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Old 10-08-2019, 12:18 PM   #1
Glennbo
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Default Is Linux a viable platform for REAPER?

I think it is. I tried out the Harrison mastering EQ on this.

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Old 10-08-2019, 02:32 PM   #2
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I remember using Reaper 2.06 in wine for ages, it was stable,
a pleasure to use, and had more capabilities
than I had hopes of ever learning.
All still true today, as I enjoy the enlightened stroll to V6.

More to the linux viability, if someone
only uses linux, no win/mac, I don't think having only
one linux is particularly viable. Eggs all in one basket
will make for a runny omelette at some point...

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Old 10-08-2019, 02:47 PM   #3
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Not only is Linux a viable platform/OS for Reaper, I actually get better CPU performance than on Windows. The bigger issue is the lack of support by plugin developers. Once you start running windows plugins in Wine, it cancels out most of the gains.

If Reaper can ever manage a native windows VST bridge, I think people will be able to do some serious damage.
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Old 10-08-2019, 04:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4duhwinnn View Post
I remember using Reaper 2.06 in wine for ages, it was stable,
a pleasure to use, and had more capabilities
than I had hopes of ever learning.
All still true today, as I enjoy the enlightened stroll to V6.

More to the linux viability, if someone
only uses linux, no win/mac, I don't think having only
one linux is particularly viable. Eggs all in one basket
will make for a runny omelette at some point...
I never used REAPER for Windows in WINE. Only a month or two after I switched to Linux the native Linux version became available.

My machine is dual boot, and I can bring it up Windows 7 with no network to do stuff in REAPER, but for me using it in Windows is no better or worse than using it in Linux, and since I prefer Linux, I'm just doing everything there now, and Windows is only a fallback that I never use.
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Old 10-08-2019, 04:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Klangfarben View Post
Not only is Linux a viable platform/OS for Reaper, I actually get better CPU performance than on Windows. The bigger issue is the lack of support by plugin developers. Once you start running windows plugins in Wine, it cancels out most of the gains.

If Reaper can ever manage a native windows VST bridge, I think people will be able to do some serious damage.
I see pretty equal performance between REAPER for Windows vs Linux. This is on a dual boot machine, so it's the exact same hardware in both cases.

As for plugins, I've retired all my Windows audio plugins and am using 100% native Linux audio VST plugins now. Mostly paid, but some free ones too.

VSTi instrument plugins is another story though, and in fact I am using a monstrous virtual guitar instrument I constructed using Kontakt with a clean electric guitar sample going into a Guitar Rig virtual Fender Twin. It's the guitar panned center through the Leslie. The real 12-String is panned hard left and mandolin panned hard right. Also the Vox Continental organ is Native Instruments B4 Organ with the Vox tonewheels set.

I'm having no problems at all working exactly like I did in Windows. The virtual instruments I use don't tax the system much, even though they are bridged Windows plugins, and with all native Linux VSTs for audio, it feels as tight as I was used to in Windows.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:22 PM   #6
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I'm having no problems at all working exactly like I did in Windows ....even though they are bridged Windows plugins,
Does that mean you did the Wine-bridging setup for Kontakt and Guitar Rig manually ?

As Klangfarben says, Reaper/linux providing this in a "native" (i.e. automatic, user friendly, transparent) way, this would be a great step ahead (but supposedly a huge task for the devs).

-Michael
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:27 AM   #7
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(but supposedly a huge task for the devs).
The devs haven't said a single thing about this. It's only people such as myself saying "don't expect it to happen". You know why: then the devs would be perpetually responsible for making all Windows plugins work in Reaper for Linux, maintaining that compatibility through changes in plugin programming, changes in Reaper, and changes in operating systems (Linux distros mostly). That's an additional layer of potential complexity. Plus there are already third-party solutions for this which are free, which perform about as well as can be expected.

These are plugins from a different operating system. Does any DAW you know of bridge plugins from a different operating system? You'd be expecting Reaper to be the first to do this.

Also you figure if someone is willing to use Linux, maybe they should also be willing to do some of the work making their system be capable of doing something like this.

If the devs choose to do this, that's great. I just don't see it happening. As a programmer yourself, you should also understand this.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:57 AM   #8
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Yep ! By "task" I also meant the effort of perpetually maintaining the product.

Of course I do understand this, and I do understand the consequence, that Reaper for Linux will not be a ubiquitous "success" (but I don't know if this is a viable goal for whomever...)

-Michael
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:06 AM   #9
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Of course I do understand this, and I do understand the consequence, that Reaper for Linux will not be a ubiquitous "success"
Reaper for Windows is not a "ubiquitous success" either because it doesn't have features from ProTools done exactly the same way ProTools does them. I could go on.

I doubt the devs care about "ubiquitous success" of Reaper for Linux, or of Reaper at all. They're picking their battles, and they've already gone well beyond what most expect for a Linux DAW. Reaper is easily the most powerful and flexible DAW for Linux.
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Old 10-09-2019, 06:57 AM   #10
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Does that mean you did the Wine-bridging setup for Kontakt and Guitar Rig manually ?
Yeah, I installed the Native Instruments stuff in WINE and then ran the converter in LinVST to bridge them. Running LinVST's converter is a one time no big deal process. Making Native Instruments hybrid Win/Mac ISO readable through the process was the bigger issue, as you have to mount the ISO using an unhide option or else WINE will only see the Mac part halfway through the install.

Quote:
As Klangfarben says, Reaper/linux providing this in a "native" (i.e. automatic, user friendly, transparent) way, this would be a great step ahead (but supposedly a huge task for the devs).

-Michael
Yeah, but like James said, that is not like the native 32 to 64 bit bridging that REAPER does provide in both Windows and Linux versions. If you are going to run Linux, you will be getting your hands dirty anyway, and making Windows VST plugins work in Linux is really not that hard. Running LinVST's converter is a simple matter of pointing it to where your Windows VSTs are and pressing GO.
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Old 10-09-2019, 07:12 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by mschnell View Post
As Klangfarben says, Reaper/linux providing this in a "native" (i.e. automatic, user friendly, transparent) way, this would be a great step ahead (but supposedly a huge task for the devs).
By "a huge task" we mean "emulating a large-enough subset of the Windows API that Windows .dlls can be used", which has already been done by Wine and made user-friendly by LinVST.

