The Ubuntu Studio team is pleased to announce the beta release of Ubuntu Studio 19.10, codenamed Eoan Ermine.
While this beta is reasonably free of any showstopper CD build or installer bugs, you may find some bugs within. This image is, however, reasonably representative of what you will find when Ubuntu Studio 19.10 is released on October 17, 2019.
In terms of new features, Ubuntu Studio 19.10 will include several audio plugins previously not included: over 90 new plugins courtesy of the Linux Studio Plugins project and quite a few from the DISTRHO Plugins Framework.
Another major new feature is the inclusion of OBS Studio by default, allowing users to get up-and-running with recording and live streaming out-of-the-box. OBS Studio also includes Jack integration, allowing interfacing with DAWs such as Ardour or using an audio plugin host such as Carla.
With the LADI tools and LADI Session Handler being abandoned, we have removed those tools and replaced them with Raysession, which is a lightweight session handler fully compatible with the NON Session Manager API, meaning many tools already installed are supported. User feedback has shown that Raysession, paired with Carla, is superior to the session management previously done by LADISH.
Ubuntu Studio Controls has been updated with a plethora of new features, including an indicator showing the state of Jack, the ability to select other audio backends besides ALSA, the addition of more than one PulseAudio bridge, improvements to USB audio handling, the addition of button shortcuts to various audio tools,
We hope that Ubuntu Studio 19.04’s release has been a welcome update for our users. As such, we are continuing our work on Ubuntu Studio with our next release scheduled for October 17, 2019, codenamed “Eoan Ermine”.
Bug Fix for Ubuntu Studio Controls
A bug identified in which the ALSA-Jack MIDI bridge was not surviving a reboot was fixed and updated in Ubuntu 19.04. As such, please make sure all of your packages are up-to-date.
New Features Coming to Ubuntu Studio Controls
We have already done a lot of work to Ubuntu Studio Controls for 19.10, and as such we have several new features already landing:
Multiple PulseAudio Bridges (for routing of individual applications)
In-Window Jack Status Indicator
DSP Usage Meter
Quick-links to QASMixer, Carla, and PulseAudio Control
These features are currently available in Eoan Ermine’s daily ISO images. After we have determined there has been sufficient testing (or 19.10 is released, whichever comes first), we will backport this version of Ubuntu Studio Controls to our backports PPA.
LSP-Plugins Coming to Ubuntu Studio 19.10
The Linux Studio Plugins Project is a collection of 91 Ladspa, LV2, and VST audio plugins compatible with Carla, Ardour, and other DAWs. These plugins are to be included by default in Ubuntu Studio 19.10, and are currently available in the Backports PPA for 18.04, 18.10, and 19.04. If you feel as though Ubuntu Studio is lacking in audio plugins, this should no longer be the case.
Removed ubuntustudio-gnome-branding from ubuntustudio-installer as people without the default GNOME Ubuntu were installing it, undesirably pulling-in GNOME packages.
The default wallpaper for 19.04 was slightly “fixed” and is available to 18.04 and 18.10 in the “ubuntustudio-disco-wallpapers” package, along with a version without the Ubuntu Studio logo in the lower-right corner.
An updated package of the Calf Studio Gear plugins to 0.90.2 for 18.04, 18.10, and 19.04
Ubuntu Studio 18.10 END-OF-LIFE Coming on July 18th, 2019
If you have not already upgraded from Ubuntu Studio 18.10 to 19.04, you have just over a month left to do so before Ubuntu Studio 18.10 reaches End-Of-Life and will no longer be supported. Ubuntu 18.10 and all official flavors reach End-Of-Life on July 18, 2019. Mark your calendar and upgrade as soon as possible!
Upgrading is available via the Software Updater and the command line “do-release-upgrade” tool.
If you have added the Backports PPA, please install and run ppa-purge tool before upgrading for the best upgrade experience:
The Ubuntu Studio team is pleased to announce the beta release of Ubuntu Studio 19.04, codenamed Disco Dingo.
While this beta is reasonably free of any showstopper CD build or installer bugs, you may find some bugs within. This image is, however, reasonably representative of what you will find when Ubuntu Studio 19.04 is released on April 18, 2019.
In terms of new features, Ubuntu Studio 19.04 will include a new version of the Ubuntu Studio Metapackage Installer, renamed to Ubuntu Studio Installer. This package is used to add features you may have opted-out of during installation. With this release, Ubuntu Studio can now be installed on top of a default Ubuntu installation or any flavor thereof such as Kubuntu, Xubuntu,Lubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Budgie, or Ubuntu Kylin. Documentation on this feature is coming soon.
