Choosing a Linux Distro for Audio Production on an x380 Yoga


So I got a used x380 Yoga (i7-8550U and 16GB RAM) and I'm planning to use it for electronic music production. I like the touch screen for working with the piano roll, though I'll probably also connect an external monitor.

I'm probably going to install either Ubuntu Studio or Mint with the Ubuntu Studio Controls package. Either one of these will serve my purposes.

But can a 5-year-old laptop run Ubuntu Studio and a DAW? I will plug in a USB audio interface, so that will take some of the load off the processor. And 16GB of RAM should be enough (that's the max RAM on these machines, and it's soldered anyway). But I've heard that Ubuntu is more resource intensive than Mint.

What about Fedora Jam? Would a 5-year-old laptop run that better than Ubuntu Studio?

Are there any drawbacks to just using Mint with the Ubuntu Studio controls?

Does anybody have experience using an x380 yoga for audio production?

Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Shiver1976 avatar

Zorin OS Pro might be a good one here. At least you would have a tested suite.
Create with the same apps the pros use. Zorin OS Pro includes an advanced video editor, Photoshop-compatible image editor, illustration software, audio workstation, animation software, and the same 3D graphics & effects software used by Hollywood studios, just to name a few. With tools this powerful, your imagination is the only limit.

sentient_loom, (edited )

I'll look it up, thanks.

Zorin pro actually looks interesting. I wonder if they do the kind of system configurations that musnix and ubuntu studio do.


I wouldn't reccommend Nix if you're not a dev, but the settings listed in the options sections of this repo should be applicable on most distros.

sentient_loom, (edited )

I am a web dev, does that count? I haven't done much scripting as part of running an os. What kind of situations in nix require a dev's touch?

Either way Im looking it up. Sounds interesting.

Okay, I see now. NixOS is the OS but this software is a git repo that wouldn't make much sense to non-devs.


What sort of tools are you going to use? I make ambient synth music and will often record and edit in Audacity. I use all analog hardware though, so it's different if you're using software. Only music focused distro I've ever heard of is the gentoo one, but I know there's gotta be others.

sentient_loom, (edited )

I never heard of gentoo studio. Im looking into it now and it looks like a decent possible alternative.

I want to run a DAW like Reaper, with multiple midi tracks playing through vst instruments. I had no problem doing that on windows 7 with my 4th gen i7 processor and 16GB of RAM, so my 8th gen processor should be able to handle it. But it's a "power saving" processor that actually benchmarks very close to my old 4th gen, so I do want to keep the OS and desktop environment light.

I see gentoo studio isnt listed on distrowatch, but you can get it theough his site.


I learned about gentoo studio through the gentoo wiki. For music production where I use software I typically boot into my separate windows ssd, just because I've had so many head aches when trying to work with linux software and hardware that isn't fully supported. I'd love to do everything in linux, but some daws just don't work. Especially when I've got so much stuff set up already in mpc or guitar rig.


Yeah I had to abandon some of my favorite VSTs when I moved to Linux. I should just get a new PC with windows... But not this year.


Easiest solution for windows with one pc, in my opinion, is get an external ssd and do windowstousb. I use that, and it works like it's native. Set me back about 100$ for a 1tb ssd. I've played games on it, made music, and other things. Works really well, so I'd suggest that before making a whole separate pc for windows alone.

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