You will find on this page what to do if you want to setup a multimedia production workstation with a standard Ubuntu installation (means without installing Ubuntu Studio).

If you prefer to install the packages with Synaptic, you can.

Users with FireWire hardware, PCI professional sound card, even on Ubuntu Studio, may find tips and answers.

Please note that only "proved to work" Ubuntu releases will be documented in time on this tutorial. The current one is Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

The basics

First of all, you have of course to install Ubuntu. I386 or amd64 should be both fine.

Unity desktop environment is now stable and it is possible to work with it for multimedia, even at very low latency. It is used commonly for a wide range of use and is very suitable for people coming from Mac desktop. This is why this howto will use vanilla Ubuntu as a base.

Of course, you are free to install the flavour of Ubuntu and the desktop environment of your choice. However, please think that all flavour and desktops are different and some tweaks may not work like in vanilla Ubuntu.

Second of all, install the very basics :

sudo apt-get install vlc ubuntu-restricted-extras ubuntustudio-menu

VLC is a multimedia player able to read, write and stream all kind of multimedia files ; ubuntu-restricted-extras will install all multimedia codecs you may need ; ubuntustudio-menu is useful for Gnome Classic and Xfce menus.

Third of all, think about what you want to produce : audio ? video ? 3D ? illustrations ? documents ? Other ? Actually, You may not need to follow all the tutorial steps.

Unofficial Backports

In Ubuntu, thanks to the launchpad community and some independent projects, you might find some useful add-ons. Some of them are needed in parts of this documentation. Here is the way to have them available packaged for Ubuntu.


The Medibuntu project packages "non-free" applications. You will find codecs, complete version of applications like mplayer, and the libdvdcss library to read encrypted DVDs in Ubuntu. Some sound cards need alsa-firmware package and you will find it here too.

sudo -E wget --output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list$(lsb_release -cs).list && sudo apt-get --quiet update && sudo apt-get --yes --quiet --allow-unauthenticated install medibuntu-keyring

More information available at


KXStudio is an independent project aimed to provide up-to-date applications and utilities for audio production. You may not need it for other purpose.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kxstudio-team/ppa

More information available at

Real Time kernel

If the performance of the -lowlatency kernel provided in Ubuntu repositories is not enough for you, you may try this repository. It is mostly needed for audio production too, but scientific or industrial use may need them too.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:abogani/realtime

Take care using those kernels : they might not support restricted drivers (Example: nNidia or AMD/ATI, some wifi chipsets).


Wine is a solution which makes Linux (and so Ubuntu) able to install and run applications from the Windows World. It is available in Ubuntu, but it may be more complete or up-to-date in this repository. It may be useful for some kind of audio plugins and some must have professional applications from the Windows world.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa

More information available at


Cinelerra is a very good video edition application. Their community is providing a package for Ubuntu.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:cinelerra-ppa/cinelerra-cv

More information available at

Update system

With all that, you will have almost all codecs, libraries, application, etc... available and updated for GNU/Linux in Ubuntu. So, think to update with apt-get or Synaptic !!!

sudo apt-get --quiet update && sudo apt-get --yes --quiet dist-upgrade

We will see furthermore in this tutorial how to install the needed packages, depending on your needs.


This part is dedicated to hardware set-up.

Integrated, PCI and USB sound cards (Alsa)

If sound and midi work out of the box after a fresh install of Ubuntu, you don't need to read this section. If you have a firewire sound card, please go to the good section.

Specific supported hardware

If you have no sound with Ubuntu, first of all, before doing anything else, check cables and loudspeakers, and audio preferences (select sound card, set output levels, etc...).

Then, you can check if your sound card/chipset is supported at

You may not find your hardware with its product name, nor brand/vendor:

  • Most of usb sound card (audio and midi) are supported by the usb-audio driver.
  • Some pci sound cards brands/vendors are not listed because they use common audio chipset widely used.

Examples : the Presonus Audiobox USB, the EMU chipsets family.

