Will OpenSuse 11.2 do all these audio things?

Hello everybody,

I’ve had Ubuntu on my laptop since more than one year, but never used it for anything special.

Now I have got a “special” need: **I want to use my laptop as an high-quality stereo audio source **(think about it as a Super-iPod or something like that), connected via FireWire to and external audio board that will convert the digital signal and send the analog signal to a Hi-Fi amplifier and keeping the audio files on an external HDD (connected via USB 2.0)

Now I’ve just changed my laptop’s internal HDD and before installing any OS again I would like to know if OpenSUSE 11.2, that I’d like to try, will be able to do that.

I’d like to know if it has got some problems with the things I want to do, If it has the apps I need, if it can support the drivers I will use and so on.

For this “special” task, I’ve used only WindowsXP up to now. Ubuntu only for “the rest”.

I’ll try to be as clear as possible. I need:

  1. Some program/application that will copy my CDs just as they are, without compressing them, copying and saving the audio tracks bit-by-bit.
    Just like Windows does with WAV files and Mac does with AIFF files.

Not Mp3 or FLAC, but just a perfect copy of what’s written in the CD.
Is it possible? Has Linux got such a kind of format?

I’m talking about 16bit/44.1KHz tracks.

(In Windows I’ve used the program EAC to do this)

  1. Some program/application that will extract the stereo audio tracks from my DVDs, always bit-by-bit without compression.

We’re going from 16bit/48KHz to 24bit/96KHz tracks.

  1. Some program/application that will extract the whole DVD (always without compression)
    (In fact the best would be extracting only the movie with the stereo track.)

4)Some media player with a kind of library (like iTunes) that will put the files into its library and classify and show me all these files by author, composer, track title, album title etc and play all these files saved on the ext HDD

  1. Real-Time (A.K.A. low-latency) Kernel. Does OpenSUSE, like Ubuntu, offer this option?

  2. Last but (absolutely!) not least, I’d like to know if the following package will work on OpenSUSE:
    FFADO 2.0.0 Released! | ffado.org

It’s a *.gz package, it contains the drivers of my external FireWire Audio Board. Do you think this kind of package will give me any problems?

Thank you very much for your attention!


I can help you with item 1

If you are happy with EAC you can run it successfully under WINE I use it, in addition I also run Foobar2000 and MP3Tag, also windows programs under WINE

  1. You could try HandBrake (tweak the settings accordingly), which supports ripping from a DVD disc and can export to an M4V/MP4 or MKV file; you can get it either by searching the YaST Software Management utility (depending on what repositories you have), or failing that download it from the official website.

  2. There are two options I know of: Amarok (should be installed by default on a fresh openSUSE installation) and Songbird (cross-platform, available here).

Also you know that with FLAC it does produce a perfect copy of the audio, but it gets compressed without quality loss to save disk space? Just thought I’d check, that’s all, in case you thought otherwise.

Hope this helps.



  1. Audex (or any ripper using cdparanoia) should do it. Audex as only one example can save the tracks in uncompressed wav or uncompressed flac.

  2. Not sure, but I think K9copy or handbrake can do this.

  3. See 2, although in this case I know it can be done. You need libdvdcss installed though (available in the Videolan repo, make sure to disable the repo after libdvdcss has been installed though). In some cases, the copy-protection can be a problem though.

  4. Amarok can do this, and I think Banshee and Rhytmbox can too if you prefer Gnome-based apps.

  5. There’s a RT-kernel to be found here Index of /repositories/Kernel:/HEAD/openSUSE_11.2

Note: I haven’t tried it.

I think one can do a bit-by-bit copy for audio CDs, but I’ve never done this for a long time (last time was SuSE-9.x ) so I don’t know the current 11.2 functionality.

As for “Just like Windows does with WAV files and Mac does with AIFF files”, a number of us (like myself) have not used Windows for over a decade, and have never used a Mac, so we have no idea as to those PC’s capabilities. Hence the sort of question “does Linux do like another OS application” assumes someone knows the other OS and knows the application in the other OS, and many of us simply do not know that app (nor OS).

bit by bit copy track by track ? I know some applications will extract an audio track to a massive .wav file, but this is absolutely hudge, and IMHO makes no sense to keep in that format.

