[ardour-users] CCRMA vs. AGNULA

Paul Winkler pw_lists at slinkp.com
Mon Apr 4 23:32:35 PDT 2005

On Tue, Apr 05, 2005 at 05:21:03AM +0000, lewis.jon at att.net wrote:
> Maybe I am conceptually challenged here. My understanding at this point is that Red Hat, Fedora, Debian and Gentoo are all different distributions of the Linux kernel.

That's kind of correct but significantly incomplete.  They are
distrubutions of gnu/linux - the whole operating system, not just the
linux kernel. That means kernel, libraries, development tools,
utilities, applications, the whole enchilada. Plus every distro
has its own preferred system for managing which packages are installed
RedHat, Fedora, and relatives use RPM; Debian and relatives use Apt; and
Gentoo uses portage.

> CCARMA and AGNULA are modifications to the Linux kernel (Red Hat/Fedora and Red Hat/Debian respectively) which are customized for low-latency audio and video. Is this accurate? 

Again, it has a grain of truth but it's very incomplete.  PlanetCCRMA
and AGNULA are "meta-distributions". That is, they don't provide you
with a whole linux system; they provide you with a convenient set
of extra packages that you can layer on top of another linux
distribution.  So for example, if you use PlanetCCRMA, that means you
have a RedHat or Fedora system providing most of the base system -
utilities, libraries, and non-audio applications such as web browsers
etc. On top of that, you install PlanetCCRMA which provides a whole lot
of audio and midi applications and libraries that may not be in Fedora
or RedHat at all or, if they are, the versions there may be old or
otherwise lacking in some way.  In addition to that, PlanetCCRMA
replaces the kernel with a low-latency-optimized kernel.

AGNULA does much the same, except that it requires a Debian base system
rather than a Fedora system.

> Am I missing something? Are there more options? Again, I am looking for stability. What is the best combination to use?

Personally, I haven't actually used AGNULA or PlanetCCRMA so I can't
really compare them.  I used to prefer Debian to Redhat, so I might be
tempted by Agnula, but I've been on gentoo for a long time now and I'm
pretty happy with that. But I don't recommend it for new people - it
takes a lot more time and effort to get the system up and running.  I do
sometimes wonder if I'd be just as happy or happier with a Fedora +
PlanetCCRMA setup.


Paul Winkler

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