Revision 1498, 10.1 kB (checked in by ppalmers, 15 years ago)

Merge all changes from 2.0 branch into trunk (since r1361). This _should_ contain all forward merges done in the mean time. At this moment in time both branches should be in sync.

  • Property svn:eol-style set to native
  • Property svn:keywords set to Author Date Id Revision
1 FFADO v2.x
2 ==========
4 The FFADO project aims to provide a free driver implemenation for FireWire
5 (IEEE1394, iLink) based (semi-) professional audio interfaces. The focus of
6 the project are on audio/music production rather than consumer audio. This
7 means that, although we intend to supported all features at some point,
8 consumer features are considered less important. The most obvious example of
9 a consumer feature is AC3/DTS passthrough support, which is unsupported at
10 the moment.
12 This package provides the libffado shared library that provides a unified
13 programming interface to configure and use all supported devices. Currently
14 this library is used by the 'firewire' backends of the jack audio connection
15 kit sound server ( This backend provides audio and midi support,
16 and is available both in jackd and it's multiprocessor variant jackdmp.
17 (note: At the moment there is no support for ALSA nor for pulseaudio.)
19 Access to the device internal configuration (e,g, internal mixer) is exposed
20 using the ffado-dbus-server daemon. This daemon exposes the configurable
21 parameters of all detected devices through DBUS. The ffadomixer application in
22 support/mixer presents a GUI to control these parameters (only for officially
23 supported devices).
25 Features
26 --------
27 * 24-bit audio input/output (unlimited number of channels)
28 * supports for all samplerates a device supports
29 * MIDI input/output (unlimited number of channels)
30 * Support for S/PDIF and ADAT/SMUX I/O
31 * Internal mixer and device control support for all officially supported
32   devices (NOTE: no support for internal DSP)
33 * Support for device aggregation (limited to devices on the same bus)
35 Device Support
36 --------------
38 The devices officially supported are:
39 * ESI Quatafire 610
40 * Terratec Producer Phase 88
41 * Focusrite Saffire (original/white)
42 * Focusrite Saffire PRO10
43 * Focusrite Saffire PRO26
44 * ECHO AudioFire2, AudioFire4, AudioFire8, AudioFire12
45 * Mackie Onyx Mixer FireWire expansion
47 The 'officially supported' label is only given to devices that fullfil the
48 following:
49 * at least one of the developers has the device
50 * the vendor provides development support (access to information)
51 * the device works
53 Through reverse-engineering the following devices will also work:
54 * MOTU traveller
55 * MOTU 828mkII
56 Note: the support for these devices is based on a significant reverse
57 engineering effort. This means that the developers had no support from the
58 device vendor, and this of course limits the extent to which problems can
59 be solved. You have been warned. Please do not buy devices for which support
60 is based upon reverse engineering, nor from vendors that are Linux-hostile
61 (e.g. MOTU). Value the support that some vendors provide and buy their
62 stuff. Check for details. It can't be said enough: currently it is
63 extremely unwise to buy a MOTU device if you intend to use Linux.
65 The driver is written to provide generic support for all devices it might be
66 able to handle. This means that most devices based on the BridgeCo BeBoB or
67 the ECHO FireWorks platform will work, at least to a certain extent.
69 Devices that have been reported to (partially) work with the generic support:
70 * Presonus FireBox
71 * Presonus FirePod / FP10
72 * Alesis io14
73 * TC Konnekt 8, Konnekt 24D, Konnekt Live
75 Usupported devices:
76 * Presonus FireStation
77 * Presonus FireStudio (all variants)
78 * Other TC Konnekt devices
79 * Other Alesis devices
80 * Metric Halo devices
81 * RME Firewire devices
83 We constantly try to persuade vendors to help us extend our device support.
85 Dependencies
86 ------------
88 To build libffado you need several libraries. For all libraries a
89 version is provided which is a 'known good' version.  The first few
90 libraries it seems it is not necessary that the version must
91 match. The chances that it works also with an older versions are good:
93 libxml++2   (>= 2.6.13)
95 These libraries here should be at least the version listed:
97 libraw1394  (>= 1.3.0),
98 libiec61883 (>= 1.1.0),
99 dbus-1      (>= 1.0),
101 Currently only the jackd audio server is supported.
103 jackd (>= 0.109.12),
104 [NOTE: at the time of writing, this is the development (SVN) version.]
106 Optionally, but recommended is that you install qjackctl:
108 qjackctl (>=,
110 To build the optional ffado device mixer control utility you also require:
112 Qt          (>= 4.0),
113 SIP         (>= 4.7.0),
114 PyQt        (note below),
115 dbus-python (>= 0.82.0),
117 The mixer applets are available for both QT3 and QT4. However, the QT3 versions
118 are no longer actively developed. The build script will automatically fallback
119 to the QT3 version if you don't have QT4 installed.
