[PD] Red Hat 9 and PD - RH9 is rubbish

Padraig Kitterick padraigkitterick at oceanfree.net
Wed Feb 25 15:04:37 CET 2004

First off: what graphics & sound cards do you have? Just checking, cause 
as gem relies on opengl if your card doesn't have good linux drivers 
then a change in linux distro is not the main problem with pd+gem 
performance. ATI and NVidia have drivers for XFree86 4.2 & 4.3 which 
give you hardware acceleration under linux.

As for linux distros it depends on your level of linux experience. If 
you want the most reliable, easy to install/update/use then the only 
answer is Suse (not a flamebait, just my experience). Most other 
'desktop' distros tend to be weak in the install/update bits and Suse 
gets this just right. Its free to install over FTP.

If you want more optimisation then Gentoo is a good choice. You can 
custom build the whole distro and set compiler optimisation flags to 
your hearts content. The only problem is that when you update the 
packages using their e-merge utility, you have to deal with the config 
file changes yourself. Whereas with a distro like Suse its done 
'automagically' for you.

Finally, if you are really comfortable with linux and have a good bit of 
time to spare then Debian is great. Total control but sometimes a pain 
to use...

Finally (really!) the speed increase from 2.4 to 2.6 kernels will be 
nothing compared to getting your XFree86 drivers set up correctly using 
the right config. I would make sure you can get your graphics card to 
use hardware accel. under linux before worrying too much about the 2.6 
kernel (plus its scheduling is not of real benefit to desktops. Ive 
tried to test it and when the machine is under big loads it helps a lot, 
but not much for normal use).

Hope this helps,


Ed Kelly wrote:
> Can anyone recommend a good, current Linux distribution for running PD? I've
> had it with Red Hat!
> By the way, your comments have all been very helpful, thanks :) Here's what
> I had to do - although I won't be recommending RH9 to anyone!
> After re-installing Red Hat 9 with text-based login, I found that the
> /etc/sysconfig/desktop file is where the default wm is set. After installing
> WindoMaker (it doesn't come with Red Hat 9!) I set it to:
> WindowMaker then became my default wm, the alsa drivers compiled (1.0.2 libs
> didn't compile, 1.0.1 libs did!) and after installing pd and making aliases
> for libtk.so.0 and libtcl.so.0 in /usr/lib/ linked to their respective
> libraries (and libstdc++.so.3 for xsample~ externals) I could launch PD.
> BUT...
> Forget using Red Hat 9!!!The cpu usage was at 45% before I'd even turned
> audio on in my very-complex patch (compared to 1-3% on Red Hat 7.2) and
> abstractions took 5 minutes to come up after clicking on them! Unfortunately
> I don't have the disks for 7.2 any more, so I'm stuck with a 2.2 kernel
> distribution (Mandrake 7).
> Can anyone recommend a current linux distribution for running PD? I've had
> enough of Red Hat!
> Peace,
> Ed
> Lone Shark: Aviation.
> Electronic music for your mind, body and soul! Released March/April 2004 on
> Pyramid Transmissions.
> http://www.pyramidtransmissions.com/
> -----Original Message-----
> From: pd-list-admin at iem.at [mailto:pd-list-admin at iem.at]On Behalf Of
> Frank Barknecht
> Sent: 25 February 2004 09:37
> To: thelist
> Subject: Re: [PD] Red Hat 9 and PD
> Hallo,
> guenter geiger hat gesagt: // guenter geiger wrote:
>>On Tue, 24 Feb 2004, Josh Steiner wrote:
>>>there are reports the the 2.6.x kernels are significantly (like 40%
>>>sometimes) faster than the 2.4.x kernels.
>>I would really like to know when this "sometimes" happens :)
>>Surely you can not map the kernel performance to pd performance,
>>if lets say pd spends 1% of its execution time in kernel, 40%
>>improvement would not make pd noticeable faster.
>>I have heard that a 2.6 kernel has better realtime behaviour than
>>an unpatched 2.4 kernel, which may help in some cases to lower
> I've switched to 2.6 now, and must say 2.6 is very okay. It had
> problems compared to a LL-patched 2.4 kernel, but a) those problems
> did'nt affect me and the way I work (I don't do 16-channel, 4 ms
> latency recordings) and b) from what I've heard, 2.6.3 fixed a lot of
> these latency problems.  Still, for an out-of-the box kernel, 2.6 is
> impressive and I'd say: totally useable. (Except: I cannot print
> anymore.)
> The new scheduler is wonderful. The system feels faster everywhere,
> alhough it probably isn't.
> ciao
> --
>  Frank Barknecht                               _ ______footils.org__
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