Cockos implementing that is about as practical as Cockos implementing native support for OMF and AAF when tools like AATranslator and Vordio are already out there with dedicated people working on them.
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Old 10-09-2019, 07:26 AM   #12
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By "a huge task" we mean "emulating a large-enough subset of the Windows API that Windows .dlls can be used", which has already been done by Wine and made user-friendly by LinVST.

Cockos implementing that is about as practical as Cockos implementing native support for OMF and AAF when tools like AATranslator and Vordio are already out there with dedicated people working on them.
If Cockos were to do something to improve Linux plugin support they could take REAPER for Linux off the "experimental" back burner and tout it as mainstream like Windows and Mac versions so that plugin developers would see that a serious DAW for Linux exists.
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Old 10-09-2019, 08:32 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Lokasenna View Post
By "a huge task" we mean "emulating a large-enough subset of the Windows API that Windows .dlls can be used", which has already been done by Wine and made user-friendly by LinVST.

Cockos implementing that is about as practical as Cockos implementing native support for OMF and AAF when tools like AATranslator and Vordio are already out there with dedicated people working on them.
osxmidi has done incredible work. And without that work, I probably would have never tried making the jump. But let's be honest. "User-friendly" it is not.
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Old 10-09-2019, 08:33 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Klangfarben View Post
osxmidi has done incredible work. And without that work, I probably would have never tried making the jump. But let's be honest. "User-friendly" it is not.
You run the program, choose a .dll, and it spits out a .so. How is that not user-friendly?
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Old 10-09-2019, 08:46 AM   #15
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You run the program, choose a .dll, and it spits out a .so. How is that not user-friendly?
Maybe Cockos could add a "Run LinVST Convert" button or menu item, so you don't have to type in or click "linvstconvert". Similar to how you can link up to a 3rd party audio editor within REAPER.

Then you are still using LinVST, but you can launch the converter part of it from within REAPER so it appears to be embedded. Not really needed though IMHO. I ran the converter module way back when I first started using REAPER for Linux, and have not had to screw with it since. All the Windows plugins I own and want to use in Linux work and I don't even think about the fact that they are bridged.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:18 AM   #16
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You run the program, choose a .dll, and it spits out a .so. How is that not user-friendly?
And when you run into a plugin that doesn't work you try this override and that override, and replace this dll and then try a different wine version and if you are lucky finally get that plugin to work. And then the next version of Wine breaks a completely different plugin. And so on and so on...

Apparently you've been lucky enough to only wrap plugins that work with no issues.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:24 AM   #17
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And when you run into a plugin that doesn't work you try this override and that override, and replace this dll and then try a different wine version and if you are lucky finally get that plugin to work. And then the next version of Wine breaks a completely different plugin. And so on and so on...

Apparently you've been lucky enough to only wrap plugins that work with no issues.
"User-friendly" doesn't necessarily mean "everything is going to work" IMO. The basic process is simple, straightforward, has a UI so you aren't forced into a terminal, and only has to be done once.

There's enough variation in how VSTs are built that covering even 90% would require an impossible amount of work for Cockos' two developers on top of maintaining the rest of Reaper. I think the only way to do it would be for someone else to release a dedicated and VST-focused fork of Wine, but good luck with that. :/

Also:
- In some cases like Waves, half of the trouble is because they don't implement the VST spec correctly so that they can do their own stuff like ILok and Waves' hub... plugin... thing... (I've never used their stuff).
- Samplers like EZDrummer are designed with the Windows file system and user folders in mind, so of course it's going to require some amount of fiddling around with Wine and symlinks to make the samples accessible.

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Old 10-09-2019, 09:50 AM   #18
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"User-friendly" doesn't necessarily mean "everything is going to work" IMO. The basic process is simple, straightforward, has a UI so you aren't forced into a terminal, and only has to be done once.
There's a reason this thread is up to 18 pages now.

https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=193761

Yes, user-friendly doesn't automatically mean everything is going to work perfectly. But, the minute something doesn't, it gets ugly. Fast.

And I don't disagree that Cockos trying to support Windows VSTs in Linux could turn into a giant can of worms. I'm not even saying they should. I'm just saying if they were able to pull it off and make the process more invisible - even to the point of just saying, hey, sorry these specific plugins won't work so deal with it or hey sorry we only support this version of Wine - it would bring more users into the fold.
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:04 AM   #19
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Yes, user-friendly doesn't automatically mean everything is going to work perfectly. But, the minute something doesn't, it gets ugly. Fast.
Yes, and that's why I would expect Reaper devs might want leave this alone. Anyone migrating to Linux and expecting it to be a hassle-free experience--especially when running Windows software in it--I think their expectations are unreasonable. Those people don't need to be encouraged. If the devs' goals include trying to convince people to use Linux instead of Windows for some reason, maybe that'll get this happening. I doubt the additional Linux user base of Reaper is a significant financial incentive for adding a feature of this scope, since Linux users are a tiny portion of the market. As it is, I notice a lot of Linux DAW users are ignoring Reaper completely when it's brought up as an option, presumably since it isn't free/open-source software (despite its very reasonable license fee); I guess another reason might be that Reaper currently doesn't support LV2.

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- In some cases like Waves, half of the trouble is because they don't implement the VST spec correctly so that they can do their own stuff like ILok and Waves' hub... plugin... thing... (I've never used their stuff).
- Samplers like EZDrummer are designed with the Windows file system and user folders in mind, so of course it's going to require some amount of fiddling around with Wine and symlinks to make the samples accessible.
Yeah it's a bit "all over the place" completely supporting Windows VST in Linux. I can see the forum filling up with complaints. If the "how to use Windows plugins in Linux" thread seems bad at 18 pages, imagine the complaints that the Reaper devs "need to fix" support for X and Y plugins with their specific differences, copy protection, and so on. I doubt people will just accept that Waves plugins "might not work" for instance since plugins like that are the ones which would cause the most concern for someone switching to Linux. Anyone using LinVST for plugins with no special copy protection (or file system requirements) has it easy. The real challenge, if bridging for Windows plugins, is to ensure the more problematic ones (in various regards) work correctly. It's probably not worth doing otherwise, in my opinion anyway, because it would seem like a half-assed attempt at something which is already available for free.

