Topic: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

Now that Reaper, Bitwig, Tracktion, Ardour etc is available under Linux and plugin developers are starting to release Linux versions of their plugins or are considering doing so, is RME considering making their configuration tools and drivers available under Linux?

2

Re: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

We think about this from time to time, but most often we simply don't have the time left to even start it.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

It is great to hear that you think about it every now and then but sad that you don't have the time to make it a reality. What would have to be done/change/etc to make it possible?

Re: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

I've been keeping an eye on Linux for many years and I think the time has finally come for me to drop Windows. Something I've been wanting to do for a long time, but I've been holding back mostly because of the lack of a viable DAW for me on the platform. Now both reaper and bitwig is on there, two really good DAWs and more developers seem to pay more attention to the platform.

I'd love for RME to take the lead here so I can bring my babyface pro with me when I buy a new laptop with Linux in a month or two!

Re: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

MC wrote:

We think about this from time to time, but most often we simply don't have the time left to even start it.

Being a Linux user since 1996 I mainly chose the Babyface Pro because of the usb compliant mode, but it is just not enough. I'm not the only one in the same situation.
Having the software ported to Linux would be a big purchase decision maker for many.

Re: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

Please consider it!
At least open-source the protocols used between totalmix and the hardware so we can control it ourselves...

No one seems to care (except XMOS which are doing a great job on some DJ-mixer systems that just works!)

I don't get why the hardware controls such as gain, phantom etc isn't exposed via UAC Feature units, then it would work out-of-the-box with ALSA Mixer for instance. Just the way USB Audio device Class was designed to work.


MOTU has the same lockdown and weird proprietary control software... I really hope there is a soundcard maker that realizes this soon and just drop the fuzz and makes a rock solid USB soundcard which is 100% class compliant.

7 (edited by makinist 2018-12-16 14:34:06)

Re: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

I can say to having been very happy with the hdsp 9632 until ubuntu 14.04 and avlinux 6.0.4. - after came the alsa-tools-gui that showed me the internal stereo as 6.1 without any way to change it, plus stuttering on every new clip. so on newer distros hdsp became useless.

since ardour is available for free on linux as the ladspa plugins, the old versions allow to run simple productions. if you are producing like cinema sound, the lack of professional gear is able to destroy all creativity and linux shouldn't be on the daily scedule anymore.

Re: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

Hi guys,

I am a mastering engineer, located in Berlin, Köthenerstrasse (Emil-Berliner-Studios, Hansa Studios). I mastered about 150 albums in the last 20 years and for several reasons, the time has come for me (and many others in the music production industry) to switch to linux. A lot has been done on the DAW side lately. Reaper, Ardour, Bitwig, thousands of plugins. The pro audio linux community is growing rapidly - as I could see, attending the latest linux audio conference in Berlin. I am very tired of being trapped in update cycles (especially avid) and having to setup new systems every once in a while.

The missing link for now is professional hardware support. I am using a HDSPe MADI FX. As I allways relied on rme products, because of their fantastic drivers and rock solid integration, I would love to see RME provide drivers, totalmix and digicheck for linux systems.

As a fan and supporter of open software, I wish RME would consider making the communication protocols between software and hardware open source! In my eyes it's a win-win: RME sells hardware and even more developers would consider RME for their projects if the software would be open.

Even if you choose not to release your own software for linux, please make the needed protocols open, so the linux community can take care of it - you can only win by this.

Thanks for your time!
Take care.

Re: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

Even the main developer of Reaper, Justin Frankel, has switched to Linux:

https://www.askjf.com/index.php?q=4443s

...and he's using RME hardware, of course!

If RME wants to keep the source code closed, there are nowadays many solutions on Linux to provide simple packages that work out-of-the box, with all dependencies included in it, as in Windows:
Canonical snap, Appimage, flatpack...

Maybe open a crowd founding campaign to know if you can hire one good Linux developer to work with the ALSA team!
Or go your own way without ALSA...

