.04 is supported until jan 2019 (?). I think Ubuntu Studio uses the same repositories as "regular" Ubuntu but I'm not sure. I'd steer away from Ubuntu Studio if I were you. The added value might be minimal but that non-support thingy can bite you in the buttocks in a few months...

If your laptop is old (i.e. has only 1 GB or 2 GB of internal memory) you might want to consider a lightweight "desktop environment" (DE, or "how it looks"). The software and the system then are the same. I installed Debian a few weeks ago and I could choose to not install the standard DE (Gnome3 on Wayland) but something like LXDE or Mate. I choose Mate: looks superb. I'm convinced that you can choose to use Mate as your DE during the install of Ubuntu too.

Good luck! :)


P.S. You can use Chrome in Linux too.

P.S.2 BACK UP your old data!!!! And realize that it might be impossible to go back to Windows if you accidentally overwrite a partition that it needs (recovery partition or something...).

merlyn
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Re: Need some help - Linux distros

Postby merlyn » Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:00 pm

Ubuntu Studio sounds worth a try to me.

@Linuxmusician01 : Have you used Ubuntu Studio ? I'm not entirely sure why you are consistently so down on it.

IamNotROOT
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Re: Need some help - Linux distros

Postby IamNotROOT » Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:29 pm

Yes, Linuxmusician01, I noticed that about Ubuntu Studio, but I do not know what it means exactly that it is only supported until January 2019. What I am looking for preferably, is a distro that I can easily update perpetually and it will not ruin the apps and files that are installed - if such a thing exists.

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Re: Need some help - Linux distros

Postby ufug » Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:59 pm

I use Ubuntu Studio and like it. It's very good. Some people here experience conflicts if they also install kxstudio tools, but that is not a concern if you don't use kxstudio (something you certainly don't need if you are just starting out and your focus is Bitwig or Mixbus).

Support ending in 2019 isn't quite accurate. Keep reading the Ubuntu Studio website to get up to speed, but the recommended way to run it is to use 18.04, which is supported through April 2021 with their backports PPA installed. Support only means how long they promise software updates and help. You can still use it after that.

Re: Chromebooks are not usually the best idea for an audio workstation, but you've got some good power there with the Pixelbook--maybe it will work fine in your case. You might also want to check out GalliumOS which is a distro targeted at Chromebook hardware. I use it on an old HP Chromebook and although it was a project to install it, it works great (I've never tried to do audio work on it, I just use it for writing and browsing).

You are probably going to end up trying several different approaches and failing a few times before you get where you want to go. Welcome to the club!

IamNotROOT
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Re: Need some help - Linux distros

Postby IamNotROOT » Tue Sep 03, 2019 5:43 pm

great info, thanks. Unfortunately, I am stuck with the Pixel/Chrome book for probably a year. I'm on a very fixed budget and I want to start learning the software. Help me understand the unsupported software concept in Linux. When an issuer like Ubuntu Studio stops supporting a version, do most people then upgrade to the latest version, and does that cause a lot of problems with your existing system? thanks

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Linuxmusician01
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Re: Need some help - Linux distros

Postby Linuxmusician01 » Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:45 am

IamNotROOT wrote:[...] What I am looking for preferably, is a distro that I can easily update perpetually [...] - if such a thing exists.

Unfortunately, no.

After almost 15 years w/ Linux as my main OS I still find upgrading (not to be mistaken w/ updating) my Linux distribution a pain. I back up all my data, format my hard drive (or buy a new one) and do a clean install of an LTS distro. Upgrading Windows is more easy, I think.

merlyn wrote:Ubuntu Studio sounds worth a try to me.

@Linuxmusician01 : Have you used Ubuntu Studio ? I'm not entirely sure why you are consistently so down on it.

[off topic] I'm not aware of that, sorry if I come over as U. Studio bashing.

I, in general, do not see the added value of the large amount of Linux distro's. Of them 99% do not have any added value and have been fabricated by a student in his attic. Support for most of 'm is bound to stop after a year or so. And experienced Linuxers can't help you with 'm because they are "different".