If your card is said to be supported, you may need some additional alsa packages. Install the Medibuntu repository (see "Unofficial Backports" section).

sudo apt-get install alsa-firmware-loaders alsa-tools alsa-tools-gui alsa-firmware

This is needed by RME, Echo, etc... professional sound cards. Some cards will need a utility application. Example: for cards like RME hdsp, you may want to run manually the command line "hdsploader" or set it up in the session autostart applications.

Configuration of more than one device

When having more than one soundcard or midi controller, it often appears that one card is one time the default device, other times it's another one. So, to make a long story short, you can ensure that one of your sound-devices is always "0" with this small modification:

Edit the following file with your favourite editor, e.g:

sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf

and append this to the bottom of the file, making adjustments as required for your setup, see example below:

options snd_hda-intel index=0
options snd_indigoio index=1
options snd_hdsp index=2
options snd_foo index=3

Where "foo" is the name of the alsa driver for the soundcard (pci or usb, audio or midi). hda-intel, indigoio and hdsp are given as examples.

To find the name of your sound card driver, go there :

Of course, this will not work for Firewire.

ALSA Sequencer (midi)

If you can not have midi sequencing enabled, or if you have midi error message, the Alsa midi sequencer module of the kernel may not be loaded. Try that:

 sudo modprobe snd-seq

If it works, to have your system load it at bootup, you have to add it to the /etc/modules file.

 sudo su -c 'echo snd-seq >> /etc/modules'

FireWire sound cards (IEEE 1394, FFADO)

As you can read on forums and other tutorials, some firewire chipsets works with Ubuntu and some don't. If it is integrated (E.G in a laptop) the best way is first to try. If not, use Google to search on forums before to buy any pci nor laptop pc-card. Texas Instrument chipsets are told to work well. Via chipsets have a bad reputation.

The current firewire module in the kernel should work out of the box. It will configure the access rights to the firewire sound card as soon as it is plugged and detected.

You need then to add your username to the audio group.

sudo usermod -a -G audio username

All Echo firewire sound cards are very well supported by the FFADO project. Some RME and Some Focusrite too, but not all. Some other brand and models may work. You can check on this page if your card/chipset is supported at .

Then, to use it, you need to install the ffado driver.

sudo apt-get install ffado-mixer-qt4 jackd2-firewire

More information and support available at

Firewire sound cards are not supported by the standard sound system in Ubuntu (Alsa / Pulse Audio). It means that applications such as Video Player or Firefox won't be able to play any sound this way. If you prefer to have the system sound on the integrated sound card only, and the audio production applications on the firewire sound card, you don't need to do more.

If you need to use your firewire sound card as a default sound card for all applications, you will have to install a plugin for Pulse Audio and Jack. Once done, just configure and choose the virtual jack sound card in the Ubuntu Sound Preferences. You may need to manually patch the Pulse Audio inputs and outputs, the best way is to use Patchage.

sudo apt-get install pulseaudio-module-jack patchage

More information in the "Audio production" section of this tutorial.

Tested and works "out of the box" with an Echo Audiofire 2 sound card in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

Firewire cameras and video (DV)

This section is deprecated :

  • DV support in Linux is only for consumer standards. There is no way no get professionnal DV in Ubuntu, even Kino can't manage it.
  • Most consumer and a lot of professional cameras now use hardisk, dvd or flash memory cards. It is far more easy to get the video files this way.

Other: printers, scanners, graphic tablets, video cards and projectors

Printers: Cups is the printing server in Linux, so it is in Ubuntu. As it is used by Apple in OS X too, most of consumer and professional documents or pictures printers are supported out of the box. Most of the time, you don't need to download or tweak anything: click "Add a printer", just choose the printer you want to add (usb, network), then the good driver in the list. If your device is not in the list, you may find the PPD files in the driver for Windows or OS X. Take care, some brands/vendors don't support at all Linux nor Cups. For example, Lexmark provide Cups driver for only a few selected laser printers; HP and Epson are generally well supported in Ubuntu. More information available at

Scanners: most of recent hardware should work out of the box, usb or network, even on multifonction printers. If you don't know what to buy, again HP and Epson products are very well integrated in Ubuntu, thanks to the HPlips drivers.

