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Old 05-28-2008, 10:10 PM   #1
synth
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Default The perfect Linux distro for a REAPER DAW with WINE

[Updated Jul 10, 2010]
It's a custom version of Puppy Linux built with the 'Woof' build system:

http://puppylinux.com/woof/

UPDATE: Puppy Studio is already available. Featuring a low-latency real-time kernel, full Ubuntu package compatibility and the speed and flexibility of Puppy Linux. See the last page for more info and download links.


old news:
-----------------------
[Jun 1 2008]

Getting sick of all the bloat that comes with normal or 'specialized' audio distros such as Ubuntu, Ubuntu Studio, Musix or 64Studio ?

Do you like the idea of having a fast, lightweight, stable bootable OS just for running REAPER that just works? Boot REAPER instantly from a USB flash drive or a Live CD on any x86 compatible PC even when no operating system is installed on your hard drive !

Well,it looks like I've finally found the perfect distro for running REAPER (natively*** or with WINE)

Features:
-----------

- Very lightweight for a distro that's based on the newest stable kernel
- It comes with an impressive number of useful apps
- Extremely fast boot time compared to other distros
- Very low overhead - one of the fastest distros available at the moment
- Memory friendly - will run even on low-memory POS PCs and netbooks
- Extensive hardware support
- Supports dialup modems,DSL,Cable,LAN,wireless,sharing,SSH and more out of the box
- Comes with a built-in firewall wizard
- Easy to use / user-friendly
- Can use its own packages or packages from other popular distros)
- Runs as a *real* live CD (totally in RAM)
- Can be installed to a flash drive
- Can be installed to a hard drive as a frugal or full install
- The CD can be remastered,so you can trim the fat,add your custom apps and tweaks and run REAPER from a live CD/DVD/USB Flash.
- Extremely customizable
- Runs as root by default (it's a feature,not a shortcoming) It's probably the most secure distro that runs as root,but paranoid users can customize it to work as a standard multi-user distro if they like to.
- No need to create a separate Linux FS partition.You can install it to an existing Windows partition.
- Great support and helpful community,like the Reaper forums.
- All of this and much more in just 90MB (lol)

Puppy info at DistroWatch:

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=puppy

***) when the time comes and Justin releases a native Linux version

[EDIT] Updated with more info
[EDIT2] Added a screenshot of a customized fat-free Puppy running REAPER
[EDIT3] Some changes and corrections
[EDIT4] Updated (March 2009)
[EDIT4] Update #2 (July 2010)

Last edited by synth; 07-10-2010 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 05-29-2008, 01:52 AM   #2
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sounds great.

I just hope it's setup to work with freebob or FFADO properly,- I'm still smarting here..

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Old 05-30-2008, 02:25 PM   #3
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synth, I hope you keep us up-to-date with this. Sounds attractive if it can work well and is easy.
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Old 05-30-2008, 04:02 PM   #4
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Yeah, please post something when you know this is working as good as described! I'm fed up with all kinds of linux distros that "supports everything", "installs with ease" and "appeal to all people at all levels".
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Old 05-30-2008, 04:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synth View Post
- Runs as root by default (this is a feature,don't let this fool you,it's the most secure Linux distro that runs as root]),but paranoid users can secure it easily with some tweaks
RUN AWAY. Do not walk. RUN as fast as you can.

Root by default is just plain irresponsible. Most likely it is being lazy.

*NIX can be secure, but you better be running a version with mandatory access controls, such as SE-LINUX

Sorry for the harsh words, but this is from someone that does computer related security for a living.

That said the other things sound good.
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Old 05-30-2008, 05:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spock View Post
*NIX can be secure, but you better be running a version with mandatory access controls, such as SE-LINUX
Sorry if I'm being rude, but I don't think you can expect the average user being aware of these kinds of things. Maybe I'm a n00b and all that stuff, but I just want to play music and get as much music as possible out of my computer, and not worry about all kinds of issues. If linux can make me a stable system I'll definatly go with this, otherwise it's the same as windows to me.. No offence!
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:45 PM   #7
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Sorry if I'm being rude, but I don't think you can expect the average user being aware of these kinds of things.
No you are not rude.

And you are right, the average user should never have think about those things, that is why I called it irresponsible to put out something that is a security mess.