10 (edited by ramses 2019-01-07 21:18:50)

Re: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

Which Linux distribution does he run ?

Which Linux Distribution(s) would/could act as a "reference platform" ?
Which kind of Linux Distribution would be an ideal reference platform ? Rolling release ? If yes: which ?

How many package formats should be supported ? All major ones ?
DPKG (Debian), RPM (Redhat), Pacman (ArchLinux), Zypper (OpenSuse), Portage (Gentoo), ...

Who is responsible for the quality, if things do not work ?

Who is respnsible for the support. You can't dictate a customer which distribution to take.
At the end it comes back to you. Esp. if the customer pays quite a lot for RME hardware.
Thats different from the usual situations, that most people that use Linux us free software.

When companies have to deal with things like this some companies drew already the decision to build a
Linux Distribution of their own to have the control and only need to support one Linux.
Best examples for this are:
- RedHat
- Oracle
- Steam (SteamOS)
Steam for example only supports Ubuntu and their SteamOS.

You see what I mean, it's not so easy, although I also would be very glad to have Linux as alternative.
But then I would still require Cubase and other ppl would require other major DAWs and VSTs ...

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 20H2, Cubase 11.0 Pro, UFX+, XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE

Re: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

@ ramses

yes, I principally agree with you. Building something for Linux is not easy because "Linux" does not exist...
...only Linuxes exist!

But... did you try to install Reaper for Linux? If not, please try it, it takes about 2 min, included download time!
You only need to run the install script, that's all.

Reaper is not build against a distro in particular. The software brings its own toolkit and depends virtually on nothing else than itself.

So, if Cockos can do it for Reaper, why others not?!?

You could also use the Qt Framework and package the Qt libraries you need for your app.
Examples:
QCAD: https://qcad.org/en/
QElectroTech: https://qelectrotech.org/download.html.  (try the AppImage)

And with Qt, you can compile your app for Linux, Windows and MacOS.

So...
Developing apps for Linux: technical hurdles or policy issue?!?

Re: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

AFAIK, RME doesn't want to disclose the internals of their gear in proprietary mode. They must provide a kernel driver and making a closed-source kernel driver becomes harder and harder with every new release of the linux kernel.

PS. Nvidia closed source drivers is a special case and God only knows how they manage all the licensing and technical issues.

Re: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

I too want linux drivers for my BabyFace Pro! Please!  smile

Re: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

rugubara wrote:

AFAIK, RME doesn't want to disclose the internals of their gear in proprietary mode

Being en embedded systems designer, I can fully appreciate their work. And I think they are the best.
But I don't see anything magic in stuffing bits the best way to communicate between an audio interface and a PC CPU.
At most they do something clever to minimize clock jitter between their FPGA and the host CPU.
But there are no secrets in the electronic world: https://desowin.org/usbpcap/

I've been using a Fireface 800, which runs perfectly in Debian.
I wanted to upgrade to an UFX+, but the lack of control of said interface is a show-stopper.
I wrote a simple service that listens to an old midi keyboard to switch instrument input options, phantom power, sets outputs for monitoring and a few other things like that in a few hours. Not being able to do that kind of thing would make the UFX+ a downgrade over the FF800.

The saddest thing about this is that I came to know RME because of their linux support ...

Re: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

i find it unbelievable that RME still doenst support linux in 2020. im making electronic music and am on linux since 2007 with a fireface 800, currently on manjaro. i easily have 30% more processing power on my machine compared to the evil blue and white. AND THEY STILL DONT SUPPORT ME?

i have a general rule not to buy from anybody who does not support the public domain idea so that upsets me regularly. so last week i finally sold my fireface 800 and am done with RME. i dont think they will ever get it ... bye and good luck!

16 (edited by ramses 2020-03-25 16:59:38)

Re: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

Don't forget to send such messages to Steinberg, Protools and all other major DAW vendors
and not to forget to all the companies who do not support linux as well for VST and VSTi.

