Old 10-21-2019, 01:09 AM   #1
monty
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Default Lubuntu - fastest Ubuntu distro

Lubuntu is the fastest Ubuntu distro I've ever tested, you can also install Kwin as
window manager which allows a multi screen setup and save window positions.
https://lubuntu.net/
Code:
sudo apt-get install kde-window-manager lxsession-edit kde-cli-tools
sudo nano /etc/sddm.conf
add:
[General]
InputMethod=
In Session settings change from openbox to kwin_x11 & reboot
Disable all effects in the KDE settings also the search functions and Krunner should be disabled. Even with Kwin as the window manager Lubuntu is still very fast.

There is just a bug in the Desktop Wallpapermanager (w/ multiple monitors) so you need to use desktop color instead of wallpaper ...
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Old 10-22-2019, 01:16 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monty View Post
Lubuntu is the fastest Ubuntu distro I've ever tested, you can also install Kwin as
window manager which allows a multi screen setup and save window positions.
https://lubuntu.net/
Code:
sudo apt-get install kde-window-manager lxsession-edit kde-cli-tools
sudo nano /etc/sddm.conf
add:
[General]
InputMethod=
In Session settings change from openbox to kwin_x11 & reboot
Disable all effects in the KDE settings also the search functions and Krunner should be disabled. Even with Kwin as the window manager Lubuntu is still very fast.

There is just a bug in the Desktop Wallpapermanager (w/ multiple monitors) so you need to use desktop color instead of wallpaper ...
Hey I heard it is fast... does it have the current ubuntu core? was wondering if it is faster than Bodhi/AntiX?
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:11 PM   #3
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What exactly does "fast" mean with respect to a distribution ?

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Old 10-23-2019, 03:10 AM   #4
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Thx, Monty. Moving this one up the pile for testing.
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Old 10-23-2019, 10:08 PM   #5
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I'm running Lubuntu now with default Openbox, and it's fine. I had to figure out how to unbind the ALT key since it wasn't in a settings menu (it required editing an XML file). Also making desktop and quicklaunch shortcuts is a bit more of a hassle, and I haven't figured out how to customize the menu yet. Some aspects of Lubuntu need a bit more work/figuring out to customize than Xubuntu.

Anyway after I turned on Compton to stop screen tear (Compton was there, just not enabled) it performed graphically as smoothly as Xubuntu with its own compositor. I'm getting the same performance in Reaper as in Xubuntu.

I'm finding it a mixed bag of aspects of Xubuntu that I prefer and aspects of Lubuntu that I prefer, with no show-stoppers either way. I prefer Lubuntu a bit overall though since by default it has some applications I prefer for various tasks. It'd be hard to recommend it over Xubuntu though, knowing some relatively common configuration aspects require more poking around/Googling.
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Old 10-26-2019, 10:41 AM   #6
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this had some interesting info:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonev.../#1a26c64326d2

not lubuntu-specific but speed related. sounds like kde has been doing some work.

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Old 10-26-2019, 12:06 PM   #7
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No offense to people who write articles such as that (since maybe some people are obsessed about just how little RAM they need to use), but focusing on RAM use of a DE doesn't interest me. I've noticed that some DEs need maybe 200 MB more RAM than some of the "lightest" ones. That's not even worth thinking about in a machine with 16 GB RAM of current specs.

What I'm concerned with is how the DE performs especially with a DAW running. I tried Kubuntu and as nice as it seemed, with some Reaper test projects it was clearly not as efficient in some way since I got xruns a lot more easily (than with other distros with "lighter" DEs). It could be something else about Kubuntu that caused this, but I didn't notice anything running which could be the cause (and I set it up the same way as other distros, preparing it for DAW use). Who knows, it could come down to a buggy driver which by now is fixed. I also noticed a few quirks which made me wonder if the DE or WM didn't have some bugs (notifications about things crashing like Panel for instance).

It's been a few months since I tried Kubuntu...now I want to try it again to see if that's gotten better.

(edit) I just tried KDE Plasma in Lubuntu as monty did in the first post of the thread, since it only took a few minutes to switch it over. It's not as efficient as Lxqt when running my "stress test" projects in Reaper (more xruns when using high CPU, can't keep latency as low in those situations)...I guess unless I turn off *everything* for KDE effects (and I already turned off most stuff). I don't see much advantage over Lxqt in that case especially since I find Lxqt with Compton seems to work a bit better for me (whem moving windows around quickly it seems really smooth, and presumably it'd be better to avoid screen tear etc.) I guess if KDE gives you an advantage over Lxqt it'd be worth doing, but I can't think of any for my needs.
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Old 10-26-2019, 12:28 PM   #8
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Personally, I tried various distros a year ago, settled into one that worked for what I needed, and then quit working on finding a better OS so I could instead work on my music.

