[ardour-users] Unable to record - 'disk system cannot keep up'

Paul Davis paul at linuxaudiosystems.com
Tue Aug 15 07:52:27 PDT 2006

On Tue, 2006-08-15 at 09:27 +0300, Sampo Savolainen wrote:
> Quoting Steven Chamberlain <steven at pyro.eu.org>:
> > Hi,
> > 
> > I've set up 'ardour2' on a new system using 2.6.16-rt29, PAM patched for
> > rt_prio, latest jackd and ardour2 from SVN.
> > 
> > For some reason I cannot record beyond 10 seconds. For the first five,
> > everything keeps up and the red/pink areas behind the playcursor are
> > refreshed with the recorded audio data. At around 5 seconds the red/pink
> > areas stop updating, and the playback/capture buffers drop down to zero.
> > About 10 seconds into recording it aborts with the error:
> >   "The disk system on your computer was not able to keep up with Ardour.
> >   Specifically, it failed to read data from disk quickly enough to keep
> >   up with playback."
> Does this happen also with Ardour 0.99.3?
> This sounds a bit like your hard drive wasn't set up correctly. Run hdparm
> on the disk you are using and post the results here. (for example
> /sbin/hdparm /dev/ida/c0d7p1). The most important setting to watch for is
> DMA.  (I'm not sure if this is relevant on SCSI, but it's worth a check)
> Another thing to look out for is interrupt priority and process priority.
> Did you run jackd in realtime mode? If you did, did you specify a realtime
> priority number (the higher the better). I've seen cases where xruns are
> common even when running with -R (realtime) because of low RT priority.

actually, xruns do not appear to be relevant here.

ardour's message is a complete description of everything we know: your
disk subsystem (which means the disk h/w, the filesystem, the drive
controller, the kernel and ardour's disk butler thread) were not able to
keep up with the required rate of data flow. 

discovering why that is tricky. sampo's suggestion of using hdparm to
check settings is the right place to start.


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