Many thanks for your kind support upfront.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 20H2, Cubase 11.0 Pro, UFX+, XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE

Re: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

So Cockos and Harrison aren't major vendors?

Steinberg and Avid are horrible companies. I wouldn't touch their products with a ten foot pole. Maybe I'll just have to replace my current interface with a brand that does understand it's not all about the money. Just like my current Mac will not be replaced by any Apple product. And I've been a Mac user for over 30 yeqrs...

Re: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

I've used linux for Music for over 10 years.  i currently run a Fedora (RedHat) Linux system (fc32) with a Focusrite Saffire Pro40.  There is crossbar router/hardware mixer capability built in with a standard app.  I can easily route sources from/to entertainment systems and "normal" apps such as Google Chrome.  The DAW (ardour) I use is what Harrison MixBus is based on. In addition this great open source tool is available for MAC and Windows.  The same projects can be accessed seamlessly from Windows provided plugins match.  I can create great MIDI stuff using Steinberg VST3 and Native Instruments plugins on windows, render them out, and use those tracks on linux.  Similar hardware performs so much better with the Fedora.  The linux tools and application interaction are far superior to anything on Apple or Windows.  There may not be the costly plugins and VST3 isn't much there yet but there is way more than I need in the way of MIDI and analog recording.  Not to mention the video and live-streaming capability.  Closed proprietary systems just do not compare in any way.

I sync my RME/Windows setup to linux with 8 channels of optical ADAT and only keep it due to Steinberg/Yamaha/cubase investments.

ccrma.stanford.edu  is practically all Linux. They provide MAC support for those who like to spend money.

19 (edited by dathho 2020-05-06 22:06:12)

Re: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

This timely snippet was in my feed the last few days...
https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page= … e-UCX-Linux

All the rest can be done if RME provides these developers with the details needed to support specific devices.
BlackMagic Design is a great example of proprietary support for linux operating systems that is very successful.
Behringer does a good job with linux support.

USB compliant products all just work.
thunderbolt 3 based products may be another story but intel has also opened this specification up.

If the Idea is to sell high-quality audio hardware, linux can not be ignored any longer!

Re: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

I would dearly love to have proper Linux support for my Fireface UCX. I currently use Windows but would love to switch to Linux and I am constantly evaluating if I can jump yet. Drivers for my RME interface are a major component in that decision.

RME says the main problem is lack of available developer resources to commit to development for Linux, as a Software Engineer working in a large company I completely understand and sympathize with this problem. I also understand that developing Linux support is not a one time thing, there is also the on-going overhead of maintenance and support so that it continues to work as Linux OSes are updated, and also the fact that every new feature for Win/Mac must also be added to the Linux version.

Going from 2 to 3 supported OSes adds something like 50% to the cost of all software development for RME for the rest of forever, and that's AFTER they've done the initial up-front project of releasing Linux support V1.0. However, nothing is impossible, so let's consider what would have to happen for RME to switch from a "No" to a "Yes".

In business, time and money are often interchangeable, indeed where I work (a Fortune 500 tech company) everyone just uses the term "resources" to refer to the time/money duality in relation to projects. RME's reluctance support Linux is likely because their current business model (which never factored in the cost for Linux support for current products), and probably also the market ROI on future sales, does not provide enough resources to afford a Linux version of the various RME drivers and software.

There are two ways I can see that RME could get more resources for this project. One is crowd funding, and the other is open source development.

The initial project could be partially funded by a crowd fund campaign. I say "partially" because my finger-in-the-air guess at the cost of delivering drivers and TotalMix 1.0 for Linux would be a million dollars at the bare minimum and probably a lot more, and that's assuming that much of it can be "ported" rather than re-written. A crowd fund campaign appealing to "RME users who want to pay for Linux support" wouldn't get anywhere near that kind of money. But hey, any amount of resources is resources, this could at least partially fill the gap.