Graphic tablets: most of recent hardware should work well too. There is a dedicated tool in the setup preferences. If you can afford them, Wacom products are very well integrated in Ubuntu.

nVidia and AMD/ATI video cards: depending on what you will do with your workstation, you may choose the consumer range or the professional range of products. Professional range (Quadro, FireGL) is recommended for 3D scenes and animations (Blender). You will have to install the restricted drivers to enable full hardware acceleration. There is a tool for that in the system preferences. The drivers might not work well with the real-time kernel, but should work well with the low latency.

Projectors: they are managed like any external monitor. You can duplicate screens or make a multi-screens setup.


This section is about what you have to do in order to produce audio. It is the biggest part of the tutorial because there is a lot of questions about, a lot to tell about, and a lot of tweaks to do.

Real-Time Support

Real time is not needed for all audio productions. If you are using trackers or sequencer applications like LMMS, Audacity, Hydrogen, etc... and don't make live performance nor don't use any midi controller, you may not need it at all.

Pulse Audio, the default sound server in Ubuntu, is not designed to work at low latency. You can connect Pulse Audio to Jack, which has been designed for this purpose. But applications using Pulse Audio will not use low latency like native Jack applications.

Currently you should need real-time in two cases:

  • When using virtual instruments or samplers, with midi controllers (keyboards, pads...), using them live or in recording sessions. A latency less than 8ms is very well to feel no delay, and to have good feeling when playing.
  • When recording many tracks at a time with applications like Ardour or Traverso, in order to avoid loss of data. It is even more crucial to use real-time if you do the monitoring with your application and not with your hardware (console, etc...).

Configuring the real-time access for "audio" group users and applications

Currently, you will be prompted to setup the needed parameters when installing the jackd package. Don't forget to add your username to the "audio".

sudo usermod -a -G audio username

More information about that at

If for some purpose you need to tweak something, the permissions to enable real time access for "audio" group users are set in the file /etc/security/limits.d/audio.conf. Look for these lines:

# generated by jackd's postinst. <<BR>>
# Do not edit this file by hand, use <<BR>>
# dpkg-reconfigure -p high jack <<BR>>
# instead <<BR>>
@audio - rtprio 99 <<BR>>
@audio - memlock unlimited <<BR>>
#@audio - nice -19 <<BR>>

These value are suggested by

The memlock line determines how much of your memory can be locked by audio processes. Some recommend setting this as half of your total memory (RAM, in KB). The nice setting has been commented out with a purpose, according to one of the main authors of JACK, see: On this page you find useful information if you need to fine tune the real time performance of your workstation for audio production.

Thanks to Scott Lavender for precision about the new file configuration.

Real time (-rt) and Low latency (-lowlatency) kernels

If the default Ubuntu kernel is not good enough for your use, you may want to install the -lowlatency kernel.

sudo apt-get install linux-lowlatency linux-headers-lowlatency

If you still experience Xruns you can try the -rt kernel (see "Unofficial backports" section).

sudo apt-get install linux-realtime linux-headers-realtime

Take care, with some nVidia or AMD/ATI graphic card, the -rt kernel may not work well with the restricted driver.

Some systems running a "pae" kernell may not be able to use those kernells.

Starting with the right Kernel (GRUB 2)

Restart Ubuntu, then check the current kernel.

uname -r

If this the generic kernel, restart Ubuntu pressing the "shift" key: it will force the GRUB Menu to be available. The lowlatency or rt kernel may be in the "older kernel" kernel section of the menu.

Once tested, and it works well, you may need to edit Grub preferences to choose the default boot kernel. Always keep a -generic kernel on your Grub list. If for some reason you can't boot with the -rt or -lowlatency kernel, it will be very useful. More information about how to configure Grub2 at , section "Configuring GRUB 2".

