Help a newbie switch to Linux

So I’m waiting for my music library to finish copying to my external harddrive, after which I’ll back up my plugins. Everything else that matters to me is already safely “clouded” in some way or another, whether it be a file I have on google drive or it be a program I can just download again. Also waiting for Mint 16 MATE to download.

I’ve used mint on my netbook for a while now, and I really liked it, but I didn’t get to get a good feel of how I would like it as being my main OS, and I would like to try it. So I’m going to attempt to install mint alongside windows 7, hopefully without destroying my computer. Hopefully can still access data from the other partition. So then, questions:

  1. My plan is to run Renoise in WINE when I want to use VSTs. I don’t really use VST effects, I just rely on DSP’s, and I only use VSTi’s long enough to generate a sound then I resample it with plugin grabber. So my question is, for those that have ran Renoise in wine, how well does it run? Better than expected? Godawful? Runs ok but no way to kill latency?

  2. How likely am I to run into device issues, for example, midi controllers and audio interfaces? Specifically I use a scarlett focusrite 2i2. From a quick google search it looks like it works, at least for some people. Any latency issues? Anyone ever have trouble using their midi controllers in linux?

  3. Anything important I should know that I might not know?


  1. I have a metric shitton of itunes purchased music, any chance of being able to play it in linux music players? (What I get for legally buying music right)

Ok after much screwing around I managed to get my scarlett interface working with real time threads (?) and everything seems to work fine… except there is a terrible crackle on playback that gets better when I set the buffer size really high but even maxed out it doesn’t go away completely. Maybe something to do with lack of a driver? Any ideas on that?

edit: fixed it by tweaking periods buffer (whatever that is)

Why whould you run Renoise with WINE ? There’s a native linux version.
Nearly all VSTs and VSTi’s that I ever had run well with dssi-vst or fst (tools to run windows VSTs on linux).

You should take a look at . It’s an ubuntu-based audio-oriented distro with a bunch of own excellent tools (like WindowsVST host (FeSTige), native plugin hosts, patchbays, session managers, jack tweaking tools and plugins.

I highly recommend to use this distro. Because of great set of tools, perfect tweaking and KDE :)/>


  • You will need to add your user to the “@audio” group to avoid some problems with JACK.
  • Most of the audio interfaces are supported pretty well but some still may have limitations like mine TC Electronic Desktop Konnect 6 (unable to work with 192kHz on Linux. Up to 96kHz only)
  • On Linux there’s a whole different software paradigm based on packages and shared libraries that are installed system-wide (not bundled with every single piece of software like on Windows). So the newest software probably won’t work on old Linux distro or the very old software won’t run on recent OS due to incompatible libraries and packages.

There’s a lot of other things that you’ll find unusual on the first time but later you’ll find them a bit more user-friendly and logical that it was on Windows. I’m pretty sure about that :)

Thanks for the response! As to why I wanted to run renoise in wine for vst’s, that’s simply because I could never figure out how to get dssi-vst to work. I’ve ran mint on my netbook for a while and I’ve tried to get dssi-vst to work and I quite honestly have no idea where to even begin. I can’t find any documentation on it that I can understand in the slightest. The website ( links to ( for the download and I have no idea what to do with any of that.

As for adding my user to the “@audio” group, I’m not sure what exactly that means, but if it means doing what ( that says to do, I did do that.


I’m having a problem where my interface just… stops working for no apparently reason. Like it’s losing power, it just turns off and I have to pull the usb cable and plug it back in.

Using windows’ VSTs is much easier than it seems.

Here’s what I did:

  1. install dssi-vst, wine, and wine-asio packages. You can use software-center, package manager like synaptic or aptitude, or type this in console:
sudo apt-get install dssi-vst wine wine-asio  
  1. Install your windows VST (using wine).
    All windows apps are installed on your /home/USERNAME/.wine/drive_c folder which represets the C: local drive. When I got all (or just one) the plugins installed I use Cadence tool from KXstudio ( to add my /home/USERNAME/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/Steinberg/VSTPlugins/ to my VST_PATH list so the system (and all the apps) will scan this folder for VST plugins as well as the default system paths. There’s another way , but mine is easier I guess :)/>/>
    All the new windows plugins that installed into this folder should be visible system-wide.

That’s all.

From now all the plugins that are stored directly in that folder (without subfolders) are accessible inside Renoise (as DSPs and Instruments). For some reason Renoise is unable to scan plugins that are stored in subfolders (windows plugins on linux). For example my VSTFOLDER/myplugin.dll is found by Renoise, but VSTFOLDER/Compressors/myplugin.dll is not. Maybe I am missing something but I noticed this problem.

All the other audio software, including VST hosts like FeSTige will automatically find all the plugins, so we can use them all :)/>/>/>
All the plugins could be routed to/from Renoise easily with patchbays like Patchage, or Catia.

No, this is slightly different :

I think you should try to use low-latency or realtime kernel

sudo apt-get install linux-lowlatency  

Also I’d try to plug in the power adapter (if any) to see if it helps.

ps: sorry for my English. It’s not that good :)/>

  1. Personally I’d try to find linux native VSTis or DSSIs that suit your needs. If that doesn’t work out, try dssi-vst or similar, which I’m not familiar with but people say they work pretty well. Running whole renoise via wine will probably result in worse performance and more issues than running native linux version.

  2. MIDI controllers should work without a hitch if all they do is send/receive midi signals, which should work the same on any platform. Some audio interfaces/sound cards may not work perfectly, for example it’s quite common that not all sample rates or bit depths may not be available. You can check out ALSA sound card matrix for your device although I’m not quite sure if its completely up to date.

  3. If they aren’t DRM protected there shouldn’t be any issues.

The above link enables realtime threads for your user so there’s nothing additional that needs to be done, apart from enabling realtime privileges in jack or in renoise if you’re using alsa.

Some distributions (like all ubuntu based if I’m not mistaken) enable it automatically for audio group when you install some applications like jack. In that case, in order to take advantage of it, you need to add your user in audio group with: ```
sudo usermod -a -G audio yourusername

[quote="Carbonthief, post:4, topic:39925"]  
[quote="Carbonthief, post:4, topic:39925"]  
I'm having a problem where my interface just... stops working for no apparently reason. Like it's losing power, it just turns off and I have to pull the usb cable and plug it back in.  
I think you should try to use low-latency or realtime kernel  

sudo apt-get install linux-lowlatency

 Also I'd try to plug in the power adapter (if any) to see if it helps.  
Installing lowlatency kernel probably won't solve your issue, but it may help if you're having latency issues and/or overall performance slightly.  
If you have usb audio interface, this may be caused by usb-autosuspend feature. Easiest way to check this that I can think of would be installing powertop utility. You need to launch it from command line with sudo. Use TAB key to move to "Tunables" pane. There should be something like "Good Autosuspend for USB device Whatever audio interface you have". If it says "Good", that means usb autosuspend is enabled, and you should try disabling it by selecting it with arrow keys and pressing enter, so that it says "Bad" in beginning of the line. If it says "Bad" to start with, you don't have autosuspend enabled for that device so your issues aren't probably caused by it.  
This won't change it permanently (ie autosuspend will be enabled again after you reboot) but you can test if it solves your issue. If it does I can help with disabling it permanently.