I think anyone discussing this needs to remember: Linux isn't meant to run Windows software. The fact it can is impressive. Expecting a DAW to hold your hand in that regard...ok well think of it this way: would you expect Reaper for Mac to run Windows plugins with no problems. Or do you expect to run Windows plugins in a DAW on your Android device. No one is talking about this for any other DAW, period.

If you want to use Linux, you should be expecting to be responsible for doing whatever "hacks" are required to force the OS to do what you want. And this is a "hack" and a half. Talking about "bringing more users into the fold" and "it would make it easier for new Linux users" yeah I get it, of course it would. But what about everything else lol. Linux still isn't Windows or OSX. Not even Ubuntu or Kubuntu for that matter are. Linux is still "the wild west of OSes" in some ways. You'll need more patience to use it no matter what.

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If Cockos were to do something to improve Linux plugin support they could take REAPER for Linux off the "experimental" back burner and tout it as mainstream like Windows and Mac versions so that plugin developers would see that a serious DAW for Linux exists.
I think Reaper for Linux's continuing "beta" status is more a case of "they haven't gotten around to changing the status on the site so it's not beta anymore".
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:38 AM   #20
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I doubt the additional Linux user base of Reaper is a significant financial incentive for adding a feature of this scope, since Linux users are a tiny portion of the market.
There is "financial incentive" at Cockos . . . Since when?

Quote:
As it is, I notice a lot of Linux DAW users are ignoring Reaper completely when it's brought up as an option, presumably since it isn't free/open-source software (despite its very reasonable license fee); I guess another reason might be that Reaper currently doesn't support LV2.
I cared more about LV2 support a while back than I do now. I've purchased numerous native Linux VST plugins that are getting all my audio plugin tasks accomplished, but Linux still needs better VSTi support for instruments that are NOT another freekin' synth that I don't need or want.

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I think Reaper for Linux's continuing "beta" status is more a case of "they haven't gotten around to changing the status on the site so it's not beta anymore".
Yeah, REAPER for Linux sure doesn't feel like an experiment to me.

Here's a thought. Can't you run REAPER FX remotely over a network? Just put all your Windows plugins on a dedicated Windows REAPER FX server and access them over the LAN from your REAPER for Linux box. Hardly get your hands dirty with the nuts and bolts of Linux if that would work.
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:18 PM   #21
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If Cockos were to do something to improve Linux plugin support they could take REAPER for Linux off the "experimental" back burner and tout it as mainstream like Windows and Mac versions so that plugin developers would see that a serious DAW for Linux exists.
+1 !
Are there any serous issues with reaper/Linux (when using just native Linux plugins, and decently supported hardware) ?

-Michael
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:20 PM   #22
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There is "financial incentive" at Cockos . . . Since when?
A fair point. It's one I thought of when I realized there was a Reaper for Linux, that it wasn't just people using Reaper with Wine. Then I noticed there was an ARM build too. So clearly the development of Reaper isn't solely based on what makes the most money for the devs. I just wouldn't expect they'd want to go far off track effectively promising continual support for plugins to run in an OS they were never meant to, through changes to kernels and various not-totally-VST-compliant things that Windows VST devs do, and so on.

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I cared more about LV2 support a while back than I do now. I've purchased numerous native Linux VST plugins that are getting all my audio plugin tasks accomplished, but Linux still needs better VSTi support for instruments that are NOT another freekin' synth that I don't need or want.
Yeah there are a lot of synth plugins available, but there's a lot of overlap. It's a really good time for synthwave folks who want to use Linux, I figure.

Yeah having LV2 support would be nice but I can live without it too. JSFX covers so much ground it's crazy. Speaking of which, have you tried the latest version of ReEQ?

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Here's a thought. Can't you run REAPER FX remotely over a network? Just put all your Windows plugins on a dedicated Windows REAPER FX server
Or better yet, delete them permanently and install Linux on that computer while setting fire to your Windows install disk.

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Are there any serous issues with reaper/Linux (when using just native Linux plugins, and decently supported hardware) ?
No. This is from my anecdotal experience on 2 different computer systems, running various distros/kernels. So I don't speak for all scenarios, but it's remarkably solid and stable for me.

On that note Glen, I've tried the following distros so far (I might be missing one in this list):
  • MX Linux
  • Ubuntu
  • Kubuntu
  • Xubuntu
  • Linux Mint Cinnamon
  • Linux Mint Mate
  • Linux Mint XFCE (plus I tried all different WMs/compositors while using Nvidia and AMD GPU)
I'm currently using Xubuntu and that's probably where I'll stay. I have its compositor disabled, and installed Compton plus a thing to help edit its settings easily (plus I also edit the compton.conf file a bit). That video wonkiness I was describing is gone; it's smooth for everything other than videos which are just wonky themselves.
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:24 PM   #23
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This is from my anecdotal experience on 2 different computer systems, running various distros/kernels. So I don't speak for all scenarios, but it's remarkably solid and stable for me.
Hence not "experimental" at all !
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:51 PM   #24
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+1 !
Are there any serous issues with reaper/Linux (when using just native Linux plugins, and decently supported hardware) ?

-Michael
Not really. I suppose the fact that there are so many different distros of Linux it would be difficult to say it is supported without specifying on which distros, and that may be why it is still classed only as "experimental". Still, I would be happy to see them say it is supported on whatever flavor of Linux that Justin is using, and that you are on your own with others.

That would put REAPER in the Linux supported column which may or may not have an effect on VST/VSTi developers to add Linux if they don't support it currently. Developers who use JUCE can supposedly make minor adjustments to get their wares to run on Linux, so if there were an official Linux DAW selling, it might prompt them to make those minor adjustments.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:10 PM   #25
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I noticed someone posted about using a distro which has the latest Gnome, and is having issues. I guess something that new having an issue with Reaper wouldn't surprise me.