Many vendors found out 20+ years ago that the right thing to do is to ship it by default secure, and then if someone wants to take risks and open the system up, then that's fine. (Too bad MS still hasn't learned that lesson)

I think you would be upset of your car didn't have seatbelts from factory, no matter how easy it is to add them later.
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:46 PM   #8
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Running as root on a linux system is no different than using the administrator account on your windows box as your normal account. It's entirely stupid, but everyone does it.

In my mind, it's actually worse, because windows/mac builds in some idiot-proofing, whereas linux gives you enough rope to drag your machine behind a semi across the desert.

But fwiw, no "secure" linux distro runs as root. You'd better think twice before you finish that kool-aid they handed you.
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:06 PM   #9
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Puppy is an oddball distro. It's really cool, but I am not sure how easy it would be to get certain things running well on it (like jack for example). Also I am not sure if a real time kernel would be hard to set up.

If you want to use a minimalist distro I might look at Slax, Goblin or Wolvix. Those three can be installed frugally or unpacked to standard Slackware installs.

Personally I think Arch Linux is the best of all worlds. It's a full on distro, with the BEST package management. You can set it up to be as small as puppy or as gigantic as Ubuntu.

As to running root... feh, whatever. Keep it of a netowrk and don't delete files if you dont know what they are.. But yeah. you should set up a user account.

Quite a challenge trying to do pro audio under linux though... I'd love it if my hardware had good drivers... ah well.

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Old 05-31-2008, 07:36 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by cAPSLOCK View Post
As to running root... feh, whatever. Keep it of a netowrk and don't delete files if you dont know what they are.. But yeah. you should set up a user account.
Once you get under the hood, there's a lot more damage to be done. It's been my experience that folks tweak first and ask questions later, after they've burned out a hard drive or a monitor. My point was less about intrusion (does your distro leave telnet on by default?) and more about "you can really, really break things in a Bad Way(tm) if you start tweaking things without knowing what you're doing."

No recording software should be required to run as root; in fact, very few things should. If your recording software can't access the files it needs, there are better ways to fix that than to run as root.

I'm rather adamant about this because I spend all my work day convincing people that running non-system code as root is a Bad Thing(tm).
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Old 05-31-2008, 07:49 AM   #11
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Once you get under the hood, there's a lot more damage to be done. It's been my experience that folks tweak first and ask questions later, after they've burned out a hard drive or a monitor. My point was less about intrusion (does your distro leave telnet on by default?) and more about "you can really, really break things in a Bad Way(tm) if you start tweaking things without knowing what you're doing."

No recording software should be required to run as root; in fact, very few things should. If your recording software can't access the files it needs, there are better ways to fix that than to run as root.

I'm rather adamant about this because I spend all my work day convincing people that running non-system code as root is a Bad Thing(tm).
well they really need to look at running firewire audio interfaces without having to be root, so you can just plug in and record with no hassle.

I'm sure someone making a distro for music could do this easily but they don't seem to...

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Old 05-31-2008, 09:11 AM   #12
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well they really need to look at running firewire audio interfaces without having to be root, so you can just plug in and record with no hassle.

Nothing a little chmod/chown can't fix, honestly. Does your firewire interface require root access?
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Old 05-31-2008, 05:12 PM   #13
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Default About security and more info on Puppy

Even if you run as an unprivileged user there are still many ways you can f*** up your system completely.Just a simple "sudo rm -rf *" line in the console will do it (kids,don't try this at home )

If you know what you're doing,running as root can be a good thing.You gain more speed,more time spent making music and you save yourself from frustration.
It's the same as running WinXP as an admin.

If you strip this OS so it won't be able to connect to any network/internet and leave just the firewire support,audio system,drivers,basic accelerated 2D and OpenGL,a few utilities,WINE and rpr,you can have a tiny 40MB OS optimized just for running your favorite Windows hosts/VSTi,such as rpr
Would you even need any security features in that case?

At the moment,the non-optimized kernel runs pretty fast. Just for fun,I did some tests on a very old PC with SoundMAX AC'97 integrated audio. Performance was stable without Xruns at 4ms latency (16/48,RT,SW buffers) on a POS single-core 2GHz Pentium 4 PC with 512MB of very slow RAM.Not bad for integrated audio.Brad Sucks plays fine,as do a number of my MIDI-only test projects.