There are plenty of distros out there that are up to the job of recording with REAPER and trying to find that elusive unicorn version that will squeeze one more little drop of juice ain't worth the time and trouble IMHO. However as usual YMMV.
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Old 10-26-2019, 01:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glennbo View Post
There are plenty of distros out there that are up to the job of recording with REAPER and trying to find that elusive unicorn version that will squeeze one more little drop of juice ain't worth the time and trouble IMHO. However as usual YMMV.
I just try them because I can. More out of curiosity about how they handle audio at low latency and high cpu. Plus also I was curious if there's anything special about them that I care about; for instance I do like the file manager in Lubuntu. Some of the apps I run were ones I first tried in MX Linux. I have a list of the usual apps like PDF viewer, image viewer, file manager, text editor, etc. and now I tend to replace "stock" ones with my preference. Those preferences came from trying various distros (although they didn't have to).

I ended up getting a stable system that runs round-trip latency of 2-ish ms with my onboard Realtek ALC1220, even with really high CPU use. That RTL was tested/confirmed, too. Now I'm using a 3rd gen Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (USB) and I can't get its latency as low at high CPU, but it's still very respectable (and at "normal" project use, I can get the latency around 3ms no problem). Using KDE, I sacrifice that "top-end" performance. Not that I'd really use it, but I like knowing what the distro can do.

Also I found out I don't need OS tweaks for the most part. I install the low-latency kernel, and also indicator-cpufreq so I can set the frequency of the CPU. I change the VM swappiness to be more relaxed. That's it. I also disable stuff running that I don't need, but it's not much (in distros like Lubuntu and Xubuntu for instance). I didn't add a "realtime" group, I didn't change settings in RTirq, none of that. I've done that before and if anything it makes it worse (for all the settings I've tried anyway).
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Old 10-26-2019, 02:43 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by JamesPeters View Post
I just try them because I can. More out of curiosity about how they handle audio at low latency and high cpu. Plus also I was curious if there's anything special about them that I care about; for instance I do like the file manager in Lubuntu. Some of the apps I run were ones I first tried in MX Linux. I have a list of the usual apps like PDF viewer, image viewer, file manager, text editor, etc. and now I tend to replace "stock" ones with my preference. Those preferences came from trying various distros (although they didn't have to).

I ended up getting a stable system that runs round-trip latency of 2-ish ms with my onboard Realtek ALC1220, even with really high CPU use. That RTL was tested/confirmed, too. Now I'm using a 3rd gen Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (USB) and I can't get its latency as low at high CPU, but it's still very respectable (and at "normal" project use, I can get the latency around 3ms no problem). Using KDE, I sacrifice that "top-end" performance. Not that I'd really use it, but I like knowing what the distro can do.

Also I found out I don't need OS tweaks for the most part. I install the low-latency kernel, and also indicator-cpufreq so I can set the frequency of the CPU. I change the VM swappiness to be more relaxed. That's it. I also disable stuff running that I don't need, but it's not much (in distros like Lubuntu and Xubuntu for instance). I didn't add a "realtime" group, I didn't change settings in RTirq, none of that. I've done that before and if anything it makes it worse (for all the settings I've tried anyway).
I would expect that the converters in that Focusrite are of higher quality than the Realtek. I use my onboard VIA audio for system sounds, but that's all. For DAW use I only use the Behringer UMC1820 I bought a few months ago. As for latency though, I set it for 44/24 with a 128 buffer and 3 periods, which REAPER reports as 2.9/5.8ms. What the actual round trip latency is with the hidden buffers is, I don't know, but I can play my guitars and basses monitoring through REAPER, and it never feels laggy to me.

Something I keep thinking about getting is one of these dual SSD bays so I could just eject my two primary SSDs, then stab a different single SSD in for experimenting and trying out other distros. Then when I'm done playing around, just stab my two primary SSDs back in and I'm back to the perfectly functioning system I have now.

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Old 10-26-2019, 04:13 PM   #11
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I briefly had a 1st generation 2i2, and this is improved in several ways. It's less noisy (very quiet actually), the headphone amp is stronger, the mic preamps sound more natural to me (the originals sounded a bit "rounded" although pleasantly so), and the "instrument" input switch works better although I can still clip the input (with the gain down all the way) with a strong humbucker or by slapping on the bass. It also still has a power on/off "thump" which I prefer to avoid by turning off my speakers first. But yeah it's a pretty cool device and it works "out of the box" in Linux. The "air" switch makes the preamps' upper mids/treble a bit peakier in a nice way, reminiscent of transformer-based mic preamps. I actually got this because the onboard Realtek wouldn't do direct input monitoring on its headphone out (even though it does it on the line out, lol! talk about backwards), and I was planning to run my transformer-based preamps through this. After testing it, I don't think I will. It sounds really good on its own.