I also wonder if plugin developers will take Reaper for Linux into account when considering making Linux VST versions of their plugins. I would hope so, anyway.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:21 PM   #26
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A fair point. It's one I thought of when I realized there was a Reaper for Linux, that it wasn't just people using Reaper with Wine. Then I noticed there was an ARM build too. So clearly the development of Reaper isn't solely based on what makes the most money for the devs. I just wouldn't expect they'd want to go far off track effectively promising continual support for plugins to run in an OS they were never meant to, through changes to kernels and various not-totally-VST-compliant things that Windows VST devs do, and so on.
I always assumed that REAPER for Linux was born out of Justin's love of using Windows. What other OS lets you reboot to test something and then spend the next hour waiting around on all the updates to finish so you can get a turn at using your own computer?

Quote:
Yeah there are a lot of synth plugins available, but there's a lot of overlap. It's a really good time for synthwave folks who want to use Linux, I figure.

Yeah having LV2 support would be nice but I can live without it too. JSFX covers so much ground it's crazy. Speaking of which, have you tried the latest version of ReEQ?
I have not tried the EQ but my favorite delay plugin is Sonic Anomaly Leet Delay 2, which is a JSFX plugin.

Quote:
Or better yet, delete them permanently and install Linux on that computer while setting fire to your Windows install disk.
Hehe, I still have install CD/DVDs for Windows 95/98/98SE/ME/NT4/2000/2000 Advanced Server/ and some others I can't think of off the top of my head. They would make a real nice and stinky fire!

Quote:
No. This is from my anecdotal experience on 2 different computer systems, running various distros/kernels. So I don't speak for all scenarios, but it's remarkably solid and stable for me.

On that note Glen, I've tried the following distros so far (I might be missing one in this list):
  • MX Linux
  • Ubuntu
  • Kubuntu
  • Xubuntu
  • Linux Mint Cinnamon
  • Linux Mint Mate
  • Linux Mint XFCE (plus I tried all different WMs/compositors while using Nvidia and AMD GPU)
I'm currently using Xubuntu and that's probably where I'll stay. I have its compositor disabled, and installed Compton plus a thing to help edit its settings easily (plus I also edit the compton.conf file a bit). That video wonkiness I was describing is gone; it's smooth for everything other than videos which are just wonky themselves.
Maybe Cockos could bring the Linux version out of experimental status, but not officially say on which distro. Just list that James Peters has successfully run it the above list.
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:52 PM   #27
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I always assumed that REAPER for Linux was born out of Justin's love of using Windows. What other OS lets you reboot to test something and then spend the next hour waiting around on all the updates to finish so you can get a turn at using your own computer?
None I can think of!

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I have not tried the EQ but my favorite delay plugin is Sonic Anomaly Leet Delay 2, which is a JSFX plugin.
Try the Witti BBD Echo plugin from this pack. I like some of his other plugins too. Some are handy utilities, some are nice effects, some are a bit wonky. There's a through-zero flanger in the pack too. Under "dynamics" there's w_clipper which is a dynamic clipper, it's another of those "why aren't other people talking about this" plugins (IMO). And another that stands out is the transient plugin since it has no latency and works well (I find most transient plugins need lookahead but this does nicely without it, so it's good to have it handy).


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Hehe, I still have install CD/DVDs for Windows 95/98/98SE/ME/NT4/2000/2000 Advanced Server/ and some others I can't think of off the top of my head. They would make a real nice and stinky fire!
A very satisfying one too.

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Maybe Cockos could bring the Linux version out of experimental status, but not officially say on which distro. Just list that James Peters has successfully run it the above list.
Lol. I haven't tested under every possible scenario but I have several test projects designed to punish my CPU in various ways to see how Reaper reacts in various distros with different WMs, compositors and kernels.

My takeaway about distros: Xfwm4 and compton combined is my favorite. It has lots of ways you can customize it but it doesn't seem to affect performance of the system to any significant degree (so I can push the CPU hard in Reaper and it's stable). Plus video plays smoothly, and there's no screen tear anywhere. So I went with Xubuntu since it's the most up-to-date distro I know of which has Xfwm4 by default (then customized it from there).
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Old 10-09-2019, 08:06 PM   #28
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Try the Witti BBD Echo plugin from this pack. I like some of his other plugins too. Some are handy utilities, some are nice effects, some are a bit wonky. There's a through-zero flanger in the pack too. Under "dynamics" there's w_clipper which is a dynamic clipper, it's another of those "why aren't other people talking about this" plugins (IMO). And another that stands out is the transient plugin since it has no latency and works well (I find most transient plugins need lookahead but this does nicely without it, so it's good to have it handy).
Turns out I did have that group of plugins. I'll have to mess with them some more. The thing I love about Sonic Anomaly Leet Delay 2 are it's controls for color and resonance that let me tweak the delay sound such that it doesn't cloud up the original signal. I like dialing it to a highly resonant almost crunchy sounding midrange echo like I used for the vocals on the song I linked to in the first post.

Quote:
Lol. I haven't tested under every possible scenario but I have several test projects designed to punish my CPU in various ways to see how Reaper reacts in various distros with different WMs, compositors and kernels.

My takeaway about distros: Wfwm4 and compton combined is my favorite. It has lots of ways you can customize it but it doesn't seem to affect performance of the system to any significant degree (so I can push the CPU hard in Reaper and it's stable). Plus video plays smoothly, and there's no screen tear anywhere. So I went with Xubuntu since it's the most up-to-date distro I know of which has Xfwm4 by default (then customized it from there).
I've grown quite fond of Xubuntu, and have it on five of seven machines in the house. The other two machines are Windows 8.1 tablet devices that will also be going to Linux when their expire date nears in 2023. Might even happen sooner than that.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:34 PM   #29
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Well just don't put Ubuntu on those, because if you do it's likely you won't be able to notice a difference from Windows 8's default look. Having 9 application icons in the menu take up an entire 1080p screen is insane, especially with no handy way of changing the menu to be more reasonable. I get that they're trying to make it a "modern OS" and also have the same OS be used on desktops as tablets, but come on.

