Page 1 of 1

My KXStudio recommendations for new 12.04.1 install

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:30 pm
by wolftune
UPDATED Feb-28, 2013! Major revisions:

How to get help separately from this:
* make an account on
* see documentation at (in progress) and
* use Konversation and connect to network: server: channels: #kxstudio #opensourcemusicians and for general system help #ubuntu and kde-specific #kubuntu
* a way to do screen-sharing to get support from others:
* OPTION 1: Jitsi
* download from (choose Ubuntu, pick latest version use i386 for 32-bit install and amd64 for 64-bit, install with GDebi Package Manager), set up with any XMPP account, including make a new one with; this works like Kopete but includes screen-sharing including control!
* OPTION 1B: GNOME Empathy is same concept as jitsi, says that it works for desktop sharing, I didn't try it, it requires a ton of GNOME stuff, would be worth trying for GNOME systems (I don't know if screen-share would work in a connection between Jitsi and Empathy), Empathy is nice for being in the repos, but not so great for KDE.
* OPTION 2: GITSO (screen-share only, no A/V or text, but no extra accounts, direct connection)
* download latest .deb file from
* it should open GDebi Package Manager, install it
* supporter needs to open port forwarding at port 5500 on their router (usually by going to and entering admin password, finding settings for port forwarding and enter 5500 for TCP and forward to the computer's local IP)
* supporter finds their public IP via
* supporter starts Gitso, clicks "give support"
* supportee starts Gitso, chooses "get help" and enters the supporters' public IP
* yes, otherwise there are options like Mikogo and Teamviewer, but these require installing proprietary software and force all parties to use that


1. Download disc image (.iso file)
2. Burn to DVD or make Live USB
3. Run live system (via pressing F12 at system start, but do not run install yet)
4. [skip to save time, it's ok just not as ideal] Run Gparted
* for dual-boot, adjust preexisting, add new extended partition
* make / (root) partition (in extended if dual-booting), size 20GB+ no more than 40GB probably, no label, ext4
* make /home partition (in extended if dual-booting), most of space minus 4-8GB for swap, no label, ext4
* make swap partition 8GB or so maybe at end
5. make sure to connect to network
6. run installer
7. choose manual for partitioning (if did 4 above or want to adjust things now)
* choose the new partitions and mark root / and /home for the larger home partition
8. do the install process

UPDATE after install

1. On start, it will ask about the theme, choose settings and then apply
* For now, just go ahead and apply the theme, the only problem is the colors and compatibility.
Future updates will have extra options, but for now, you can play with the colors and themes in the preferences.
There are lots of user-submitted variations to try.
* I made my own: "greenish-dark" colors and "qtWolf" qtCurve theme:
* for optimal consistency, install gtk2-engines-oxygen and gtk3-engines-oxygen and set oxygen-gtk as the gtk+ theme in preferences, and use my oxygen widget settings also: set no buttons on scroll-bars, and thin 12px scrollbars
2. Open Konsole a.k.a. Terminal and enter "kxstudio-apply-root" This will ask for password
* alt-F2 is quick search to launch, just start typing program name, e.g. "Ter" for terminal
* or use launcher K icon with search or by going to the applications section for "system" programs
3. connect to network
4. check for updates
* launch synaptic package manager and after password click "reload"
* or use CLI (Command Line Interface) version in terminal: sudo apt-get update
5. install updates
* in Synaptic: click "mark all upgrades", accept, then click "apply" and accept
* CLI version: sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
6. restart system


1. run terminal to get CLI and enter: sudo usermod -a -G audio username
* replace the word "username" with your username entered on install
* GUI way to deal with groups is to first install kuser (via synaptic or via command "sudo apt-get install kuser") but then kuser still has to be run with sudo via command line ("sudo kuser")
2. open Cadence and make sure that JACK is running properly, if not go to configure and choose your default device
* if problems, try restarting, and also try command: "cadence-session-start --reset"
* note: you can use Claudia to set up studios with particular settings letter and let Cadence stick with the default for auto-start
3. make sure under ALSA Audio that Cadence snd-aloop daemon is started and should be ALSA -> Loop -> JACK
4. log out and log back in
5. figure out the basic in/out latency of system to set JACK's latency-compensation
* see and links there
* also
* even just trial-and-error could work by testing overdubs and adjusting
* hopefully Cadence will eventually include a tool to set this more easily
* note: Claudia can save JACK settings, so different devices can be set a certain way, but maybe write down the latency for each for future reference
* when in doubt, try Audacity, which can set all the different ins and outs to see that things are working
* all the sound settings are in kmix by just clicking the speaker icon in the system tray and clicking "mixer" but you may need to adjust the mixer to add elements to it to see all the different controls.
* for a terminal version, run "alsamixer" and press F6 to choose device and F5 to see all settings. Select items and change with arrow keys and then "M" will mute and unmute, and spacebar will activate or deactivate.
* in some cases, a one-time fix is all that is needed. Sometimes there is a need to go back and adjust a boost or an activation of an input or output depending on your hardware.