Another major new feature is the addition of the upcoming Carla 2.0, originally from the KXStudio project. Carla is an audio plugin host and graphical patchbay which can be used as an audio plugin itself, and also can be used as a bridge to use VST plugins compiled for Windows using WINE. Please note that this WINE bridge is not installed by default, but is available in the Ubuntu repositories.
With the addition of Carla, jack-rack has been removed from the default installation for obsolescence reasons, and because Carla duplicates its functionality.
Also included are new GTK and icon themes which modernize the look and feel of Ubuntu Studio.
There is a known bug with the installer. Due to the new theme, there are occurrences of black text on a dark gray background. We intend to fix this before 19.04 is released. (Bug #1822134)
During a meeting of the Ubuntu Developer Membership Board on March 11, 2019, two Ubuntu Studio developers, Council Chair Erich Eickmeyer and Council Member Ross Gammon, successfully applied for and received upload rights to Ubuntu Studio’s core packages, fulfilling the requirements prescribed in https://wiki.ubuntu.com/RecognizedFlavors.
We would like to thank the community for staying with us through this uncertain time, and thank the Ubuntu Developer Membership Board for approving Erich and Ross’s applications.
The release of Ubuntu Studio 19.04 will remain on-course. Beta is scheduled for March 28th, Release Candidate for April 11th, and Final Release scheduled for April 18th.
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:
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.
The Ubuntu Studio team is pleased to announce the final beta release of Ubuntu Studio 18.10 Cosmic Cuttlefish.
While this beta is reasonably free of any showstopper CD build or installer bugs, you may find some bugs within. This image is, however, reasonably representative of what you will find when Ubuntu Studio 18.10 is released on October 18, 2018.
In terms of new features, Ubuntu Studio 18.10 will include the latest release of Ubuntu Studio Controls which will configure the JACK Audio Connection Kit to automatically detect and add hot-plugged USB audio devices as well as allow one to use multiple audio devices simultaneously. This is done independently of QJackCtl and is the first graphical tool to create such a configuration for the user out-of-the-box, making it a unique feature for Ubuntu Studio among operating systems for audio production. Another feature of Ubuntu Studio Controls is its ability to set the CPU governor to “Performance” for performance-heavy tasks such as audio production or to “Ondemand” for default CPU performance to save energy.
Among those applications upgraded in this release is GIMP 2.10, which saw its release shortly before the release of Ubuntu Studio 18.04. Due to a library conflict between GIMP 2.10 and MyPaint, we had to make the hard decision to drop MyPaint from the default installation of Ubuntu Studio, citing other tools, such as Krita, as filling a similar role in graphical art production. As such, if both are installed and you wish to upgrade to Ubuntu Studio 18.10, you must uninstall GIMP or MyPaint for the upgrade to be successful. We apologize for this inconvenience. At this time, we are waiting for the upstream developers of MyPaint to release a new version based on libmypaint 1.3 before both can be co-installable again.
To upgrade to Ubuntu Studio 18.10 Beta from Ubuntu Studio 18.04, follow these instructions:
For Ubuntu 18.10, we have been starting to think outside-the-box. There is something to be said of remaining with what you have and refining it, but staying in one spot can lead quickly to stagnation. Coming up with new ideas and progressing forward with those ideas is the cure to stagnation. If we can’t move forward, then we become stagnant, and a stagnant Linux distribution is a dying distribution. Technology is constantly changing and evolving, so we decided for this release cycle, and with the new leadership, Ubuntu Studio is undergoing something of a “reboot”; this is to say we’ll be adding new technologies and making some changes along the way.
Ubuntu Studio is a unique flavor of Ubuntu. Currently, it is the only remaining flavor of Ubuntu that is tied to its applications as opposed to its desktop environment. Originally, Ubuntu Studio started as an add-on to an existing Ubuntu installation, which used the GNOME 2 Desktop. Then Ubuntu Studio started to release its own CD images for direct download, as opposed to being an add-on. This included the GNOME 2 desktop and all of the metapackages much as it exists now.
In 2010, Ubuntu changed to move to Unity. With concerns about the performance of the brand-new desktop environment, and with GNOME 2 being deprecated in favor of GNOME 3, the Ubuntu Studio team decided to adopt the Xfce desktop, keeping an experience as close to GNOME 2 as possible, and to avoid the performance issues of KDE’s Plasma 4.
Since then, desktop environments on Linux distributions have matured significantly. GNOME 2 was forked to MATE, Plasma has been nearly rewritten to be a much lighter desktop, Unity has been dropped by Ubuntu in favor of GNOME 3 (as of the 17.10 release cycle), and we’ve seen newcomers such as Budgie.