The ALC1220, at least the way it's implemented on this mainboard, sounds quite good. It has some more noise compared to the 2i2 though, mostly because of using unbalanced cables and being around all the computer electronics/power supplies. Being USB, the 2i2 escapes all that. If the onboard device would've allowed direct monitoring of the input at the headphone out, I'd have kept using it. Even at around 2ms latency (and confirmed at that), I can feel the latency somehow. I never thought I was that kind of guy, but I am. I only really notice when playing something really fast on guitar, and it's not as though I'm worrying about my timing being thrown off. It just feels like the attack "is wrong" as I'm playing. And whether it's set for 2ms latency or 6ms latency, it's nearly the same experience.

Yeah 128 samples and 3 blocks at 44.1 KHz/24-bit is what I use as my "stable for everything" setting. 2.9/5.8ms is what I get too, and I confirmed the total RTL on my system anyway. I think I had to adjust 20 samples for the exact match, but close enough.

I tried a UMC202HD and a UMC204HD. They're not bad. They remind me of the Steinberg UR22 in terms of functionality and noise level (respectable), but the preamps sound somewhat different. The UR22's preamps sound a bit...stiffer? The Behringer's sound a bit softer. I recommended the 202HD to a friend who "had no money" but wanted to record at home, and it's working well for him. I got low enough latency with it that I was actually surprised; I figured "it's a Behringer...take what you can get..." but it was low latency and stable. I don't recall exactly what it was but it's probably comparable to what I'm getting with the 2i2.

I'm probably done trying different distros. I "get it" enough now. Xubuntu is good and I can't recommend switching to Lubuntu, although I'm also not bothering to switch back to Xubuntu on my main system now. Some things about Lubuntu are more annoying, like customizing your applications menu or unbinding the ALT keys from their default shortcuts. Performance is basically the same, it has the same "base" and kernels and runs most of the same software from the repos (some Qt stuff doesn't work as well in Xubuntu but there are usually alternate versions anyway). I'd say keep using Xubuntu. I might go back to it after I ride out this cycle of Lubuntu...we'll see.
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Old 10-27-2019, 02:19 AM   #12
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I agree with you, Lubuntu is not very comfortable (not yet) apart from the filemanager ;-)
However, it works well with Kwin and is faster than Kubuntu in this setup. I need a window manager like Kwin because my multi monitor setup.
I'm currently still testing whether it can be improved without having to install too much of the KDE stuff.
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Old 10-27-2019, 07:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesPeters View Post
I briefly had a 1st generation 2i2, and this is improved in several ways. It's less noisy (very quiet actually), the headphone amp is stronger, the mic preamps sound more natural to me (the originals sounded a bit "rounded" although pleasantly so), and the "instrument" input switch works better although I can still clip the input (with the gain down all the way) with a strong humbucker or by slapping on the bass. It also still has a power on/off "thump" which I prefer to avoid by turning off my speakers first. But yeah it's a pretty cool device and it works "out of the box" in Linux. The "air" switch makes the preamps' upper mids/treble a bit peakier in a nice way, reminiscent of transformer-based mic preamps. I actually got this because the onboard Realtek wouldn't do direct input monitoring on its headphone out (even though it does it on the line out, lol! talk about backwards), and I was planning to run my transformer-based preamps through this. After testing it, I don't think I will. It sounds really good on its own.

The ALC1220, at least the way it's implemented on this mainboard, sounds quite good. It has some more noise compared to the 2i2 though, mostly because of using unbalanced cables and being around all the computer electronics/power supplies. Being USB, the 2i2 escapes all that. If the onboard device would've allowed direct monitoring of the input at the headphone out, I'd have kept using it. Even at around 2ms latency (and confirmed at that), I can feel the latency somehow. I never thought I was that kind of guy, but I am. I only really notice when playing something really fast on guitar, and it's not as though I'm worrying about my timing being thrown off. It just feels like the attack "is wrong" as I'm playing. And whether it's set for 2ms latency or 6ms latency, it's nearly the same experience.
I get a thump to the monitors when powering up my Behringer UMC1820, but I have an outboard hardware based monitor selector with volume control that I can turn down before powering that unit up or off. I also have a 5 output headphone amp so monitoring with headphones has always been handled using it, even when I was using two internal M-Audio PCI cards. That said, the Behringer unit has a balance control between pre/post computer so I could monitor direct if I wanted to, but I've used through the DAW monitoring all the way back to the first versions of Sonar.

Quote:
Yeah 128 samples and 3 blocks at 44.1 KHz/24-bit is what I use as my "stable for everything" setting. 2.9/5.8ms is what I get too, and I confirmed the total RTL on my system anyway. I think I had to adjust 20 samples for the exact match, but close enough.

