How do you determine what is compatible with Linux?
What do the different levels of support mean?
What is ALSA?
What is FreeBoB?
What is FFADO?
Why record with Linux?
What is zZounds?

How do you determine what is compatible with Linux?

There are lists of Linux-compatible audio devices on ALSA Project and the FreeBoB Wiki. These devices are known to be supported by one of those drivers. I also spend a lot of time searching forums for regular users reporting their success with different devices. I do not gaurantee that anything you buy will work with your system. If you have trouble with some hardware that is supported by ALSA or FreeBoB, contact the developers of those drivers. Posting on an internet forum for your particular Linux distribution is most likely to yield success. Do not contact me for tech support because I don't have first-hand experience with most of the hardware on this list and will not be able to help you.


What do the different levels of support mean?

These support levels are based on FFADO's but are used to describe all devices here.

Supported

The device is officially supported by one of the available audio drivers. This can have technically different meanings based on which driver claims support, but the bottom line is that the device should work very well.

Reported to Work

One or more people have used this device with limited to full functionality on Linux, but it is not officially supported by the audio driver used. It might take a little configuration, terminal time, etc. but a savvy user should be able to get it working to a usable degree.

Community Support

The device functions well, but the vendor of the device is not cooperative. The device will work well, but further development and solving some technical issues at the driver level may not be possible (or at least timely) without vendor support.

Experimental

This device will probably work in the future, and may even work well now, but there are no gaurantees.

Planned

The device probably won't work right now, but support is planned. This does NOT mean that it WILL be supported.

Not Supported

Don't bother.


Why record with Linux?

This article gives some compelling reasons.


What is ALSA?

The ALSA Project (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture) is a comprehensive set of sound card drivers for Linux. Any audio interface that connects to your computer via a PCI slot or USB port will be "driven" by ALSA.


What is FreeBoB?

The FreeBoB Project is a driver for FireWire audio interfaces that utilize the BeBoB firmware. What is that? I don't know, but I'm glad it exists. This project is no longer being developed but has produced excellent drivers for the hardware it supports.


What is FFADO?

The FFADO Project (Free Firewire Audio Drivers) is the continuation of the FreeBoB Project and touts a long list of supported Firewire devices it will support. They have succeeded in getting the support of some major vendors which makes those devices very stable and fully featured with FFADO.


What is zZounds?

zZounds is an online musical instrument and audio hardware distributor with which this site is affiliated. All of the products you see on this site are purchased through zZounds, not myself. zZounds is my favorite shop for audio hardware and boasts some great deals and no shipping fee on items above a certain price range.