For example packman packagers package devidify: PackMan :: Package details for devidify with their home page here: mahna mahna

There are some that will take the entire DVD and copy it to one’s hard drive, with no compression, as a video_ts directory.

iTunes? Whats that? … Still, Amarok and Songbird provide some neat categorization capabilities. If you have a PC with LOTS of RAM (say 4GB) you could boot to a liveCD, and install amarok and/or songbird in RAM, and then play around with those apps and you could test these apps, and use that test to help you formulate your decision.

I would say for audio stuff you’re better served with Ubuntu: less codecs conflitcs, more programs available and a slightly more reasonnable pulse approach.

Hello Jon, very helpful, thank you, but I disagree on this point: a friend of mine made some double convertions and the double-converted files result different from the original :cry: (now I’m looking for the results to post).

I don’t know if these differences are audible (in fact that’s unlikely), but since there are differences, and I do not want just to store, but also to back-up my CDs, and since HDD are cheap enough, I prefer the “bit-by-bit” option. :slight_smile:



Possibly for Linux beginners Ubuntu may have made some decisions for users to make it easier … but codecs are EASY to install in openSUSE as long as one sets up 4 repositories and ONLY 4 repositories: OSS, Non-OSS, Update (which are all default) and Packman. Just those 4. No others. None. Others can cause problems. So ONLY those 4. Then install via zypper or via YaST > Software > Software Mangement, and stay away from the uncontrolled one click install stuff. Our how to section has good guidance: Multi-media and Restricted Format Installation Guide - openSUSE Forums … but many new users decide they “know better” and ignore that advice, they run into trouble, and then rant against openSUSE.

As for programs available, my view is the Packman packagers are very good in providing applications, and Ubuntu has no edge there.

As for pulse audio, the horror stories I read on the Dell support mailing list for Linux, with complaints from Ubuntu users, says otherwise, at least it says that for Gnome. If one installs KDE, pulse audio is disabled by default, so there are NO pulse conflicts.

Gentlemen, you have been so quick and complete! :open_mouth:

I apologize for having referred to Mac or Microsoft softwares, it was just to make examples that may have been “common experience”.

I hope you may accept my “collective” Thank you all very much!

Points 1 to 5 are solved. Now I have few last doubts:

  • What about question 6?

It’s essential!


Do any of these apps run in OpenSUSE and Ubuntu indifferently?

What about the repositories then?

How does this “thing” GNOME/KDE work? Sorry I am a complete newbie on this!

Thanks a lot


According to webpin, someone packaged this for openSUSE-11.1: Webpin search for fdao on openSUSE-11.1

However I get no webpin hits on a package for openSUSE-11.2. Still, I note this OBS repository by some private user:


where there are some rpms for 64-bit (also 32-bit) openSUSE-11.2:

  • ffado-2.0.rc2-12.1.x86_64.rpm
  • ffado-devel-2.0.rc2-12.1.x86_64.rpm
  • ffado-mixer-2.0.rc2-12.1.x86_64.rpm
  • jack-ffado-0.118.0-2.1.x86_64.rpm
    but whether that means they will work - I do not know. Whether it is IMPOSSIBLE to configure (or easy to configure) - I do not know. Whether that is the same package as what you are considering - I do not know.

One can also get the same results (for 11.2) by searching for ffado here:

Webpin search engine is a superb resource for searching for packages.

Another good search engine is : Software.openSUSE.org

Some reading you should do before installing openSUSE:

These are different desktop/window-managers for Linux. Selecting KDE or Gnome is a highly charged emotional issue, and we have a number of users on our forum who when it comes to a desktop choice take pleasure in carting an axe and grinding the axe at the earliest opportunity that they have to try and influence new users … especially as to what they use, while at the same time ranting and complaining at the other desktop.

A sad part about Linux is our users are often their own worst enemy as many users take realish in tearing appart the hard working efforts of the volunteers, as opposed to politely and constructively contributing and providing positive suggestions.

Please do note there are MANY other than just those two desktops, but GNOME and KDE are the most popular. They are also the “most” heavy in terms of performance impact.

You should read that concepts page I quoted: Concepts - openSUSE

Reference Linux in general, don’t set your expectations too high initially. Often one’s MS-Windows or MacIntosh computer experience is mostly useless with Linux, and one has to learn all over. Also, many Unix engineers struggle when going to Linux because things ARE different in Linux.

