Audio interface for linux

i’ve been thinking about getting an audio interface to record myself, mainly for self-assessment. The Scarlett seems to be a popular choice but looking at the manual it seems that it requires you do the set up using a program on your computer. They offer Windows and Mac versions only.

Are there any linux users out there who use an audio interface and what do you recommend? I was also looking at the Behringer UMC22 and I have found a video review that mentions it works out of the box with linux. But the build quality on the Behringer is not rated very highly.

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Arch user here.

I’ve used the Behringer interfaces with no problems.

I’m currently using a Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 (Gen 2). It’s using kernel and application support provided by open source efforts. See here for the Scarlett driver and here for a GUI application with controls for the devices. Recently, Focusrite has provided direct assistance with these efforts.

I’ve been very pleased with the Scarlett using the open source software linked above. (The device is class compliant, like the Behringer, and worked without the extra software, but the device-specific software gives access to more of the device’s capabilities and features.)

Also, if you need help with the software, there’s discussion on github, but also on the Linux Musicians forums. The main OSS developer of the Scarlett software posts there, too.


Great! Thanks Jason. Looks like either the Scarlett or Behringer are both good options for me.

I just need to decide how much I want to spend. :wink: I’m tempted to go for the Scarlett as on previous guitar gear I’ve started with the “budget” model but always ended up going for an upgrade later.

OK - just ordered the Scarlett Solo Gen 3. It was on sale and should be fine for my purpose.

Thanks again @J.W.C for all your information.

I’ve recently gone over to Kubuntu and it is so good to be free of the big boys.

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You already ordered, and I’m sure you’ll be happy with it.

But, for future reference, the Behringer UMC204HD works really well with Linux and the build quality is good. It also has a MIDI port, which the Focusrite does not.

As far as the Focusrite is concerned, you won’t need the control software indicate by @J.W.C as the Scarlett Solo doesn’t have that functionality.

It should be plug and play.




do you mean “A” and “M”? I consider Ubuntu to be one of the bloated big boys at this point. They do have pretty good forum support tho. I have used Gentoo for years, but got sick of compiling my own, then switched to Arch. Still need to keep up with it, but works fairly well. When I need something that “supports linux” without source code, I go to Debian, which is what Ubuntu is built from. Most folks support that, in part due to the popularity of Ubuntu.

With respect to this kind of interface, will it allow recording from more than one source? I know Audacity doesn’t seem to have that option. I don’t see it on Ardour either, but I also don’t have a Scarlett. How is the recording coming in? One USB with the multiple signals mixed on the Scarlett, or multiple USB cables, or maybe some kind of channel interleaving in the protocol? Need to decide if I want something like this and if it is useful beyond the USB interface on my Helix.


Yes, I’m sure a Behringer unit would have been fine for me too. The UMC204HD was another $50 and I don’t think I’ll be needing MIDI.

I have found a few tutorials on using Scarlett with linux so plenty of support out there.

A and M? I was meaning Windows and Apple. As a novice linux user it was good for me to go from Windows to Kubuntu and feel some familiarity. Looks exactly the same as Win10… except you can make changes and they stick, instead of reverting back on the next update.

I am very new to this so no idea of the possibilities. It has one USB and 2 inputs - mic and guitar - but I’m not sure what it means by “solo” model. Maybe it can only handle one at a time (?). Hopefully someone who knows more can chime in.

Audiacity isn’t a DAW, it’s an audio recorder/editor. Although it can do some multitrack, I believe it can only do one at a time, and has a lot of other limitations (plus the workflow is quite clunky).

If you want to do multitrack projects, you should really step up to real DAW.

Yes, multiple inputs onto separate tracks (mono, stereo, however you want to carve them up) will work on Ardour with the Focusrite, Behringer or any other interface with multiple inputs. This is how Ardour sees my Behringer XR18:

You can assign any input (or multiple inputs) to any track you create.

USB Audio supports multiple channels on a single USB connector. My XR18 gives me 18 in and 18 out. I’ve seen up to 32 in/out.

By the way, I recommend using the ALSA setting with Ardour over the other options, unless you need the capabilities of the other options (if you don’t know, then you don’t).




I believe it can handle both at the same time and, in this respect, it’s more similar to the Behringer UCM202HD.



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Got the Scarlett Solo and it was fairly easy to get it working as an audio input into Waveform 12 (my linux DAW).

Handy hint for anyone else wanting to use this. When you plug it in, the unit tries to register as a mass storage device and it is limited to sample rates up to 48kHz. To disable this, the manual says hold the 48V button in for 5 seconds. This does not work. The correct procedure is to hold the 48V button in while powering up the device (ie plugging it in to USB).