Kubuntu was nice on the surface, since all the settings were in a very well thought out settings manager thing with a tree, search capability and so on. Unfortunately it lacked some customization options I'd grown accustomed to with Xfce distros, which surprised me. Plus its performance wasn't as good with those test Reaper projects I have, when I push the CPU to its limits. I think Kubuntu would be the most comfortable Linux distro for most current Windows/Mac users to transition to, even if it's not the leanest.

Mint Cinnamon was a bit odd. It seems it's trying to be like Kubuntu but with even fewer customization options. I kept thinking I was missing something since "there's no way they'd bother making this WM but have it be lacking so many customization options", as I thought. I was wrong. A friend who's been using that for a while ranted about it once I explained how I was testing it.

Mint Mate left me thinking "ok...what's better about this compared to Xfce?" I just don't see the point. It looks basically the same but just has less. And it's not more efficient than Xfce from what I can tell. Maybe there's something I'm not getting about it, but it was easy to move on from that quickly.

So after using those, and previously having used distros with Xfce, I read a bit about the history of the different WMs/compositors to get an idea how they came about and why there were forks here and there. I'm left thinking Xfce is probably the best choice for someone who wants the system to run audio/video software and be capable of being stable while being pushed to its limits. Then choose whatever compositor makes sense (probably Compton, as I've discovered from using the various compositors of those Xfce distros with Nvidia and AMD cards).
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:56 PM   #30
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It was Mythbuntu that made me aware of Xubuntu. Mythbuntu was a distro that had MythTV pre-configured for easy setup and capable of running well on older hardware. When the guys behind Mythbuntu decided to walk away from the project, they suggest Xubuntu and install MythTV yourself for similar performance.

When I switched my DAW over to Linux, I tried four or five other distros, but I just liked the way Xubuntu worked, and it felt like less CPU was being burned on flashy UI stuff that I didn't care about, so it could be used on DAW performance instead.

I did try Ubuntu and it only lived on my machine for about thirty minutes before I became quite agitated and nuked it.
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Old 10-10-2019, 12:18 AM   #31
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I did try Ubuntu and it only lived on my machine for about thirty minutes before I became quite agitated and nuked it.
Lol.

On the other hand, Kubuntu has a slick modern DE, it's well organized, and you can tell a lot of thought went into it. As for whether KDE Plasma "takes up more RAM" than other DEs, I don't care about that and it might only be an extra 150-200 MB anyway. It doesn't even seem like it's taking up more CPU either, but then when "the pedal hits the metal" in Reaper with the CPU pegged, it just didn't perform as well. There's a possibility I could've found a configuration which did work as well, but I'm at the limit of my understanding of tweaking distros and I didn't want to take guesses at it. I did the usual RT audio stuff that I do to any distro (which we've talked about on the forums), so that wasn't it. The video drivers seemed fine, nothing was acting weird. It just didn't have all the stability at low latency and really high CPU use. Then if I'm being pickier yet, it lacked some customization that I want. Just turning off system sounds (I hate hearing a noise when deleting a file etc.!) was something that was "hidden" for instance. A few things like that got on my nerves. I wouldn't even be surprised at the next release of Kubuntu, that it works every bit as good for audio/video production as Xubuntu; it could be something really minor that just isn't quite perfect.

But anyway that's when I thought I'd settle back into Xfce, take the most up-to-date and common distro with it, then configure it the way I want. Any distro is going to take a handful of steps for me to configure, so although Xubuntu isn't quite as "ready to go" with apps/settings as Mint Xfce, it didn't matter much. Mint isn't as up-to-date as Xubuntu, so that made the difference for me.
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Old 10-10-2019, 07:30 AM   #32
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I ran a dedicated MythTV server for a year and a half using Mythbuntu but then in 2016 they discontinued Mythbuntu and suggested that everyone install Xubuntu so they would continue to get updates and security patches. That was my real first encounter setting up Linux from scratch as Mythbuntu did a lot of the configuration for you. I set it up and never messed with it again since it worked flawlessly in aiding my cutting of the expensive cable cord.

Then last year I decided to switch all my Windows 7 machines to Linux before January of 2020 when Win7 hits the wall, so I set my DAW up first, and that was when I tried a bunch of different distros. Before REAPER was available as a native Linux app, I had settled into Xubuntu on the DAW and was using it as my daily driver, but then only a month or two later, REAPER for Linux popped. I set it up dual boot thinking I would use Win7 offline for REAPER, but it turned out that I don't need no steenking Windows after all.

Since then I've one by one switched the other Windows 7 machines over, and the one that proved to me that Xubuntu was a good choice was while my wife was at work, I switched her computer over with no dual boot option. I expected a lot of flack, but never heard one complaint.
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Old 10-10-2019, 10:03 AM   #33
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I had considered an icon like that. I just didn't want any Windows references on my computer though. Not even to be spiteful, just that "I'd moved on".

It's so weird how my "Windows journey" was over the years. Windows 95 had some fairly serious bugs, Windows 98 was ok (basically a more stable Windows 95), XP was a bit better than 98 and then Windows 7 "finally got it right" overall. By the time I settled into using Windows 7 (since I didn't adopt it early), Windows 8 was about to be released. That turned a corner for me. Windows 10 further added things I didn't like to the point it seemed a bit hostile to me. Forced updates, dialogs which when you click the "X" might just take that as "ok" if MS really wants you to do something, using your computer to seed updates, Cortana, then how MS was trying to force Windows 7 users to accept Windows 10 on their machines (multiple times)...no thanks, that's enough Windows for me. I knew I could work around those things in Windows 10 since I'd worked around things in previous Windows versions (including registry hacks and so on), but I figured by this point Linux was probably viable for my needs and if I were going to switch to a new OS that I'd have to manage in some way, I'd rather manage the OS more in terms of customization and less "mitigation of things the OS is trying to force me to do".

Of course I'd also tried OSX in the meantime on a used Macbook I got. It was fine. If OSX were available to run on a non-Mac computer (without having to build a "hackintosh"), I may have switched to it. I wasn't about to buy a Mac for the sake of using it though.
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Old 10-10-2019, 11:25 AM   #34
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I've never had an opportunity to play much with OSX, but before Windows 3.1 came out I was using Amigas which ran a true preemptive multi-tasking OS based on Unix.