Another possibility is open source which addresses the other side of the time/money equation. If the Linux version was some form of open or "mixed" source, then RME could reduce it's own spend by leveraging free labor from the open source community. There are a lot of complications here though, not just regarding intellectual property, but also RME's control over their "brand".

Like it or not, most people will still perceive that open-source project as "RME's responsibility" and if the project does not quickly develop a strong community of quality contributors then RME will be left holding the baby on a half-baked project that makes them look bad and, what's worse, they don't have the resources to fix. However, where there is risk, there is also potential for reward, a successful community-resourced project would significantly boost RME's brand in many ways, even beyond just the Linux users who are using the software. Most users of RME products would be highly technical people who are tinkerers at heart, and all tinkerers appreciate open systems.

As I write this out and think about it, it occurs to me that another route that protects RME from potential fallout would be an independant open source project that was not directly associated with RME, but has their blessing and support, particularly in the technical specifics required to get the drivers running, perhaps via an initial contribution of code. If the project doesn't take off, well it's not an RME project and RME never officially announced Linux support, but if it does, then RME gets all the benefits of having Linux support for their products with little risk.

Anywho, that's my 2c on it...

Re: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

Mind that the UCX does work perfectly fine with Linux in CC mode - sans Totalmix, but otherwise it can be used as it is....

Regards
Daniel Fuchs
RME

Re: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

Daniel, honestly thank you very much for participating in the conversation! We know that the CC mode works very well (I'm using my UFX II with great success on Linux for quite some time now) and we are grateful for that!

But I also keep missing TotalMix and DigiCheck a great lot - and therefore still don't give up hoping for some kind of better access (to the routing matrix (at least))...

With other brands having their interfaces controllable via web browser (and therefore completely OS-independent of course), my RME-spoiled heart suffers immensely...

Seeing that user Bollie was able to make a huge step with the Babyface Pro with your kind help within only a few weeks (see this thread: https://forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.ph … 63#p153163), shows that it is possible to improve Linux support greatly, if you want to! Of course that does not mean a bulletproof full-fledged Totalmix in all its beauty; but even a very very basic hardware-routing-matrix would be so important to have and make many peoples' lives so much better!!

Please RME, don't think that it has to be a fully equipped TotalMix for Linux right from the start (and therefore not do anything at all because the task seems to be too big or costly)! Even a small routing tool would make a huge difference already!! I think Vidamus' post was very wise: Maybe don't put it out officially as RME-branded, try to get it going "inofficially" first, as with your help for Bollie... If the Babyface Pro was possible relatively easily (it seems), other interfaces probably could be added quite easily now I guess, as they seem to be related (as they share the same driver for Win/Mac)...?


I am just brain storming here with a completely different thought (knowing that it probably is not the solution, but maybe triggers someone else's ideas): We have the TotalMix Remote software for Win/Mac; could we maybe create a small Linux application that basically only forwards the received remote commands to the hardware interface (running in CC mode on the Linux host)? I would be willing to run a Windows computer (or VM) just as remote control for my beloved interface... wink

DC rules!

Re: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

laex wrote:

Daniel, honestly thank you very much for participating in the conversation! We know that the CC mode works very well (I'm using my UFX II with great success on Linux for quite some time now) and we are grateful for that!

But I also keep missing TotalMix and DigiCheck a great lot - and therefore still don't give up hoping for some kind of better access (to the routing matrix (at least))...

With other brands having their interfaces controllable via web browser (and therefore completely OS-independent of course), my RME-spoiled heart suffers immensely...

Seeing that user Bollie was able to make a huge step with the Babyface Pro with your kind help within only a few weeks (see this thread: https://forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.ph … 63#p153163), shows that it is possible to improve Linux support greatly, if you want to! Of course that does not mean a bulletproof full-fledged Totalmix in all its beauty; but even a very very basic hardware-routing-matrix would be so important to have and make many peoples' lives so much better!!

