Re: [LAU] Building Audio from a Server Core?

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To: <grekimj@...>
Cc: <linux-audio-user@...>
Date: Friday, March 1, 2013 - 5:24 am

On Wed, February 27, 2013 7:00 pm, grekimj@acousticrefuge.com wrote:

> This would be for the sole purpose of audio, and GUI-less ones at that. I

I have done something similar to this, but I started out even more basic
than your server distro. I had an older pentium machine At 300Mhz that I
have in the past used as a server for a webserver and email as well as
firewalling/routing. I t had Slackware back then. I had a small hard drive
as well 3G or so. Just some spare parts I had sitting around. I thought I
would like to see if I could set up a really minimal audio box. Problem
one: won't boot from a USB stick... BIOS too old :) Problem two: The CD
drive is not very good. The CD drive does seem to handle 200M CDs though.
Hmm, as you might imagine there are not very many distros that fit on 200M
anymore. But there is Ubuntu's netboot.
(
http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/quantal/main/installer-i386/curre...
) I found there mini.iso, only 28M which fit my small CD and booted on
that machine.

The idea of mini.iso is to install just enough to give you command line
access (like ubuntu server) and some tools to install whatever you want.
There are even some premade ideas where you can install the metas to make
one of the Ubuntu family distros. Or of course you can have a custom meta
for installing on a lot of machines that are the same for something like a
kiosk use.

Anyway, as you should have noticed from what I have said so far, this is
not plug and play, you have to know what you want. You have to have a
clear idea of what you want to use the final system for. In my case, I
wanted to see what I could do with the command line for recording
multi-track audio.

I based my install on Jack2 (dbus version so I could use things like
jack_control, though I am not sure jack is absolutely needed), Nama (CLI
DAW) which handles various plugins to effect the the audio and the plugins
to go with it, jack tools (a cli meter, jack connection tool, etc), ALSA
and the tools to go with it, a low latency kernel. Probably other stuff,
but that is the basics.

But first :) Mini comes with a number of command line tools. It is good
to know what the standard unix CLI tools are and how to use them. If you
are not used to using ed or vi to edit files... install nano or joe right
off. If you are a long time CLI user you may prefer emacs. Learn how to
use apt. This is your installer, there is aptitude as well, but apt is
generally faster. Have an understanding of VTs. The important thing to
know here is that what you do in one vt is not inherited by the next. For
example, to use dbus with more than one VT, The environmental variables
created by dbus when it starts have to be imported into each VT
session.... so learn bash (or csh, or perl... etc.) scripting. I said all
that to say learn how to work in a command line environment. There are
lots of tutorials on this... at least there were when I first started
using linux ;)

Anyway, I got as far as using about 4 VTs, one for an audio player, one to
run jack in and control it, one with alsamixer, one with a CLI audio
meter, one with a jack transport control... Oh BTW, splitvt is handy for
time you want two screens of info at the same time. I was able to use
jackdbus and tools. I did not worry about pulse in this case as I had no
need for it in my scenario. Then the PSU died and that was the last of my
CLI experiments. I need to find some more throw away systems to play with
so I can try some more things.

Memory is still important, I didn't have enough really. (< 256M I think)
Anyway, jack couldn't lock as much memory as it needed for RT. It is a
project I would like to continue when I have the extra system to play
with.

--
Len Ovens
www.OvenWerks.net

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Messages in current thread:
Re: [LAU] Building Audio from a Server Core?, Jeremy Jongepier, (Fri Mar 1, 8:31 am)
[LAU] Building Audio from a Server Core?, Grekim Jennings, (Fri Mar 1, 12:37 pm)
Re: [LAU] Building Audio from a Server Core?, Jeremy Jongepier, (Fri Mar 1, 2:20 pm)
Re: [LAU] Building Audio from a Server Core?, Len Ovens, (Fri Mar 1, 5:32 am)
Re: [LAU] Building Audio from a Server Core?, Len Ovens, (Fri Mar 1, 5:24 am)
[LAU] Building Audio from a Server Core?, Grekim Jennings, (Fri Mar 1, 12:48 pm)