However, there are some widely used Linux variants that are to be recommended (I think: LUbuntu, XUbuntu, Mint, Ubuntu Studio etc.). But I have a lot of trouble finding out via their website how support is, what is different from Ubuntu and what is the same. Take Mint for instance: it's based on Ubuntu and uses the same repo's. Now that you can trust. If all distro's makers were crystal clear on their website on how their stuff works it would be much easier for the community to recommend it and to support it.

To make a long story short: I've no idea what Ubuntu Studio is so I wont recommend it. Might offend one or two people. But you have to understand that it's me the users are coming to if they have questions. Not the developer of Ubuntu Studio, Canonical and what have you not. And if I understand today how U Studio exactly works, I will have forgotten it tomorrow. Yep, I'm old, but that als comes w/ a lot of Linux experience. And that experience tells me that Linux = Linux. I've never come across some sort of magic (read: specialized distro) that makes Linux any different.

And those "special" distro's hide something else about Linux that is very, very dear to me. Linux is very adjustable to your needs and wishes. It really, really, really, really, really doesn't matter what distro you choose: you can adjust it to any need you have. It's pliable. They used to call that "Put the fun back in computing". Those specialized distro's try to make people think that it's difficult and "no fun" to work w/ a computer. Linux is different from Windows and (even more so) MacOS. Those are monolithic monsters that will not be tamed if things go wrong. They have no error messages that are comprehensible for an experienced computer user, as opposed to Linux.

The ultimate beauty of Linux is that it is extensible and infinitely adjustable concerning:
  • GUI (i.e desktop environment)
  • Software (you can choose between heavyweight and lightweight software from a repository that is virus free: try that on Windows/Mac)
  • You can easily automate things w/ shell scripts if you're experienced (Power Shell in Windows is incomprehensible w/ its command of 15 letters long)
  • Certain Windows software runs on it (try that on MacOS, Chromebook or Android)
I.m.h.o. those are the reasons one should choose Linux, not because it is easier than anything else.I always try to make that clear to new Linuxers. There's no reason to doubt about a distro: just do it and worry later!

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CrocoDuck
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Re: Need some help - Linux distros

Postby CrocoDuck » Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:12 pm

Linuxmusician01 wrote:
IamNotROOT wrote:[...] What I am looking for preferably, is a distro that I can easily update perpetually [...] - if such a thing exists.

Unfortunately, no.


Actually, this very kind of distribution does exist. It is the "rolling" distribution kind. These distributions do not come with versions. Rather, you install a snapshot at a time, and keep upgrading the various packages. Arch Linux would be a prime example of this, but there are many other examples, like Debian Unstable, Linux Mint Debian Edition, OpenSuse Tumbleweed and many others. I have been running my Arch Linux for 5 years, not a single real issue to report.

Would I recommend rolling distributions to newcomers? Probably not. You will run smoothly if you are disciplined in maintaining your system properly. Without getting into the details, it is not hard work but something you master with time.

What I found most reliable before I switched to Arch is sticking with LTS releases and, when support is terminated, back up all of my data and do a fresh install of a new LTS release. I think I would recommend this to a beginner. Doing a fresh install is not a big job: you will sort that out in a day more or less, and it will happen only every 5 or 6 years.

Hope this helps.
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Linuxmusician01
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Re: Need some help - Linux distros

Postby Linuxmusician01 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:27 am

@CrocoDuck: I absolutely agree w/ you on the rolling release distro's. Another downside of them is that it is very risky or impossible to use another (extra) repository other than the distro's own. So no KXStudio reopo's for a rolling release of Debian might be possible (I dunno for sure) but most repo's are for a specific version of a specific distro. However, considering that there's almost no software that I install from "external" repo's anymore nowadays that might not be such a problem.

[semi -ff topic] I might ask a question or two in a forum 'bout a Debian rolling release. Like: "Is Sid really that unstable?".

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Re: Need some help - Linux distros

Postby Michael Willis » Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:07 pm

Linuxmusician01 wrote:"Is Sid really that unstable?"

He was clearly very unstable in Toy Story, but by Toy Story 3 he at least seemed to have a stable job as a garbage collector.


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