My first encounter with Windows 3.1 was at a friend's house and I asked him if it was multi-tasking. He said it was so I said, format two floppies at the same time to satisfy my curiosity.

He did and they did NOT format at the same time like I was used to seeing on my Amiga. On his Windows 3.1 machine it would hit drive A: then switch to drive B: and so on, but never both at once. It was task switching at best. I used to go to Amiga enthusiasts groups where they would daisy chain 15 floppy drives up and format disks and copy files en mass for everybody.

It was Windows 95 that finally was true multi-tasking, but Windows was still not in the same league as Amigas. At that point in time I had a hardware card for the Amiga that had an SX386 Intel and some RAM where I was running Windows 95 as a task on the Amiga and at full pop speed as if it were on a dedicated machine instead of in a window on my Amiga.

By Windows 7 Microsoft had finally eclipsed the Amiga, but Commodore had been out of business for a good while by then.

Now that I am running Linux, it feels like a continuation of the experience I had when I was on my Amiga and my friends were all running Windows 3.1.
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Old 10-10-2019, 12:15 PM   #35
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I used to go to Amiga enthusiasts groups where they would daisy chain 15 floppy drives up and format disks and copy files en mass for everybody.
That's some "OG" nerd stuff right there.

I just read about the Amiga series. Since I couldn't afford a PC at the time, I was out of the loop. It must've been weird seeing Windows PCs take over, if you were using an Amiga.

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Now that I am running Linux, it feels like a continuation of the experience I had when I was on my Amiga and my friends were all running Windows 3.1.
Lol well I did notice a roughly 30%+ improvement in CPU use when switching from Windows 7 to Linux, so in that regard I can relate. And that was a carefully managed Windows 7 with whatever changes necessary to facilitate the DAW. Of course if I'd have switched to Kubuntu as my first distro I wouldn't have noticed as big an improvement. I'm glad I tried MX Linux first with Xfce and also apparently a low latency kernel by default (from what I gathered later). I'd have been willing to accept worse performance in Linux than Windows, but it was the opposite by a large margin.
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:14 PM   #36
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That's some "OG" nerd stuff right there.
LMAO! I had to go look that one up. One fun thing me and another friend who also had an Amiga did was to re-write all the most common Amiga error messages with our own text so instead of it saying something like "Read Error On Disk" on a bad floppy it would instead say something like "Disk Fucked Try Again".

Quote:
I just read about the Amiga series. Since I couldn't afford a PC at the time, I was out of the loop. It must've been weird seeing Windows PCs take over, if you were using an Amiga.
It was very weird. PCs only were doing 16 colors with an EGA card and there were no soundblaster type cards yet so it was all single cheezy speaker beeps on PCs. I was used to 4096 colors and four channel digital wave audio.

Another Amiga dood I knew wrote a module that made it so we could do photo icons on our Amigas which no OS had at the time. We had to use greyscale to do it, but it was pretty cool back then. I can still fire up virtual instances of all my old Amiga HDs using the FS_UAE Amiga emulator in Linux.




Quote:
Lol well I did notice a roughly 30%+ improvement in CPU use when switching from Windows 7 to Linux, so in that regard I can relate. And that was a carefully managed Windows 7 with whatever changes necessary to facilitate the DAW. Of course if I'd have switched to Kubuntu as my first distro I wouldn't have noticed as big an improvement. I'm glad I tried MX Linux first with Xfce and also apparently a low latency kernel by default (from what I gathered later). I'd have been willing to accept worse performance in Linux than Windows, but it was the opposite by a large margin.
I really don't see better performance in Linux as far as REAPER is concerned, and this is using the same hardware in both cases, but I do see equal performance, so it doesn't feel like I'm getting dinged by running Linux, and I don't have Microsoft breathing down my neck any longer which is a giant plus.
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:59 PM   #37
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One fun thing me and another friend who also had an Amiga did was to re-write all the most common Amiga error messages with our own text so instead of it saying something like "Read Error On Disk" on a bad floppy it would instead say something like "Disk Fucked Try Again".
The ability to do that would've convinced me Amiga was the best computer and I'd have bought one of those instead of my first PC. Although I held out for a while before getting a PC. As soon as I realized PCs could do things that I valued as much as, or more than standalone hardware, I was in; that was around 1996. Recording audio and MIDI data was a big factor. Also I stubbornly decided to buy components and build my first PC, install the OS, make my own dial-up connections, etc. since I figured if I were going to be maintaining the PC (and others in the future), I might as well have some idea what the things are and how they need to work. I don't regret that decision.

My performance gain from Windows to Linux may have been limited to that one computer for a reason of which I'm unaware. Still it's nice to know I'm not sacrificing performance or stability by using Linux.
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Old 10-10-2019, 04:58 PM   #38
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The ability to do that would've convinced me Amiga was the best computer and I'd have bought one of those instead of my first PC. Although I held out for a while before getting a PC. As soon as I realized PCs could do things that I valued as much as, or more than standalone hardware, I was in; that was around 1996. Recording audio and MIDI data was a big factor. Also I stubbornly decided to buy components and build my first PC, install the OS, make my own dial-up connections, etc. since I figured if I were going to be maintaining the PC (and others in the future), I might as well have some idea what the things are and how they need to work. I don't regret that decision.

My performance gain from Windows to Linux may have been limited to that one computer for a reason of which I'm unaware. Still it's nice to know I'm not sacrificing performance or stability by using Linux.
I got hired to do programming, tech support, hardware integration, and other stuff all dealing with MSDOS after my band broke up in the late 80s, but I didn't yet have anything that could run MSDOS so that was when I put a PC on a card in my Amiga. I had taught myself programming and was writing midi code for my own synths while playing in the band.