Just imagine how good a really optimized kernel can perform with a SMP-capable CPU (< 1ms)

ALSA,JACK,OSS4 and WineASIO work.Haven't tested FFADO as I don't have any firewire devices at the moment.
Puppy can be made to work as any standard multi-user distro if you wish,but running as root still has its advantages IMO.


An "oddball" distro (that does things differently from the others) such as this one is just what we really need in this case

The amazing thing about this Puppy is not just how small,lightweight and feature-rich it is by default,but how it turns out to beat the **** out of every other lite distro when you remove the remaining 'fat' that's left on the CD.

Also,it's the only true LIVE CD out there.Many distros claim to be LIVE but they're not even remotely close.
You can run this one without any drive connected on your computer.Just connect an external USB CD or DVD drive,boot from it and then unmount and disconnect it.You're running totally in RAM

To stay lightweight,all files needed for compilation and development as well as the kernel sources aren't included in the main distro,but available as a separate module.
When you need to do conpiling,you just mount it,do your work and after you've finished,you can unmount it safely.
No need to install dev apps permanently and bloat your distro with junk.No apt-get and crap,no more searching for files and libs all over the net.Everything you need is included in just one module.

You can bloat Puppy with KDE,Compiz Fusion,Gnome,OpenOffice and many other modules and when you've had enough of them,simply unload the modules and reboot. You'll be back to the old lean-but-mean OS as before.This is one of the best features of this "oddball" distro.

[Updated Jun 1 2008]

Last edited by synth; 03-08-2009 at 06:40 AM.
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Old 05-31-2008, 06:16 PM   #14
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Nothing a little chmod/chown can't fix, honestly. Does your firewire interface require root access?
yup it does.

weird huh.

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Old 06-01-2008, 01:02 AM   #15
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Updated with a screenshot and more info.See posts #1 and #13 above.
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Old 06-06-2008, 02:31 PM   #16
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Quote:
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...one of the best features of this "oddball" distro.
[Updated Jun 1 2008]
I reawaken this thread to mention that I meant no disrespect by the "oddball" moniker. I mean, puppy is a very unusual linux setup.

In fact it is a favorite of mine, and I run it on a PC here at my home.

I am encouraged that you have WineASIO, Jack etc running. Are there modules already out there for them?

As to the continued "ROOT ROOT BAD!" stuff... I see the argument made it's way into the "you can damage hardware as root" iteration.

Really. It would take some blunder of epic proportions to physically damage a hard drive with puppy... especially since it doesn't need to ever use one. I think a used is more likely to damage his hard drive by dropping it. (Notice I didn't say "erase" or "repartiation" or any other blunder you could also do with most any other OS)

And monitors? If you have a monitor that will blow up because you tried a frequency range that you shouldnt' (this is also not a problem since the average user is not going to try to jack a lot with monitor timings) then you really NEED to blow up that monitor and buy one that won't accept frequencies out of range. Your monitor is OOOOOLD.

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Old 06-07-2008, 08:00 AM   #17
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As to the continued "ROOT ROOT BAD!" stuff... I see the argument made it's way into the "you can damage hardware as root" iteration.
I don't think a "be careful" warning is such a bad thing, as the general technical level of the vast majority of folks on this forums is well below 1337. It's not likely that someone will brick their ride, sure, but with great power comes great responsibility.
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Old 06-07-2008, 08:02 AM   #18
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yup it does.
AUGH. As a 12 year professional systems administrator, I can only say, "AUGH!"

There's probably a way around it.
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Old 06-07-2008, 12:45 PM   #19
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Default Q regarding 'root' & security

I see the developer has a comment on the question of running as root and security, but I don't understand enough to know if it's a convincing argument or not. Can anyone share an opinion if I were to run it as a desktop connected to the internet?

http://www.puppylinux.com/faq.htm

it's about 1/3 the way down the page.
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:39 AM   #20
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Hey LateStarter,
As much as it pains me to say so, you'll probably be fine running as root and connecting to the net. The real problem, in my eyes, is that running as root leave you open to your own tomfoolery.

Still, puppy is so small it can be run from a flash drive, so there's not really a reason to have it be your primary OS.
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:34 AM   #21
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thanks. So, as long as I don't try tweaking ANYTHING until I've thoroughly researched what it really does, I should be safe.
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Old 06-08-2008, 01:08 PM   #22
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Digression: I have a version of Puppy Linux called "Breeezy" installed on a bootable USB fob, as my maintenance boot OS for my ASUS eee mini laptop running Xandros Linux. It's decent.

