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Musicians have particular requirements for their Linux environment. A Linux-based distribution that is designed for music needs to be flexible, powerful, yet easy and quick to use. All of these things are essential in a busy, creative environment.
Thinking about these requirements, we decided to base JAD on openSUSE due to its stability and long development history. All major administrative tasks can be done graphically and easily without having to learn any complicated terminal commands.
JAD is fully compatible with the recently released openSUSE 10.2. It contain a full production environment for media production, primarily music. For this, the JackLab team added a Realtime Kernel version 2.6.19 to have fast audio processing with a latency up to 1.5ms. The default audio system will be based on the the Jack Audio Connection Kit (JACK) which is designed for the needs of musicians and producers and gives a professional audio/midi controlling interface.
The installer is based on the acclaimed YaST2, which also serves as an easy-to-use administrative tool. To keep as many essential computer resources for music as possible, we have decided to use Enlightenment D17 desktop shell as the default window manager. KDE desktop environment is also included, so the user-friendly file manager - Konqueror, is available along with Kmail, Konversation, k3b and other KDE tools. For music creation and editing, we have included around 70 audio applications with sequencers, synthesizers and tools all installed and ready to go. User-friendly support for setting up and running VST instruments and effects is given.
Additionally, there are applications for video production and a graphic suite that are included on the DVD. For browsing the internet, we have included Firefox 2.0 chosen for its stability, security and extendability. JAD is a community based effort and is the culmination of the work of many contributors. Recently, JackLab and PackMan (packman.links2linux.de) have joined forces to offer JAD access to the PackMan repositories so that up-to-date audio software, non-audio software and multimedia codecs are available to JAD users.
The JAD development team would like you to participate in the development process too. There are different ways you can help: -As a tester, you can download the most recent version and use the bugtracker to report any problems. -You can participate in the graphics contest: The best graphics submitted will be used as default for the bootscreen, wallpaper, skins and icons. -You can submit feature requests and take part in discussions on the mailing list. -For taking part in providing user support, there is a web based forum and an IRC channel - it is also an essential part of the development process to see feedback.