Depending on setup, the FLOSS drivers that are included automatically make work well. If there are issues or you want to test the proprietary drivers, there is an Additional Drivers program in the system applications, and this can work sometimes, but best best is to search or other forums or help things online to learn about what works for your system.
* In some cases the best option is to download the latest driver directly from the maker's site, such as AMD for AMD video drivers, which requires following some complex instructions for install
* best resource for AMD drivers:
* When in doubt, go with Free/Libre because it is Free/Libre. But you can always try different options and switch back.



1. Open system settings
* Application and System Notifications: pull up Multimedia system and turn off the notification for change of audio device
* Input Devices:
* Keyboard advanced tab: turn on compose key (I use the menu key for this), this makes it easy to type special characters with logical combinations such as © is compose key plus any round object like O or 0 and a c. Compose key first, then the others in any order.
* Touchpad: scrolling: turn on both horizontal and vertical scrolling with two fingers.
* Power Management: adjust to be energy conscious, make the computer suspend after some time, even when plugged in, make the times short for suspending and screen turning off, etc.
* go to the system tray in the panel on the side or bottom of the screen and right-click, you can make the battery indicator show ALWAYS, and clicking it is a quick way to turn off power management for times when you need your screen to stay on or other reasons, just remember to turn it back on later!
* Startup and shutdown: Autostart: add Yakuake by clicking "add program" and typing the word "yakuake", do the same with "klipper" (also adjust their settings appropriately, yakuake start message off, klipper should ignore selection)
* I had trouble with klipper autostarting. Had to edit the file ~/.kde/share/config/klipperrc and change "autostart=true"
* Desktop Effects: turn on OpenGL and Raster probably, Crisp mode, slide for desktop switching, taskbar thumbnails on, turn off for full-screen windows, other things optional

3. Firefox setup (mostly for privacy)
* Go to, click "add to browser" at bottom of page to install plugins
* Go to tools menu, add-ons, extensions and then preferences for duckduckgo and make duckduckgo the default search for everything
* Install Adblock plus via the add-ons, set it up to block ALL ads, set filter subscriptions for EasyList, EasyPrivacy, Fanboy's list, Fanboy's Annoyance List, Fanboy's Tracking List
* optional extras are Adblock pop-up blocker and Disable Anti-Adblock
* Install Ghostery and run wizard
* Turn on all blocking by default and go to settings after install to turn on blocking of new trackers by default
* Ghostery is proprietary software. So a different but related consideration is: Noscript (free), which blocks all scripting except approved, and LibreJS blocks non-free scripts, and these can be run simultaneously also and have whitelisting options so you are in control.
* consider Youtube MP3 podcaster or similar video/audio downloader
* "download statusbar" (nicer than the download window)
* consider:
* In FF preferences: Privacy: check "tell websites I do not want to be tracked", use custom history and turn off third-party cookies (may cause problems with some sites)
* Note FF extension "Collusion" is a great way to visualize all the ways you are being tracked, but it doesn't block the tracking, so I don't use it

4. Plasma panels and other settings (will be a script in the future to set)
* play around with settings, it will help you understand the system
* try right-clicking on things, particularly objects like window titles and widgets
* use icon-only task manager and remove the normal one, and then set to use indicators and other nice settings
* make Cadence a quick-launcher by dragging it to icon-only task manager or right-clicking when open and choosing "show a launcher when not running"
* right-click on the cadence icon in the task manager to quickly launch other KXStudio tools