With this in mind, the Ubuntu Studio team decided to rethink the choice of Desktop Environment, especially in light of the maturity of MATE as a close descendent of Studio’s original desktop environment. With that, it was proposed to look at either changing desktop environments or offering an alternative. Many Desktop Environments were tested for workflow, adaptation of our Ubuntu Studio Application Menus, and ease of development.
In the end and for the reasons described in this mailing list post, the Ubuntu Studio team would like to announce its first alternative desktop environment as KDE’s Plasma. We found it would be much easier to implement than most desktops at this time, and has struck a balance between form and functionality.
We want to be clear: Ubuntu Studio is not changing default desktop at this time. Some considerations are being made to make desktop selection available at install time, but to minimize DVD image file size we are also considering offering two separate ISOs.
With this, we would like to dispel a few myths about Plasma.
Myth 1: Plasma is a resource hog
This is no longer true. While Plasma 4 was quite resource-intensive in its time, this reputation bled over into Plasma 5. However, Plasma 5 is much less resource intensive for the following reasons:
Nepomuk (the file indexer) was a huge cause of the performance problems in Plasma 4. Nepomuk was deprecated in favor of the much lighter Baloo indexer, which uses a negligible amount resources.
The other performance concern was with Akonadi, the Personal Information Manager backend for such applications in the Kontact suite like KMail and KOrganizer. In our testing, Akonadi is disabled by default, and is only activated if one of the aforementioned applications is activated and configured. This is not a problem if you use a different email client and/or PIM, such as Thunderbird.
Yet another performance and resource concern was with the compositor, or “Eye Candy”. The compositor can be configured to use OpenGL 2.0, 3.1, or simply use Xrender. Additionally, the compositor can be completely disabled with a preconfigured key combination (alt-shift-F12), and can even be disabled by default. That said, the KWin compositor has not shown in our testing to cause performance problems.
Myth 2: Plasma has confusing audio configuration
In our testing, this is no longer the case, and we actually found the audio configuration to be simplified. Gone are the days of having to make sure Phonon is configured properly.
Myth 3: Plasma will interfere with my workflow.
As stated above, Plasma is being offered as an alternate and will not replace your Xfce install. Xfce will continue to be offered
For Ubuntu Studio 18.10, we will no longer offer 32-bit installs. We made the determination that not only will this ease the burden on our already thin-stretched development team, but allow us to move forward on the process of making and ensuring that Ubuntu Studio the best multimedia creation Linux distribution. Additionally, we determined that most of our target user base is running on fairly modern hardware that supports 64-bit. Ubuntu Studio is not a distribution meant to revive old hardware, simply because many of the installed applications require modern hardware for the best user experience.
Additionally, we plan to offer a “welcome center” and “software boutique” similar to Ubuntu MATE and Ubuntu Budgie. We plan for this to replace the already-existing Ubuntu Studio Metapackage Installer as it has a more intuitive and attractive interface.
As stated before, the Ubuntu Studio team consists of a handful of volunteers. If you would like to see this project flourish, please contribute. The best way is to subscribe to and introduce yourself on the Ubuntu Studio Development mailing list, and state how you would like to get involved.
For everyone who is asking why 18.04 is not an LTS, we want to be clear: we are very much in need of volunteers to help with development. We especially need help with packaging and documentation.
This entire project is run by volunteers. Nobody on the Ubuntu Studio team is employed by Canonical. We do this out of passion for the project.
That said, we simply do not currently have the manpower that it takes to support a Long-Term Support version. If you would like to change that for future releases, please help!
What this means: There will be no further versions of the Ubuntu Studio 18.04 ISO image file. There will be no backports other than those items backported in the official Ubuntu repositories. That said, the Ubuntu stack (including lowlatency kernel) will be supported for 5 years. So, for those (especially 16.04 users) fearing they can’t upgrade to 18.04 because it’s not LTS, fear not. Your packages will continue to update.
For the team, this means that our focus is on 18.10 going forward. We want to put a lot of energy into making it great and even looking to making some changes. We did not want to do this for 18.04 because with big changes comes bugs, and we don’t have the manpower to be chasing those bugs. 18.04 is a solid release that is evolutionary from 17.10. Evolutionary, not revolutionary.
If you find any bugs with this release, please report them, and take your time in making the bug report as well formulated as possible. You’ll need an account at launchpad.net. Making a bug report can be done from the terminal with the command: ubuntu-bug [package_name] (replace [package_name] with the name of the package you’re reporting the bug against).
Tagging the bugs with “bionic” and “ubuntustudio-beta” will also help us find them, but a mail to our mailing list with the link to the bug will also help!