eee PC Installation

Has anyone tried running Ardour on an eee PC?

It would be a great combination. A small, cheap, portable recording studio.

unfortunately, the eeepc runs an underclocked (to 600mhz) celeron cpu. the celeron line is not particularly good for audio work, let alone at such very low clock speeds.

additionally, there is not nearly enough storage space on the machine to work with audio. so, you’d need an external hard drive. also, you’d probably want/need an external USB sound card, as the 3.5mm line-in on the eee pc probably will fit the needs of somebody recording a spoken-word podcast at most.

now, to get slightly technical (but not too much), USB usage, unlike firewire (which the eeepc does NOT have) does actually need some cpu juice to maintain throughput. so, with an external drive and an external sound card, the eeepc definitely does NOT have the cpu power required to keep everything flowing smoothly, if at all. so, NO, you probably can’t use the diminutive laptop for any useful multi-track recording.

all that being said, with a cheap desktop pc microphone, and a lighter application, such as audacity to do the recording, you could most definitely pull of single-track podcasts quite nicely with the eeepc. hell, you could probably even use ardour, assuming you can get jack to run reliably with no xruns on that hardware.



I successfully ran ardour on my eeepc using the following setup:

  • 4gb eeepc galaxy
  • Ubuntu 7.10
  • linux-rt (real time) kernel installed
  • Behringer UCA202 Usb 2in 2out sound card
  • emprex 4gb usb flash.

As a test, my brother in law and I did a quick recording session, we started jack in realtime and had ardour save to the usb flash. the results were:

  • We were able to record stereo tracks fine.
  • our latency was about 23ms.
  • With overdub, the limit of playing tracks while recording /mono/ was 6 tracks.
  • at 8 tracks, playing croaked, wouldnt play at all at 23ms milliseconds.
  • this is with no plugins at all.
  • we recorded just under 2 minutes of audio, 8 tracks in total with a total of 2 (yes, two) under-runs. I think this is great for a tiny pc and a $20 soundcard!
  • this whole session with 8 tracks took about 350mb on each channel.

However, you could get around this 6-8 track restriction by mixing down the other tracks temporarily just for tracking. Towards the end we ended up muting some non-essential channels for recording.

For playback, if i increase the latency to something stupid, like almost 1 second, playback is fine.

One important note is that dont even try to use the internal sound card, it is junk. as soon as a start jack on it, it starts overrunning about 10 times a second!!

We’re gonna try a few more things next:

  • recording to the internal SSD (only has 900mb free.)
  • recording to a 4gb SD (about 14mb/s max.)
  • recording to a ~800mb RAM disk. (also means you lose 800mb ram.)

So for a mobile and cheap recording solution for quick ideas or a small band your setup (and mine) could be:

  • EEEPc
  • USB Flash / SD / etc.
  • Behringer UCA202
  • Small Behringer Mixer.
    and you’re ready to go!

Hope this helps,

i noticed in an article a little while ago someone had been making a small recording device based on a touch screen and running linux. i can’t remember what it was called, but it apparently had a version of ardour running that was optimised for smaller screens. anyone know what this is and if that version of ardour is easily accessible? it looked like it would suit the eeepc really well.


I think you mean this one? I’ve no experience of it but it looked interesting when I saw someone talking about it.

From the same company there’s . Although I’m not sure whether than runs “Ardourino” (the fork of Ardour) or not, it’s only clocked at 800MHz (although I doubt it’s a Celeron.)

Maybe the advent of the second generation Eee PCs will make running Ardour on them more plausible, but actually I’m more and more interested in the Trinity Audio stuff, since I’d want to restrict an Eee to word processing/browsing/e-mail.

Runs under default Xandros

From synaptic I installed the suggested version 0.98 under Xandros Easy Mode, plus qjackctl. Adjusted no of buffers to 8 giving a latency of 171ms.
With this setup I can smoothly record a stereo track to a USB key at 48 kHz stereo.
The latency can probably be lowered.
I am sure that with a real-time kernel more performance can be obtained.
My eee is the small 701 version with 4Gb.