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I'll provide a viewpoint that is likely to be controversial and goes against what most of us here do, including myself until lately. So, I'm not sure at what level of music you produce, but in my situation, the lack of vst possibilities was a bit of a hindrance. I’m using linux for that and have done well especially when bitwig released a linux daw, which was like a game changer for many. You can run vst on linux, there are many plugins that can be of great help for you, such as airwave, wine and arch. Just have patience and you’ll find something. By the way if you are using web hosting, have a look on cheap cpanel license.

Last edited by derkonsamarie; 11/26/21 08:38 AM.
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I wonder whether there are any Linux/VST users out there? I ask because I'm getting fed up with Windows. It works fine now. But only because I've disabled all updates. I'm running 1809. I won't take 1904, 1909, 2004, or 20H2. Not ever.

There are too many reports of this broken and that broken ... because of the updates. Given that the updates offer little more than crap, I just cannot see taking a risk for no benefit.

I'm of a similar opinion. I've used Windows up to and including Windows 7 without problems, and I've become disenchanted with it since Windows 8.x. I skipped that, but did switch to Windows 10. I hate the running release model, because my computer suddenly changes and works differently. I dislike this. It's often change for the sake of change and because they're regular updates, you can't time the installation.

Windows 11 doesn't even run on this computer because it does not have an 8-th gen Intel CPU. This is a a very powerful workstation, which is only 5 years old. It was top of the line when I built it and it's still faster than most mid-range computers of today. I'm NOT going to ditch this thing yet, and I'm also not going to tolerate Windows 10 jacking around on it any longer.

Therefore I've added an SSD and a 2TB HDD, and installed Debian Stable with KDE as a desktop. Then I copied my data. So now I have two operating systems on this computer, but have been running Debian Stable for the last 6 months. As soon as I have a weekend's time, I'll rearrange the disks to make Debian the default OS, assign both data disks to it, and give Windows the old SSD for itself, just in case I ever need it.

I'm not even sure if a new workstation (to be built in 2023) will even HAVE a Windows installation.

Please keep in mind that my transition was somewhat easy because I've been transitioning to open source software since 2005, and I have a lot of experience with Linux on small servers and embedded systems.

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I really think Microsoft should dump Windows. Put Linux in there, keep the Windows UI (yes, that's a lot of work) ... and put an end to these crappy unreliable updates. It'll look like Windows, but the guts will be Linux ... meaning better reliability.

There are Linux distributions that look just like any imaginable version of Windows; and KDE's layout is really easy to "Windows-ize" if you so want.

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But that's a pipe dream, yes? So maybe it's time to just jump ship and run Linux.

I did...

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Questions:
Which VSTs will run on Linux?
What do I do about all of my other apps?
- Email
- Browser
- Photoshop
- lots more ... none of which run on Linux

I already tried Pianoteq, which is the only VST I have. It runs on Linux, and it works on Debian Stable, being Bullseye 11 at this moment. I'm going to transition my old Intel NUC from Windows 10 to Debian Stable in a week or two (and install VNC Server so I can control it using an iPad).

- Email: Thunderbird or Enlightenment
- Browser: Firefox ESR or Chromium
- Photoshop: stopped using it when Adobe went subscription only. GIMP is the only option in Linux. Maybe Krita.
- Lightroom: DarkTable or RAWTherapee
- Office: LibreOffice

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I'm in no hurry. This desktop is 3 years old, and will likely last a few more years.
But the purchase of the next PC might be the time to switch ... if it makes sense to do so.

We'd need a full list of applications you want to run to see if there are alternatives, and you have to be willing to switch to an alternative if the application is not cross-platform.

If there is a Windows application you MUST have, you could try to run it using Wine. ("Lutris" is a front-end app, which can install so called "Wine Prefixes" for you. Then you can install a Windows program in the Wine Prefix and test if it works. Lutris is mainly developed for gamers, but it also works with normal programs. I have two Windows programs running like that, but with a low-latency app such as a VST, it probably won't work.)

If there is a Windows program you MUST have and you can't run it in Wine, you can't switch to Linux; or you would need to run Windows in a virtual Machine.


Kawai Novus NV-10 | Pianoteq 7
(Kremsegg 1 & 2, Ruckers II, Karsten, KIVIR, Steinway D, K2)
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
However it’s not a good replacement for desktop OS such as macOS and Windows. Maybe for power users who constantly spend some time messing around with it and sudo this and that it’s great but not for your typical user that prefers using applications rather than tweaking the OS.

