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Welcome to the OSM Linux Audio Distro Shootout page. (a.k.a "The awesome lads")

There are many Linux Distro's relating to Audio/Visual, but how well do they tackle the issue of a full out of the box hit the ground running multimedia production suite...



We aim for simple installation, configuration, and use. And for lowest latency with and without some apps working (we still lack the protocol to measure).

  • Pita : a.k.a. Pain In The Ass factor. The amount of clicks plus times striked the enter key to get from A to B in the most standard way. Example: 64studio is 17 Pita from scratch to get installed. It is 12Pita to get jack to work in realtime


  • Ease of use

Measured by the Pita from logged in for the first time to get Ardour working.

  • Ease of installation

Measured by the Pita from uninstalled to installed and logged for the first time. (The installation should be the most standard one)

  • Lowest latency

Lowest latency possible on JACK without XRUNS, running just qjackctl.

  • Lowest live latency

Lowest possible latency while applying some live effect to the input. (The criteria has not yet been established) Noises and clicks should be annotated too


We should put down here the PCs we offer for testing. They should be as diverse as possible, if possible, music-oriented hardware.

  • A ( Trece8 has it)  : CPU 64bits Pentium D (2 x 2.8 GHz) ; 4Gb RAM 667 MHz ; M-Audio Audiophile 2496 ; SATA II drives, onboard VGA card (VIA).
  • B ( Guitarman has it) : CPU 64Bit Pentium D (2 x 2.8 Ghz) ; 1GB RAM 533 Mhz ; Behringer UCA-202 (USB Audio Interface) ; SATA II drive ; onboard Intel Video.
  • C ( Trece8 has it)  : CPU 32bits Pentium 4 2.40GHz ; 1Gb RAM 133 MHz ; Onboard Ensoniq 5880B ; PATA drives ; nVidia GeForce2 MX/MX 400
  • D ( Seegwen has it)  : CPU 64bits AthlonXP 3200+ 2.20GHz ; 2Gb RAM 333 MHz ; Presonus Firepod(1gen) ; 1 PATA/1 SATA HD ; Radeon 9200


- Ubuntustudio

- 64studio

- AVLinux

- Fedora 10 w/ ccrma

Additional information on how to test liveCDs by running them from your hard drive can be found here:

Running LiveCDs From Your Hard Drive


- limits.conf and putting yourself in the audio group

- The almighty RT kernels


This table is stolen from here in hopes of converting it to a table that is useful to us.

Distribution Test version Base distribution Test version build date PC for testing 64 Bits? Unstable?
64 Studio 3beta3 Debian 2008-06-09 A Yes Yes
Ubuntu Studio 9.04 Debian 2008-11-30 A Yes unknown
Fedora + Planet CCRMA 11 Red Hat 2009-06-09 A Yes Yes

CrunchBang + patches 9.04 Ubuntu 2009-01-19 A unknown unknown
dyne:bolic unknown none 2007-09-22 unknown unknown unknown
pure:dyne unknown unknown unknown unknown unknown unknown
Musix unknown Knoppix, Kanotix, Debian 2007-03-05 unknown unknown unknown
AVLinux unknown unknown unknown unknown unknown unknown
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