Try out the live CDs for gnome and KDE: Live CD - openSUSE

Note a live CD is a CD that you boot to, it installs NOTHING on your PC (unless you tell it to install) and it lets you play with a desktop to see if you like that desktop. So try out different liveCDs.

There are liveCDs linked there for openSUSE-11.1 KDE3, KDE4, Gnome, LXDE.

There are liveCDs linked there for openSUSE-11.2 KDE4, Gnome, Enlightenment.

If one is installing from the DVD, one also can choose XFCE desktop.

Well, it should work. I have no firewire equipment so I can’t check. Anyway, you have two options to get it:

  1. Compile it yourself. Since you admit to being a newbie, that’s probably not an option.
  2. Add this repo (currently version 2.0 rc2):
    Index of /repositories/home:/phoe/openSUSE_11.2

But be careful. You always should be (regardless of distro) in what repos to enable. Things can go wrong if/when packages conflict.

They’re all available in the standard repos, so as long as you have the necessary codecs they should work with whatever you throw at them (packman is your friend here). As long as Ubuntu uses the same versions as OpenSUSE, they work the same (assuming neither distro has changed either program in some way).

From an end-user perspective, it’s essentially a matter of how you want your desktop and programs to look and behave. Programs written for KDE (like Amarok) works in Gnome. Likewise, programs written for Gnome (like Banshee) works in KDE. They may look slightly different but work. As a comparison, think of a standard Windows-look compared to a “pimped” one. They can look completely different but the same programs run.

That’s a huge oversimplification but unless you’re a developer you can just choose whichever suits you best. I prefer the KDE-look and feel, but I use some programs intended for Gnome.

Standard-Ubuntu uses Gnome, so that’s probably what you’re using now. The OpenSUSE DVD defaults to KDE, but can easily be changed during install.


That’s right. I could add that even if you install Gnome, you can uncheck pulseaudio in OpenSUSE setup. However just the title “Multi-media and Restricted Format Installation” already suggests that it could be easier without those restrictions. I think that each Linux distro and each Unix OS has some advantages and some inconvenients over the others. That must be a reason why I prefer openSUSE on fileservers, openBSD on firewalls and Ubuntu for whatever involving sound.

If I correctly understand the question ‘Will OpenSuse 11.2 do all these audio things ?’ from an Ubuntu user, I would answer ‘certainly but not better than Ubuntu’. If he had looked for the better OS to set up a LVM or even a network printer, I would have recommended openSUSE.

@ please_try_again, clearly I do not agree with your Ubuntu views re:audio. I’ve read many posts of users of Dell PCs with Ubuntu who likely would also disagree. openSUSE is IMHO no worse than Ubuntu for audio, and I would argue for audio openSUSE is better.

Another openSUSE example: for difficult to configure audio cases, openSUSE (via Novell/SuSE-GmbH) has two alsa developers working full time who are good at helping when there are audio problems (if a bug report is raised), … I do not believe Ubuntu has any alsa developers funded by Canonical.

These alsa developers (who work for Novell/SuSE-GmbH) are also very good at passing their audio fixes upstream to benefit all Linux users, … Ubuntu on the otherhand has a rather poor reputation for passing fixes upstream after they apply a Ubuntu fix. Instead they will sometimes forward the fix to Debian, where it may languish and never make it upstream, or only make it upstream after much delay. Hence Ubuntu audio fixes stay with Ubuntu (for a long time). OpenSUSE audio fixes benefit other Linux distribution users quicker.

As a free open source user, which I am, THAT is very important to me.

@ Edoardo_P, this is an openSUSE forum. Its NOT a Ubuntu forum. If you want Ubuntu views, I recommend you go to a Ubuntu forum and listen to what their users believe.

Ubuntu also have liveCDs and you can download those and play IF you wish to compare liveCD vs liveCD, as opposed to openSUSE liveCD vs a Ubuntu install.

Dear oldcpu,

I apologize: it was not in my intention to infringe this forums’ netiquette.

I have spoken about other OSs and other ditros only to let you elder forumers know more about my past experiences, just because I thought that it may have helped you in answering to my doubts.

I’ve come here with good intentions, looking for a better OS from the Hi-Fi listener point of view, after having read many and many posts regarding audio “deficits” by many unsatisfied audio-Ubuntu users, that has risen in me some doubts… Though I must say I have loved that OS for many, many other things.

By the way thank you all for you help! :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Now I am realyy looking forward to install OpenSUSE and try it!