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Welcome to the newbie page of the LinuxMusicians wiki. This part of the wiki is meant to help you make a successfull start with Linux as your audio workstation and musician's tool. We will use some external links for further information. On the right side of this page you see a table of contents so you can go to the chapters which you're interested in and skip those which are less interesting for you. There's also a search function above it. If this page does not provide all the answers to your questions, you can always ask a specific question on our forum. For more support options (e.g. IRC and mailinglists) check this page. Don't hesitate to ask!

Why Linux for music composition and digital recording?

  1. Linux is safe, stable, easy to work with and free!
  2. Great professional grade, free audio software for recording, editing, midi, sampling, drumming and much more!
  3. Lower latency than on Windows or OSX, plus more configuration and optimization options.
  4. Great options for connecting multiple computers (also Windows and Mac) and syncing audio over the network (NetJack).
  5. Great support by the Linux community and other audio/music focused Linux groups, in many different languages!

Examples of some great pieces of free audio software on Linux:

  • Ardour Digital Audio Workstation.
  • Qtractor Audio/MIDI multi-track sequencer.
  • MuseScore Music notation and composition software
  • LinuxSampler sampling with SFZ and GIGA files.
  • TAL Noisemaker Excellent synth available as LV2 and LinuxVST plugins as well as a JACK app.
  • samplv1 RNCBC's simple but very useful sampler. Available as LV2 plugin and JACK app.
  • Open Octave Midi is a Linux based DAW designed to give musicians the tools needed to make composing on a computer possible, and even fun!
  • Guitarix is a virtual guitar amplifier for Linux.
  • Mixxx DJ tool.
  • Calf audio plugin pack high quality open source audio plugins for musicians.
  • Audacity sound editor
  • Hydrogen drummachine
  • Yoshimi Improved version of the famous Zynaddsubfx synth

These are just a few examples, more at Not sure if a tool you need is available or don't know which one suits your needs best? Ask advise and user experiences on the forums or mailinglists!

Commercial Audio Software

Next to the many free open source audio software on Linux, there is also commercial audio software available for Linux. Some examples are:

More on commercial software and VST plugins here. Our efforts on our support channels (forum, WIKI, IRC), is, as you'll understand, focusing mainly (but not exclusively) on the Free and Open Source software. For support on commercial software, we'd suggest you to go to the particular software support service offered by the companies.

What (audio) hardware is supported by Linux?

Many people wonder if their (audio) hardware is supported by Linux. The quick answer is that there's a good chance that it does. When you start working with Linux it's always good to do a little Googling (or Scroogling), and that'll likely tell you if it is supported. Most hardware is actually supported by Linux, because of lots of work from the Linux community. In addition, more and more companies are making hardware drivers for Linux and selling computers with Linux as the default operating system (e.g.Dell, Asus, HP, IBM, Novell, Sun and interesting for a audio pc eracks/STUDIO and more.)

Here You can see which soundcard, firewire device or other audio hardware is supported by Linux. Your hardware not on the list? Then you can ask at our forum or post a message on the LAU mailinglist.

Using Linux as a Audio Workstation

Which Linux Distribution for ProAudio?

For newbies it's highly recommended to start using a optimized Linux distribution for proaudio or multimedia. Then you don't have the trouble of doing all the specific configuration needed for proaudio yourself. Which one is the best? There are many opinions. KXStudio may be the most popular and even has a dedicated subforum on the forums. AVLinux is another popular option. There is a Live cd available for both of these distributions, so you can try it without installing. There are other great proaudio distributions also! For support with installation, ask on the supports channels of the specific distribution or our forum.

  • Much of your success depends on your hardware, make sure you buy (audio) hardware which is supported on the Linux platform!
  • For advanced users who want to optimize their favorite distro for proaudio usage, see the system configuration page.

Working with Linux Audio Software

When you have your Linux Proaudio Distribution installed, it's important to know JACK (Jack Audio Connection Kit). JACK the professional sound server daemon on Linux, that provides real-time, low latency connections for both audio and MIDI data between applications that supports JACK.

Some good points to start:

Get your support!

Linuxaudio is great, make sure you get the best out of it. It's impossible for us to keep the documentation up-to-date. So little annoying issues with a (combination) of certain software, are not documented and might cost you way too much time. Therefore, it's highly recommended to join one or more support channels, so you know what's going on in the world of Linuxaudio and are able to ask support for issues you're confronted with. Join our forum, the Linuxaudio mailing-list (LAU) or the support channels of the distribution you use (forum or mailing-lists). For most people it's the only way to find a pleasant workflow on Linux and get the best out of it! Do it!

wiki/newbies.1369485659.txt.gz ยท Last modified: 2013/05/25 16:04 (external edit)