There are many people who have switched to Linux for various reasons. Of course, one of the major reasons is because Linux is free. After all, financial responsibility is something that all people should start practicing. However, if you are an independent artist, creative professional, or digital art hobbyist, you may appreciate Linux even more. Since investing in education, equipment, and materials can already drain your wallet, having to pay for software is perhaps the last thing that you want. But, really, you don’t have to, because we have Ubuntu Studio and AV Linux. Both Ubuntu Studio and AV Linux are distros designed specifically for creating and producing multimedia content. They readily come with basic and advanced tools for music production, graphic design, video editing, and even 3D modeling. So, should you choose Ubuntu Studio or AV Linux? See the comparisons of the two below.
Ubuntu Studio is a great choice if you are looking for all-around simplicity. It is an officially recognized flavor of the Ubuntu Linux distribution, explicitly geared towards general multimedia production. Thus, one of its biggest advantages is the access to Ubuntu repositories, allowing much more frequent operating system updates and also access to a wide range of software. It has very rich features, with a bunch of fonts installed by default, a low-latency kernel, and nice JACK tweaks. You can find multiple apps for every category, such as Rawtherapee and Darktable for RAW photo editing and Ardour and Rosegarden as digital audio workstations.
Even though it is one of the most widely used, Ubuntu Studio is not without problems. First, apparently, it is not going to include VST plugins any time soon. That’s bad for people working with audio files. Second, it is not stable. It crashes from time to time, especially when handling large data.
AV Linux is Debian-based. Its design is somewhat outdated, which isn’t a surprise because it is based directly on an old Debian version. However, just like Ubuntu Studio, AV Linux comes with the Xfce desktop environment. It also allows you to choose between low-latency kernel and a custom real-time kernel. There are also many included software selections too, though they are not very focused. On the good side, it comes with a large number of plugins and also ArdourVST. It is generally more stable, it rarely crashes, and it goes far to ensure that your hardware is able to run it smoothly by coming in “live” versions.
|Ubuntu Studio||AV Linux|
|- Based on Ubuntu, with Xfce desktop environment||- Based on Debian, with Xfce desktop environment|
|- Simple and lightweight||- Somewhat outdated design|
|- No VST plugin||- Supports most Windows VSTs, comes with ArdourVST|
|- Less stable, may crash from time to time||- More stable|
If you prefer a simple, lightweight operating system, Ubuntu Studio can be pretty good. But it does not have any VST plugin. For heavy and serious projects, you may want to choose AV Linux instead, which is more stable and even comes with ArdourVST.