From Mac to Linux

Still new to all of this? Feel free to post in any of the subforums on this site, but in this subforum newbie questions are especially encouraged!

Moderators: khz, MattKingUSA

User avatar
GB71
Established Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2021 8:36 pm

From Mac to Linux

Post by GB71 »

Greetings everyone. (Shout out to Arnout for activating my account. Thank you.) Linux newbie here, preparing to make the eventual leap from Mac to Linux in the future. I've been experimenting with Linux over the last couple of months, on an old 2009 MacBook Pro, doing some distro hopping, before landing on Ubuntu Studio 20.04.2. I initially settled on AV Linux-MXE, but I couldn't get Bitwig to install on it. So, I tried Mint, Ubuntu standard, and Pop! OS; all of which I got Bitwig to install on just fine.

Mint was nice, but had tons of crackling audio and CPU overloads with only a few plugins, on the standard kernel. Ubuntu standard was worse; an absolute crash fest. It was not an enjoyable experience in the least. Same crackling audio and CPU overloads, combined with intermittent OS crashes, even when I wasn't running Bitwig. Then, I tried Pop! OS, which I really enjoyed the look and feel, but could not get it to boot the low latency kernel. It too suffered from crackling and CPU overloads. I was getting ready to give up on Linux altogether, because I had ran Bitwig on that same MacBook Pro under High Sierra, with no overload issues.

Then I tried Ubuntu Studio. Given the poor experience I had with Ubuntu standard, I was reluctant to install it.

It worked like a charm!

So, now that I know Linux is going to work, I'll assume pretty much that any distro will work for audio production, given the amount of users producing audio on different distros, with the right kernel optimization. I really enjoyed Pop! OS's workflow, and would like to use it for music instead of Ubuntu Studio. I keep hearing rumbles about Ubuntu in Linux circles about its corporate leanings, which gives me trepidation, given big tech's continued invasion of our privacy. It's why I started researching Linux in the first place. I do not like Apple's direction in this matter. When Apple made it mandatory to upgrade to Catalina in order to run Logic Pro X 10.6.2, that raised an eyebrow. But then, Catalina would not allow my audio interface to work, unless I activated the built-in MICROPHONE on my iMac, and that was the straw. I have no need of the built-in microphone with an audio interface taking care of inputting audio. Why do I need the built-in microphone activated? I never had to do this in the past. Why now?

Call me paranoid, but I don't know if my iMac is listening in on me like some Alexa device, or not. So, I'm pretty serious about making the leap to Linux. My iMac is now the last Apple product I will ever buy.

So, now that I got that rant out of the way, what I wanted to ask was are there specific step by step resources for optimizing any Linux distro for audio/midi production? If so, I do not shy away from using the Terminal. If I have the correct commands, I enjoy using it!
If my caution of Ubuntu Studio is unwarranted, please tell me, because I really don't want to wrestle with configuring that blasted WIFI card on my MacBook again. Mint, Ubuntu and Pop! OS had me all but standing on my head to get the bloody thing to work, and Ubuntu Studio configured it during installation and had it up and running with no fuss.

So, Ubuntu Studio is still looking like the clear winner in the distro wars with me, in spite of my caution.

My apologies for the long winded diatribe.

Thanks.
Basslint
Established Member
Posts: 919
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 2:25 pm
Location: Italy
Has thanked: 91 times
Been thanked: 44 times

Re: From Mac to Linux

Post by Basslint »

As an openSUSE user, I feel somewhat underrepresented; I, however, am willing to resist that to welcome you :D

The next step is to read up on JACK to figure out if you need to tweak something :D
The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common. [Acts 4:32]

Please donate time (even bug reports) or money to libre software 🎁

Jam on openSUSE + GeekosDAW!
sunrat
Established Member
Posts: 273
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 2:08 pm
Has thanked: 21 times
Been thanked: 20 times

Re: From Mac to Linux

Post by sunrat »

This guide has most of the tweaks generally advised to make a Linux system work well for audio production:
https://wiki.linuxaudio.org/wiki/system_configuration
Some of it is a little outdated, some is not necessary on all systems or for all purposes, and there may be some tweaks not documented (like Intel P-states and C-states). UbuntuStudio should have most of its advice implemented already.

