Rumors about FFADO and the new firewire stack [Updated May 11th, 2010]

The last weeks have seen a few rumors and lots of questions: Is ffado running with the new firewire stack?

The answer is kind of yes.

What you need is libraw1394 in version 2.0.5 or higher. And kernel 2.6.32 or higher. Then ffado (both the 2.0 branch and development trunk) should be usable on the new juju stack. Thanks to the team of the kernel-stack and some distributions for stepping up and (mostly) fix the kernel and libraw1394 for this. The changes to ffado where quite minimal.

The other answer is still no.

Because ffado still uses libraw1394 as layer between the kernel and its own streaming-/configuration-stuff. Which adds some latency and a lot of uncertainties for the low-latency. There is work going on to implement in-kernel streaming but this is all to early for testing or announcement. And time is sparse...

The short answer as of this writing: No

Read on for the longer answer...

Running FFADO 2.0 or later on the new stack requires kernel 2.6.32 or later. And libraw1394 version 2.0.5 or later. Making ffado run on the new stack revealed some bugs and not-yet-implemented things in the new stack and the libraw1394 compatibility code because audio streaming is using the firewire stack in more demanding and advanced ways then for example hard-disk access.

But the good news is that this is actually worked on and working on the developers machines. Once all the necessary dependencies are released, its up to the distributions to ship the new versions (and finally completely disable the old stack).


This is bad as everybody that wanted to test ffado can't do it on the latest version of the distro with the biggest user base. Is there an easy way to reenable it or kernel recompile is the only way to go?

Unfortunately we don't control the distro's. You might find the old stack in the ubuntustudio RT kernels.

That's at least the way it is with Fedora 12. The standard kernel comes without the old firewire stack, but the Planet CCRMA RT-Kernel contains it.

I am running ubuntu9.10 with the realtime kernel and after "sudo modprobe ohci1394" it works:-)

Its just blacklisted. And you can change that easily by editing /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-firewire.

The following configuration works: kernel with new fw stack, libraw1394 2.0.5, ffado svn, Saffire Pro 10 I/O. Also works with ffado 2.0.0, but seems less stable. Thank you!

With the old fw stack both NEC and VIA controllers worked. With the new stack only VIA works reliably, NEC gives xruns and jackd occasionally fail.

Hello! First I thank you for your efforts and powerful ffado drivers.

With Ubuntu Studio 9.10(64bit) on MacBook Pro 4.1, I have 4 firewire interfaces , PrismSound Orpheus, WEISS DAC2, ECHO Audiofire4 & 8.
WEISS DAC2 has DICEā…” chip, and ffado driver cannot configurate.
ECHO Audiofire 4 & 8 are good, especially 4 shows almost full-featured config Panel. On the contrary, Audiofire 8 shows only clocksource & samplerate.
Orpheus has Bridge co. 1394 chip, and it shows only clocksource & samplerate on the panel. But sound quality was very very wonderful, then Windows or Mac was blown away.

Unfortunately for these 5 days, when I launch ffado-mixer with or without Firewire interface, it only shows small panel, "Somehow the connection to the dbus-service of FFADO couldn't be established. Shall we take another try?" with "Retry" button. I click it but nothing changes.

I installed FFADO 2.0 Release Candidate 2 packages again, of course without problems of dependency. But it shows same panel.

I use them for my job.
If you could inform me some information to implement ffado in Ubuntu Studio 9.10, I would appreciate it very much.

First of all, install the ubuntustudio packages and the associated realtime kernel. This kernel contains the old stack.

Then edit

to contain:
#blacklist ohci1394
#blacklist sbp2
#blacklist dv1394
#blacklist raw1394
#blacklist video1394

blacklist firewire-ohci
blacklist firewire-sbp2

Thank you very much Mr.Palmers

I have already confirmed and edited blacklist-firewire.conf, just as you figured:
#blacklist ohci1394
#blacklist sbp2
#blacklist dv1394
#blacklist raw1394
#blacklist video1394

blacklist firewire-ohci
blacklist firewire-sbp2

I confirmed that /dev/raw1394 exist.
But I cannot launch any ffado-dbus-server.
Looking at system monitor "process tab", ffado-dbus-server becomes to be Zombies one by one, while dbus daemon is still sleeping.

I think problems are not fixed yet.

Thanks to FFADO Development Site and Josep V's "My Procedure", after fresh install of Ubuntu Studio 9.10 64bit,I downloaded from SVN and compiled FFADO(2.0 RC2) and Jack(0.118) as explained in the tutorial.

As a conclusion, it works very very well and good sounding! I'm absolutely pleased at it. Thank you distinguished developers for your excellent works. FFADO website is fruitful and enlightening very much.

Are there any news regarding FFADO-SVN compatible with new firewire stack?
Is it possible to have some fresh information, please ?
Thank in advance.

Ah, so I have to use either the old or the new one. Meaning, I can't use them both at the same time. So one has to be disabled, in Karmic it's the new stack so the default stack is the old one. No worries. ;)

Your Forex Robot enthusiast

Hi there!

I'm using the svn-1845 version with the juju stack, and I get no controls on the ffado mixer. All I get is an empty panel which says "this panel is merely a placeholder for devices that don't have a mixer panel yet". I would attach a screenshot but I do't know how.

Is this in any way related to the firewire stack used, or is it a ffado issue?

Thanks in advance!

I installed FFADO 2.0 Release Candidate 2 packages again, of course without problems of dependency. But it shows same panel.