I tried a UMC202HD and a UMC204HD. They're not bad. They remind me of the Steinberg UR22 in terms of functionality and noise level (respectable), but the preamps sound somewhat different. The UR22's preamps sound a bit...stiffer? The Behringer's sound a bit softer. I recommended the 202HD to a friend who "had no money" but wanted to record at home, and it's working well for him. I got low enough latency with it that I was actually surprised; I figured "it's a Behringer...take what you can get..." but it was low latency and stable. I don't recall exactly what it was but it's probably comparable to what I'm getting with the 2i2.

If I switch to 64 samples latency in REAPER I hit 1.4/2.9ms and can run almost all my projects like that with no artifacts, but if I go crazy with Windows sampled or modeled instruments, I can start to stress the DAW out, so I just keep it at 128 and never worry about it again.

For grins I just set 32 samples buffer with my last project "Cop Show" playing behind Firefox. REAPER reports 0.7/1.4ms latency. It's 24 tracks with Windows plugins like Kontakt and Superior Drummer but not a pop or click anywhere through three repeats of the song on endless play in REAPER. I'm switching it back to 128 bulletproof mode though.

Quote:
I'm probably done trying different distros. I "get it" enough now. Xubuntu is good and I can't recommend switching to Lubuntu, although I'm also not bothering to switch back to Xubuntu on my main system now. Some things about Lubuntu are more annoying, like customizing your applications menu or unbinding the ALT keys from their default shortcuts. Performance is basically the same, it has the same "base" and kernels and runs most of the same software from the repos (some Qt stuff doesn't work as well in Xubuntu but there are usually alternate versions anyway). I'd say keep using Xubuntu. I might go back to it after I ride out this cycle of Lubuntu...we'll see.
I still would like to get one of those ejectable SSD bays so I could try other distros when one pops up that looks interesting, but also to make cloning my SSDs easier and be able to stage new LTS versions when they come out.
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Old 10-27-2019, 07:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
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I agree with you, Lubuntu is not very comfortable (not yet) apart from the filemanager ;-)
However, it works well with Kwin and is faster than Kubuntu in this setup. I need a window manager like Kwin because my multi monitor setup.
I'm currently still testing whether it can be improved without having to install too much of the KDE stuff.
What does Kwin do for your multi-monitor setup? I use two monitors in Xubuntu, and with the second one frequently drag stuff onto it to make my main monitor less cluttered. On my primary monitor I set a large margin on the left so I can run calculators and stock tickers in that slot, and making things like REAPER, Firefox, and other apps open in the remaining screen area.

Here's a panoramic shot of it I took a few days ago. The right monitor in this shot though is on my security system with three cams and a Raspberry Pi running The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror in the fourth slot, but I also use it as the extended 2nd screen for Xubuntu.

https://sclkssl.ssl.hwcdn.net/17/img...205_801542.jpg
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Old 10-27-2019, 02:58 PM   #15
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So I'm back to Xubuntu on my main PC as of today. Mostly because I screwed something up in Lubuntu during that switch to KDE, and figuring out how to resolve it would've taken about as much time as reinstalling Xunbuntu.

Plus one other annoying thing I forgot to mention: in the file manager of Lubuntu, when right-clicking on a file, when I release the mouse button the top menu item is automatically chosen (as though I had intended to click on it). It happened to me periodically, not every time, but it could become a problem. It's not my mouse either since I have 3 different mice and the same thing happened with all 3. There's a similar bug in Firefox that I reported a year ago (when it's set to not show the titlebar). Anyway I'm not dealing with that sort of thing, even if it's a bug that gets fixed relatively soon. It could be the sort of thing that causes a serious problem if I'm not careful while managing my files.

The rest of the Lubuntu annoyances were more about my patience in dealing with editing XML files and stuff to configure it differently (things distros like Xubuntu can do without resorting to that). But this is a different kind of situation.

Yeah my tests for stability in Reaper at low latency are extreme cases. I look at it this way: I want to ensure that no matter what I'm doing, I won't get crackles in audio recording in a project. Sometimes realtime CPU will spike a fair bit when using a certain plugin "live" while recording. So if I'm already at around 50% of CPU (if that ever happens on my new computer lol) then I record with some plugin enabled which pushes the realtime stability "over the edge", I could get crackles and ruin a take (and maybe not realize until much later, then have to go back and re-set for the recording). So I test under extreme circumstances, then use those settings "for everything". I'm being pickier than most would be.
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Old 10-27-2019, 03:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Also I found out I don't need OS tweaks for the most part. I install the low-latency kernel, and also indicator-cpufreq so I can set the frequency of the CPU. I change the VM swappiness to be more relaxed. That's it. I also disable stuff running that I don't need, but it's not much (in distros like Lubuntu and Xubuntu for instance). I didn't add a "realtime" group, I didn't change settings in RTirq, none of that. I've done that before and if anything it makes it worse (for all the settings I've tried anyway).
Personally I think a DE should be chosen by judging the applications, the desktop, and it's window management. I don't think they should/would have any impact on audio processing, but of course I could be wrong about that..