There are also a couple of guides in the Tips and Tricks section here including a great general one by khz, and one I wrote specifically detailing how I set up my Debian Bullseye system.
Gps
Established Member
Posts: 527
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:09 pm
Has thanked: 37 times
Been thanked: 19 times

Re: From Mac to Linux

Post by Gps »

You can use any distro you want, I am also on openSUSE, but to make things easier for you, I would start with av Linux or Ubuntu studio.

I don't have personal experience with those two , but they should give you the least set up issues, because those distro are already tuned for music production.

I love on openSUSE, YAST, which I even can access from the command line, if my desktop has gone on a strike.

Yast is what you use to install stuff on openSUSE.
User avatar
GB71
Established Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2021 8:36 pm

Re: From Mac to Linux

Post by GB71 »

Thanks everyone for the quick response. Much appreciation. The more I thought about it, the more I think I should stay with a distro that is preconfigured for audio production, like AV Linux or Ubuntu Studio. I'll try configuring another distro at a later date. I'm gonna try and contact the AV Linux guy to see if he has any pointers for getting Bitwig to install. If that doesn't work, then at least I know Ubuntu Studio will do the trick.

Looking forward to taking this journey.

Thanks again.
User avatar
briandc
Established Member
Posts: 1386
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:17 pm
Location: Italy
Has thanked: 17 times
Been thanked: 11 times
Contact:

Re: From Mac to Linux

Post by briandc »

Did anyone mention Librazik-3??
I find it very generous in terms of pre-installed apps; the low-latency kernel behaves just fine, and it seems a bit lighter than Ubuntu Studio.


Brian
Have your PC your way: use linux!
My sound synthesis biome: http://www.linuxsynths.com
sunrat
Established Member
Posts: 273
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 2:08 pm
Has thanked: 21 times
Been thanked: 20 times

Re: From Mac to Linux

Post by sunrat »

@GB71 post any errors you get while attempting to install Bitwig and you may get some help. If it installs on one Linux, it's usually fairly easy to install it on another.
I see it comes in a .deb file which should be easy in AVL-MXE. Open a terminal window in the directory which contains the installer and run:

Code: Select all

sudo apt install ./bitwig-studio-3.3.10.deb
and post the output. That's for the current version, change the file name if a different version. Don't forget the "./" , that tells apt to install the local file.
I think AVL-MXE has Gdebi which should install it just by clicking on it, or right-click and select "Install with Gdebi". Running from terminal is a useful method to enable viewing error messages if one needs to work out why something is not working properly.
User avatar
khz
Established Member
Posts: 1504
Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2008 6:29 am
Location: German
Has thanked: 10 times
Been thanked: 12 times

Re: From Mac to Linux

Post by khz »

@GB71 AVLinux == @GMaq

#Bitwig (Start a program without installing):
khz wrote: Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:07 am External programs:

Code: Select all

apt install ./<package.deb>
Don't forget the "./".

Or:

Code: Select all

dpkg -i program_name.deb

(Start a program without installing: Unpack "program_name.deb", unpack "data.tar.xz" and click on "~/opt/program_name/program_name".)

Or:

Other programs that are installed differently have usually explained the installation process on their homepage.
FZ - Does humor belongs in Music?
GNU/LINUX@AUDIO ~ /Wiki $ Howto.Info && GNU/Linux Debian installing >> Linux Audio Workstation LAW
  • I don't care about the freedom of speech because I have nothing to say.
User avatar
GMaq
Established Member
Posts: 1932
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:42 pm
Has thanked: 72 times
Been thanked: 41 times

Re: From Mac to Linux

Post by GMaq »

Hi, Well Ubuntu syndrome strikes again..

