First impressions - what's JACK?

Tomas Valusek tvalusek at
Sun Nov 2 06:40:40 GMT 2008


I'm a music teacher. I'm visually impaired, but don't need to use 
assistive technologies, I prefer to utilize various system settings such 
as varying font sizes, altering color schemes, or using light-weight 
magnifiers, one of which is built directly into X server - ability to 
have smaller screen resolution than desktop size. But this doesn't seem 
to work in 8.10, Alt+grey+ and Alt+gray- don't respond as expected.

But that's not why I write this post. Music software in general is very 
demanding to ... sight, a very strange thing considering the result is 
meant to be perceived by ear. Windows music creation software is very 
expensive, and after working with it for several hours my eyes hurt 
badly from constant chasing of mouse pointer. I watch Linux since its 
bearth in 1991 and from time to time I have tried various distros. 
Ubuntu Studio is very attractive to me because 1. as a free software, I 
can use it anywhere not caring about software activation or any other 
license matters, and 2. I hope I can eventually get a music creation 
tool which would suit my needs - by providing feedback to developers.

But currently, I feel tossed away by Ubuntu Studio - if I run apps like 
MusE or Rosegarden, they complain JACK is not found. As a Windows user, 
I have no ide what's JACK for, and searching the Net yields some pages 
describing JACK from developer's point of view, no end-user, 
non-technical howto exists AFAIK. I think if I get specialized distro 
like Ubuntu Studio, no such dialogs should appear after install, this 
should be configured during install.

User docs of Ubuntu Studio are heavily outdated and incomplete, an 
article about audio apps has just the heading saying JACK and JACK apps, 
but nothing is written about this subject. I wanted to look into forums, 
but after clicking a linke labeled Genearl help, no "studio" string is 
found on that page. Yes, there is Multimedia production forum, but there 
should be specific Ubuntu Studio forum with "studio" in its name, where 
distro-specific issues should be discussed.

Nevertheless, I'm not going to give up, since I'd like to create music 
without my eyes hurting :-)

Best Regards.

Tomas Valusek

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