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Reading Kim Casconeís excellent recent article about his switch to Ubuntu from OSX inspired me to finally take the plunge this weekend. Iíd already decided I wanted to go back to Eclipse as my primary IDE, so that made the decision easier! Hereís what I ended up doing, and the snafus I ran into along the way.

I decided to dual boot OSX and Ubuntu. Iíll still be switching back to OSX quite a lot for a while if only because thatís where Max/MSP and Logic Pro live, and I havenít migrated my workflow over to Pure Data and Ardour yet, but thatís the goal.

After some failed tinkering trying to make a bootable USB stick drive, I just borrowed a blank CDR from my roommate and went the live cd installation route.

OSX gave me all sorts of headaches trying to resize my main partition from Disk Utility to make room for Ubuntu. I ended up finding this guide to using Parted from within Ubuntu to resize the partition instead: Link (insanelymac.com/forum/lofiversion/index.php/t32890.html) I didnít actually disable journaling from OSX beforehand, and didnít need to adjust the ID of the OSX partition afterward. I just booted into the live cd, opened a terminal and adjusted the partition size with parted. Easy! Took about an hour or so to resize. Then, during the actual installation process I just selected ďuse largest free spaceĒ and Ubuntu took care of creating its own partitions automagically.

The next hurdle was a resolution issue - I donít know what solved this, but probably just updating everything through the super-awesome update manager in Ubuntu took care of it? At any rate, this morning booting into Ubuntu has me with the proper widescreen resolution for my Macbook.

The macbook trackpad behaves very strangely under Ubuntu. It was almost unusable when I booted from the live cd, but after updating the quirks seemed to be smoothed over a bit. Dragging and dropping is still a painful experience, and right-click is just completely absent for now. Iíll probably just get an external mouse.

I was also surprised to find that Eclipse on Ubuntu seems to be super buggy.

Otherwise, installing Gnome Do to replace appleís spotlight app launcher has really made things feel nice, and Iím excited to get working with Ubuntu.

From a web development perspective, it took me all of two minutes to get my LAMP stack up and running. Amazing.

The one major bummer Iíve run into so far, was that I decided to go with the 64 bit version of Ubuntu, which ChucK currently doesnít support. Bummer, bummer, bummer. Iíll be booting into OSX for music a lot for a while I think.

Here's the Kim Cascone article: Link (createdigitalmusic.com/2009/08/04/linux-music-workflow-switching-from-mac-os-x-to-ubuntu-with-kim-cascone/)

How many of you guys are using Ubuntu regularly? Anyone using it for music? It's a dream for web development already, but I'm excited to dirty with some JACK magic and other Linux-only audio stuff. :-)

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I just installed Ubuntu 9.04 on my sister's old laptop. The live CD didn't have the drivers for my wireless card, so I'm in limbo with it right now. I'll have to hook it up to my router with an old fashioned cat5 to make it work. The plan is to use it for internet stuff. I've used Ubuntu 8 for this purpose before with some success. As a C and TeX compiler, it's really good.

I like XP much more for audio. I'm so comfortable with my XP workflow I have a hard time changing, and I'm not really interested in running Reaktor or Cubase in Wine. Ardour doesn't stack up to Cubase SX2 either, imo. It's probably higher quality (64bit), but my beginning experiences with it were not good. I need tool modifiers to be happy editing. I don't like switching tools and having to remember what tool I'm using. It slows me down too much, and feels unnatural. Maybe I'll give Ardour another chance, but from my perspective the most important aspect of a DAW is the interface, and I'm not interested in anything that comes up short in that area.
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I used 8.10 as my primary OS for work and general browsing for a few months, but I found Firefox to be unbearably slow, especially for Youtube and other video sites. I never got audio working quite right, either. the last straw was when X windows stopped loading. this seemed to happen on more than one machine simultaneously. I'm sure I could've googled a solution via elinks but since I kind of live in Firefox, it was a welcome excuse to go back to XP and a snappy browser.

I still shell in to an Ubuntu server machine to do all my day-to-day web work. the workflow with bash and vim is really comfortable for me and I'm glad I took the effort to learn them.

anyway I found it to be a great learning experience and solving the seemingly daily OS issues helped me build up some perseverance muscles. I might give it another shot again later.
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So far I'm totally a fan. I'm not sure if I'm imagining it or not, but everything feels way more snappy now - Eclipse seems to run way less sluggish for sure...

Once ChucK gets 64 bit support I can't think of a whole lot that would bring me back to OSX... Could just be that Ubuntu feels nice and shiny now though - snow leopard may lure me back again...
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also, while that article was interesting and enjoyable (he's a name I've heard lots but never researched, and now I'd like to), it appears that the only realtime processing he's doing with Ubuntu is mixing.