121 The version of PyQt must be chosen to exactly match the version of Qt in use.
122 For Qt 4.x use PyQt 4.x.
124 SIP is only required to compile PyQt.  If using a binary package of PyQt
125 SIP should not be needed.
127 How to build
128 ------------
130 If you want to build the release version you can simply do following:
132 $ scons
133 $ scons install
135 If you want some debug information (because something seems not
136 to work correctly) you can try to do following:
138 $ scons DEBUG=yes
139 $ scons install
141 More extended instructions can be found here:
144 NOTE: In order to build jackd with ffado support, you have
145 to install libffado before you build jackd. The backend to use in jackd is
146 firewire.
148 NOTE: the beta versions are distributed with debugging enabled by default.
150 DISTRIBUTION PACKAGERS NOTE: Please do not enable support for devices
151 if it is not on by default. If device support for a specific device
152 is not turned on by default by the developers, it means that it is not
153 ready yet. Most of the time it is placeholder code for future devices.
155 Running jackd
156 -------------
158 The easiest way to run this is using qjackctl. There are only minor
159 differences with the other backends, however you should change some
160 of the default values:
161 - It is recommended to change the 'periods/buffer' field to 3, especially
162   if you use low period sizes (=< 128)
163 - It is recommended to raise the RT priority to 70.
165 In order to get it running from the command line, you need to provide some
166 arguments to jackd.
168 Run
170 $ jackd -d firewire --help
172 to see the backend options. You can easily figure out how to set them using
173 the remarks given above (for qjackctl).
175 For the other aspects of jackd usage, consult the jackd documentation.
177 Here is a sample session (without realtime support enabled):
179     $ jackd -d firewire
180     no message buffer overruns
181     jackd 0.111.0
182     Copyright 2001-2005 Paul Davis and others.
183     jackd comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY
184     This is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute it
185     under certain conditions; see the file COPYING for details
187     JACK compiled with System V SHM support.
188     loading driver ..
189     3106528665:  (ffado.cpp)[  99] ffado_streaming_init: libffado 1.999.20 built Apr 26 2008 20:26:32
190     libiec61883 warning: Established connection on channel 0.
191     You may need to manually set the channel on the receiving node.
192     libiec61883 warning: Established connection on channel 1.
193     You may need to manually set the channel on the transmitting node.
195 (Note: you can safely ignore the libiec61883 warnings, they are normal.)
197 An important remark is that for good performance, one should always run jack
198 with the -R flag to enable realtime scheduling for critical threads:
199     $ jackd -R -d firewire
201 In case of problems
202 -------------------
204 First of all, check whether your problem is in fact a problem, and
205 whether it is a FFADO problem. The magic tool for this is google.
207 User support is a rather annoying occupation, especially since it sucks
208 time from developers that are not paid for developing, let alone for doing
209 user support. Please make sure that you have checked the following places:
213       (the terms "ffado-devel" "ffado-user" or "freebob-user" work great)
214 Some might consider this a bit arrogant or "newbie-unfriendly", but personally
215 I (Pieter Palmers) consider this a matter of politeness towards the developers.
217 If you have tried to find a solution to your problem, but you couldn't find
218 one or are confused, don't hesitate to ask for help. The preferred way is by
219 signing up to the mailing list as described on
221 Writing a bug report
222 --------------------
224 Note that the more effort you put in your bug report, the more effort we
225 will put into helping you.
227 Make sure you have compiled a DEBUG=yes version of
228 libffado. If not there is no way we can trace the problem.
230 When reporting a problem, please run jackd with the --verbose option,
231 and add the -v6 option to the firewire backend:
232     $ jackd --verbose [...] -d firewire -v6 [...]
234     ( [...] = other options )
236 This will generate an increadible amount of debug output that should
237 contain what we need to track down the problem. If you have troubles
238 saving the output, try redirecting it to a file:
240     $ jackd --verbose -d firewire -v6 2> ffado-jack.log
242 this will create a ffado.log file containing the output. Use CTRL-C
243 to exit jack if necessary.
245 The distribution contains a tool to gather some information about your
246 system. you can run it as follows:
248     $ cd support/tools
249     $ python > ffado-diag.log
251 It will check your system for basic problems and gather some information
252 regarding your hardware configuration. This will allow us to diagnose
253 your problem faster.
255 Once the logs have been created you can create a support ticket at
258 Be sure to include the following information:
259 * the log file(s) (zipped/tar.gz'ed and attached)
260 * the device you're trying to use
261 * a description of what went wrong and how to reproduce it. You
262   preferrably try to figure out a sequence of steps that can reliably
263   reproduce the issue on your system. A one-time failure is very difficult
264   to diagnose and/or fix.
265 * the distribution and its version
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