Thinking out loud...Want to build an ArdourVST based distro, Feedback?


With my recent discovery of “Remastersys” which basically automates the creation of a LiveCD based on your current setup for Ubuntu and related distros, I am toying with the idea of an Ubuntu based -rt A/V centric distro, This would be on a LiveCD with installer, or perhaps a booting USB idea as well.

My choice of Ubuntu would be Gutsy 7.10,…before the wailing and gnashing of teeth begins let me explain why:

The Ubuntu 7.10 -rt 2.6.22-15 kernel is secure, (a recent flaw has been addressed) EXTREMELY stable, quite lean resource wise, devoid of all the paranoid policykit and security mumbo jumbo that makes an Audio centric distro a nightmare to build. Also for building a “stable ArdourVST” setup is the best choice to align the best versions of JACK and Wine and Ardour for this particular purpose.

I have been able to relatively easily upgrade the base packages by compiling the latest versions of many A/V apps.

The proposed package list would look something like this:

Gnome and LXDE would be the WM choices

Ardour 2.6 with LV2 and VST see below (ASAP)
Cinelerra CV (Latest version of the 2.1 branch)
Firefox 3
A custom 1212 I/O version of WineASIO
Rosegarden 1.7.2
Hydrogen (Stable)
WinFF w/full codec ffmpeg
VLC 0.9.4
F Spot

This is still in the EARLY planning stages.

If possible I would include all the necessary development libs to build ArdourVST or work out a way to have users agree and download the Steinberg SDK’s before downloading the distro from a secure FTP site and Include Ardour 2.6 built with VST support, this is unlikely to work though!

If I could get the necessary clearances I would also include a “VST Starter Pack” of free VST plugins known to work with this setup.

Anyhow this is currently a slow passing thought in my slow-thinking head. I would really welcome honest feedback from the community to see what the feasibility of this idea would be.

There would be many permissions to acquire and details to work out.

The Ubuntu 7.10 base is a must…that is not up for discussion.

I look forward to your feedback…my wife would probably pay you well to tell me I’m crazy!


Can’t edit my post above:

Some of my idea for this came from Oggei’s previous post here and the complexities involved, I am not intending to hijack his idea for a Debian based repo, just expand upon it in a Ubuntu context:

Also important packages I forgot to mention.
Alsa-Firmware loaders
Also Tools GUI
AviDemux 2.4.3
Kino 1.3.0
Qjackctl 0.3.2
QSynth 0.3.2
Transmission BT Client 1.34

Also Ubuntu 7.10 is notably able to install easily into systems with a mixture of SATA/PATA drives with pretty much all common chipsets, whereas Ubuntu Hardy 8.04 has issues with certain chipsets (Jmicron and AMD 690 to mention a couple).

This would essentially be a leaner and much upgraded Ubuntu Studio with better packages.

Sorry for the double post…


i’m a new user of linux, and your idea sounds good to my ears. let me explain : i’ve try a dozen of sound distros this next months, and like to package the best of all of them into my own one. for the simple reason i don’t find the distro who can do “all” what i like to, without problem…

but, big problem ->> read again the 6 first words of this message ! in fact, after all these hours of tests (and many “partition party” )) i have an idea of what to have in the pc, but don’t know how to have it !!

about your project, i think the big deal to make is with steinberg… i means, linux have to stay legal, but musicians likes so much vstis !! please mr steinberg help us to be really free !! at this time, i try several times to compile ardour + vst and it never works. is my bad english’s not enough to understand the ardour site howto ? i can’t reply to this question…

anyway, for the applis to include, ubuntu seems ok, but my humble opinion is :

  • xfce is more efficient than kde : i mean we are are for sound, eye candy’s not the point and we need so much ram…
  • we need applis versions which works immediatly
  • we need free sounds banks (does it exist?)

keep on rockin, and tell your wife you’re not crazy, better, let her see this message (i know, women never trust we))



Thanks for the reply, I’ve still have a lot of issues legal and otherwise to figure out.

As far as desktops KDE was never an option, Only Gnome and LXDE which is even leaner than XFCE. I’m afraid I’m not much of a KDE fan.

Stay tuned, so far not much interest in the whole idea.

In fact, i’m already maintaining an ubuntu repository (for intrepid, codenamed “gonzy”) on my site … your problem is that making something useful and simple to users requires technical skills and brainstorming with other techs, and you aren’t but spending anyway lot of time speaking about “things” :slight_smile:

so good luck with your tries, i’ll continue my way (published 2.6 just today)

Oggei, Give me a break!

I made it quite clear in the second post of this thread that my idea, which was only an “idea” was based on your repository proposal in a linked thread, I did this to give YOU credit, not for any competitive reasons.

At that time (in that linked thread) you conceded that your own idea for a ArdourVST repo wasn’t worth it because of the current difficulties with Wine. So I simply proposed another “idea” to get the job done.

I never even dreamed of there being any “your way” or “my way”. If you want to look at it as a competition, have fun…by yourself. Such things are totally contrary to what Linux is about.

As far as brainstorming with other techs…What do you think my original post was for? To seek user input of course. I tried “brainstorming” with you and you know how well that went.

Until the Wine or FST issue is fixed, or an alternate version of Wine or different VST handling method is made available there is no sense in promoting ArdourVST with current and cutting edge distros, it’s only going to piss people off because it doesn’t work properly right now. (Unless you use older Wine versions)

I truly wish your repository all the popularity and success possible.

Please just get off my back with all this petty kindergarden B.S.