IMO if the purpose is to avoid all xruns, then the following should probably be done.

1. Use a realtime kernel, this provides lower kernel scheduling latency, meaning that threads will be scheduled faster and more reliably.

2. Avoid some hardware, like nvidia and some wifi cards that have given problems in the past.

3. Turn off hyperthreading.

4. Give your user the rights to schedule realtime priority threads and to lock memory.

5. Set the priority of the thread servicing the soundcard interrupt or the USB hub it's connected to.

6. Set the priority of the involved threads correctly. Highest the soundcard interrupt, say at 95, then either jack or reaper's audio processing threads at 80. They should run higher than the default 50 used to service the other system interrupts.

7. Use the /dev/cpu_dma_latency option if it works with your cpu. It will tell it to not go into deeper power saving states. Monitor the temperature as some systems have inadequate cooling (like my asus haswell laptop), which will cause thermal shutdowns of the cpu.

Of course ymmw, but I thought I'd share my beliefs
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Old 10-27-2019, 03:39 PM   #17
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Really solid advice. Thanks, Jack!
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Old 10-27-2019, 03:41 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Personally I think a DE should be chosen by judging the applications, the desktop, and it's window management. I don't think they should/would have any impact on audio processing, but of course I could be wrong about that..

IMO if the purpose is to avoid all xruns, then the following should probably be done.
KDE Plasma seems to affect performance in Reaper (during extreme testing), all else being equal. I also had tried 2, 4, and 6 from that list during these tests. I realized later that I didn't need most of that in any distro (other than 1: using a realtime kernel) and 4 and 6 might actually make performance worse (depending on the settings...I tried a lot of different things). As for 3: all my tests have been done with hyperthreading on, but at least that shouldn't have been the deciding factor as to why enabling KDE Plasma in Lubuntu (and disabling Openbox) resulted in reduced performance (to the same degree as when I had tried Kubuntu on a fresh install). I wouldn't expect hyperthreading + KDE Plasma = worse than other DEs for some reason.

As for 7: I have never heard of that until just now, despite all my scouring of the 'net for info about this sort of thing. Sigh. Linux. But I doubt this made any difference comparing KDE Plasma to Xfce or LXqt for performance, anyway.

Anyway I use a cpu frequency governor thingy, and I've set things in the BIOS to avoid anything wonky, and I know my CPU is cooling well.

Plus I also set my screensaver and power manager to do nothing ever. I find it actually works best to do that than to not let screensaver and power manager start in the session, for some reason. (I guess it defaults to "something" rather than "nothing" if screensaver and power manager aren't even started. I did notice my screen would go blank after several minutes, so that supports my guess.)

My tests have involved onboard audio on PCIe, which I can set to insanely low latency. Then I push the CPU to its limits with projects loaded down like crazy, and see when things fall apart. Only recently have I gotten the USB interface, and I've been more forgiving about that so far (plus not counted that in my results when comparing performance of distros). Performance of any distro so far, if it's used Xfce, has been roughly the same. Also in that ballpark are LXqt, Mate and Cinnamon. KDE Plasma for some reason won't let me push the CPU that hard at a really low latency without xruns though (in Lubuntu or in Kubuntu).

As for #5: I might try that, but the info about it is confusing. Sometimes people refer to a device and sometimes they refer to a module, plus the info varies based on what it was posted and what distro people used. Now that I'm using a USB device I'd like to see if I can get it to be as low latency as possible so I'll see if I can get a definitive answer...without screwing something up in the process.
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Last edited by JamesPeters; 10-27-2019 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 10-27-2019, 04:10 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Winter View Post
Personally I think a DE should be chosen by judging the applications, the desktop, and it's window management.
That was my initial criteria since I was only planning to replace Windows 7 with Linux, and thought I'd be using Windows 7 offline for REAPER.

Quote:
IMO if the purpose is to avoid all xruns, then the following should probably be done.

1. Use a realtime kernel, this provides lower kernel scheduling latency, meaning that threads will be scheduled faster and more reliably.

2. Avoid some hardware, like nvidia and some wifi cards that have given problems in the past.

3. Turn off hyperthreading.

4. Give your user the rights to schedule realtime priority threads and to lock memory.

5. Set the priority of the thread servicing the soundcard interrupt or the USB hub it's connected to.

6. Set the priority of the involved threads correctly. Highest the soundcard interrupt, say at 95, then either jack or reaper's audio processing threads at 80. They should run higher than the default 50 used to service the other system interrupts.

7. Use the /dev/cpu_dma_latency option if it works with your cpu. It will tell it to not go into deeper power saving states. Monitor the temperature as some systems have inadequate cooling (like my asus haswell laptop), which will cause thermal shutdowns of the cpu.