I agree with a lot of the comments about it being a little short on the meat - he mentions Max/MSP numerous times in the article but the only thing he says with regards to replacing it seems to imply that basically, he hasn't because he doesn't need to:
Kim Cascone said: "This environment served me well over the years Ė until recently, when my aesthetic focus changed from using randomness in my work to taking a more deterministic approach. This happened to coincide with my change of operating systems."
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That's true, it does sound a bit like he's not doing a lot of realtime work at the moment -- Pure Data, ChucK (32bit), Supercollider, and cSound are all realtime options that run natively though. In the case of csound and Pure Data, I'm not sure how much more meaty you can get! Those two are the oldest and probably most robust realtime environments in computer music... Supercollider is even growing up a whole lot these days - it's out of beta! :-)
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Def check out Kim's music though - Dust Theories is really great, as is his collab with Merzbow, and the Deupree / Cascone / Chartier disc...
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I used Linux Mint 7 (built on Ubuntu) for about a week on my new laptop. One of the more polished distros I've tried. Ended up back on Windows 7 for now. It was too much of a chore to get Mint streaming media to my Xbox 360. Once I get a HTPC sorted out I'll likely go back to Linux for my laptop. I've been trying to keep all music production in my SP-404 with minimal computer involvement. Ardour does look very interesting, and I'll have to have something to record the 404. Thanks for the article link.
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you. are. smarter. than. me.
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PD's meaty for sure. I was referring to the article itself. obviously he knows how to tantalize; otherwise, I wouldn't care enough to want to know more.
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I'm going on two years with Ubuntu.
I found Kino, audacity, puredata, blender, inkscape and the gimp for editiing video, sound, 3d scapes, vector images, and digital images respectively.
I have helped a dozen people get into it with dual booting and half of them asked for me to switch to boot ubuntu automatically now, only using winblows occasionally. It's a great feeling to help get people started.

My brother is required to have a C/assembly compliling environment compatible with UC berkely. I told him to type sudo apt-get install build-essential to grab some extra things he might need but it's all built in. a huge step away from where I went to school. I had a college that was so dependent on microsoft IDE, I quit the computer science department altogether. Times have changed.

I have compiled many things for Ubuntu if natively not in repository. If someone needed help, I am reachable from bug [~a^tt] Link (spindletide.com)
Happy to help anyone learn more. You can run it from CD (slower, but to get a feel for it) without changing anything.

I recommend new people consider a separate hard drive for Ubuntu or any OS unless they are comfortable with a 10% chance of having to configure or repair the boot sector by hand. Always installing XP first, then Ubuntu works everytime for me, but you never know...

What a great way to distribute applications. How Canonical/Ubuntu got such an organized and thorough packaging dispensary I just don't know.

How many people use Ubuntu?
10-20 million and building.
These numbers are based on Unique IP connects to repositories.
Aggregated and then subtracting 25% for margins.
Number of PCs is higher. I have one Ubu server, 4 ubu desktops, 2 ubu lappies....2 IP addies, 7 PCs.
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I use Debian (which Ubuntu is built on) for building servers for small businesses and non-profit orgs. The Permaculture Association in the UK is going Ubuntu/Debian completely. I have run ubuntu on old macs, really old pIII pcs and the like, no problem. For a web browsing office machine look no further. I use Ubuntu for my front room entertainment system and it kicks ass.

However for music I am still tied to Mac/XP because Reason, ableton et al uses these. When ableton goes to linux i am there.

Native Instruements started to support linux but what happened to this?
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i make music exclusively on linux, using a fork of aldrin tracker i started a while ago
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I use Debian and Ubuntu. Ubuntu is meant for the novice desktop user, and works great out of the box most of the time. The difficulty is getting it to work 100% of the time on ALL hardware, especially with limitations by hardware vendors on open sourcing their drivers. Debian is much more stable, hence why it has such a long release time. Both versions can run most of the audio apps out there, since they both use deb packages. Debian is a little less friendly, and requires some deeper understanding to work around some hardware, ie, recompiling DKMS, initrd's and kernels sometimes. You might want to check out Debian 5 (Lenny), its extremely well done, and have been porting my stuff over to it. There is another possible application, that you may want to try, I have heard nothing but good stuff about it. Its called CrossOver, and it allows for Windows applications to run on Mac and Linux, some say that the Windows apps run even better on non-naitive Windows OS's. So you may be able to try getting Ableton Live, or even Max/MSP working on it.
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Btw, I did hear that they are working on Max/MSP for Linux.
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Thanks for the tips, everyone! xLefr - I can't wait to try out that speedy new runtime with eclipse. After ditching the ancient version bundled, the latest version is already running like a champ, so that's exciting!

I use CrossOver sometimes to test IE6 under OSX, but yeah I'll probably use WINE for that same purpose under Ubuntu.

I'm not quite ready to recompile my kernel to get my OS running smoothly :-) Going to stick with Ubuntu for the time being (but I do enjoy the debian servers we use at work!)
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