Ardour + non systemD distro

Hi :slight_smile:

Has anybody found a good non systemD distro to use Ardour with ?

I’m not trying to start any flame wars here :slight_smile: I just want to find a distro for Ardour audio production that does not have systemD in it. SystemD gives me trouble on my hardware, and that is the reason I try to avoid it. I if somebody has already done this before, I do not need to reinvent the wheel :slight_smile:

I’m currently considering trying Antix (based on Debian 8 without systemd) and Void - Linux. Gentoo is another possibility.

I would prefer to use KXStudio, but it’s latest version 14.04 has some systemD components in it (login) that causes trouble for me. Also my computer has USB 3 ports and the usb 3 driver on Ubuntu / KXStudio 14.04 is buggy and causes clicks and pops in USB audio.

I realize that avoiding systemD means leaving all the main distros behind and compiling and configuring lots of stuff manually, but that is allright, i’m ready to do the work :slight_smile:

Any pointers to the right direction are appreciated :slight_smile:

Ardour itself is 100% distro-independent. It doesn’t require or use any features of systemd.

Current AV Linux doesn’t have systemd. AV Linux 2015 will be Debian based and Debian can still be run without systemd, though I don’t know what the stock AV Linux install will have.

Yes, I am very glad that Ardour doesn’t require systemD :slight_smile:

Has anybody successfully installed KXStudio to a non systemD Distro ?

If you want to use Ardour on a Linux distro without systemD, is the only way to go, to compile and configure everything manually (kernel, jack, ardour, etc) ? Has anybody done this before, if yes, then what distros do you prefer and why ?

Is removing systemD from debian 8 supported by the Debian project ?

If not, I fear removing systemD will bring trouble in the future, since systemD digs it’s tentacles all over the system. Anyway maybe I will try that too to see if removing systemD results in a still working os.

I have tried AVLinux in the past and it didn’t agree with me and my hardware, maybe I need to give it another try though, since I now have a new computer for Ardour :slight_smile:

Devuan website has been updated at last, it says their push for a release is currently at alpha stage and that they are targeting for a 2015 release. If all goes well, this might be the future non systemD distro to build a Ardour workstation on.

Thanks for the suggestions so far :slight_smile:

Userland applications don’t generally have to be recompiled to use with systemd, nor does the kernel.

I’m not sure why one shouldn’t run Ardour in a systemd configuration, other than general ideological opposition to systemd. I don’t want to start a pro/con systemd flamewar here, but is there any problem specifically related to Ardour?

There is no problem related directly to Ardour, it’s just that I have problems with systemD components on two of my systems. One (KXStudio 14.04) has unreliable boot, it sometimes hangs to a black screen with no virtual console access. User can’t do anything but take power off. On my other system (UbuntuStudio 15.04) a systemD component journald sometimes hangs using 100% processor power when I use a external USB disk.

SystemD doesn’t give me anything I didn’t have before, and I don’t care if my system boots 7 seconds faster or slower. I only start up my computer once a day :slight_smile: So I decided to steer clear from systemD, because I need a stable and reliable audio production computer.

I was hoping someone had already built a audio production machine using a non systemD distro and could tell about how it was done, so I could follow the same footsteps.

Unless you’ve done some very careful experiments already, I very much doubt that systemd is the source of your issues anyway. Unless you’ve actively run both of the systems you mention about without systemd (but with everything else the same), you really can’t point the finger at systemd even if it is fashionable in some circles to do so. Systems that have unreliable boot sequences exist with System V init also.

I think Slackware still uses sys v init. Configuring it for pro audio would be involve different steps than Debian based distros. There’s a site called Slackermedia that would help in that respect.

Thanks for the info :slight_smile: Slackermedia and Studioware both seem interesting. My first contact with Linux was around year 2000 and Slackware, might be fun to return to the roots :slight_smile:

I also ran into Gentoostudio. This distro seems to be maintained by member of this forum. Although Gentoo might be lots of manual work, I’m tempted by it’s promise of more control on the whole operating system.

