[ardour-users] OS Question

Mark Knecht markknecht at gmail.com
Thu Nov 3 17:36:24 PST 2005

On 11/3/05, 7lb9oz Productions <viipoundproductions at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Thanks for all of the help, I am at work now, but will being trying this
> when I get home.  The only other question I have is about my second HD that
> houses both the partition I record to and the /home partition.  Currently, I
> have the /audio drive split apart from /home, and I am wondering if there is
> any need for this?  I am doing it so that I can have the audio drive
> formatted XFS and the home drive ext3, but I would like to hear about how
> some other people are doing it.
Hi again,
   Let me see if I can guess where all your concern is coming from. I
was a Pro Tools user on PC hardware for about 5 years. It was a mess.
I went through the 001 and the 002 and used them for everything you
could reasonably do with them. I had PC hardware performance problems
almost every day of the week for 5 years. It was a mess. Optimize
this. Reinstall that. "Disk drives cannot keep up." "System error
XYZ." I've been there and done that. If any of this sounds familiar
then please stop me...

   On every Linux box I'm running today I can record a minimum of 16
tracks at the same time. For kicks I've gotten as far as 75 tracks in
mixdown. I can run my RME cards at <3mS latency with no xruns for
days. (Yes Lee, even my AMD64 machine since yesterday. Public credit
to Lee Revell for kicking my a$$ until I got the message!)  ;-)

   Optimizing Linux boxes is FAR easier and FAR more stable, day in
and day out, than any Windows machine I ever used, but probably the
MOST important thing is that when you run into a problem there are
real solutions here. Folks in the audio community to start, or the
Linux kernel developers when it's required. You are not dealing with
some large faceless corporation. It's real people who actually care.

   Now, that said, this is no license to do stupid things. I see no
*major* problem with having /home and /audio on the same drive, as
long as you're not planning on making huge use of the /home partition
in the middle of a recording session. I do not think that you should
place the busier system partitions, most expecially /var and possibly
/sbin & /tmp, on the audio drive, but beyond that I'm not sure it
makes a huge difference. Once Ardour is up and running I don't think
there will be all that much reason to access these things so those
partitions will likely just sit quiet most of that time.

   As for file system types I use ext3 or very resently HFSPLUS. I've
tried a few types - reiserfs, ext2 & ext3, FAT32 & HFSPLUS. I
personally think that with the newest realtime kernels and good RME
cards it's getting to the point where the system is so fast and tight
that it's not a performance issue anymore. Choose the one you think is
right for you. (Note - the largest latency I can actually measure on
my AMD64 system is around 32uS - 1/100th of my audio latency. The
newest kernels are really pretty cool once you learn how to run them.
(Again, public thanks to Lee, Ingo, Fernando as always and countless

   I hope this info is of interest. My #1 recommendation is to stop
worrying, build and configure a system, make some music and have some
fun. The technology will likely work itself out over time and if
you're not having fun what's the point?

   Take care and good luck.


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