Linux is an open-source operating system based on Linux kernel which is an operating system kernel first released on the 17th of September, 1991.
One of the most frequently asked questions online by most producers is:
“is linux good for music production?”
A few years ago, I would not have recommended Linux for music production due to many limitations that came with it. But as of today I can confidently say that Linux has been constantly improved to make it an operating system on which you can carry out professional music production work.
Many improvements have gone into making Linux more friendly and usable for music production. This post will take you through some of the finer points that I think make Linux quite a capable Operating System for music production.
Keep reading on so you get an understanding why I say this and why I’ve decided to dedicate atleast some of my tasks to linux as the main OS for my production work.
Linux takes up little ram
The most common experience with operating systems like Windows is that they take up a lot of RAM and don’t unnecessary free up any for as long as a program is running.
This makes it very difficult for people that use inadequate RAM for their production work because it means they will experience limited or lagging functionality due to their system biting off a huge chunk of RAM to run certain processes.
With Linux, this is an entirely different story because it uses very little RAM and will properly assign various tasks with little RAM.
For a music production computer, this will be very advantageous because this means that you’ll basically have more RAM to work with.
Furthermore, if you’re somebody that has RAM that’s not enough, your projects will run more smoothly on Linux than they would on your other Operating Systems.
You can run windows programs on Linux
One of the common limitations that drove people to consider Linux a non starter for music production is that it meant they would have to abandon their Software on Operating Systems like windows and would have to trade them with Linux compatible software.
But this is no longer the case at all.
With open source applications like Wine, you can use software developed for Microsoft windows on your Linux operating system.
This puts you at an advantage because you’re no longer limited to Linux supported software which can be good for someone that has built up a huge collection of software on their windows platform.
Constant improvement by Linux
One advantage that comes with using an open source operating system is that you are guaranteed constant improvement.
A few years ago, Linux might have seemed like the general direction not to take as a music producer, but now it has been thoroughly improved making it usable for even the most windows OS oriented people.
More robust, more diverse and a good community
Another great advantage of using Linux is that it is robust and diverse.
The ability that Linux users have is one that allows them access to the code behind the entire operating system which allows users to copy and alter it.
Most of the people in the Linux community are developers and coders which is a great advantage because you’re guaranteed various tweaks to Linux software which can add value to what ever you do, not just music production.
Having this kind of community is one of the reasons why music production on Linux can be beneficial.
Music focused Linux OS Variations
There are various Linux OS variations or “flavours” as people in the communities like to call them that are basically solely focused on music production.
These variations come already loaded with music production necessary software to give you a head start into production and they also configured to generally make things easier for you in your musical works.
All these variations can be easily booted directly from a USB drive or an optical disk, so you can basically try and experiment without touching or deleting your current operating system.
This is highly beneficial and something I’d advise you to do if you’re looking to Linux as your go-to music production operating system.
Open Source + Free
Another benefit that should be given it’s own section is the fact that Linux is open source.
The common operating systems which are windows and mac don’t allow people to access, view or edit their code. All the development is in their hands but with linux this is an entirely different story.
Being an open source OS has so great advantages that can be beneficial to its users. One of these advantages is that the operating system basically belongs to everyone and anyone can alter it.
You can find so many tweaks and software on platforms like github.
Furthermore, Linux is completely free and you won’t have to spend not one cent in acquiring it.
If you’re just looking to get into production, then you should consider linux because you won’t have to pay any amount to get it.
You can simply look it up and download it.
The common operating systems all come at a price, but with linux there is no price and to sweeten the pot, it is open source and allows the user to tweak it to their liking.
Able to handle professional workload
You may be wondering whether Linux is actually equipped to handle your music production workload and the answer is yes.
In my experience with Linux, I haven’t noticed any difference in performance when working with complex multi tracks or much simpler projects.
Which means you won’t have to worry about your professional work being mishandled.
Linux has the ability to handle a professional workload because it is designed to take up moderate processing power while delivering the required outcome.
Therefore, Linux is a good enough operating system for music production, it is not really the norm so most people don’t use it but this doesn’t take away from the fact that it is an excellent OS.