[Lumiera] Fw: [piksel] [ANN] Linux Audio Conference 2011

Robin Gareus robin at gareus.org
Mon Oct 4 18:04:05 CEST 2010

On 10/04/10 14:12, Hendrik Boom wrote:

> I wish Linux audio weren't a black art.  

not quite.

For pro-audio it is not much more complicated than setting up or
maintaining a studio on any OS. You need throw some time and/or money at
it no matter which OS you're using.

> There are too many systems, 
> eash written to bypass problems with the others, incompatible, with 
> adapters between them .... it becomes hard just to get audio to work at 
> all. 

These days it basically boils down to JACK [1] and pulseaudio [2], both
of which sit on top of ALSA and have orthogonal intentions:


 JACK: pro-audio, low-latency, fixed-samplerate
 pulseaudio: consumer-audio, low-power consumption, resample when needed

and both work out-of-the-box for devices where there's vendor support.
(AFAIK pulseaudio's firewire backend is still work in progress; but
heck: don't complain: go and do it.)

Secretly some of the linux-audio-devs wish there's been an authoritative
push towards one API. That's basically what Steve Jobs did for OSX: he
pulled rank and pushed coreaudio, annoying many developers in the first
place but prevented many issues for years to come. However, such an
approach will not work for FLOSS.

[1] http://www.jackaudio.org
[2] http://www.pulseaudio.org/

> There's folk remedies like "reconfigure alsa every time you boot" 
> and such. 

Most of these issues like these have been remedied in recent years.

> I suspect what Linux audio really needs is adequate 
> documentation written by people who know what's going on.

The -dev documentation is pretty good, but I guess you mean 'adequate
end-user' documentation:

and http://www.pulseaudio.org/wiki/PerfectSetup
might be what you're looking for, no?

If you need help: ask on the linux-audio-user email list. After all a
lively community is what sets GNU/Linux apart from most proprietary


> It's almost as bad as trying to keep flash up-to-date and working.
> -- hendrik
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