Monday, December 18, 2006

Interview: SuSE Jacklab Creator Michael Bohle (Part 2)

Q: What is the main purpose of the SuSE Jacklab team?

The main competence of jacklab is communication, support and testings. Jacklab (in its current state) is a step toward a full blown openSUSE based distro. Some members of the Jacklab team are now able to build up a one CD install, because the openSUSE Wiki published an tutorial "how to make a sopenSUSE based build".

Appleonkel (Oliver Bengs) is learning how to make it. He also make the kernels. Olli is also member of the build service now he meet some openSUSE devs and he hopes that for the LAC 2007 in Berlin to release the one CD install (JAD). A CD is a enough for a full studio with kde-light and a browser and YAST. The CD will be pre-configured with my suggestions from the music production side and some graphics for eyecandy.

Q: Is there a chance of seeing the Enlightenment Window Manager as an option?

Yes, the last versions of e17 are pretty stable, so this is an realistic option. I still use e17 on all my systems, but for most of the people KDE is an option, so there will be a very basic KDE. Anyway, I think Konqueror is also for the e17 desktop a very useful filemanager

Q: Will there be a commercial version of Jacklab?

There will be a commercial version of JAD on DVD. The German publisher Nicolaus Millin, (Ex SuSE press) was talking about this with Olli and me. So he now joining the JackLab team. I'm very happy to have an experienced SUSE professional in the team, who have a view for biz.

Q: What sort of differences will there be?

There will be a openSUSE JAD (for free) one CD install. The commercial version, JAD Studio Edition will the be same system, but with commercial samples and maybe a license of Energy XT2.

Q: Would it have different support options?

Yes, I planning pro support for the studio edition and a printed manual. A lot of do.

However, this will come later. First, we must test and develop JAD (JackLab Audio Distribution). The one CD install will always be free. So everyone can join in for free to the user4user support forum at

Q: Are there any good ways for users to get involved with Jacklab?

The best way is to join our IRC channel, #jacklab. Here, we are talk and share about development, testing and audio apps. In most cases here is someone who can help.

Q: Sometimes it's a lot nice to get real time help with a problem, or to give feedback.

Yes, thats what we need, feedback. Without feedback, we have no motivation and there are will be no improvements.

Q: So, GPL v2 or v3?

Hehe, I'm not a code developer so thats not on me. As an artist, I prefer to use the Creative Commons Licenses mosty.

Q: Anything else you would like to say about Jacklab?

Yes, ... when I was starting this project, I was a bloody Linux noob, but had good skills as creative computer user.

So I meet with some Linux geeks with a heart for musicans. We learned to communicate and understand each other. Sharing knowledge. So the Linux geeks and music geeks people began to create something new. We learn to play together like in a band.

Q: So Linux people learn more about music, and music people learn more about linux together?

Yes, exactly.

Q: There is some real communication happening then. That's good. I imagine both sides need to learn the “jargon”.

At first there where a lot of misunderstandings, and learning to respect each other. Musicians can be stupid users, and geeks are only human. You know what I mean.

Q: Yes, it takes a lot of patience from both sides.

Yes, but I feel very comfortable in the Linux community right now.

Q: Overall, is the community oriented toward the same goals?

Well, only a very few people like to help actively and there is a lot of chaos about "what's the better distribution”. So much, “blah blah blah”. So to work together with a goal is not so easy.

Q: Would you say it's best to just pick a project you like and stick with it instead of bantering?

Yes, for sure. I mean, when you have energy for bantering, you could better use this energy for something constructive. There are so many ways for active participation. When I was starting Jacklab, I was really sure lots of people would share a vision of a user friendly SUSE based music distribution, but with the time, I have to accept, that most of the people are waiting for someone to serve them something: passive users.

I've realized that I can change something if I do it and share my ideas and desire for a free music production environment base on Linux. So a very few like Appleonkel have realized their role in the game and taken the chance to grow up to something like an openSUSE rt kernel guru.

It's easy for users to fall into that trap of not giving anything back and just expect a free lunch.

Q: What other projects are you working on?

I just produce a German rock band in my "Jacklab Studio One". They are maybe a bit punk; hard, but with a lot of emotion. This production will be released under the CCL and it is a 100% open source product. We produce with Ardour as the main software. I have a small but nice studio, and this will be the first music product made with the "SUSE 10 JAD preview " (never released officially).
In Germany, the bands are not so biz oriented like in the USA. So, this band is a part of the JackLab network, a culture of the new independent open media movement. Other projects will follow, in different places, with different music.

Q: Do they have a website?

They're called Bad Man Dead. They are at (hosted by Jacklab) and But this website is in preparation, their almost everyday in the studio and actually find no time for making some html-stuff.

Well, thanks Michael, for talking with Linux Rock Star and sharing about openSUSE Jacklab!

Posted by DCZX @ 6:26 PM

Read or Post a Comment

Michael Bohle... You'd said you were "very happy to have an experienced SUSE professional in the team, who have a view for biz", but want free peoples in a "free culture" who share independent and free production tools?

Yeah Guy! Go Ahead!

Posted by Anonymous @ 1:13 PM #
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