Of course ymmw, but I thought I'd share my beliefs
I never see media xruns even when using a 32 sample buffer, and RT xruns only happen upon opening the performance meter as it is populating the list. Interesting thing I'm observing is with a 32 sample buffer I ALWAYS get 2 RT xruns on open of the performance meter. I get 3 with 64 sample buffer, and 4 with a 128 buffer.

I'm using an nVidia gamer card, running the low latency kernel, made the IRQ tweaks for the port my audio device is plugged into, and increased my user limits for realtime and unlimited memory.

I did not do the CPU DMA tweak, and my i5 CPU does not have HyperThreading to disable. If it wer not for the MDS security hole that Intel will never fix on an i5-750, I'd have no reason to be waiting for the AMD B550 chipset to pop so I can build a 3700X based DAW.
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Old 10-27-2019, 04:29 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesPeters View Post
As for #5: I might try that, but the info about it is confusing. Sometimes people refer to a device and sometimes they refer to a module, plus the info varies based on what it was posted and what distro people used. Now that I'm using a USB device I'd like to see if I can get it to be as low latency as possible so I'll see if I can get a definitive answer...without screwing something up in the process.
Here's the thread I started when I was figuring out how to get it happening on my Behringer UMC1820.

https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=221887
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Old 10-27-2019, 06:04 PM   #21
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Yeah I was on that thread.

Unfortunately cat /proc/interrupts doesn't list anything that looks like the card designator or USB designator that I see in /proc/asound/cards. I see a number of ahci things with "[000:01:00.1]" and such but nothing like the info from /proc/asound/cards about the USB 3 port I'm using. I also see xhci things but there's no info for them as such. I see info for the "sound device" of my AMD GPU though, so I guess that's something.

So I tried a number of different settings with Rtirq again, trying variations of where xhci, ahci, snd, usb and rtc should go (usually rtc first, or omitted from the list entirely). It seems the best setting was the default one before even starting Rtirq, which means all this shuffling around didn't help me. I'm not surprised. I think the first time I did this it somehow made a difference, but then I changed a setting in Reaper's ALSA setting (giving it a priority of 30) and then it was actually not important to mess with Rtirq at all for me.

During this testing tonight I found something interesting: it seems for the 2i2 interface, using 5 blocks of 64 is better than 3 blocks of 128, for a really stable low latency at high CPU. So that's neat. It's honestly low enough latency for a USB 2 interface especially if I can push the CPU to its limits at that latency (using plugins with high PDC at that, while twiddling knobs and mute/solo etc). And in normal projects I can run it at 3ms RTL easily without problems. So I'm probably done messing around with this kind of thing.
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Old 10-27-2019, 08:57 PM   #22
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Here's my

/etc/default/rtirq

file with the edits I'm using.



Code:
#
# Copyright (C) 2004-2015, rncbc aka Rui Nuno Capela.
#
#   This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
#   modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License
#   as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2
#   of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
#
#   This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
#   but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
#   MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the
#   GNU General Public License for more details.
#
#   You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along
#   with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc.,
#   51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 USA.
#
# /etc/sysconfig/rtirq
# /etc/default/rtirq
#
# Configuration for IRQ thread tunning,
# for realtime-preempt enabled kernels.
#
# This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
# under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 2 or later.
#

# IRQ thread service names
# (space separated list, from higher to lower priority).
# RTIRQ_NAME_LIST="rtc snd usb i8042" # old
###### RTIRQ_NAME_LIST="snd usb i8042"

# Highest priority.
###### RTIRQ_PRIO_HIGH=90

# Priority decrease step.
###### RTIRQ_PRIO_DECR=5

# Lowest priority.
###### RTIRQ_PRIO_LOW=51

# Whether to reset all IRQ threads to SCHED_OTHER.
###### RTIRQ_RESET_ALL=0

# On kernel configurations that support it,
# which services should be NOT threaded 
# (space separated list).
###### RTIRQ_NON_THREADED="rtc snd"

# Process names which will be forced to the
# highest realtime priority range (99-91)
# (space separated list, from highest to lower priority).
# RTIRQ_HIGH_LIST="timer"

