Thursday, December 28, 2006

Update: Musix 0.79 Released

The Musix Linux Distro rolls ahead to 0.79! More updates on this later...

Live-CD download

More info

Posted by DCZX @ 11:53 PM :: (12) comments

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Thanks for reading Linux Rock Star this year. We've been fortunate to have some great members of the community to interview. This coming year, we hope to have a lot more cool stuff as the Linux Audio community grows. Remember that it's a community effort and to find some way to contribute, whether it's joining in discussions and helping someone out, submitting a bug, donating to an open source project or submitting code. Programs don't get to be awesome by themselves.

Thanks to all the great developers out there and people at irc channels, forums and mailing lists who've helped me out with Linux stuff. I've really enjoyed using these programs this year: Ardour, Musix, 64 Studio, JackLab, Aeolus, Hydrogen, JACK, Zynaddsubfx, AMS and many more. I really look forward to seeing what the new year will bring.

Also, please let me know if you have any good ideas for stories or topics you would like to see covered at Linux Rock Star.

Finally, any orders for the Rock Star Linux pack placed between Dec 27 - Jan 1st will ship out after the 1st.

Merry Christmas, and God Bless.
Borrowed the penguin image from here.

Posted by DCZX @ 6:34 PM :: (2) comments

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Sound & MIDI Page Updated

The Sound & MIDI Software for Linux page has been updated with lots of new links to applications, updates and news! Check under, "new additions". Lots of fun stuff to look at!

Posted by DCZX @ 9:11 PM :: (2) comments

Monday, December 18, 2006

Interview: SuSE Jacklab Creator Michael Bohle (Part 2)

Q: What is the main purpose of the SuSE Jacklab team?

The main competence of jacklab is communication, support and testings. Jacklab (in its current state) is a step toward a full blown openSUSE based distro. Some members of the Jacklab team are now able to build up a one CD install, because the openSUSE Wiki published an tutorial "how to make a sopenSUSE based build".

Appleonkel (Oliver Bengs) is learning how to make it. He also make the kernels. Olli is also member of the build service now he meet some openSUSE devs and he hopes that for the LAC 2007 in Berlin to release the one CD install (JAD). A CD is a enough for a full studio with kde-light and a browser and YAST. The CD will be pre-configured with my suggestions from the music production side and some graphics for eyecandy.

Q: Is there a chance of seeing the Enlightenment Window Manager as an option?

Yes, the last versions of e17 are pretty stable, so this is an realistic option. I still use e17 on all my systems, but for most of the people KDE is an option, so there will be a very basic KDE. Anyway, I think Konqueror is also for the e17 desktop a very useful filemanager

Q: Will there be a commercial version of Jacklab?

There will be a commercial version of JAD on DVD. The German publisher Nicolaus Millin, (Ex SuSE press) was talking about this with Olli and me. So he now joining the JackLab team. I'm very happy to have an experienced SUSE professional in the team, who have a view for biz.

Q: What sort of differences will there be?

There will be a openSUSE JAD (for free) one CD install. The commercial version, JAD Studio Edition will the be same system, but with commercial samples and maybe a license of Energy XT2.

Q: Would it have different support options?

Yes, I planning pro support for the studio edition and a printed manual. A lot of do.

However, this will come later. First, we must test and develop JAD (JackLab Audio Distribution). The one CD install will always be free. So everyone can join in for free to the user4user support forum at

Q: Are there any good ways for users to get involved with Jacklab?

The best way is to join our IRC channel, #jacklab. Here, we are talk and share about development, testing and audio apps. In most cases here is someone who can help.

Q: Sometimes it's a lot nice to get real time help with a problem, or to give feedback.

Yes, thats what we need, feedback. Without feedback, we have no motivation and there are will be no improvements.

Q: So, GPL v2 or v3?

Hehe, I'm not a code developer so thats not on me. As an artist, I prefer to use the Creative Commons Licenses mosty.

Q: Anything else you would like to say about Jacklab?

Yes, ... when I was starting this project, I was a bloody Linux noob, but had good skills as creative computer user.

So I meet with some Linux geeks with a heart for musicans. We learned to communicate and understand each other. Sharing knowledge. So the Linux geeks and music geeks people began to create something new. We learn to play together like in a band.

Q: So Linux people learn more about music, and music people learn more about linux together?

Yes, exactly.

Q: There is some real communication happening then. That's good. I imagine both sides need to learn the “jargon”.

At first there where a lot of misunderstandings, and learning to respect each other. Musicians can be stupid users, and geeks are only human. You know what I mean.

Q: Yes, it takes a lot of patience from both sides.