Many developers seem to think the latest Ubuntu IS Linux and they don't think of compatibility with other slightly older LTS and Stable distros. The problem with Bitwig and AVL-MXE or ANY Distro based on the current Debian Stable (Buster 10) is they want to utilize a newer version of libxcb-util that currently only in Ubuntu provides (yes it's likely in Debian Testing but that is NOT a released version yet)..
BitWig.png
So the answer is the latest Bitwig 3.3 will not install in current Debian Stable of any kind (including AVL-MXE). When the next AVL-MXE based on Debian 11 comes out (no release date yet) then Bitwig should install again. Feel free to yell at me but this issue is really about shitty short-sighted Ubuntu-centric packaging and it pisses me off to no end!

Ardour and Reaper will run in Linux Distros up to 4 or 5 years old... that's how things are supposed to be done.. :wink:
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
User avatar
GB71
Established Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2021 8:36 pm

Re: From Mac to Linux

Post by GB71 »

GMaq wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 5:01 pm Hi, Well Ubuntu syndrome strikes again..

Many developers seem to think the latest Ubuntu IS Linux and they don't think of compatibility with other slightly older LTS and Stable distros. The problem with Bitwig and AVL-MXE or ANY Distro based on the current Debian Stable (Buster 10) is they want to utilize a newer version of libxcb that currently only in Ubuntu provides (yes it's likely in Debian Testing but that is NOT a released version yet)..

BitWig.png

So the answer is the latest Bitwig 3.3 will not install in current Debian Stable of any kind (including AVL-MXE). When the next AVL-MXE based on Debian 11 comes out (no release date yet) then Bitwig should install again. Feel free to yell at me but this issue is really about shitty short-sighted Ubuntu-centric packaging and it pisses me off to no end!

Ardour and Reaper will run in Linux Distros up to 4 or 5 years old... that's how things are supposed to be done.. :wink:
@Gmaq Thanks for your response to my issue. I really appreciate you stepping in and helping out. Yep, that was the exact error message I received, now that I see it. It's too bad some developers don't support older hardware and software anymore. To me, if it still works, keep developing and using it. Sometimes, I think they get caught up in their own lust for the potential power of higher bit rates.

Even though I'm a Linux newb, I've been hearing rumblings about Ubuntu in the Linux community, and it kinda looks like it's a warranted reaction, which is why I initially wanted to stay clear of it! I've been using Bitwig since the first week version 1 came out, and I'm very familiar with it, and I like it's workflow, audio editing, midi implementation, and modulators for sound design very much. However, I have been poking around Ardour a little bit, and getting curious about Reaper.

VERY curious about Reaper.

I'm still experimenting so I can't say I'll never use them, but it's probably not a bad idea to give those DAWs a serious look.
I'm still not out of the AVL camp. Just delayed for now.

Thanks again, Gmaq.
robbert-vdh
Established Member
Posts: 69
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2021 10:56 pm
Has thanked: 35 times
Been thanked: 18 times
Contact:

Re: From Mac to Linux

Post by robbert-vdh »

You'd need to install libxcb-util1 from a third party repository or package with Debian/AVL since their libraries are a bit old at this point. I've seen this repo for libxcb-util1 on Debian linked in the Bitwig Discord before, but I don't think any of the regular there use Debian Stable. I think Debian 10 uses the same glibc as Ubuntu 18.04 did, so everything else should work fine.
User avatar
GMaq
Established Member
Posts: 1932
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:42 pm
Has thanked: 72 times
Been thanked: 41 times

Re: From Mac to Linux

Post by GMaq »

GB71 wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:44 pm
GMaq wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 5:01 pm Hi, Well Ubuntu syndrome strikes again..

Many developers seem to think the latest Ubuntu IS Linux and they don't think of compatibility with other slightly older LTS and Stable distros. The problem with Bitwig and AVL-MXE or ANY Distro based on the current Debian Stable (Buster 10) is they want to utilize a newer version of libxcb that currently only in Ubuntu provides (yes it's likely in Debian Testing but that is NOT a released version yet)..

