[Ardour-Users] getting started

Mark Knecht markknecht at gmail.com
Mon Apr 13 11:21:14 PDT 2009

On Mon, Apr 13, 2009 at 2:10 AM, John Emmas <johne53 at tiscali.co.uk> wrote:
> Mark and Noel have already mentioned an important point but I think it
> should be mentioned again - hardware!!
> If you're new to Linux, the first thing you need to know is to ignore the
> myth that "Linux will run on anything".  It won't.  In fact, Linux is very
> fussy about what hardware you run it on.  Not as fussy as OS-X but a lot
> more fussy than Windows.  Before installing any version of Linux, visit the
> distro's forum and find out if any other users have got the same hardware as
> you.  Find out what problems they had - or whether there are any known
> problems with (say) your sound card or graphics card.  If you possibly can,
> try out a "live CD" of your chosen distro.  They let you try out a distro
> without making any changes to your hard drive.  Live CD's are often
> available free with Linux magazines, so take a stroll to a good newsagent
> and see what's available.
> Now for some specific tips:- If you're accessing the internet via a
> broadband modem, forget it.  Ditch it, buy yourself a router and get it
> running before you go any further.
> And before you install Linux, BACK UP YOUR HARD DRIVE and expect lots of
> silly, frustrating problems.  For example, my very first choice was Fedora
> (which many people are using very successfully).  And yet Fedora trashed my
> partition table three times before I eventually gave up with it.  You might
> also encounter problems if you've got a flat panel monitor.  Many of the
> distros that I tried defaulted to 70Hz refresh rate (which is outside the
> range of most flat panel displays).  I needed to install using a CRT monitor
> and then set the display properties to something that my flat panel could
> live with.
> And don't expect the simple hardware configuration that you might be used
> to with Windows or Mac.  At first, you'll probably spend a lot of your time
> manually editing config files.  Again, BACK EVERYTHING UP before
> and after editing these files - or you'll probably find yourself doing this
> over & over again.
> I tried a total of 9 Linux distros before settling on 64studio.  However
> OpenSuse is also worth an honorable mention because of its sheer
> friendliness.  It never seems to get recommended for audio use but it worked
> fine for me and was undoubtedly the most stable distro I've ever used.
> Whatever distro you choose, sooner or late you'll need to install a
> real-time kernel.  Therefore, finding a distro that uses one out of the box
> might save you some hassle.
> Finally, consider the question of dual-booting.  Will you need to dual boot
> between say, Linux and Windows?  If so, Linux offers a handy little utility
> called 'grub' which displays a boot menu at start-up.  OpenSuse's version is
> particularly attractive because it's graphical and animated (most of the
> others are just text based).  But (and this bit's important) grub needs to
> run on a partition whose number WILL NOT CHANGE if you add further
> partitions.  Things will work out better if you can install Linux on your
> first primary partition.  If that's not available, create an extended
> partition and install Linux on your first logical partition.  Most distros
> always allocate these two partitions with a permanent number, so you can add
> and delete other paritions without screwing up your grub partition.  If you
> choose any other partition and then (later) you add or delete some totally
> unrelated partition, there's an excellent chance that you'll end up with an
> unbootable system.
> Welcome to the world of Linux.  It can be a rocky road to begin with and
> you'll soon learn that your mistakes won't often go unpunished.  It does
> eventually get easier though.
> John

Good points one and all.

I hadn't stopped to consider that with Gentoo you certainly want to
have built a kernel on some other distro before you start a Gentoo
install. If you've never done that then it's relly too much to learn
in the middle of your first install. While I wasn't recommending
Gentoo I'd now more strongly suggest that unless he has a real
interest in that distro it shouldn't be his first attempt at Linux.

- Mark

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