Yes, but I feel very comfortable in the Linux community right now.

Q: Overall, is the community oriented toward the same goals?

Well, only a very few people like to help actively and there is a lot of chaos about "what's the better distribution”. So much, “blah blah blah”. So to work together with a goal is not so easy.

Q: Would you say it's best to just pick a project you like and stick with it instead of bantering?

Yes, for sure. I mean, when you have energy for bantering, you could better use this energy for something constructive. There are so many ways for active participation. When I was starting Jacklab, I was really sure lots of people would share a vision of a user friendly SUSE based music distribution, but with the time, I have to accept, that most of the people are waiting for someone to serve them something: passive users.

I've realized that I can change something if I do it and share my ideas and desire for a free music production environment base on Linux. So a very few like Appleonkel have realized their role in the game and taken the chance to grow up to something like an openSUSE rt kernel guru.

It's easy for users to fall into that trap of not giving anything back and just expect a free lunch.

Q: What other projects are you working on?

I just produce a German rock band in my "Jacklab Studio One". They are maybe a bit punk; hard, but with a lot of emotion. This production will be released under the CCL and it is a 100% open source product. We produce with Ardour as the main software. I have a small but nice studio, and this will be the first music product made with the "SUSE 10 JAD preview " (never released officially).
In Germany, the bands are not so biz oriented like in the USA. So, this band is a part of the JackLab network, a culture of the new independent open media movement. Other projects will follow, in different places, with different music.

Q: Do they have a website?

They're called Bad Man Dead. They are at (hosted by Jacklab) and But this website is in preparation, their almost everyday in the studio and actually find no time for making some html-stuff.

Well, thanks Michael, for talking with Linux Rock Star and sharing about openSUSE Jacklab!

Posted by DCZX @ 6:26 PM :: (19) comments

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Interview: SuSE Jacklab Creator Michael Bohle (Part 1)

Michael Bohle is the founder and one of the project leads for JackLab. JackLab is a project for research and support of proaudio / media software for openSUSE Linux. He joins us here at Linux Rock Star to answer some questions about the project, and its future in light of the recent Novell / Microsoft developments and what this means for JackLab users.

Q: JackLab is has a selection of some of the best open source audio programs for openSUSE. How did this project get started, and why for openSUSE Linux?

First: We decided to merge our RPM repository with the free packager group packman ( ) and concentrate our focus to user support and the development of a openSUSE based "JackLab Audio Distribution“ but more of this later in this interview.

Since 1999 I've checked SuSE Linux for its multimedia capacities and always was disappointed. Promising multitrack solutions like SLAB never working for me and playing a simple pcm wave file was sometimes pain in the ass with the open sound system (oss).

In 2004 I was testing the Knoppix based aGNUla DeMuDi live CD and I was very impressed. I'm a musican and music producer so I was always looking for a free music producing platform. Linux seemed to be this, but until DeMuDi it was frustrating to use Linux for creative music and media. So DeMuDi was giving me the first impression, how JACK, the low latency audio input output system working.

But I have special proaudio hardware and a dualscreen system. DeMuDi is based on Debian, and its support for hardware is very basic. So I was checking once again SuSE and all my hardware was detected and configured correctly, but I didn't get JACK and the proaudio apps like MusE to work. But for me it was clear -Linux is the future platform for proAudio so I get the idea of „JackLab“ - an laboratory to delve the capacities of JACK.

Later in 2004 Mathias Nargorni, the developer of Alsa modular and Novell Product Manager, made in cooperation with a popular German music magazine a SuSE 9.2 based Audio Live CD. But there was no installer, and the “normal” SUSE 9.2 pro audio wasn't working well.

I recognized that I have to compile a new kernel and some more. So I get in touch with the free SUSE community. The packager oc2pus (Tony Graffy) offered me to make more proaudio rpms available from a wishlist, that I made, and the hacker gimpel was helping me to make a realtime audio kernel for SuSE Linux. 9.2. To share this, I opened the website In the same time SuSE was getting open for the community development and so we are joining into openSUSE as one of the first free projects.

Q: Will Jacklab continue in light of the recent Novell / Microsoft developments?

Why not?

For sure we will continue – cos where is the problem? openSUSE is sponsored by Novell, but the community make their own decisions. Remember for example the story with of Gnome vs KDE: Novell wanted to put pressure on to get gnome as default WM through. At last the devs from Nuremberg decided to keep KDE. I don't get any nervous by this deal. I think MS try to contact Linux, because its threatened their biz. Now is the point, that Linux will spread more and more. I think the FSF should concentrate their focus on HURD, and Mark Shuttleworth should look by his own gpl-games.

