Linux Compatible Audio Interface

Hi Everyone,

I am new to this forum so here is my background: I am a longtime musician. I have no experience in home-recording but want to learn. I generally use Macs but am interested in switching to a PC running Linux.

What audio-interfaces exist that are compatible with Linux? Ideally I would be able to record more than 2 tracks at once (I am in a band). Should I use a USB or Firewire? What else should I take into consideration? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!


If you have a PC with a PCI slot I’d go with a M-AUDIO DELTA 1010LT or an RME Hammerfall.

If you’re hell bent on USB/FW I’d check out the FFADO ( device list and perhaps the old FreeBoB ( one.

FreeBoB was the old way of supporting Firewire units in linux and FFADO is the new. All new linux distributions should support FFADO but to be safe you might as well cross-check both sites.
For instance the Edirol FA-101 seems fully supported in both the old and new way so that should be a good alternative.

From personal experience, i recommend the M-Audio delta 1010 as well - i have two of them synced up in my system and they work beautifully :slight_smile:

I’m using the M-Audio NRV10. It’s a mixer and a firewire interface. Works great!

I’m a linux noob, but I think this might be of use:

That list might be food for thought, as you consider what kind of system you want to run

Here’s a vote for RME kit. Got a HDSP 9652 here (which requires separate A/D / D/A converters), but I imagine the Multiface or anything else from them would be just as brill.

Superb! Firepod sounds good too but I also need a mixer (better than what I have now) and because NRV10 is also a mixer (with internal effects) it will be my choice. Thank you all for the advice!

I have been using a Echo audio layla 24 interface on linux laptops and desktops for the past two years without any issues.


I’m using a presonus firepod (FP10), stable at 1.5ms latency:) (at 44.1). its 10/10 firewire interface., 8 mic pres and stereo spdif in/out, and 8x jack out. its possible to chain 3 of them together to get 24 mic pre’s. I got mine (second hand) for €275 euro. you wont get these latencies stable with USB.

It works with the freebob driver that came with UbuntuStudio. I had to set a few permissions and add raw1394 to /etc/modules and that’s it. I had better latencies before a recent reinstall, so I think I’ve skipped something.

There are 6 channels, two of which are stereo, so you can record 8 sources at once, but I haven’t needed that much yet. There are 5 mic ins, but using the 5th will take away a stereo channel, giving you max of 7 at once. It says it’s a 10x10, but 2 of the ins and 2 outs are the stereo mix. It is very nice and very versatile.

hogiewan, you said that M-Audio NRV10 works great. Do you mean with linux and ffado|freebob? How many tracks can you record simultaneously?

Vote for a Delta 1010 (I recommend the standard rack versioon over the LT as the ADC’s are external.)… Can’t fault it… However, the NRV-10 is probably a better option for someone starting out (that doesn’t already have a mixer) as it covers more areas (EQ, Mic preamps, summing mixer)… The Allen & Heath Zed series also look attractive …especially the Zed R-16 (if there is money to play with), alhough as there is no FFADO driver for this one yet, it may also require something like the Hammerfall 9652…

I have M-Audio fast track pro usb card and little Behringer mixer. I mainly record at home and one track at a time. I use loops, but sometimes it would be nice to record real drums. Through usb it’s only possible to record four tracks simultaneous, am I right? I think that NRV-10 supports 10 in/out through the specific software (not for linux as usual). I don’t know enough about firewire or linux drivers (freebob, ffado), so I’m asking is this 10 in/out supported by linux drivers? It would be easier to move using Mac (or that other one) but I’m a big fan of Linux and Ardour and I have decided to manage with those.