The next few posts won’t be directly related to music-making tools. Instead, I’m going to describe the computing environment I use for making music.
Much of my previous GNU/Linux experience has been with Ubuntu/Xubuntu. The Ubuntu-based distributions are good for getting up and running quickly and for hiding the technical details from the user. However, I’m no longer interested in having those details hidden from me; I want to learn more about them. The Ubuntu-based distributions also come with a lot of extra software that I don’t need and don’t want.
I also want access to the latest versions of music applications. That’s not how the Ubuntu-based distributions are intended to work.
I chose Arch Linux because I wanted to learn more about how GNU/Linux works and what its various components are. I see it as a minimal operating system (just enough to run provide a command shell) that I can build on. In other words, Arch Linux can be just about anything I want it to be. In addition, Arch uses a “rolling release” model that provides the latest versions of applications. With any luck I’ll just keep updating it and won’t ever have to install it again.
As you might expect, Arch Linux is more difficult to install and configure than the Ubuntu-based distributions but in return I have a lot more control. So far I’ve learned a lot, and I now have a fairly “light” system in terms of operating system overhead, which leaves more computer resources available for music applications.