# Added by Me
RTIRQ_NAME_LIST="ehci_hcd"
# RTIRQ_NAME_LIST="rtc ehci snd"
RTIRQ_PRIO_HIGH=95
RTIRQ_PRIO_DECR=1
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Old 10-27-2019, 09:11 PM   #23
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I tried similar settings (decr of 2 and 3 at one point too). Plus also I had set the Prio High at 95. (And yes I noticed you added your settings at the bottom.) But again I was kind of guessing my USB device was on one of the xhci thingies, or one of the ahci thingies. So each time it was "well, let's see if this changes anything...", start rtirq and see its output, then start Reaper and test.
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Old 10-28-2019, 07:42 AM   #24
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I had a similar problem w/ RTIRQ after a long search I have found my SND USB devices ... usb4, usb2, usb6
I guess you can use "snd" as a parameter for all connected audio/midi devices, or am I wrong?
Code:
RTIRQ_NAME_LIST = "rtc usb2 usb4 usb6"
like
Code:
RTIRQ_NAME_LIST = "rtc snd"
Code:
lsmod | grep snd
snd_seq_dummy          16384  2
snd_hrtimer            16384  1
snd_hda_codec_hdmi     53248  0
snd_usb_audio         233472  5
snd_usbmidi_lib        36864  1 snd_usb_audio
snd_hda_intel          45056  0
snd_hda_codec         131072  2 snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hda_intel
snd_hda_core           86016  3 snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec
snd_hwdep              20480  2 snd_usb_audio,snd_hda_codec
snd_pcm               102400  7 snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hda_intel,snd_usb_audio,snd_hda_codec,snd_hda_core
snd_seq_midi           20480  2
snd_seq_midi_event     16384  1 snd_seq_midi
snd_rawmidi            36864  2 snd_seq_midi,snd_usbmidi_lib
snd_seq                69632  10 snd_seq_midi,snd_seq_midi_event,snd_seq_dummy
snd_seq_device         16384  3 snd_seq,snd_seq_midi,snd_rawmidi
snd_timer              36864  3 snd_seq,snd_hrtimer,snd_pcm
snd                    81920  16 snd_seq,snd_seq_device,snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hwdep,snd_hda_intel,snd_usb_audio,snd_usbmidi_lib,snd_hda_codec,snd_timer,snd_pcm,snd_rawmidi
soundcore              16384  1 snd
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Old 10-28-2019, 08:12 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monty View Post
I had a similar problem w/ RTIRQ after a long search I have found my SND USB devices ... usb4, usb2, usb6
I guess you can use "snd" as a parameter for all connected audio/midi devices, or am I wrong?
Code:
RTIRQ_NAME_LIST = "rtc usb2 usb4 usb6"
like
Code:
RTIRQ_NAME_LIST = "rtc snd"
The very first thing I did before even plugging my new USB audio interface in was to get my motherboard manual out and identify what USB ports shared IRQs with other devices. Once I determined the USB port with the least amount of possible IRQ sharing, I used it. Then for me, the line that finally did what I expected was this one.

RTIRQ_NAME_LIST="ehci_hcd"

I booted into Windows and used the device manager's view devices by connection to verify beyond any doubt that the port I plugged my Behringer UMC1820 into was a match when issuing the command,

sudo /etc/init.d/rtirq status

Which comes back with this, showing the USB audio with elevated priority, but the on board sound listed later as lower priority.

PID CLS RTPRIO NI PRI %CPU STAT COMMAND
103 FF 95 - 135 0.0 S irq/16-ehci_hcd
104 FF 94 - 134 0.0 S irq/23-ehci_hcd
48 FF 50 - 90 0.0 S irq/9-acpi
106 FF 50 - 90 0.0 S irq/12-i8042
107 FF 50 - 90 0.0 S irq/1-i8042
108 FF 50 - 90 0.0 S irq/8-rtc0
184 FF 50 - 90 0.0 S irq/19-pata_jmi
192 FF 50 - 90 0.0 S irq/29-ahci[000
211 FF 50 - 90 0.0 S irq/18-ahci[000
522 FF 50 - 90 0.0 S irq/17-snd_hda_
524 FF 50 - 90 0.0 S irq/31-snd_hda_
936 FF 50 - 90 0.0 S irq/30-enp2s0
972 FF 50 - 90 0.3 S irq/32-nvidia
973 FF 49 - 89 0.0 S irq/32-s-nvidia

Edit: And yes I believe you can use SND as a parameter by itself and it will then up the priority of all sound devices. Note I had commented out this line in the rtirq file I posted. I only wanted to increase priority on my external USB audio interface.

# RTIRQ_NAME_LIST="rtc ehci snd"
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Last edited by Glennbo; 10-28-2019 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 10-28-2019, 09:29 AM   #26
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do you use an extra reaper startup script with RT priority options for wine?
Code:
#!/bin/bash
export WINELOADER='/usr/bin/wine'
export STAGING_RT_PRIORITY_SERVER=95
export STAGING_RT_PRIORITY_BASE=95
/home/username/REAPER/reaper
I see no difference with or w/o wine RT options when starting VST plugins in Reaper ... I get some xruns from vst midi instruments (only when starting)
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Old 10-28-2019, 09:59 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monty View Post
do you use an extra reaper startup script with RT priority options for wine?
Code:
#!/bin/bash
export WINELOADER='/usr/bin/wine'
export STAGING_RT_PRIORITY_SERVER=95
export STAGING_RT_PRIORITY_BASE=95
/home/username/REAPER/reaper
I see no difference with or w/o wine RT options when starting VST plugins in Reaper ... I get some xruns from vst midi instruments (only when starting)
I'm using wine-staging from wineHQ with no tweaks, and use Kontakt in a lot of projects along with Superior Drummer.