Pulse Audio

Pulse Audio is the default sound server in Ubuntu. If it is a good solution for desktop and multimedia consumer use, it has not been designed for audio production. So you might want to tweak a bit about it.

The default setting of Jack and Pulse Audio is to communicate through Dbus. So when you start jackd, most of the time, PulseAudio will stop and free all available sound card. This way, Jack can connect to a sound card for sure. This a good way to work when you have only one sound card in your PC. But there are a few other ways.

PulseAudio and Jack working together

Thanks to Jack and Pulse Audio packagers, there is now a very easy way to get PulseAudio and Jack working together. First of all, install the package pulseaudio-module-jack

sudo apt-get install pulseaudio-module-jack

If the dbus option is checked in Qjackctl (Jack Control) setup, it should work without any other tweak : as soon you start jackd, a new Jack virtual sound card is created in the Unity sound preferences, and Pulse Audio inputs and outputs are available for Jack.

It means you should see virtual "Jack Sink" outputs and inputs in Audio preferences, and "PulseAudio" Sink (outputs) and Source (inputs) in jack (use Qjackctl or Patchage).

To have sound with PulseAudio applications (Totem, Rhythmbox, Firefox, etc...) and your jackd sound card, just connect PulseAudio JACK Sink to the sound card outputs with Patchage. Then in PulseAudio preferences, choose "Jack Sink" as output. That's it.

PulseAudio and Jack working separately

It is possible to use jack without communicating with Pulse Audio : not use Dbus. In Qjackctl (Jack Control), go to the settings and uncheck the Dbus option. Restart the computer or your session. And then, when you start jackd, Pulse Audio and Jack works separately.

It is very interesting when you have an integrated sound card and a sound card for audio. This way, the system continue to use the default sound card as if nothing changed. And audio application will only see the dedicated sound card using Jack.

Indeed, it is not very usefull if you have only one sound card.

Disabling PulseAudio

The QjackCtl application will automatically suspend PulseAudio but it is also possible to disable PulseAudio all together. The two steps to disable PulseAudio for your session:

  • Create the file ~/.pulse/client.conf with the following terminal command: echo "autospawn = no" > ~/.pulse/client.conf

  • Create a new Startup Application that will kill PulseAudio when your session is started. Open System - Preferences - Startup Applications. Add a new entry by clicking the add button and enter this in the command field: pulseaudio -k

Jack - jackd

Jack is a real-time sound server, aimed for very low latency settings with your sound card. You can use it with the integrated sound card of any computer. However, considering a dedicated sound card designed for low latency would be great for performances (both audio and midi). There are several brands and kind of hardware, with few or many audio and midi I/O, using PCI, PCIe, USB or Firewire. See the hardware section of this tutorial to get more information.

Some applications need Jackd to run, some don't. There are three main cases :

  • If applications are designed for live performance (effects and virtual instruments using midi keyboards or controllers) or studio recording (DAW with software monitoring), you need low latency and so, you need Jackd;
  • If applications are not designed for live performance, but you are using a firewire sound card, or a professional sound card not handled by the standard sound server of Ubuntu, you need Jackd, even with standard latency settings (example : RME HDSP, Echo Audiofire);
  • If applications are not designed for live performance, and you use the integrated sound chipset of your workstation, you won't need low latency; most of the time the standard sound server in Ubuntu can handle the application with great performance ; you can skip this part of the howto.

If you are in one of the first two cases, you will need to use Jackd.

sudo apt-get install qjackctl

Qjackctl is the most used application to setup your sound card for Jackd and launch it. There are a few other applications, one is available in the KXStudio project; this the Backports section of the tutorial.

Before starting any application using Jackd, you must start Jackd !

More information about Jack available at A list of applications using jack is available at

Main applications

Audio producing is not just sound. You may record audio tracks to hard disk, mix them, create a master cd, use a workstation as an effect processing, compose, sample, etc... This section can of course not list all applications. You will find here a selected list about for main uses and the main applications.