Please RME, don't think that it has to be a fully equipped TotalMix for Linux right from the start (and therefore not do anything at all because the task seems to be too big or costly)! Even a small routing tool would make a huge difference already!! I think Vidamus' post was very wise: Maybe don't put it out officially as RME-branded, try to get it going "inofficially" first, as with your help for Bollie... If the Babyface Pro was possible relatively easily (it seems), other interfaces probably could be added quite easily now I guess, as they seem to be related (as they share the same driver for Win/Mac)...?


I am just brain storming here with a completely different thought (knowing that it probably is not the solution, but maybe triggers someone else's ideas): We have the TotalMix Remote software for Win/Mac; could we maybe create a small Linux application that basically only forwards the received remote commands to the hardware interface (running in CC mode on the Linux host)? I would be willing to run a Windows computer (or VM) just as remote control for my beloved interface... wink

A worthwhile idea. And 802 model Phantom power on capability. Which would already go a long way and could attract buyers for RME products in Linux use. There, information about things spreads like wildfire. In a positive sense:)

24 (edited by torbenscharling 2020-06-22 05:09:46)

Re: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

+1 on Linux and Pi support.

Just got a Pi 4 4gb (yes they now have 8gb version too)
installed Twister via Berryboot (multi-boot) installed Reaper, which I support and bought, works like a charm, easy setup.

Re: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

MC wrote:

We think about this from time to time, but most often we simply don't have the time left to even start it.


This old thread is an obvious example that there is a very strong need for Linux drivers. A similar pattern is seen over and over in every linux forum.

As linux becomes more maintream there will be a massive first-mover advantage for companies that support linux. You will offset dev costs quickly as you become one of the only hardware companies that make linux audio a fully, professional option (Reaper and Bitwig have already done so in the software part of this).

You are missing a huge opportunity here. Things are not like they were 2-3 years ago when his thread started. Microsoft bought github for crying out loud.

People love your company, and the fact that you have a linux forum here already speaks volumes.

By focusing on your lack of resources to develop i missing the point that the investment will be in being a first-mover in an environment that, of things continue as they have been, will see linux become a mainstream (ish) OS.

Re: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

From time to time I come here to see if something is moving.

Mega +1

Re: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

We are just searching for new interface and one candidate is Fireface 802, but we need to use it also under linux. Is there some progress with linux driver?

Regards,

Roman

28 (edited by laex 2020-09-11 15:25:38)

Re: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

rmpa wrote:

Fireface 802, but we need to use it also under linux.

All recent RME devices offer "class complient mode" which also works in Linux. You get inputs and outputs in perfect quality, but you don't get access to Totalmix, internal routing and other internal features (phantom power...)... So if you do processing and routing in your DAW (what is definitely possible perfectly well e.g. in Ardour) then the device could suite you well.

Some other interfaces (e.g. Fireface UFX II) have a display and you can access most functions directly with the knobs on the interface - but honestly IMHO, that's OK but unfortunately not perfect (in comparison to Totalmix)...


I'd also be very interested in any news! wink

DC rules!

Re: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

I also keep an eye on when Totalmix Fx comes to Linux. I am currently using 802 in a Windows 10 environment. Harrison Mixbus 32 c also works great on Linux. Because I need Totalmix Fx features in my work, I have to hang on the Windows side. As soon as Totalmix fx arrives on the Linux side, I also switch to it on the studio machine. I sincerely hope that the RME staff is seriously on the move.

Re: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

Hello,

I switched my studio machine on linux very recently. It is working great with my UFX and class compliant mode. But I have to say it would be awesome to have Totalmix and Digicheck too.
What do you think about implementing a web version of TotalMix that would be OS independant?

Re: Official Linux drivers/tools a possibility?

I'm switching to recording on Linux and looking for an interface with built in DSP. I'd really like to control the mix with TotalMix on Linux, esp EQ and Reverb. Is it possible to control that with the Linux Kernel 5.8 support for Babyface Pro?

Best regards and thank you so much for considering Linux support
/Bjorn Regnell, Sweden