About distributions.

Distributions (henceforth referred to as distros) can be thought of as 'flavours' of Linux. Some are general purpose or try to be one-size-fits all. Some try to be minimalistic. Some are tailored for specific applications. They all have the Linux kernel at the core though, be it in stock or modified form.

It so happens that, for various reasons, newcomers to Linux often feel utterly overwhelmed by the sheer choice of distros. This page aims to resolve that by removing unnecessary or outdated choices, and presenting a clear, concise picture of the current distro scene.

Newcomers are advised to select from one of the ready-to-go distros dedicated to music-making. If you are an Linux-experienced user, you might want greater control over your OS, and may find our resources on building your OS from scratch valuable.

Ready-to-go distros dedicated to music-making.

Henceforth known simply as 'music-making distros'.

Currently, the two most popular of these are KXStudio and AVLinux.

KXStudio should work on most modern machines, if the KDE version is tweaked for that or the XFCE version is used. AVLinux uses the extremely lightweight LXDE desktop environment and can and will run on all but the most ancient hardware.

Both can be obtained as an ISO from their site. Both are pre-setup and pre-configured for use - you'll only need to setup up your hardware on them, and you're ready. Lots of pro-audio software are preinstalled. This is the quickest and easiest method of getting a Linux studio started, and we recommend this to all those who are new to Linux.

With the ISO method, however, you are also limited to the distro's choice of base distro (specialized distros, like music-making distros, are almost always based on a bigger distro - KXStudio is based on UbuntuStudio and is shifting to Debian, and AVLinux is based on Debian Stable.) and DE. So some, like KXStudio, also offer another option, that of installing their repositories on another distro. This requires an internet connection and slightly more setup, but is easy enough for people with a little experience in Linux to do - and usually, the simple and concise install instructions provided (atleast in the case of KXStudio) are of great help.

To see other music-making distributions, please see this page. It also has a list of unmaintained ones, for the historically-inclined.

Building your OS from scratch

Hm, welcome to the jungle.

Note that building your OS from scratch may not necessarily mean going the Linux From Scratch route. With the choice of base OS, one chooses the amount of control one wants. But then, if you're considering this path, you already know that.

Wait, what?

Well, realistically speaking, anyone considering this path is likely to already know what base distro they want, and what they want from their rig (Hint - if you don't, you need to go back and use the ready-to-go distros for a while. And most people don't need such levels of customization in the OS, so don't feel inferior about it.). The best we can help them with is to help them understand the best practices and recommendations in system tuning and configuration (→), and of course helping you when you want to ask something.

wiki/distributions.txt · Last modified: 2013/09/05 19:49 by contrapunctus