That is not completely true.

The key to switching to Linux is to start replacing applications while you're still on Windows. As soon as I was out of Uni, I dropped MS Office. (I _HATE_ Office 2007 and later.) I swtiched to OpenOffice, later LibreOffice. Because I stopped semi-professional photography after uni (didn't need the income due to getting a full time job), I don't need Photoshop or Capture One anymore, so I switched to GIMP first, and later to DarkTable / RAWTherapee for RAW files. I've been replacing applications like this for a very long time, but the two holdouts were games (Windows only) and Capture One (RAW). Now that Lutris / Wine and DarkTable have become really mature, I managed to finally switch.

You just have to stop depending on commercial solutions, except if those solutions offer you something you can't get anywhere else. Most people WANT Photoshop, but don't NEED it. Many people WANT Lightroom / Capture One, but don't NEED it. And so on.

When you get to the point where you can switch, don't start out with rolling Linux distributions such as Arch; also don't pick a small distro or a derivative of a derivative of a derivative. Just go with Debian Stable (never changes until the next stable, except for bugfixes and security fixes), with Flatpak for applications you do want to update to newer versions. Install it once, tweak it once (just like you would for Windows), forget about it for 2-5 years (until you want to update).

I have NEVER had a Debian Stable installation break on me and I've been using them since 2005 on small servers, in embedded systems, and now on the desktop.

Oh, and one other thing... Just don't expect things to work as they do in Windows. They don't. Instead of "Checking for updates" (waiting) then "Click the UAC prompt" and then download/install updates and reboot, you just do:

sudo apt update (find the updates applicable to your computer)
sudo apt upgrade (upgrade your installed stuff)
sudo flatpak update (upgrade your flatpak applicatons)

Done. If you want it can be made into a single command.

It's not clicking in a GUI (but some distributions do offer that option as well), but you have very precise control over what you install, when you install it, and when you reboot or not.

Current-day linux is very different from Windows, and yes, it does require some tweaking or messing about sometimes, but that is the same for Windows. Just don't go into it with the mind-set "if it's different from Windows, it's going to be crap." If you want stuff to work as on Windows, then run Windows.


Kawai Novus NV-10 | Pianoteq 7
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The situation today is much better than the last time I tried it (mid 2010s, I believe).

FL Studio and Native Instruments Kontakt run flawlessly under Wine. I would like to think that the funding from Valve/Steam towards building Proton is having some positive impact on general Wine compatibility. Reaper has had a native Linux build for sometime that you can use with tools like yabridge and LinVst

The move to web applications has meant that most applications running within a browser will work on Linux just like they work on Windows. For office/productivity tasks, Thunderbird and LibreOffice work just fine.

Picking a good distro is critical. I have used Ubuntu and Mint before. Today, my distro of choice is Manjaro.

Last edited by kj85; 11/26/21 11:45 AM.
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Linux can be used as a daily driver OS if some requirements are met:

1. You do NOT depend on professional content production applications for which there is no Linux version (Adobe Suite, Sony Vegas, Capture One, Affinity... etc)
2. You do NOT depend on highly integrated commercial solutions (MS Office / Office 365 / MS Onedrive / Exchange Server)
3. You do NOT use highly specialized equipment that only has drivers or control software for Windows / MacOS (many external sound cards, machinery, robotocs...)
4. You ARE somewhat computer-savvy and willing to do some work to get some peripherals working (Such as reconfiguring the mouse buttons for the Logitech MX Master 3.)

Of the above, 1 and 2 are fairly obvious. If you NEED a piece of software or some integrated solution sold by a specific vendor to do work, especially when collaborating with others and the software is only available for Windows and/or MacOS, then Linux is not an option (unless you run a VM for that software / solution).

Note that there is a difference between NEED and WANT to use. I'd love to use Capture One for RAW files in Linux, but I can make do with DarkTable for personal use. If I ever get back into professional photography, Capture One moves from WANT to NEED, and I'll immediately buy a Windows retail license, install it in a VM with Capture One, and then disable the internet connection for that VM.

Point 3 is also obvious: if you NEED a certain device and there are only Windows drivers available, you cannot use anything else but Windows. In this case, even a VM may not work, depending on the device. If you have a choice however, you might try to acquire a similar device that can run under Linux; but I can understand that one does not replace a €1000 audio interface that easily, for example.

