Revision 2041, 10.1 kB (checked in by jwoithe, 9 years ago)

README: move RME devices to the new 'work in progress' classification, since they aren't really 'unsupported' anymore.

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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 Traveler
55 * MOTU 828mkII, MOTU Ultralite, MOTU 896HD, MOTU 8pre
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 for which work is in progress:
70 * RME Firewire devices
72 Devices that have been reported to (partially) work with the generic support:
73 * Presonus FireBox
74 * Presonus FirePod / FP10
75 * Alesis io14
76 * TC Konnekt 8, Konnekt 24D, Konnekt Live
78 Usupported devices:
79 * Presonus FireStation
80 * Presonus FireStudio (all variants)
81 * Other TC Konnekt devices
82 * Other Alesis devices
83 * Metric Halo devices
85 We constantly try to persuade vendors to help us extend our device support.
87 Dependencies
88 ------------
90 To build libffado you need several libraries. For all libraries a
91 version is provided which is a 'known good' version.  The first few
92 libraries it seems it is not necessary that the version must
93 match. The chances that it works also with an older versions are good:
95 libxml++2   (>= 2.6.13)
97 These libraries here should be at least the version listed:
99 libraw1394  (>= 2.0.7),
100 libiec61883 (>= 1.1.0),
101 dbus-1      (>= 1.0),
102 dbus-c++    (>= 0),
103 libconfig   (>= 0),
104 Currently only the jackd audio server is supported.
106 jackd (>= 0.109.12),
107 [NOTE: at the time of writing, this is the development (SVN) version.]
109 Optionally, but recommended is that you install qjackctl:
111 qjackctl (>=,
113 To build the optional ffado device mixer control utility you also require:
115 Qt  >= 4.0,  
116 SIP >= 4.7.0,
117 PyQt (note below),
118 dbus-python >= 0.82.0,
120 The version of PyQt must be chosen to exactly match the version of Qt in use.
121 For Qt 4.x use PyQt 4.x.
123 SIP is only required to compile PyQt.  If using a binary package of PyQt
124 SIP should not be needed.
126 How to build
127 ------------
129 If you want to build the release version you can simply do following:
131 $ scons
132 $ scons install
134 If you want some debug information (because something seems not
135 to work correctly) you can try to do following:
137 $ scons DEBUG=yes
138 $ scons install
140 More extended instructions can be found here:
143 NOTE: In order to build jackd with ffado support, you have
144 to install libffado before you build jackd. The backend to use in jackd is
145 firewire.
147 NOTE: the beta versions are distributed with debugging enabled by default.
149 DISTRIBUTION PACKAGERS NOTE: Please do not enable support for devices
150 if it is not on by default. If device support for a specific device
151 is not turned on by default by the developers, it means that it is not
152 ready yet. Most of the time it is placeholder code for future devices.
154 Running jackd
155 -------------
157 The easiest way to run this is using qjackctl. There are only minor
158 differences with the other backends, however you should change some
159 of the default values:
160 - It is recommended to change the 'periods/buffer' field to 3, especially
161   if you use low period sizes (=< 128)
162 - It is recommended to raise the RT priority to 70.
164 In order to get it running from the command line, you need to provide some
165 arguments to jackd.
167 Run
169 $ jackd -d firewire --help
171 to see the backend options. You can easily figure out how to set them using
172 the remarks given above (for qjackctl).
174 For the other aspects of jackd usage, consult the jackd documentation.
176 Here is a sample session (without realtime support enabled):
178     $ jackd -d firewire
179     no message buffer overruns
180     jackd 0.111.0
181     Copyright 2001-2005 Paul Davis and others.
182     jackd comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY
183     This is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute it
184     under certain conditions; see the file COPYING for details
186     JACK compiled with System V SHM support.
187     loading driver ..
188     3106528665:  (ffado.cpp)[  99] ffado_streaming_init: libffado 1.999.20 built Apr 26 2008 20:26:32
189     libiec61883 warning: Established connection on channel 0.
190     You may need to manually set the channel on the receiving node.
191     libiec61883 warning: Established connection on channel 1.
192     You may need to manually set the channel on the transmitting node.
194 (Note: you can safely ignore the libiec61883 warnings, they are normal.)
196 An important remark is that for good performance, one should always run jack
197 with the -R flag to enable realtime scheduling for critical threads:
198     $ jackd -R -d firewire
200 In case of problems
201 -------------------
203 First of all, check whether your problem is in fact a problem, and
204 whether it is a FFADO problem. The magic tool for this is google.
206 User support is a rather annoying occupation, especially since it sucks
207 time from developers that are not paid for developing, let alone for doing
208 user support. Please make sure that you have checked the following places:
212       (the terms "ffado-devel" "ffado-user" or "freebob-user" work great)
213 Some might consider this a bit arrogant or "newbie-unfriendly", but personally
214 I (Pieter Palmers) consider this a matter of politeness towards the developers.
216 If you have tried to find a solution to your problem, but you couldn't find
217 one or are confused, don't hesitate to ask for help. The preferred way is by
218 signing up to the mailing list as described on
220 Writing a bug report
221 --------------------
223 Note that the more effort you put in your bug report, the more effort we
224 will put into helping you.
226 Make sure you have compiled a DEBUG=yes version of
227 libffado. If not there is no way we can trace the problem.
229 When reporting a problem, please run jackd with the --verbose option,
230 and add the -v6 option to the firewire backend:
231     $ jackd --verbose [...] -d firewire -v6 [...]
233     ( [...] = other options )
235 This will generate an increadible amount of debug output that should
236 contain what we need to track down the problem. If you have troubles
237 saving the output, try redirecting it to a file:
239     $ jackd --verbose -d firewire -v6 2> ffado-jack.log
241 this will create a ffado.log file containing the output. Use CTRL-C
242 to exit jack if necessary.
244 The distribution contains a tool to gather some information about your
245 system. you can run it as follows:
247     $ cd support/tools
248     $ python > ffado-diag.log
250 It will check your system for basic problems and gather some information
251 regarding your hardware configuration. This will allow us to diagnose
252 your problem faster.
254 Once the logs have been created you can create a support ticket at
257 Be sure to include the following information:
258 * the log file(s) (zipped/tar.gz'ed and attached)
259 * the device you're trying to use
260 * a description of what went wrong and how to reproduce it. You
261   preferrably try to figure out a sequence of steps that can reliably
262   reproduce the issue on your system. A one-time failure is very difficult
263   to diagnose and/or fix.
264 * the distribution and its version
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