Shortly after I decided to do it right, I should have a real PC that only ran MSDOS so I built my first one from parts I bought locally. Once I realized how easy it was to build a machine, I kept upgrading more than once a year, plus my boss had me building all the PCs for our offices, and now I've built 30 or 40 machines over the years. I kind of stopped once PCs were no longer getting to be dogs with the tasks I was throwing at them, and the only reason I'm going to build an AMD 3700X soon is because every one of my Intels has this shit . . .

l1tf:Mitigation: PTE Inversion; VMX: conditional cache flushes, SMT disabled
mds:Vulnerable: Clear CPU buffers attempted, no microcode; SMT disabled
meltdown:Mitigation: PTI
spec_store_bypass:Mitigation: Speculative Store Bypass disabled via prctl and seccomp
spectre_v1:Mitigation: usercopy/swapgs barriers and __user pointer sanitization
spectre_v2:Mitigation: Full generic retpoline, IBPB: conditional, IBRS_FW, STIBP: disabled, RSB filling

VS the one AMD in the house which reads like this.

l1tf:Not affected
mds:Not affected
meltdown:Not affected
spec_store_bypass:Not affected
spectre_v1:Mitigation: usercopy/swapgs barriers and __user pointer sanitization
spectre_v2:Mitigation: Full AMD retpoline, STIBP: disabled, RSB filling

Four "Not affected" items with an AMD vs four exclusively Intel only "Affected" entries.
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:31 PM   #39
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I bought a new computer approximately once every 3 years since that one, and it was always something I built from parts. So I guess that's around 8 or 9 computers that I built for myself. They all blur together since I don't think about them much after I set them up, unless I'm doing a major change to them (such as now, since I'm using Linux, and also using AMD for the CPU again since I haven't done that since that first computer in 1996 which was a 5x86). Then of course there were the computer systems I built or maintained for work, friends, etc.

Yeah I ran spectre-meltdown-checker recently. Here's the output:

Code:
Spectre and Meltdown mitigation detection tool v0.42

Checking for vulnerabilities on current system

Kernel is Linux 5.0.0-31-lowlatency #33-Ubuntu SMP PREEMPT Mon Sep 30 19:30:45 UTC 2019 x86_64
CPU is AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core Processor

Hardware check
* Hardware support (CPU microcode) for mitigation techniques
  * Indirect Branch Restricted Speculation (IBRS)
    * SPEC_CTRL MSR is available:  YES 
    * CPU indicates IBRS capability:  NO 
    * CPU indicates preferring IBRS always-on:  NO 
    * CPU indicates preferring IBRS over retpoline:  YES 
  * Indirect Branch Prediction Barrier (IBPB)
    * PRED_CMD MSR is available:  YES 
    * CPU indicates IBPB capability:  YES  (IBPB_SUPPORT feature bit)
  * Single Thread Indirect Branch Predictors (STIBP)
    * SPEC_CTRL MSR is available:  YES 
    * CPU indicates STIBP capability:  YES  (AMD STIBP feature bit)
    * CPU indicates preferring STIBP always-on:  YES 
  * Speculative Store Bypass Disable (SSBD)
    * CPU indicates SSBD capability:  YES  (AMD SSBD in SPEC_CTRL)
  * L1 data cache invalidation
    * FLUSH_CMD MSR is available:  NO 
    * CPU indicates L1D flush capability:  NO 
  * CPU supports Software Guard Extensions (SGX):  NO 
  * CPU microcode is known to cause stability problems:  NO  (model 0x71 family 0x17 stepping 0x0 ucode 0x8701013 cpuid 0x870f10)
  * CPU microcode is the latest known available version:  YES  (latest version is 0x8701011 dated 2019/04/15 according to builtin MCExtractor DB v112 - 2019/05/22)
* CPU vulnerability to the speculative execution attack variants
  * Vulnerable to CVE-2017-5753 (Spectre Variant 1, bounds check bypass):  YES 
  * Vulnerable to CVE-2017-5715 (Spectre Variant 2, branch target injection):  YES 
  * Vulnerable to CVE-2017-5754 (Variant 3, Meltdown, rogue data cache load):  NO 
  * Vulnerable to CVE-2018-3640 (Variant 3a, rogue system register read):  NO 
  * Vulnerable to CVE-2018-3639 (Variant 4, speculative store bypass):  YES 
  * Vulnerable to CVE-2018-3615 (Foreshadow (SGX), L1 terminal fault):  NO 
  * Vulnerable to CVE-2018-3620 (Foreshadow-NG (OS), L1 terminal fault):  NO 
  * Vulnerable to CVE-2018-3646 (Foreshadow-NG (VMM), L1 terminal fault):  NO 
  * Vulnerable to CVE-2018-12126 (Fallout, microarchitectural store buffer data sampling (MSBDS)):  NO 
  * Vulnerable to CVE-2018-12130 (ZombieLoad, microarchitectural fill buffer data sampling (MFBDS)):  NO 
  * Vulnerable to CVE-2018-12127 (RIDL, microarchitectural load port data sampling (MLPDS)):  NO 
  * Vulnerable to CVE-2019-11091 (RIDL, microarchitectural data sampling uncacheable memory (MDSUM)):  NO 

CVE-2017-5753 aka 'Spectre Variant 1, bounds check bypass'
* Mitigated according to the /sys interface:  YES  (Mitigation: usercopy/swapgs barriers and __user pointer sanitization)
* Kernel has array_index_mask_nospec:  YES  (1 occurrence(s) found of x86 64 bits array_index_mask_nospec())
* Kernel has the Red Hat/Ubuntu patch:  NO 
* Kernel has mask_nospec64 (arm64):  NO 
> STATUS:  NOT VULNERABLE  (Mitigation: usercopy/swapgs barriers and __user pointer sanitization)

CVE-2017-5715 aka 'Spectre Variant 2, branch target injection'
* Mitigated according to the /sys interface:  YES  (Mitigation: Full AMD retpoline, IBPB: conditional, STIBP: always-on, RSB filling)
* Mitigation 1
  * Kernel is compiled with IBRS support:  YES 
    * IBRS enabled and active:  NO 
  * Kernel is compiled with IBPB support:  YES 
    * IBPB enabled and active:  YES 
* Mitigation 2
  * Kernel has branch predictor hardening (arm):  NO 
  * Kernel compiled with retpoline option:  YES 
    * Kernel compiled with a retpoline-aware compiler:  YES  (kernel reports full retpoline compilation)
> STATUS:  NOT VULNERABLE  (Full retpoline + IBPB are mitigating the vulnerability)