If you're running Puppy on a dedicated DAW box that seldom/never goes online, then it's probably moot that you're running it as root (hey, I rhymed). This isn't a good idea generally, though.

Carry On.
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Old 06-08-2008, 03:21 PM   #23
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VERY glad to see puppy 4 is now using the T2 build thing. Puppy 3 made me go...hmmmm... and stay with puppy 2. So 4 looks great...


Hey is anyone gonna do a modded verion with jack wineasio etc. and a low latency kernel???

thanks!
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Old 06-08-2008, 05:52 PM   #24
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Yeah, the T2 core being used again like puppy 2 (after puppy 3 being Slackware based) made me give puppy 4 a spin... very very nice in my opinion... there a couple of threads on the forum.. might wanna go there and make some noise as my first scan seemed to say there's reaper and wineasio jacketc. all discussed and more...

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/vie...320687&t=29519

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/vie...320687&t=24246

interested in using puppy 4 with all the reaper friendly extras...

anyone know anything on gurus that may be doing stuff with puppy 4??

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Old 06-08-2008, 10:15 PM   #25
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Puppy 4.0 is already great for every other task,but I'd definitely wait until 4.1 is released and then go for a customized musicians build.The current builds (as of v4.0) are based on the old 2.6.21.7 kernel,which doesn't support SMP at all. 4.1 will be cutting-edge,based on the latest stable version of the kernel.
Currently, v4.1 is still in alpha testing stage.You'll have to wait a bit for the stable build.

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Old 06-08-2008, 10:52 PM   #26
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Wow,see the last post by panzerpuppy here:

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=205156

This is just what we really need
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:59 PM   #27
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Puppy linux fails for a few reasons, it does tend to rely on root too much, which is always a bad thing, especially given it's aimed at being used for the 'n00b' user (hence the Windows emulation look.)

It's lack of packages; sure if your building a machine just for music you might not need many apps but there might be more obscure libraries you need to compile a harder to find linux music app.

And it's package system just fails, they've rewritten the wheel to make it nice and simple, but don't have enough people maintaining it so amount of packages, versions and package testing just isn't what it should be.

As Capslock has said, Arch Linux too has rewritten the wheel on package management and easily has the best package manager for Linux. It also has so many more packages, Arch based and community based, and it's forums and support is alot more professional. The problem here is that it's a bit more intimtading to run. (writing a howto on it as we speak!)
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:17 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rm -rp ./Matt* View Post
Puppy linux fails for a few reasons, it does tend to rely on root too much, which is always a bad thing, especially given it's aimed at being used for the 'n00b' user (hence the Windows emulation look.)
That "Windows emulation look" was just a screenshot of a customized Windows lookalike Puppy I've put up for the Windows refugees.They would love to keep that familiar Win2k look while migrating to Linux The new Puppy 4.1.x has a different look and feel - very different from what you see on that screenshot.

Quote:
It's lack of packages; sure if your building a machine just for music you might not need many apps but there might be more obscure libraries you need to compile a harder to find linux music app.
Quote:
And it's package system just fails, they've rewritten the wheel to make it nice and simple, but don't have enough people maintaining it so amount of packages, versions and package testing just isn't what it should be.
That will change with the new release.
Community packages will also be added to the package manager and there are built-in conversion tools,so you can use all the Slackware packages from the Slacky.it repository by simply converting them to the Puppy package format with just a simple 'tgz2pet' or 'tgz2sfs' command.

Puppy gets better and better with each release.

Quote:
As Capslock has said, Arch Linux too has rewritten the wheel on package management and easily has the best package manager for Linux. It also has so many more packages, Arch based and community based, and it's forums and support is alot more professional. The problem here is that it's a bit more intimtading to run. (writing a howto on it as we speak!)
I have nothing against Arch.It's one of the better distros out there.I'd love to see that howto,BTW.

Last edited by synth; 03-08-2009 at 06:58 AM.
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:45 PM   #29
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[EDIT] The latest version of Arch is a whopping 300MB! No,thanks.I'd rather stick with Puppy 4.1 (~80MB iso by default,can be stripped down to just 40MB,smaller than even DSL)

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Old 06-08-2008, 11:49 PM   #30
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IMAGINE LINUX REAPER at some point running in ram....!!!! WHOA??!!
dunno.

