Ubuntu Studio

Updates for February 2019

With Ubuntu 19.04’s feature freeze quickly approaching, we would like to announce the new updates coming to Ubuntu Studio 19.04.

Updated Ubuntu Studio Controls

This is really a bit of a bugfix for the version of Ubuntu Studio Controls that landed in 18.10. Ubuntu Studio Controls dramatically simplifies audio setup for the JACK Audio Connection Kit on your Ubuntu installation, and is the only GUI tool that enables JACK to automatically detect hotplugged USB audio devices along with allowing more than one audio device to be connected to JACK simultaneously.

Addition of Ubuntu Studio Backports PPA

Because Ubuntu Studio Controls is easy to use, we found it was also easier to support than the stack available in Ubuntu Studio 18.04. For this reason, among others, we have created an Ubuntu Studio Backports PPA, and will backport the newer versions of the Ubuntu Studio tools and select applications to this PPA. Please do keep in mind that this PPA is not supported by Ubuntu. Use it at your own risk. Support is provided by the Ubuntu Studio team only.

If you are on Ubuntu Studio 18.04 or newer, simply add this PPA by typing the following into your terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntustudio-ppa/backports

While support for Ubuntu Studio 18.04 was supposed to end in January due to its non-LTS status, we have decided to support it until the release of 20.04, and we felt a Backports PPA was the best way to do this. There will be no releases of Ubuntu Studio 18.04.x ISO, but updating the already-available ISO as well as adding the backports PPA will keep you up-to-date and allow the Ubuntu Studio team to support you better.

New Features in Ubuntu Studio Installer

In the past, Ubuntu Studio Meta Installer had been a tool used to install metapackages of various creative application categories. Now, Ubuntu Studio Installer can be used to install not only those metapackages, but also the under-the-hood tweaks used to enable real-time audio processing and reduce the default swappiness, which dictates when the system starts moving unused portions of RAM to the hard drive swap file. This increases overall performance for most applications, but is not recommended for systems with less than 4GB of RAM. Also included is the lowlatency Linux kernel, as well as the option to move the lowlatency kernel to the top of your GRUB bootloader menu, making it the default which is especially useful for audio production.

With these changes, Ubuntu Studio Installer allows you to install Ubuntu Studio as a ToolKit on top of your existing Ubuntu installation, including official flavors (Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Budgie), although our default ISO installer is based on Xubuntu.

Additionally, Ubuntu Studio will allow you to rebrand your Ubuntu (or flavor) install as Ubuntu Studio, theming your GRUB menu and Plymouth theme accordingly. For Ubuntu (proper), it will also re-theme your GDM login screen to Ubuntu Studio, and install the vanilla GNOME session which more closely matches the Ubuntu Studio branding, and install GNOME Tweaks to allow you to retheme using our Numix Blue theme and icon theme. These items are purely cosmetic, but we believe it adds to the Ubuntu Studio experience.

The Ubuntu Studio Installer will also give you the option to add the backports PPA mentioned above.

New Tool: Carla

The ubiquitous JACK routing tool, Patchage, is no longer developed. This has made finding a replacement a priority. The Ubuntu Studio Team determined a good replacement to be Carla from KXStudio. We have been working closely with the upstream developer to add this tool as not only a replacement for Patchage, but to add a high-quality plugin host as well. Carla includes a graphical patchbay and experimental features such as the ability to host Windows VST audio plugins (the Windows bridge will not be installed by default and must be added after Ubuntu Studio installation). This has been a much-requested feature and we hope it helps audio producers everywhere.

Carla will be available in Ubuntu Studio 19.04 as well as our Backports PPA.

New Boot Theme

We hope you like the new, simplified, Plymouth Boot Theme coming to Ubuntu Studio 19.04, which will be added to our Backports PPA.

Telegram as an Additional Support Channel

We have added a new way to receive official support from the Ubuntu Studio team, as well as a way to connect the community: Telegram. Telegram is an instant-messaging app available for Linux, Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. As such, we have created a bridge from our brand-new Telegram groups to our official Ubuntu Studio IRC channels, expanding the methods in which to connect our community and offer support. Additionally, we encourage our community to offer support to each other via Telegram and IRC.

Click Here to join our official Ubuntu Studio Support Telegram Group
Click Here to join our Ubuntu Studio Café (non-support) Telegram Group

Ubuntu Studio in the Media

Our council chair, Erich Eickmeyer, recently appeared on the Destination Linux podcast to discuss these items. Check it out! https://destinationlinux.org/episode-108/

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