[ardour-users] Running Ardour on SuSE 9.0

Markus Piipari 2pii at luukku.com
Sun Mar 28 22:07:35 PST 2004


A few weeks back I asked this list if anyone had managed to succesfully run Ardour on SuSE 9.0, but apparently nobody had, or at least came forward. (By "succesful" I mean solid performance without random xruns that interrupt a take midway through.)

Now that I have had the time to set it up properly myself I thought it might be useful for someone if I explained what did the trick for me.

Here we go:

- To be able to run Jack and related apps as a regular user, I recompiled the SuSE kernel with capabilities enabled. (This was pretty easy, but I'm not going to further explain how to do it here, as it has security issues one probably becomes better aware of by digging up the information themselves.)

- Obviously, ALSA, Jack and Ardour need to be compiled from the latest CVS or tarball sources available, because the RPMs supplied on the SuSE install DVD are way outdated. All source packages they depend on, however, can be found on the SuSE DVD.

- Before compiling Jack, I created a tmpfs file system at /tmp/jack and configured Jack to use this for its temporary directory. I ran configure with the following switches:

--enable-optimize --enable-resize --enable-capabilities --enable-timestamps --disable-portaudio --with-default-tmpdir=/tmp/jack

This last bit was the thing that made the difference of eliminating any random xruns I used to have before. Now I can simultaneously record at least four tracks at 96kHz with Ardour (haven't tried with more yet), running on KDE 3.1.

So basically only two system-wide modifications needed to be done on SuSE: recompiling the kernel with capabilities (which is not needed if you run all Jack apps as root) and setting up the tmpfs filesystem. I guess this means that the SuSE 2.4 kernel has at least some of the low latency stuff applied to it out-of-the-box, because I didn't patch it in any way.

I currently run Jack with a buffer size of 256 samples, as the options of 128 and especially 64 introduce xruns again. If, for some reason, I needed those shorter latencies I would probably try running with a different window manager, tweaking the kernel time slice settings available in YaST and so on. But that's a whole another story, I suppose.

Hopefully this helps someone.


    Markus Piipari - 2pii at luukku.com

 MTV3 Laajakaista - Hauskemman elämän puolesta.

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