Point 4: some peripherals, such as the Logitech MX Master 3, work with default settings. In Windows and under MacOS, Logitech gives you a program (Logitech Options) which lets you reconfigure your mouse buttons. (It's a massive, 200 MB monster, but it does work.) Under Linux, there is "logiops", but it is new enough that it isn't available yet in most distributions. So... you will have to get down and dirty, recompiling it yourself, installing the service, and then writing a configuration file, as there is no GUI. After you're done, the mouse is configured and you don't have to change it ever again. One option that Logitech Options on Windows has is that it is able to reconfigure the mouse on the fly, so you can have different button settings for Photoshop and Sony Vegas, for example. I never used this; but if you do and you want that function, you need Logitech Options and thus Windows or a Mac, because logiops in Linux can't do this.

In my experience, you often see 1 when dealing with content creation or engineering (AutoDesk stuff, for example). You see 2 when dealing with companies, which often use integrated solutions. Point 3 and 4 are becoming less and less of an issue, especially in the last 10 years, but there are still devices that fall in those categories.

Linux isn't perfect; but Windows isn't either. Under Windows, I've seen people having to replace a printer or scanner (for example) because the manufacturer just says: "Windows 7 driver doesn't work in 10? Tough luck. Old printer. Get a new one." That will rarely happen in Linux. If something is supported, it'll probably be supported for 20+ years. Same with software. If a piece of proprietary software stops working because the activation server is down (this _COULD_ happen to Pianoteq, for example), many companies tell you to just get the latest version and stop whining. Under Linux, a piece of software will work forever, unless the community doesn't want to support it anymore and switches to something else.

Personally, I chose my MOTU M2 audio interface and PianoTeq 6 because I knew they'd run under Linux; that was a requirement, because converting the Intel Nuc (from 2016) from Windows 10 to Linux has always been in the cards.


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(Kremsegg 1 & 2, Ruckers II, Karsten, KIVIR, Steinway D, K2)
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Originally Posted by kj85
Picking a good distro is critical. I have used Ubuntu and Mint before. Today, my distro of choice is Manjaro.

Manjaro is good if you are tech-savvy and want the latest software for everything.

If you want something you can install, configure, and then forget about until the next upgrade, it would be better to go with:
- Debian Stable (my choice)
- openSuse Leap (didn't use this for daily work; only played with it in a VM. Is somewhat more userfriendly than a default Debian Stable because it has more out of the box configuration and more software installed from the get-go. Debian is more flexible though, but requires more knowledge.)
- Mint (OK; but it is derived from Ubuntu, which itself is derived from Debian. I don't like Ubuntu's parent company, Canonical, and I don't like derivatives of derivatives.)
- Ubuntu LTS (OK choice if you have no issues with Canonical.)


Kawai Novus NV-10 | Pianoteq 7
(Kremsegg 1 & 2, Ruckers II, Karsten, KIVIR, Steinway D, K2)
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Given that the updates offer little more than crap, I just cannot see taking a risk for no benefit.

Well, they keep your system secure. Ofc Microsoft tries to put new stuff on your system, which isn't too nice. Overall, however, if it's on SSD or faster, I find it to be okay and easier to manage than Linux - and I used Linux for many years. Sometimes stuff breaks. And usually they fix it. You can always uninstall updates and delay updates for a month. That usually resolves issues for me. I wish there would be an option like "install non-critical, new features only after a specified delay", though. And since Windows hardware support is usually better, the best option is to run Linux inside VirtualBox on Windows and connect to it via Cygwin SSSH. BTW if you like the Linux (really the GNU) environment, Cygwin provides most of it natively under Windows.

Linux will never be an alternative unless politicians require large software vendors to port their stuff to it. No clue why they don't do it. Maybe Billyboy has made too many friends in DC. Or the potential for backdoors in open-source is considered too low and therefore a security threat to those who think they need access to all of our computers and emails in order to save the world from doom.... smile

Also, there are Windows emulators for Linux. However, don't expect too much of em. Some Windows program might work, most probably won't.

Last edited by Marc345; 11/27/21 10:14 PM.

HW: MP11SE, Touche SE (+Arturia Keylab Ess. 88, Akai MPK249, in reserve: GEM Promega 3)
SW: Garritan CFX, Ravenscroft 275, Modern U, Noire, Absolute 5, Acousticsamples B5
Pics: https://imgur.com/a/GZgdFm3
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