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Old 06-08-2008, 11:58 PM   #31
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Hey..... ARCH DOES sound VERY nice... thanks!
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:02 AM   #32
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Latest debate on root vs. multiuser Puppy and the "security" of other popular distros:

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=29441


Puppy info at DistroWatch:

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=puppy

Last edited by synth; 06-09-2008 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 06-09-2008, 04:55 AM   #33
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works very well on the asus eee too

pupeee

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Old 06-09-2008, 05:38 AM   #34
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Dave,

Do all the periferals work? web cam wireless etc?


cheers

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Old 06-09-2008, 05:58 AM   #35
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Dave,

Do all the periferals work? web cam wireless etc?


cheers

MC
the wireless works,- not sure about the webcam as mine doesn't have one.

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Old 06-09-2008, 10:33 AM   #36
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Default Slitaz

has anyone looked at slitaz as a small distro that runs in ram?
http://www.slitaz.org/en/
When I get my own computer I'm going to look in more detail at these!
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Old 06-11-2008, 12:17 AM   #37
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this post is a bit way too wide due to the cool graphic up top as you know. anyways...
just spent time doing the puppy study and the arch study.... both cool though I'm really
thinking ARCH Linux could be super nice.... lots of arch vs ubuntu revelations on the web.

I didn't know about Arch.... thanks AGAIN.
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Old 06-11-2008, 03:56 PM   #38
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UPDATE COMMENT: having had a night with arch and a night with puppy
I'd have to say ARCH in a big way... though perhaps puppy's save_pup file
could be a benefit though appears not no be it's intended purpose...
ie. install to hard drive.

Arch is really really the nicest I've ever seen...
and read about and studied and thought about .... loop that...
I'm an ARCH convert for sure..
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:48 PM   #39
rm -rp ./Matt*
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synth View Post
[EDIT] The latest version of Arch is a whopping 300MB! No,thanks.I'd rather stick with Puppy 4.1 (~80MB iso by default,can be stripped down to just 40MB,smaller than even DSL)
Not sure where you found those numbers synth, Arch ISO is 160MB's, and base install is around 90MB-150MB, I can't see how size is of any concern to people just trying to find a good audio linux distro. Still I'll def try out this audio only build of puppy when it comes out.



Tweed: Glad you have seen the light , I've spent years distro hopping, Red Hat, SuSE, Ubuntu, Puppy, Gentoo, CentOS etc. And they've all pissed me off for some reason or the other, I myself don't find Arch too hard to install (especially with all the forum help) but compared to some it can be difficult, but once your set up your set up for life.
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Old 06-12-2008, 10:39 PM   #40
tweed
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Nice, and true rm -rp ./Matt* (mattster for short? hehehe)
Well I'm pretty much certain that after an absurb number of months,
hours, and brain munching I'm an ARCHman for the forseeable
future...

I'm not a nix guru at this point though have managed to go from
a net base install of Deb all the way thru doing the realtime core,
jack, wine, wineasio, steinberg sdk vst thing, reaper, winVSTs etc....
heck, can't even recall most of what I had to learn/do
though many of you will know that with enough determination
(uh, and equal stupidity) you can learn and can do anything
you wish.... pretty much.

All I'm saying here is that NOW I am actually REALLY interested
in moving close to being a nix geek...

There's SOSOSO much to like.... about ARCH..
I mean as a relentless research type SUSE, Deb, ubuntu, Slackware, gentoo etc.
all gave me the nag ... I could always find some gotcha..
I want it RAW enough to understand, and customizable/trimable, and most of all don't hem me into
anything package-wise.


funny/typical that I wouldn't even have known to like arch and why to, a couple of seasons ago...

Also, I'm pretty thrilled to have found ARCH linux thru the
REAPER forums!!!!!

best 2 all!

P.S. Puppy has some very unique things about it... in my opinion.
And, when I know a lot more about linux generally I can see having a use for the
potential portability and the 'save your changes in a file' of the primarily live and/or
half-live CD vibe of puppy.. Sorry I've not taken the time to recall/get the terms accurate
on puppy's cool methods/options.

Last edited by tweed; 06-13-2008 at 01:52 PM.
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