Setups for Ubuntu Studio

Ubuntu Studio is a Debian-Ubuntu distribution designed for media development.  It comes with a powerful suite of audio, video and graphics tools that makes for a great workstation.  Mostly, everything just works.  It uses the Xfce desktop that is lightweight but a bit spartan compared with Ubuntu’s gorgeous Unity desktop.  I like Xfce more, and it is better for a workstation.  Ubuntu Studio is all fully open source software. This shows you how to add what is needed to make a great radio station with mostly free software.

We will also cover DreamStudio, which is a gorgeous full featured  Standard Ubuntu based media workstation, featuring Audio, Video, 3d graphics, animation, etc.  DreamStudio does not worry about all the applications being open source, just that they are affordable, and VERY nice.

Jack Audio Connection Kit

The Jack Audio Connection kit connects up all your audio applications and interfaces within the computer.  It comes working out of the box in Ubuntu.  For serious work, a bit more setup is a good idea.  There is lots of advise on the internet that is outdated for Jack. NetJack connects computer’s audio together in a network.  Not for the casual doodler, but very powerful. will make it all come together.

Part of what makes Jack2 easy to use is the KXstudio utilities that tie Jack2 together with a friendly, understandable  user interface, with additional powerful tools to build a great audio workstation.


Rivendell is a powerful and competent open source complete radio automation system.  You can get it free as a completely set up Centos based “appliance” that will run an entire radio station on a garden variety desktop from Paravel Systems.  (They will also sell you computers all set up to run, and provide technical support)  You can use it as the basis of an entire radio production center with server, multiple workstations, integration with audio workstations, etc. You could extend the appliance, but miss out on all the other features that Ubuntu Studio brings to the party.  You will get guides here for using Rivendell whether you use the Paravel appliance or adding it to Ubuntu Studio. The Rivendell appliance is designed to set up once, get it right and then never update or change (except to cure bugs) until you are ready to do a major upgrade.  It is an appliance!

Rivendell plays just the same whether on the appliance, Ubuntu Studio or DreamStudio.  The other applications and tools are different. A Ubuntu Studio installation will have regular audio DAW software to help out, and good tools for managing the Jack2 and other interfaces.


Latest Article

Upgrading the New LTS version of Ubuntu-Studio

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Ubuntu, has a versioning release sytem that accommodates bleeding edge users and users that are seeking stability.  Ubuntu-Studio follows this scheme. The various releases are kept track of by a Major release number – the latest being 16, a minor release number, and a point release number in the format:  16.04.1  The major releases have

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Nice demo of Rivendell with StereoTool

StereoTool is a very competent Jack enabled Audio Processor / FM stereo / RDS  Generator that runs on a decent 64Bit PC with a 192 kHz sample rate sound card.  Here is a YouTube demo of Rivendell feeding StereoTool through Jack. You can see the components working, and then the setup in KXstudio Catia patchbay. Nice!

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Ubuntu-Studio vs DreamStudio

update! 3/2016 DreamStudio is no longer a complete distro.  It is now a package of applications available for Windows, Mac and Ubuntu and KXStudio.  It was last updated 10 months ago and is available on Sourceforge.  Dick MacInnes has let his domain names and expire.  I hope Dick is doing ok, with his,

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Jack2 Audio Connection Kit

Jack2 is the connector for audio within and between computers.  It connects your audio soundcard to the guts of your computer using a simple to visualize jackfield, where you connect audio paths from one output to any number of inputs.  You can also connect several computers’ audio together over ethernet!  It is available for Linux

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IP Addresses for LANs

There are currently two systems for IP addressing – IP version 4 and IP version 6.  Version 6 is important because the world is running out of IP version 4 addresses, as there are only a little more than 4.23 trillion addresses, and we have used most of them up. We are going to concern

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Network Setup for Rivendell and NetJack

The physical connections between computers running Rivendell and/or NetJack should be done with a bit of thought.  There are some special considerations in any network that carries real time audio or files that must be served on an exact schedule.  This “real time” requirement is different than most computer needs where a document or web

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Use PulseAudio with Jack Audio Connection Kit?

Ubuntu Studio 14.04 uses Pulseaudio -> Alsa -> Jack as the connection interface for audio devices.  Pulseaudio is a very simple interface, and with it most audio cards just “show up” and play with Jack as the pulseaudio-sink and pulseaudio-source devices on the Jack patchbay. In the olden days (Ubuntu Studio 10.04 and before) Pulseaudio

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Where to get Ubuntu Studio

Ubuntu Studio 14.04.x is a distribution of Ubuntu that is available for download as a .iso file, which is a DVD image file.  You need to download the torrent or .iso from the download page.  A .iso is directly downloaded using Firefox, Chrome or IE.  A torrent will download a lot faster but you

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Don’t Edit /etc/security/limits.conf

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There are a number of sites that say to edit /etc/security/limits.conf. Ubuntu Studio 14.04.2 automatically makes the entries for Jack in /etc/security/limits.d/audio.conf on installation. The  Rivendell package automatically sets them up in /etc/security/limits.d/rivendell.conf These files get read in by an include statement in /etc/security/limits.conf so all is good, don’t edit limits.conf. The general philosophy

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Hardware for Audio – Server and Workstation

The Workstation A Rivendell workstation with Jack2 and Netjack to work with a server needs a reliable motherboard with an X64 processor  with two to four cores, Several Gigs (3?) of Memory, and if to be used with a server for audio storage and database, probably 120 Gigs of SSD.     If the machine will be

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