5. Install extra software (most is in already included repos, some requires extra PPA's)

* Install Redshift
* install plasma-widget-redshift
* add redshift widget by clicking the plasma thing on the panel
* set to autostart and other settings, log out and back in to check that it autostarts
* Back In Time is the best GUI-based, easy backup system, install with PPA: ppa:bit-team/stable
* before each backup, run: sudo dpkg --get-selections > installedpackages
* this saves installed packages so you can get them back if you later reinstall
* just use an external drive to backup and use default backup settings
* this will backup just your personal home files
* backup as often as you reasonably can, only the changes will be saved, and all older history is saved also
* LibreOffice extras:
* LibreOffice as installed in KXStudio does not have all modules. Missing are:
* Calc (spreadsheet, charts)
* Base (database)
* libreoffice-help (install your language version, e.g. en-us)
* mythes- (thesaurus built-in, per language)
* hyphen- (if you want to have auto hyphenating, per language)
* note: if you want to explore a great alternative office suite, check out Calligra, which includes many other programs besides the essential word processing, spreadsheet, etc.
* Musescore
* Tux Guitar — good for Guitar Pro files and tab and more (although MuseScore is adding more support in v. 2)
* maybe Muse, but other options are similar; Muse is nice and is competitive with qtractor and rosegarden
* Hydrogen extra drumkits package: via synaptic or CLI, install "hydrogen-drumkits"
* fluid-soundfont-gm for better sounds in MuseScore and others
* Ardour 3, and uninstall Ardour 2
* mx44.2 is a neat looking synth
* Din Is Noise (DIN) (amazing dynamic microtonal Indian-music synth thing)
* Paulstretch (amazing ambient sound effect thing)
* Loopers: Giada is included, but try also: Freewheeling and Sooperlooper
* Task Coach (organizing program — I am on the dev team) via ppa:taskcoach-developers/ppa or for latest bug-fixes up-to-date use ppa:taskcoach-developers/release-snapshot
* cadence-unity-support and libunity9 and gir1.2-unity-5.0 for unity stuff in icon-only launcher
* Sonic Visualiser (maybe also Play It Slowly and/or Strechplayer)
* updated Gimp via ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp
* guvcview the best webcam recorder with options
* Darktable is the best non-destructive photo and RAW processor, but needs updated repo: ppa:pmjdebruijn/darktable-release
* GAMING: there are more than enough options
* The normal software center / package manager includes lots of games, although some are not updated and it isn't everything
* has a huge updated repository system to supplement and update the main repos, emphasizing FLOSS
* Performous is the ultimate music game, like rockband (in normal repo but out of date, playdeb has latest)
* Frets on Fire and fofix are two variants that are guitar-hero style, and they are in normal repos
* highlights the best games, both FLOSS and proprietary, but able to filter to show only FLOSS. Most but not all are available from or from the regular repositories, some are installed separately
* there's more out there, and now Steam for Linux (but this is not only proprietary, it also has DRM and I recommend avoiding it)

* backup stuff via cloud etc.: Ubuntu1 is option, ***SpiderOak is as good or better for FLOSS but more secure and great KDE integration, Dropbox is widespread and works well, there are tons of others, the only 100% Libre is OwnCloud but not as simple right now, I think not as flexible for sharing. Can use multiple of these.

6. Consider non-free issues:
* to fully remove all proprietary stuff if you want to be 100% complete, simply remove the from the software sources under settings in Synaptic. Note: this will remove the possibility of running any VST plugins (which is a non-free framework) even if the plugins are themselves Free/Libre. You could also remove WINE from your install, although that is itself fully free, just that most of the Windows programs you might run with it are likely non-free. Keeping the VST support and WINE, you can run quite a lot of gratis VST plugins and other software. I recommend keeping both non-free and WINE, as they are useful and you can use discretion to avoid actually problematic non-free software.
* or consider whether you want to keep specific non-free software:
* LinuxDSP is a non-free developer making quality (but perhaps not totally incomparable) audio stuff dedicated to GNU/Linux compatibility. KXStudio includes these by default. My personal recommendation: the developer is a nice guy and does things to support other Free/Libre software, I don't wish him ill, but I still wish that the money you can afford to spend go to support fully Free software. I personally am not especially interested in paying for access to these, so I do search for "linuxdsp" in synaptic and removing these plugins. They aren't fully functional anyway, i.e. they are both non-free and non-gratis. But they are not malicious, these are fine options from a respectable developer, so do what you think is best.
* Pianoteq is a non-free software that is truly incomparable. I still encourage support of Free developers first, but if you really want phenomenal high-quality piano and related sounds, this is worth considering and is functional enough to play around with as a demo. I admire the support of GNU/Linux and the support for some alternate tuning features here. But to emphasize truly Free software, you could remove this. It is far from gratis — the license is a bit on the expensive side.
* REAPER is a non-Linux-native program that can run in WINE. It is good and the developers are about as respectable as can be without being free. But supporting and using REAPER still isn't supporting Free Software. I recommend removing it, even though I admire many things about it and even sometimes recommend it to users who won't try GNU/Linux and instead use Windows or Macs. REAPER is non-gratis, but it is not crippleware. It is fully functional as a demo with just a notice and an honor-based request that you pay for a license. But being non-native makes it less appealing, and I suggest instead investing time (and money!) in the truly Free Linux-native DAWs. The primary reason to ignore REAPER is that it isn't truly GNU/Linux native, whereas if it were completely integrated in the system, I would still suggest trying the FLOSS first, but it might be more worth considering. I still recommend it to Windows and Mac users.
* Renoise is a "tracker" style music production thing, something I personally have never really understood but is apparently powerful. It is non-free but Linux-native. It is, I think, partly functional without a license. I suppose you could try it out if curious, but I have removed it. If you like this tracker style editor, try the fully Free "Radium" program, install through Synaptic or apt-get in CLI.

