[ardour-users] A decent sound card for Ardour

Paul Davis paul at linuxaudiosystems.com
Fri Feb 9 13:00:49 PST 2007

On Fri, 2007-02-09 at 20:28 +0000, John Emmas wrote:
> Contrast that with Linux.... APPLICATION installations are mostly quite
> slick due to utilities such as Synaptic - but frankly, driver installation
> is a complete and utter mess.  There are almost as many different procedures

thats because there is no such thing. almost. on linux, we don't do
stuff like "logitech keyboard drivers" or "LSI SCSI drivers". there is a
keyboard driver, and a SCSI driver. you don't install a new device
driver for every piece of h/w you buy - the drivers in linux are based
on chipsets, not manufacturer's branding. 

> in use as there are different kinds of hardware.  For example, some drivers
> can be installed using apt-get install.  A few can be updated by Synaptic.

wrong. almost all drivers are part of the kernel, except for those that
are written by companies who release binary only drivers. they are
extremely controversial, and it is possible that one day, such drivers
will be prohibited. the jury seems out on this right now.

> The potential for error when installing Linux drivers is absolutely
> enormous.  If I were a hardware manufacturer I wouldn't go near Linux with a
> barge pole. 

fine, but RME did. they are happy to acknowledge linux support on their
website, and happy to get thousands of dollars in sales from academic
users (who tend to like linux and high channel counts), but they don't
take it seriously. a new user shows up with a *NEW* RME card, with *NEW*
firmware installed, and it fails to work. the user gets a sick taste,
linux takes a black eye, and RME really don't give a damn. Or so it

> If Linux wants manufacturers to take it seriously, it needs to define a

unfortunately for your analysis, there are lots of manufacturers that do
take it seriously already. they just happen to make technology that
isn't relevant to the discussion at hand. consumer desktop hardware does
not get good manufacturer support for linux drivers, its true.  

> single, unifed strategy for driver installation - so that, no matter what
> the driver; no matter who wrote it - users always install it the same way.

you haven't installed any drivers other than the ones that are part of
your kernel, as far as i know.

> For the past 12 weeks I've spent around 2 days per week trying out different
> flavours of Linux.  So far, I haven't done a single productive thing with it
> in all that time.  My entire time has been spent purely & simply trying to
> make the hardware work.

John, your experience with linux has been a nightmare. I don't know why
that is. There are at least 4 million users of linux worldwide, possibly
as many as 20 million. I've walked several complete Linux neophytes
through a distro install several times on IRC and it has gone
flawlessly. why your situation has been so different, I cannot say. I
would find it entirely understandable if you just walked away from linux
at this point.

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