Audio recording

The very basic tool to record audio on Linux is Audacity. It is a very useful application and it is available for Windows and Os X too. It will work with any audio source: Pulse Audio, Jack, etc... It can handle multiple track recording. However, it doesn't manage at all the latency, meaning you can't use it as a DAW.

sudo apt-get audacity

More information available at

The main application used on Linux to record audio is Ardour. If you look for an alternative to Pro-Tools, Samplitude, Nuendo, or Logic, this is the application you need. Ardour needs jackd to run.

sudo apt-get install ardour

More information available at

There is a fork of Ardour distributed by the famous vendor Harrison: Mixbus. It cost a bit, is available for Linux, Windows and Os X, and is told to sound great. More information at


Yoshimi is at the moment the best integrated and midi controlled modular synthesizer for Linux. It is a fork of the well renowned ZynAddSubFX.

sudo apt-get install yoshimi

More information available at

A more modular approach to sound synthesis is Alsa Modular Synth, which use a lot of Ladspa plugins. You first load Alsa Modular Synth, and then add modules, connect them, etc...

sudo apt-get install ams

More information available at

Many other synthesizers are available for Linux and Ubuntu. It is not possible to list them all there. Internet is your friend to find them.

Midi sequencing

There are a lot of applications, from the most basic to the more complete. Seq24 is very basic, Rosegarden is an equivalent to Cubase, LMMS is an equivalent to Fruity Loop; Jackbeat is like an old drum machine. All are available in Ubuntu, some are available for Windows or Mac too.

sudo apt-get install rosegarden seq24 lmms jackbeat

This is of course not a complete list. More information available at,, and


PureData is at the moment the only Open Source framework for experimentation , installation, etc... You can find it in many light distribution oriented for production (Puredyne, etc...). However, it is available for Ubuntu if you prefer to do the development on you regular workstation rather than on the dedicated hardware of your project.

sudo apt-get install puredata

More information available at You will find a lot of information, tweaks, tips, templates, etc... on the user's community forums and websites.

Effect plugins and virtual instruments

The main framework for audio plugins in Linux is called Ladspa. There is an update of this framework called LV2 (for Ladspa V2). You can install only one, or both versions of the plugins, depending which version is supported by the applications you are using.

For audio processing, ladspa:

sudo apt-get install blop caps cmt fil-plugins rev-plugins swh-plugins tap-plugins

For audio processing, LV2:

sudo apt-get install invada-studio-plugins-lv2 lv2fil mda-lv2 swh-lv2

For synthesizers, ladspa:

sudo apt-get install blepvco mcp-plugins omins

For synthesizers, LV2:

sudo apt-get so-synth-lv2

The lists may not be complete, because available packages change often.

Some vendors are starting to offer LV2 version of great audio processing effects. One of them is Linux DSP. More information available at .

VST Instruments

For licence purpose (Steinberg licence for VST and VSTi are not fully compliant with GPL, and so are a bit restricted) it is not officialy possible to use VST and VSTi under Ubuntu. Both Linux native and Windows VST may be used in Ubuntu. A good way to use them is Festige, provided by the KXStudio project; you may need Wine project; See "Unofficial backports" section.

sudo apt-get install wine festige

More information available at


Audio playback on Jack

There are few applications able to play audio files using a direct Jack connection:

  • Vlc can use the Jack audio server after installing a plugin. You have then to select Jack as the default audio output.
  • Audacious is the other one. Again, you have to select the default audio output.

sudo apt-get install vlc vlc-plugin-jack audacious

More information available at and

Using them, you can patch their ouput to a firewire sound card without Pulse Audio, or record them in Ardour, etc...