7. some extra not so-important stuff:
* I like the Caledonia desktop theme:
* I like OxygenColors icons (but there are some issues here and there), overall th monochrome action icons are much clearer and more appealing. I HATE the circular X icon for cancel in the normal oxygen set, and I love the flexibility of OxygenColors (I use the green folders). There's a few places where icons don't resize well, but anything deleted from the oxygencolors set will be replaced by the oxygen default, so it's all customizable. Note: the cryonic folder icons included are non-free/libre because they use an NC license, so I recommend deleting those. I hope the developer will one day remove those or offer a version without them.

8. Hardware support:
* in general, there is support for most printers, scanners, and other basic hardware. Some may work right away, otherwise, search online for Ubuntu and the hardware name. In some cases, some simple installation is needed.


Re: My own KXStudio documentation: FIRST DRAFT

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:48 pm
by ToddMWorth
This begs for a wiki page. Thanks for sharing wolf.

Re: My own KXStudio documentation: FIRST DRAFT

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:03 am
by wolftune
ToddMWorth wrote:This begs for a wiki page. Thanks for sharing wolf.
I suppose I agree. I was hoping that such a wiki or whatever would be integrated with KXStudio documentation. Also, some of this is my personal suggestions that might not survive a wiki format. But I like wiki in general, and I license all my work like this (and should have clarified before) under CC-BY-SA, so please use that license and do anything otherwise with this, thanks!

Re: My own KXStudio documentation: FIRST DRAFT

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:02 am
by wolftune
Great. Good work. This can wait until later!

Re: My own KXStudio documentation: FIRST DRAFT

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:34 am
by Pablo
Cool. Just a note.

5. figure out latency of system to set JACK latency
It is the other way round. I would prefer something like:

5. For some uses you might want to reduce the latency. Decrease the buffer size but no more than you need. Beware of xruns and trust your ears.
Note that the latency Cadence shows is an estimate, only for guidance. If you are curious and want to measure the audio real round trip latency, use the methods described here...

Re: My own KXStudio documentation: FIRST DRAFT

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:10 am
by wolftune
Pablo wrote:Cool. Just a note.

5. figure out latency of system to set JACK latency
It is the other way round. I would prefer something like:

5. For some uses you might want to reduce the latency. Decrease the buffer size but no more than you need. Beware of xruns and trust your ears.
Note that the latency Cadence shows is an estimate, only for guidance. If you are curious and want to measure the audio real round trip latency, use the methods described here...
Ok, right, I needed better clarity, but to be clear, this had nothing to do with system latency. That's something that will be surely covered in the basic Cadence documentation as to what buffer is and such. This item was specifically just about latency compensation.

Re: My own KXStudio documentation: FIRST DRAFT

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:37 am
by Pablo
I misinterpreted that, sorry. You are right :)

Re: My KXStudio recommendations for new 12.04.1 install

Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:23 am
by wolftune
I updated this with my revisions from notes over several weeks. It's getting really unwieldy but it is thorough. I really would like to organize this in a more presentable form, but I'd rather share it at all than not, and I don't know if I will get to a better organization.

So anyway, check out the updated first post! Any comments welcome. I hope that this will be able to be shortened as more documentation is included in the basic KXStudio docs and updates are made for the 12.04.2 release!


Re: My KXStudio recommendations for new 12.04.1 install

Posted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:46 pm
by lfz
There's a lot of good info there, I just created a new KXStudio install yesterday and it was useful. However it's getting a little dated and the formatting is pretty hard to read, we should consider moving this to a wiki or writing it in markdown and hosting as a static file somewhere.

Re: My KXStudio recommendations for new 12.04.1 install

Posted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:49 pm
by wolftune
Yes, I'd love to update this and move it to — I don't recall how much of this was already included in the KXStudio install guide there (which needs updating too). I probably won't really overhaul it all until the next KXStudio based on KDE5 is released…