Realtime kernels for ubuntu 10.10

Hi Ubuntu users!

                   I have been using Ubuntu quite a long time and I find it comfortable for pro audio work , despite many people 

consider it unfit. However when I switched to ver 10.10 ( meverick meerkat ) , I was disappointed to find that its repo deos not
contain precompiled realtime kernel - a requisition in serious audio works. I could not find it on the net. I don’t have any experience
in kernel compiling , either. But I find , a real-time kernel compiled for ubuntu 10.04 is functional in 10.10 also. Those who prefer
to not to compile it , please check this.

note: it does not work in Nvidia graphics card fitted machines.

Just to pass the info.


Nvidia should work, you just have to download latest version from official website to compile the kernel module for Nvidia.

My blog with instructions for RT Kernel under ubuntu and I have Nvidia latest drivers.


You could also try Ubuntu Studio. Is a Ubuntu version with RT kernel. The link is here.

Ubuntu (and Ubuntu Studio) 10.10 does not have any realtime kernels in the official repositories, mostly due to a lack of support in maintaining them. Abogani’s PPA ( has kernel’s for Lucid or Natty, but not Maverick. My recommendation would be to stick with Lucid and use the -rt kernel in the official repos. However, I believe many people have been using Abogani’s Natty kernels on Maverick with success.

The Nvidia drivers might be working with Abogani’s latest kernels, I’m not sure. However, the ATI proprietary driver (fglrx) does not.

On a final note, for those interested in seeing Ubuntu continue to become more usable for digital audio (and I know there are a lot of you), I would seriously consider helping out with development, especially if you want to see more consistent support for realtime kernels. Contacting the Ubuntu Studio team is the best way to chip in.

Anyway, you should give a try in compiling the kernel.

I was scared of, but then I tried and discovered that it is easier than compiling some common softwares.

If you do not remove the kernel you currently have, the worst thing that could happen is that you would not be able to boot the machine with the new kernel. In the case, just reboot with the old one.


If Kernel 2.6.36 is any indication of where Kernels are headed then -rt is going to become less of a concern, In testing it is giving significantly lower audio latencies than 2.6.31-rt and in my experience using sgfxi in Debian 2.6.36 has support for nVidia prop drivers. I don’t use ATI so I don’t know. Of course if you need the ability to prioritze IRQ’s then -rt is a necessity, if not I think things may continue to trend away from -rt Kernels especially if this kind of performance can be obtained from regular desktop Kernels.

I noticed that on my fathers Laptop running with the 10.10 standard kernel I was able to start Jack with the real time option on. IIRC this was not possible with 10.04. Has there been some changes to the new linux kernel or do Ubuntu use other options for the standard kernel?

Gruesse, Pablo

@palmann: once again, this has NOTHING to do with the kernel.

So why didn’t it work with the standard non-RT kernel in 10.04? The FAQ is nice, but I had to install a rt-kernel to make the realtime option in jack work with 10.04 and I’d like to know why.

BTW, I never put a user in some priveledged “realtime-group” so I just wondered what the (new?) defaults of Ubuntu are.

EDIT: When jackd is installed on Ubuntu 10.10 the /etc/security/limits.d/audio.conf is replaced.

Gruesse, Pablo

EDIT: When jackd is installed on Ubuntu 10.10 the /etc/security/limits.d/audio.conf is replaced.

This pretty well sums it up here. Chances are if you installed a -rt kernel before, it may have done similar, but as Paul mentioned the standard kernel is quite capable of realtime preemption on its own and only needs a properly set up system, one of the primary steps of which is modifying that file. A -rt kernel is only needed in very specific circumstances, most of which aren’t studio recording.