[April 23, 2007]

The Alesis people informed me that currently all their resources are devoted to getting their devices running on Windows/Mac, and that they are currently not able to free up resources for us. They will contact us when they are ready to support us.

If you are interested in getting an Alesis device and using it on Linux, please query the Alesis sales support to see what the status on this is. (Such that at least they know that interested people exist)

Support Status: 
Not supported


[October 22, 2008]

Got this back from Alesis tech support:

Hello Tom,

Currently there are no plans to pursue Linux drivers.

Best Regards,
Justin Baro

Alesis Technical Support

A disappointing attitude. But I let them know they lost a sale because of it.

I've sent the exact same request today!

> Dear Alesis,
> The IO|26 really looks like the device I want for over 5 years now!
> I was wandering what the status of the Linux drivers are (ffado) as I'm switching from Windows
> to Linux for all my audio work. Judging > from the info at (dated
> April 23, 2007) all they need is documentation on the device to get started.
> Thank you for considering a whole new and emerging group of customers in the Linux audio world!
> Cheers, Harold

Hi Harold,

At this time there are no plans to pursue Linux drivers for the IO26.

Best Regards,
Justin Baro

We already have (fair) support for the io14. Extending it to the io26 isn't probably that hard. If you have such a device and are willing to help us with the details, please contact the development mailing list.

I own such a device, got it working with the latest SVN version. Jackd behaves very unstable though, dies with "jackd watchdog timeout" after about 3-5 minutes. I would love to help development in any way I can, where is the right place do that? :-)

I have access to an IO26 which I'd prefer to use under Linux.

I was happy to hear that someone has the other Alesis IO card working under the latest svn, which makes me think (hope) that we're not far off seeing IO26 support?

Do any of the FFADO devs have access to an IO26? Has anybody got anything working (playback, recording, dials) with FFADO IO26 support yet?

Yes, as I mentioned recording and playback works. Sadly, I couldn't get the ffado-mixer to work, and the inputs/outputs seem to be badly setup by default. Input 1 is wired to Output 1, Input 2 to Output 2, etc., which I guess (hope) I could disable in the mixer.

Also there is the problem with jack dying after a few minutes or sometimes even seconds, which makes the device pretty much unusable for me at the moment. I'd also be very happy to help development in any way I can...

adi says below that if you want to help with development you should subscribe to the ffado dev list, the links to join being under the 'Contact' page of I'd presume someone on there would be able to grant you svn write access if needed. That would prob be a better place for me to ask if any of the devs actually have an IO26 too.

OK so jack doesn't stay alive long enough for it to be useful but can you use the physical controllers to control playback vol and rec. input?

I'm also curious as to what kernel, distro and version of libraw1394 and jack you are using? I've not got to try svn yet but with any luck I'll give it a go this weekend.


I'm using Kernel 2.6.31-9-rt on Ubuntu. libraw1394-11 "Version: 2.0.4-1ubuntu1", jackd is the latest from svn (jackd 0.118.2). I started it in verbose mode now, and get a lot of output like this:

00716304529: Error (CycleTimerHelper.cpp)[ 508] Execute: negative step: -4110976138.899497! (correcting to nominal)

about 3-5 lines per second, starting after about a minute. The device still works though, the jackd crash occurs later, with this msg:

01308806896: Error (StreamProcessorManager.cpp)[ 784] syncStartAll: Could not align streams...

I have all 8 inputs and outputs connected, some monitoring buses active in Ardour, connected to the outputs.


Today I successfully played sound with Ubuntu 10.04, alsaplayer and Alesis io|26 firewire soundcard.

My setup is:
Asrock 4core dualsata2 rev 2.0
Bios pctreiber 2.20a
Intel quad core Q6600 2.40GHz
TI FW pci card (the one designed by Sismo).

Here is how to do it:

A] FFADO part:

1. Ensure you have an acceptable firewire chipset
2. Do:
$ sudo modprobe raw1394
Yes, I'm using the old firewire stack, the new one does not pass step 4 below.
3. Compile ffado from svn trunk:
4. Check you can get test tone with:
$ ffado-test-streaming -t 1


5 If you heard a loud test tone, that means ffado works nicely with io|26. Now we need to setup jack. Try the following command:
$ jackd -d firewire.

If it crashes with 'firewire ERR: wait status < 0! (= -1), then you may need to replace jack by jack2 (aka jackmp).

B] So, the jack2 part:
6 Remove jack:
$ sudo apt-get remove jackd jack.

Maybe qjackctl will be uninstalled as well, you can reinstall it later.