Audio CD extracting

A good audio CD extracting tool is Asunder.

sudo apt-get install asunder

More information available at

Audio conversion

One of the best tool to convert a lot of audio files is Sound Converter

sudo apt-get install soundconverter

More information available at

Video sound track

If you work want to work with Ardour on a video soundtrack, you should use Xjadeo. It can sync with audio applications using Jack audio server.

sudo apt-get install xjadeo

More information available at

Alsa and Jack midi

You may see that Jack midi and Alsa midi are two separate drivers. Alsa manage most of usb sound cards, controllers or keyboard, and midi on pci sound cards. This is why most of application that use midi support Alsa midi. Jack has its own midi, and manage midi from firewire sound cards and a few applications. There is an application that allow to connect Alsa and Jack midi: a2jmidi.

sudo apt-get install a2jmidi

More information available at

You can laod a2jmidi with command line in a terminal, or add it in the Qjackctl preferences, in the commands to launch after jackd is started.

Getting it All Going

First, you will want to launch Jack Control, and configure it for your soundcard. Follow the HowToJACKConfiguration page if you need help.

Next, we recommend you to use Patchage to connect applications within them and with hardware I/O (audio and midi), as you want.

sudo apt-get install patchage

In Patchage, red is for jack midi, green for alsa midi, and blue for jack audio.

LADISH is a good integrated tool for setup, launch, patch, etc... but it is a bit harder to make it work in Ubuntu at the moment.

KXStudio provide a suite of applications, Catia, Claudia, Cadence, etc... More information available at


A fresh Ubuntu may be all you need to produce graphics. Depending on your hardware, you may have to install a restricted driver to manage nVidia or AMD/ATI video cards : 2D and 3D acceleration, multi-screens setup, etc...

Non-free codecs and DVD

Most of the codecs have been installed in the first section of the tutorial. However, you may need to read encrypted DVDs and some specific video files in Ubuntu. Install the Medibuntu repository (see "Unofficial Backports" section) and do:

sudo apt-get install non-free-codecs libdvdcss2

This way, VLC should be able to read or write almost all kind of videos and DVD.

Play and get video

You can use VLC to play and extract part of DVD or other videos to a file. VLC can be used too for Video 4 Linux compliant hardware: most of webcams, cameras, usb and pci hardware should work. To test your hardware, you can use Cheese.

sudo apt-get install cheese vlc

More information available at


Many applications are available to edit video on Linux, but not all are still in development nor packaged for Ubuntu. Here is a short list.

Basic Edition

For Gnome/Unity and other GTK based desktop environments, Pitivi

sudo apt-get install pitivi

More information available at

For KDE, KDEnlive

sudo apt-get install kdenlive

More information available at

Advanced edition

Openshot is the recommended application at the moment to work on video project, if you need complete edition, effects, titles, etc... It is not too hard to learn how to use it and is powerful enough to handle advanced projects.

sudo apt-get install openshot

More information available at

Professional edition

Cinerella is the application aimed to be an equivalent of Finalcut or Premiere (see "Unofficial Backports" section). It is the more complete and professional video editor for Linux.

sudo apt-get install cinelerra

More information available at

DVD authoring

DVD Styler is the application packaged at the moment for that purpose in Ubuntu

sudo apt-get dvdstyler

More information available at

2manDVD is under development and will be very easier to use and more complete. If you are skilled enough, look at

Live Performance

Not much applications are available on Ubuntu for that purpose. Lives is a good one. You can use it for edition too.

sudo apt-get install lives

More information is available at You will find many other projects looking for "linux vjing" with Google. But you will have to install it using make, etc...


A fresh Ubuntu may be all you need to produce graphics. Depending on your hardware, you may have to install a restricted driver to manage nVidia or AMD/ATI video cards : 2D and 3D acceleration, multi-screens setup, etc...

2D: documents, pictures and animation


An application is already available, and users often don't think about it at all : Libre-Office Draw. It is aimed to be an equivalent of Publisher, but less powerful. Don't forget to try it, it may feet simple needs.