BitWig.png

So the answer is the latest Bitwig 3.3 will not install in current Debian Stable of any kind (including AVL-MXE). When the next AVL-MXE based on Debian 11 comes out (no release date yet) then Bitwig should install again. Feel free to yell at me but this issue is really about shitty short-sighted Ubuntu-centric packaging and it pisses me off to no end!

Ardour and Reaper will run in Linux Distros up to 4 or 5 years old... that's how things are supposed to be done.. :wink:
@Gmaq Thanks for your response to my issue. I really appreciate you stepping in and helping out. Yep, that was the exact error message I received, now that I see it. It's too bad some developers don't support older hardware and software anymore. To me, if it still works, keep developing and using it. Sometimes, I think they get caught up in their own lust for the potential power of higher bit rates.

Even though I'm a Linux newb, I've been hearing rumblings about Ubuntu in the Linux community, and it kinda looks like it's a warranted reaction, which is why I initially wanted to stay clear of it! I've been using Bitwig since the first week version 1 came out, and I'm very familiar with it, and I like it's workflow, audio editing, midi implementation, and modulators for sound design very much. However, I have been poking around Ardour a little bit, and getting curious about Reaper.

VERY curious about Reaper.

I'm still experimenting so I can't say I'll never use them, but it's probably not a bad idea to give those DAWs a serious look.
I'm still not out of the AVL camp. Just delayed for now.

Thanks again, Gmaq.
Hi, just to clarify...

Ubuntu is what it is.. I wouldn't say that it is the 'problem' here in and of itself..

The problem is the perception by software developers porting their stuff to Linux simply involves creating binaries using and targeted to the most current Ubuntu release.. We in the Linux Audio community are extremely grateful that many applications and Plugins are coming into the Linux Audio realm. But Linux is more diverse than that which is both a strength and a deficit for new developers looking to bring their goodness to the Linux world. In the case of Debian and Ubuntu if application binaries were built on one version old Stable/LTS platforms (ie Ubuntu 18.04 and Debian 9 as of this writing) then compatibility would be increased significantly across the board..
User avatar
GMaq
Established Member
Posts: 1932
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:42 pm
Has thanked: 72 times
Been thanked: 41 times

Re: From Mac to Linux

Post by GMaq »

@GB71

It appears as though @robbert-vdh has an interim solution...

On AVL-MXE, download both of these Debian Packages:
https://download.opensuse.org/repositor ... _amd64.deb
https://download.opensuse.org/repositor ... s_i386.deb

Once downloaded, find them, double click on them and Gdebi should install them for you..

Once installed you should be able to go ahead and install Bitwig..

*EDIT I installed it for a test and Gdebi pulled in a few more packages and BW installs and runs successfully!

Thanks very much @robbert-vdh for sharing that info!
sunrat
Established Member
Posts: 273
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 2:08 pm
Has thanked: 21 times
Been thanked: 20 times

Re: From Mac to Linux

Post by sunrat »

I didn't look too deeply into dependencies but the version for Debian Bullseye should also install on AVL-MXE. https://packages.debian.org/bullseye/libxcb-util1
The version is the same as the one in Stevo's repo.
Note I do not recommend routinely installing packages from Bullseye (or from Stevo's Debian 9 ports) on Buster-based distros as that will eventually cause grief, but this one should work.
User avatar
GB71
Established Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2021 8:36 pm

Re: From Mac to Linux

Post by GB71 »

EUREKA!

Bitwig finally installed! Thanks guys. I couldn't have done it without your help.
One curious thing...
In Ubuntu Studio, I was able to use JACK with my audio interface, and for some reason in AVL-MXE, JACK is sending the audio out of the laptop speakers
instead of the interface. But, if I use ALSA, it sends the audio out of the interface just fine. I must be skipping something somewhere in configuring audio routing, or I clicked something I shouldn't have.

CPU usage seems to be slightly better in AVL-MXE than Ubuntu Studio. That's a plus!

Anyway, still poking around, figuring things out. Thanks again.
Post Reply