Gentoo is great … it is more work to setup… gentoo studio has made it a whole lot easier… However, once you are setup… things work very well… as long as you keep regular maintenance, it’s less work in the long run than a mainstream distro.

Just to let you know I tried Gentoo Studio but couldn’t get it to boot on two of my systems. Then I used Antix for awhile and was impressed about how light and fast it is. Also the maintainer has made very good choices about tools he included in the distro (Antix also uses Debian repos), Antix is great for older machines too. I could have built my audio system around Antix, it had everything I needed, But I have for some time now wanted to learn the Linux system more deeply, so the choices were Gentoo or Void Linux. In the end I chose Gentoo. My previous Ardour platform was UbuntuStudio.

Gentoo is not a distro, but a “lego set” to build your own distro upon. So it took a long time to build a system I like (several months) and now I have everything the way I like it. I took some ideas from Antix (Fluxbox desktop, Conky, Claws emailer, etc). And my Gentoo build is very light on resources. When it starts up it consumes a mere 150 - 200 MB of Ram. As Gentoo builds everything from source optimizing code specifically to your processor it makes everything just fly. Libreoffice, VirtualBox and Gimp starts up in an instant, I have never used a machine this responsive and fast. Even other oses running in VirtualBox are now much faster than they were on Ubuntu on this same machine.

Cons of Gentoo are:

  • Steep learning curve. You need to learn lots of new stuff to get your system built up. Gentoo documentation is great and you always find answers there,
  • It takes a long time to build a system and you need to take notes about what you did because someday you need to do it again.

Pros for Gentoo:

  • Its a rolling release. Install once and never again, only update regularly and you always have new stable versions of your software.
  • I got rid of everything I don’t like about distros nowadays: bloat, forced settings, systemd, tumblerd that constantly stops me from unmounting my external devices, one pixel width impossible to use drag handles on some desktops, new scrollbar behaviour on Ubuntu and UbuntuStudio that drives me mad and is a pain to use, Ubuntu privacy violations.
  • As you need to configure everything yourself, you learn lots of stuff about how Linux works and this makes maintaining any distro later on easier.
  • Gentoo is amazingly fast and it squeezes every last drop of speed out of your hardware.
  • You are never again dependent on any Linux distro builder, they can do crazy decisions with their desktops and distro, but it won’t affect you anymore :slight_smile:

The only thing I regret now is that I didn’t do this earlier. It’s really worth it :slight_smile:

Has anybody successfully installed KXStudio to a non systemD Distro ?

Cadence uses systemd. You might be able to use kxstudio repos just for apps and plugins.

I was hoping someone had already built a audio production machine using a non systemD distro and could tell about how it was done, so I could follow the same footsteps.

You contradict yourself.

now I have everything the way I like it. I took some ideas from Antix (Fluxbox desktop, Conky, Claws emailer
Libreoffice, VirtualBox and Gimp starts up in an instant

why would you want email, libreoffice and virtualbox on a dedicated workstation for audio production?

Your project has no clarity of purpose. If you want to build a desktop PC, build a desktop PC.

mc888: Go away troll, I newer said I built a dedicated audio machine. I built this one for me not you. Go build your own.

Actually you’re the troll. Your post quoted above said you wanted a dedicated audio machine. Then you tried to stir up crap about systemd. Maybe you should figure out what you want to do besides trolling and flaming.

Ok I am going to step in here, lets take a step back and breath, and leave attitudes out of it please.


I’ve been running Debian 8 without systemd on my DAWs for a while now. Just use the official Debian sysvinit-core package instead of the default systemd-sysvinit. There’s a lot of misinformation about this on the web so I made a simple howto:

Note that you’ll still have libsystemd0 libs on the system - these are for compatibility only and are not part of systemd.

Oops, typo. The Debian default is systemd-sysv.

jrigg: thanks for sharing the howto, this is good stuff since this info is so hard to find on the internet :slight_smile: Debian is a great distro with a vast repo and you can build anything you want with it from a lightweight installation to a heavy weight multi purpose desktop. I’ve always liked the design of Debian, it’s clear and simple and easy to maintain.