The only Linux native application for documents production (professional printing) you may need is Scribus, wich is aimed to be an equivalent of Xpress.

sudo apt-get install scribus

More information available at

If you still miss some professional applications from the Windows world, you may install Wine.

sudo apt-get install wine

You can find more information at


Some good applications are already installed in standard Ubuntu : Shotwell and Simple Scan.

For pictures and photo management, Ubuntu comes with Shotwell: you can use tags, events, edit EXIF information, and manage versions. You can make direct import from cameras with just a usb cable or a memory card. And you can publish your pictures directly to most of social networks.

The easy way to scan a document or a picture is to use Simple Scan. It should work with most of recent hardware, even on through a network.

To create or to work on pictures in Ubuntu, the two must have tools are Gimp and Inkscape. Both are used by professionals, are available on Windows and OS X too, can read and export to and from other applications, and comes with good plugins. Gimp is the application for pictures and photos edition. Inkscape is the application for illustration.

sudo apt-get install gimp gimp-data-extras gimp-lensfun gimp-texturize create-resources inkscape ink-generator

You may find other plugins browsing the Software library of Ubuntu. A lot of stuff are available on the web: tips, tutorials, user forums, plugins... Please notice that at the moment Gimp and Inkscape are not very good at managing cmyk colors.

If you need to work on RAW pictures before converting them to jpeg or png files, the application you need is Darktable. it is aimed to be a clone of Lightroom.

sudo apt-get install darktable

More information available at

If you still miss some professional applications from the Windows world, you may install Wine.

sudo apt-get install wine

You can find more information at

2D Animation

The application aimed to be an altenative to Flash is Synfig. It is not available in a repository, but you can download it directly for Ubuntu on their website. More information available at

3D animation

To create and work on 3D scenes and animations in Ubuntu, the must have is Blender. It is available too for Windows and OS X.

sudo apt-get install blender create-resources

You can find more information at

Color management

Ubuntu comes now with color management, included in system setings. Like on OS X or Windows, you just have to provide the good files. Very easy, no ??

Think that at the moment, not a lot of application can manage colors in Linux and so in Ubuntu. Scribus, Cups (printing server), Simple Scan, Evince and some native Gnome applications support or will soon support the new gtk color management system. But Gimp or Inkscape are still not able to export in cmyk, for example.

To get some icc profils, many ways:

  • Some vendors provide icc profiles for their screens and printers (EG: Lenovo for the screens of Thinkpad laptop range);
  • You can use the Color Manager to calibrate screen, printer and scanner;
  • You can get standard icc profile from Adobe, ECI, etc...
  • A professional printing company may provide the icc profile you should use to generate cmyk documents and pictures you will order them.


Since a couples of Ubuntu releases, it has never be so easy to add new fonts on any system. Once in your Home directory, just double-click on the font file, wait a second, and it will be available for all applications. You should prefer .otf, or .ttf files, when possible.

If you need to create, edit or convert fonts, install Font Forge

sudo apt-get install fontforge fontforge-extras

you can find more information at


There is a easy way to generate a rgb PDF file from any application (document, graphic, picture...) in Ubuntu : adding one or many PDF printers.

sudo apt-get install cups-pdf

It will install a new printer called "PDF", using a generic Postscript configuration.

At the moment it is not possible to generate cmyk PDF this way. Maybe soon.


  • You can add tips and tweaks once you are sure it works. However, this is not a place to write advanced information. Just add the tweaks, explain the basics and add a link for more/complete information.
  • Don't hesitate to come on #ubuntustudio on freenode's irc if you have any question, or you want to help. You can write to the UbuntuStudio devel mailing list too.

  • If you want to add tips for an application, this is not the right place. Please create a new page or fill the page dedicated to this software in the UbuntuStudio pages of the wiki. You can then add a link on this page.

  • All the brands, vendors etc... are on this howto as examples or illustrations. It may also save some time to users instead of having to look for information on forums, etc.

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FireWire/oldPages/Firewire02 (last edited 2012-11-04 11:03:25 by dooitze)