The only xruns I ever see are upon launching the performance meter in REAPER. As it populates the list of items, it will always pop out a fixed number of RT xruns, but those are meaningless IMHO. It would be nice if measuring the number of xruns didn't begin until the panel had instantiated itself.

Anyway, after that fixed number of RT xruns pops on opening the performance meter, no more xruns appear in either the RT or Media columns.
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Old 10-28-2019, 12:26 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monty View Post
I had a similar problem w/ RTIRQ after a long search I have found my SND USB devices ... usb4, usb2, usb6
I guess you can use "snd" as a parameter for all connected audio/midi devices, or am I wrong?
From this page:

Quote:
The RTIRQ_NAME_LIST variable contains a list of space separated service names of which the first entry gets the highest priority. The term service seems to refer to module names and sound device designations (so the output of lsmod and aplay -l respectively) and doesn't have to correspond to the full output, part of the output may suffice as the rtirq script does the matching itself.
"SND" doesn't necessarily mean anything unless you find "SND" in the name of a module/device. But if you do, yes you can use "SND" to represent any/all of the modules/devices which have that in their names.

I tried that, and "USB" as part of my tests. I also tried "xhci" and "ahci". Nothing ended up being better than the default setting before I put RTirq on the system. I tried a lot of things (different orders of devices/modules included), and unless I can somehow nail down exactly which USB device/module name I need to specify for RTirq (and I've found no definitive way of knowing that so far), I don't think there'd be any improvement if it's even possible. Chances are this setup is about as good as can be.

The default setting for priority (without adding RTirq) is actually probably fine for most systems (running a current lowlatency kernel anyway such as I'm doing), if you don't use JACK and other audio applications at the same time as Reaper. I don't, so as long as the system works as well as it can for Reaper, that's probably why I don't notice a difference (or it might get a bit worse) when I try different things with RTirq. Reaper even has the ALSA RT priority setting I can adjust (from within Reaper's preferences). Also I guess other DAWs might benefit from playing around with the RTirq settings, but maybe not Reaper so much unless you have a USB audio device getting too low a priority.
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Old 10-29-2019, 12:37 AM   #29
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I have removed RTirq, it seems to be no longer necessary for newer systems (outdated) VST xruns have been reduced after that.
I can handle (rec, punch-in, overdub, mix) 32 audio tracks (and more) on 48000 hz (128 spl) without any xruns these happens only when starting a few VST plugins (wine staging).
I can also open the performance meter on 32 tracks without getting any xruns.
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Old 10-29-2019, 08:52 AM   #30
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Rtirq did seem to help on my first install of a Linux distro, which was MX Linux approximately a year ago. Since then (trying other distros and updating kernels) at some point I realized I didn't need it, and I'm not sure why but I suspect more recent kernels have something optimized in this regard.
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Old 10-29-2019, 09:42 AM   #31
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I also uninstalled irqbalance package and use unbind & remove for a proper interface IRQ in rc.local
removed onboard sound card (following device IDs [0000:01:00.1 etc.] are only valid w/ my system do not copy & paste remove & unbind parts without knowledge)
Code:
sudo apt purge irqbalance
Code:
echo 1 > "/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:02.0/0000:01:00.1"/remove
clean IRQ 16 via unbind:
Code:
echo -n "0000:00:12.0" > /sys/bus/pci/drivers/ohci-pci/unbind
other rc.local stuff (can be used w/ any system)
Code:
echo 3072 > /sys/class/rtc/rtc0/max_user_freq
modprobe snd-hrtimer # Load the ALSA high res timer for my MIDI stuff
modprobe -r ppdev # I don't have a parallel port
modprobe -r lp # I don't use a printer when making music
modprobe -r uvcvideo # I don't use a webcam when making music
modprobe -r videodev # Ditto
modprobe -r ath9k # Wireless driver
modprobe -r btusb # Bluetooth USB
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Old 10-29-2019, 09:50 AM   #32
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Before I enabled rtirq I could introduce audio gaps with my new Behringer UMC1820 by moving something quickly on my screen, like dragging another window around while playing back a very demanding project. I haven't experienced that in a long time, so I'm leaving my system, which ain't broke, unfixed.
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Old 10-29-2019, 10:43 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monty View Post
I also uninstalled irqbalance package and use unbind & remove for a proper interface IRQ in rc.local
removed onboard sound card (following device IDs [0000:01:00.1 etc.] are only valid w/ my system do not copy & paste remove & unbind parts without knowledge)
I have no idea what this is, so I'm not doing it.
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