7 On Ubuntu 10.04, there is no such jack2 package (yet), you have to compile jack2. It's easy, just follow the instructions here:
DON'T FORGET to enable ffado inside jack2: Replace the waf configure cmdline from:
$ ./waf configure --prefix=$HOME --alsa --frebob
$ ./waf configure --prefix=/usr --alsa --firewire
(--prefix=/usr is here to have jack2 exactly with same paths than jack1, pretty much like in

8 (re)install qjackctl, it's a convenient tool for doing several tests

9 start jackd through qjackctl. If jackd is stable, you're almost there. Else, try increasing your frame size (4096 for instance).
10 launch alsaplayer:
$ alsaplayer --verbose -i text -o jack -d "firewire_pcm:0005950400405f62_Bus1 L_out,firewire_pcm:0005950400405f62_Bus1 R_out" your_audio_file.ogg (or mp3, wav...)

11. Done. You should hear your tune loud and clear!

- You need to provide your output names with "-d" option to alsaplayer, else it will default to alsa_pcm:playback_1, alsa_pcm:playback_2 and it won't work.
- to know the name of your outputs, select the "Audio"tab in jack connexion graph Expand the main write node in right window (firewire_pcm, green icon)
- You'll see your output names here. On my setup, they are "0005950400405f62_Bus1 L_out" "0005950400405f62_Bus1 R_out", "0005950400405f62_Bus2 L_out"...

Hope this helps.

hi guys,
just to let you know that I managed to make my io|26 under ubuntu 10.04.
I tried to post a full comment on how to do it but it has been considered as spam.
The basic line is: recompile ffado from svn and recompile jack2 if classic jack doesn't work (multicore cpu).
Now I can safely play up to 96KHz on a non-RT kernel, didn't try RT yet (kind of unstable with nvidia cards).

hi guys,
just to let you know that I managed to make my io|26 under ubuntu 10.04.
I tried to post a full comment on how to do it but it has been considered as spam.
The basic line is: recompile ffado from svn and recompile jack2 if classic jack doesn't work (multicore cpu).
Now I can safely play up to 96KHz on a non-RT kernel, didn't try RT yet (kind of unstable with nvidia cards).

homercartman: thanks for taking the time to write the detailed description of how you got the io26 to work. Yes, for some reason the forum software considered it spam. I have marked it as non-spam so it should now be visible.

Hi there!

I tried almost everything to release myself from this windows trash, i recompiled jack,ffado,alsa and installed them, followed all walkthroughs but it doesnt work for me. I am relative newbie to linux and all i can say, i managed to get that full volume tone out of my alesis, but only once, if i put in same command again, i see only light of firewire indicator blinking once and die, followed by full dsplay of terminal info (all white with red segments). Jack crashes in freebob and firewire mode, ardour doesnt start in ffado mode...Hope this support changes quickly becouse i really got enough of bill gates...Thanx!

openSUSE maintainer multimedia

Can somebody possibly coax alesis to release the info needed for an alesis driver? ie. exactly the same info that is needed to make a windows driver. This will benefit the entire open source community and definitely encourage linux users to buy alesis.


Obviously this would be ideal. However, the people who need to push this are those who already own this interface - they are after all Alesis's customers and the people Alesis theoretically care about. Alesis have no relationship with anyone else and therefore it's difficult for non-Alesis owners to bring any pressure on them at all.

It should be noted that the programming information is only part of the solution - albeit a significant one. Even with this information it's still mighty difficult to write and debug a driver when one doesn't have physical access to the interface concerned. So either we would require an io26 owner to step up and write the driver based on the info they manage to get from Alesis, or someone would need to donate an io26 to one of the core developers so they can develop the driver themselves.

I got my IO 26 and IO14 to work since a long time ago. I tested with Ubuntu 12.04, Siduction, Fedora, Arch and OpenSuse. The only drawback is the lack ffado-mixer support, but you could set the internal routing and other hardware mixing parameters with a Mac OS X or Windows computer, these settings will remain recorded in the interface.


Your post is very interesting.
I have an Alesis IO26 and 2 Alesis IO14 and want to use them on Linux with Harrison Mixbus v2.2.
It sounds like you have successfully run them in Linux? How?!
Does the ADAT input work as well, btw? Then it would be fantastic, 24 analogue input into Mixbus.
How do you mean it works out of the box? What are the steps?
Do you have to be a Linux expert?
I have a Texas Instrument firewire expresscard for my laptop and I plan to install UbuntuStudio 12.10
If I knew how to do it I can post a complete instruction here later.

Let's keep these fantastic audio interfaces alive in Linux for a long time!

kind regards

Huge thanks to ffado people for working on Dice based firewire cards like Alesis!

I am new to firewire in Linux. I have two IO14 and one IO26 that I would like to be able to run with the superb software Harrison Mixbus 2.2 in Linux.
Yep I think it sounds really, really good. I also have ProTools and Logic Pro 9 but don't use them anymore because Mixbus sounds better and is easier
to mix with.
I have Firewire with Texas chip. Where do I start? Which distro do you recommend with ffado 2.1?
Does anyone know if the ADAT connectors work with ffado 2.1?
Are there any simple instructions on how to install ffado, compile it etc?
If I can get it to run I can contribute with feedback!

kind regards