New System Configuration: Why do i need Jack? and other Questions

I have set up a new Linux system and am now trying to get my old Ardor projects running again.


1.) Why do I need Jack. If I select ALSA in the audio/midi settings and my interface (Mackie Onyx), then the sound output works.

However, if I select JACK then it doesn’t work, the engine couldn’t start even though Jack is running.

Your system has set a memory reservation limit. This could result in Ardor running out of memory before the system limit is reached.
You can view the memory limit with ‘ulimit -l’ and usually change it in /etc/security/limits.conf.

My user is already registered in the audio group.

Now I find various approaches that should solve the problem here in the forum.

ChatGpt suggests
to edit:
At the end of the file, add lines that define the desired memory limit for Ardor. For example:

- memlock unlimited

But after I really destroyed my old system trying to repair it with the help of the chatbot, I’d rather ask people here for advice! :slight_smile:

3.) Does anyone here have experience with Yabridge? Something is still not working as it should with the integration of Windows VSTs via WINE.

ALSA is the recommended (by the Ardour deveopers) sound system unless you need to route signals to stand-alone, JACK-aware software outside of Ardour itself.
If JACK is running Ardour should be able to select it automatically, so there’s a good chance it really isn’t.

Memlock and real-time settings are addressed in the JACK FAQ

Okay, then I don’t need to bother with Jack anymore!


I’m not entirely sure I agree with the recommendation to allow unlimited memlock, since it applies to all programs you’re running and not just Ardour.
So in theory a memory leak in the smallest program could eat all your RAM and require a reboot to recover from the subsequent crash.

I usually set the limit to something like 75% of my RAM and just ignore Ardour’s warning.


Okay! Thanks!

I have to then “75%” or simply “75” instead of “unlimited”?

Okay! Thanks!

I have to then “75%” or simply “75” instead of “unlimited” disks?

No, the memlock value in the config file is in kilobytes (or “unlimited”).
You should have a /etc/security/limits.conf, which describes the entries you can have.

What I meant was that I usually set it to something like 75% of the amount of RAM I have.
So if you have 8 GB RAM you could set it to, say 6000000; which would be 6GB-ish.

This does of course depend on your workflow; how many plugins and tracks and so on you’re using and on the chance of Ardour hitting the upper limit Vs the chance of some other program running amok.

If you know that you’re usually running huge Ardour sessions and deem the chance of misbehaving programs as low then you should set a high, and maybe even unlimited, value.


AV Linux is a ready-to-use Audio system for Pro Audio enthusiasts and it features Ardour and Demos of Reaper and Harrison Mixbus with Wine-Staging and Yabridge all set up. Hundreds of popular FLOSS Plugins are pre-installed with addition Commercial Plugin demos for you to try… It is pre-configured with all of the most common Audio tweaks and things like the above memlock message all figured out for you ahead of time… It has a seamless integration of PulseAudio JACK and pajackconnect as well as proper handling of JACK MIDI with a2jmidid.

The current release 21.3 is about a year old and a brand new release based on Debian Bookworm will most likely be released before Christmas… If you want a Audio system that is tweaked, tuned and ready to get to work it is probably worth a look, like most Distros you can boot it from a LiveUSB and try it for yourself


I’ve gotten very used to my ZorinOS and find it very good for home use. I have now configured the system for audio again.
I’ll keep an eye on AV Linux. If I run into problems or need a new installation again, I’ll give it a try.
Is snap installed? I don’t like that. That ist the reason, why I do not install Ubuntu Studio.

No Snap, no Flatpak! (TBH Flatpak is an option if the User chooses) However I do use AppImages for certain applications…

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