CVE-2017-5754 aka 'Variant 3, Meltdown, rogue data cache load'
* Mitigated according to the /sys interface:  YES  (Not affected)
* Kernel supports Page Table Isolation (PTI):  YES 
  * PTI enabled and active:  NO 
  * Reduced performance impact of PTI:  NO  (PCID/INVPCID not supported, performance impact of PTI will be significant)
* Running as a Xen PV DomU:  NO 
> STATUS:  NOT VULNERABLE  (your CPU vendor reported your CPU model as not vulnerable)

CVE-2018-3640 aka 'Variant 3a, rogue system register read'
* CPU microcode mitigates the vulnerability:  YES 
> STATUS:  NOT VULNERABLE  (your CPU vendor reported your CPU model as not vulnerable)

CVE-2018-3639 aka 'Variant 4, speculative store bypass'
* Mitigated according to the /sys interface:  YES  (Mitigation: Speculative Store Bypass disabled via prctl and seccomp)
* Kernel supports disabling speculative store bypass (SSB):  YES  (found in /proc/self/status)
* SSB mitigation is enabled and active:  YES  (per-thread through prctl)
* SSB mitigation currently active for selected processes:  YES  (firefox irqbalance ModemManager systemd-journald systemd-logind systemd-resolved systemd-timesyncd systemd-udevd upowerd)
> STATUS:  NOT VULNERABLE  (Mitigation: Speculative Store Bypass disabled via prctl and seccomp)

CVE-2018-3615 aka 'Foreshadow (SGX), L1 terminal fault'
* CPU microcode mitigates the vulnerability:  N/A 
> STATUS:  NOT VULNERABLE  (your CPU vendor reported your CPU model as not vulnerable)

CVE-2018-3620 aka 'Foreshadow-NG (OS), L1 terminal fault'
* Mitigated according to the /sys interface:  YES  (Not affected)
* Kernel supports PTE inversion:  YES  (found in kernel image)
* PTE inversion enabled and active:  NO 
> STATUS:  NOT VULNERABLE  (your CPU vendor reported your CPU model as not vulnerable)

CVE-2018-3646 aka 'Foreshadow-NG (VMM), L1 terminal fault'
* Information from the /sys interface: Not affected
* This system is a host running a hypervisor:  NO 
* Mitigation 1 (KVM)
  * EPT is disabled:  N/A  (the kvm_intel module is not loaded)
* Mitigation 2
  * L1D flush is supported by kernel:  YES  (found flush_l1d in kernel image)
  * L1D flush enabled:  NO 
  * Hardware-backed L1D flush supported:  NO  (flush will be done in software, this is slower)
  * Hyper-Threading (SMT) is enabled:  YES 
> STATUS:  NOT VULNERABLE  (your CPU vendor reported your CPU model as not vulnerable)

CVE-2018-12126 aka 'Fallout, microarchitectural store buffer data sampling (MSBDS)'
* Mitigated according to the /sys interface:  YES  (Not affected)
* Kernel supports using MD_CLEAR mitigation:  YES  (found md_clear implementation evidence in kernel image)
* Kernel mitigation is enabled and active:  NO 
* SMT is either mitigated or disabled:  NO 
> STATUS:  NOT VULNERABLE  (your CPU vendor reported your CPU model as not vulnerable)

CVE-2018-12130 aka 'ZombieLoad, microarchitectural fill buffer data sampling (MFBDS)'
* Mitigated according to the /sys interface:  YES  (Not affected)
* Kernel supports using MD_CLEAR mitigation:  YES  (found md_clear implementation evidence in kernel image)
* Kernel mitigation is enabled and active:  NO 
* SMT is either mitigated or disabled:  NO 
> STATUS:  NOT VULNERABLE  (your CPU vendor reported your CPU model as not vulnerable)

CVE-2018-12127 aka 'RIDL, microarchitectural load port data sampling (MLPDS)'
* Mitigated according to the /sys interface:  YES  (Not affected)
* Kernel supports using MD_CLEAR mitigation:  YES  (found md_clear implementation evidence in kernel image)
* Kernel mitigation is enabled and active:  NO 
* SMT is either mitigated or disabled:  NO 
> STATUS:  NOT VULNERABLE  (your CPU vendor reported your CPU model as not vulnerable)

CVE-2019-11091 aka 'RIDL, microarchitectural data sampling uncacheable memory (MDSUM)'
* Mitigated according to the /sys interface:  YES  (Not affected)
* Kernel supports using MD_CLEAR mitigation:  YES  (found md_clear implementation evidence in kernel image)
* Kernel mitigation is enabled and active:  NO 
* SMT is either mitigated or disabled:  NO 
> STATUS:  NOT VULNERABLE  (your CPU vendor reported your CPU model as not vulnerable)

> SUMMARY: CVE-2017-5753:OK CVE-2017-5715:OK CVE-2017-5754:OK CVE-2018-3640:OK CVE-2018-3639:OK CVE-2018-3615:OK CVE-2018-3620:OK CVE-2018-3646:OK CVE-2018-12126:OK CVE-2018-12130:OK CVE-2018-12127:OK CVE-2019-11091:OK
So there are 3 vulnerabilities (of the 12 things it tests for) but they have mitigations. That's some idea of what you can expect with the 3700X.

My system with the i3-6300 has every vulnerability, all 12. They're all mitigated by Linux (and the system's BIOS), but still.
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Last edited by JamesPeters; 10-10-2019 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 10-10-2019, 11:30 PM   #40
Glennbo
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Hehe, I built two 5x86 AMD machines around the same time because I was given one CPU by an IT friend who had replaced it on a machine he worked on, which turned out to have a different problem. Then a customer offered me another one so I took i too.

I hadn't run spectre-meltdown-checker, but I like it's output. It just really irks me how many Intel exclusive security flaws there are that AMD doesn't have. Once the B550 chipset starts appearing on some Asus mobos, I'll get serious about building a new DAW.
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