Ubuntu Studio Controls

This section is for the version of Ubuntu Studio Controls included with Ubuntu Studio 18.10 (or Ubuntu Studio 18.04 with backports) and higher.

Ubuntu Studio Controls is the easiest and best way to configure your Ubuntu Studio installation for real-time audio. Ubuntu Studio Controls has several key features that make it unique:

  • Adjusts the CPU Governor for higher processing power as required
  • Adds the user to the Audio group for real-time permissions if needed
  • Gives control over the JACK Audio Connection Kit
  • Bridges ALSA MIDI and PulseAudio to JACK if needed

  • Adds USB Devices to JACK when they are plugged in

  • Allows multiple audio devices to use JACK at once

  • Persists your configuration between reboots

Obtaining Ubuntu Studio Controls

Ubuntu Studio Controls is installed in Ubuntu Studio by default. However, the version covered in this page is only part of Ubuntu Studio 18.10 and higher, or 18.04 with the backports PPA.

To obtain this newer version, including versions with bug fixes for 18.10 and higher, add the Ubuntu Studio Backports PPA.

If you are running a different official flavor of Ubuntu than Ubuntu Studio, Ubuntu Studio Controls installs with the Ubuntu Studio Installer.

If not already installed, open a terminal and type:
 sudo apt install ubuntustudio-controls 

Ubuntu Studio Controls can be found in the Audio Production menu.


Top of Window

At the top of the window, you will see a button to enable Real Time Permissions for audio. If this button is available, click it, and follow the instructions to log-out and log back in.

System Tweaks Tab


In the System Tweaks tab, you will see the options for changing your CPU Governor and turning Intel Boost on and off. If you are doing low latency audio work, the CPU Governor should be set to Performance and the Intel Boost should be off. Otherwise, adjust as desired.

Audio Setup

This is where the configuration for the JACK Audio Connection Kit (Jack) is done.


  • Jack Master Device (no USB): This is for selecting which internal audio device should be the master device.

  • USB device that should be Master: If so desired, this enables you to configure JACK to treat a connected external USB audio device, such as a USB audio interface, to be treated as if it were the internal master audio device, overriding the setting set above.

  • Jack Sample Rate: Set this to the desired sample rate for your master audio device. If you are unsure as to what this setting should be, set it to 44100 or 48000.

  • Jack Buffer Size (Latency): Set this to the desired buffer for Jack. The higher the buffer, the higher the latency. Finding the best buffer with the lowest latency to prevent Xruns is a matter of to trial-and-error. In most cases, if using the PulseAudio-Jack bridge (described below), a higher buffer is required.

  • Jack Periods: This option sets how many times Jack buffers in a given sample. For USB audio devices, set this to 3. Click Here for a detailed explanation.

  • Connect Other Internal Audio Interfaces: If you have more than one internal audio device, this will allow you to add or remove those audio devices from being recognized by Jack.

  • Default PulseAudio Output Device: If using the PulseAudio-Jack bridge (described below), this options allows you to configure which device receives PulseAudio output.

  • Ports to use on Default PulseAudio Output: This specifies which outputs PulseAudio connects to on the device chosen in the option above.

  • Auto Start Jack at Session Start This checkbox, if selected, starts Jack at system start with the options selected above.

  • Bridge ALSA to Jack MIDI (turn on a2jmidid) This allows Jack to use external MIDI devices.

  • Bridge PulseAudio to Jack (allows desktop audio to keep working) PulseAudio is the system through which system audio in Ubuntu is processed by default. Unless applications are "Jack-Aware", they will use PulseAudio by default. If you wish to use sound from these applications, make sure this is checked.

  • Bridge USB Devices to Jack When Plugged In This allows USB devices to be "hotpugged" and immediately recognized while Jack is running.

The buttons at the bottom of this tab allow you to Start or Restart Jack, Stop Jack (return system audio to default settings), or Apply Audio Settings without restating Jack, if possible.

Keep in mind that any settings set in Ubuntu Studio Controls persist between reboots.

PLEASE NOTE: Ubuntu Studio Controls does not show Jack's current state. If you're in doubt as to Jack's state, simply set the desired setting and click "Start or Restart Jack" or "Stop Jack" as desired.


UbuntuStudio/UbuntuStudioControls (last edited 2019-03-24 16:35:33 by eeickmeyer)