Anyway: JackLab is a free project. We are feel as a part of the openSUSE community, but we have nothing to do with the biz decisions of Novell.

Q: Are there any changes in the agreement that affect Jacklab / openSUSE users?

No. why?

Q: Will Jacklab be updated for openSUSE 10.2?

I just started with some beta testing and I'm positively surprised. 10.2 seemed to be the best of the “openSUSE” builds (since 10.0) With the actual RT kernel from Appleonkel the rtprios for PAM jack is running flawless.

The last days an tutorial was released, which explains clearly how to build up a own openSUSE distribution, so there is a big chance that Olli and Nico are solve the dependencies to make a stripped down one CD install “JAD” image, based on 10.2. A first release is planned for latest the LAC2007 end of march. But I'm sure a preview will be available in February.

At next I will release a basic tutorial for updating a standard openSUSE into a DAW, there is already a new repository rt for kernels available and I promise: Now it will be very easy to pimp the office girl Suse into a rock queen named Susi ;)

I also tested Ardour 2 on 10.2 with a 2.6.19 rt kernel, with success, so sad that we can't share the ardour2 vst build :( because the GPL don't allow to distribute binarys compiled with the proprietary code headers from the Steinberg SDK.

Q: What are your favorite applications on Audiolinux?

First of all: Ardour. I just produce with the band called “Band Man Dead” a demo cd, and a good workflow is given. A really pro app. I also like SooperLooper for free improvisation with my voice, and the synthesizers ZynAdd and AMS. Together with Hydrogen and Seq24 in sync.

I just testing energyXT2 for Linux... seemed to be that this will be one of my fav in the future. But a lot of beta testing to do.

Q: What sets openSUSE / Jacklab apart from other Linux music distributions?

Not so much. In fact there no big difference between the Linux distributions. But: openSUSE is one of the progressed and user friendliest distributions in the Linux market. YAST is the best developed graphical Linux configuration interface. openSUSE is ready for the enduser, which means, those who working productive with an operating system. But it is open for improvements and a good source for modern, innovative development. Maybe Ubuntu have the better community, but openSUSE is leading in the technological aspect.

So openSUSE is a good base for developing a very userfriendly operating system for studios and musicans. The JackLab Audio Distribution (powered by openSUSE) will be fast, slim but complete, beautiful and fully compatible to the main openSUSE distribution.

But in the core, the audio apps and other items like RT kernel similar to all other Linux distributions -it has something to do with taste, but the ingredients are always the same source code. It is simply Linux.

Q: Why do you value Open Source software?

I choose it, because I can work freely with it. I feel safer with a opensource DAW software; cos I'm not depend on the update cycles of the manufacturers of proprietary software. I've got the freedom, to to share the app, for example Ardour, with the customer of my mobile studio, so they can edit their audio
tracks by themselves without spending lots of money or breaking software copyright laws. I like the open project file format of Ardour, because in fact “shit happens” and so I have the option to edit and repair the project file in clear text , XML based.

In addition I think, that a free culture needs independent and free production tools.

Q: How is the weather in Germany today?

Fuckin' foggy cold, it is autumn it its last state. I'm happy to be here in my warm studio ;)

Posted by DCZX @ 10:54 AM :: (10) comments

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Rock Star Linux Pack!

Support Linux Rock Star by purchasing the Rock Star Linux pack: The newest versions of 3 of the best Linux Music Distributions on CD plus an exclusive Linux Rock Star logo keychain! Save time on downloads and start making some music!

For $10 + $3 S&H you get
Graphic Labeled CDs + Cases + logo Keychain:

* 64 Studio (32 or 64 bit) (installable)
* Musix (live, installable)
* dyne:bolic (live, installable)
* Exclusive Linux Rock Star Logo Keychain

With the live CDs, you can try out Linux now, and install when you're ready. By purchasing the Rock Star Linux pack, you'll be supporting more great interviews, articles, and tutorials on Linux Rock Star!

Buy now with PayPal and get ready to rock!

Posted by DCZX @ 4:53 PM :: (10) comments

Friday, December 01, 2006

64 Studio 1.0

The Linux distribution 64 Studio has reached version 1.0! This is a distribution with a large selection of music apps that is available in 64 bit and 32 bit versions.

From the press release:
"The 64 Studio project produces a distribution of native free software for digital content creation on x86_64 hardware (AMD's 64-bit CPUs and Intel's EM64T chips). After eighteen months of development, the project has made its first stable release available for free download. It is named in recognition of the work of Glyn Johns and Eddie Kramer at Olympic Studios in London."

64 Studio Homepage

Posted by DCZX @ 3:53 PM :: (12) comments

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