Now and then I become disenamoured of Microsoft. Like now, with the Windows 10 debacle, with MS now downloading huge files to your computer whether you want them or not. Which can be a problem for folks with slow internet, limits to their downloads, etc. MS doesn't care, they want to turn your computer into a phone. So, I look forward to the day when it will be possible to create music on Linux as easily as Windows. It is possible now of course, but our requirements on this forum are different from many, as we are classically oriented and favor notation over piano roll view.
I've been doing some investigating, and here's what I see: While there is a DAW for Linux that is full-featured, namely Rosegarden, it is notoriously hard to work with. And I am not sure I could use my various sample libraries with it, thus having to seriously compromise my sound production. All other Linux DAWS don't have notation, as far as I can tell. There is a new professional DAW designed to work natively on Windows, Mack and Linux, "Bitwig." It too lacks notation, and appears geared to live-sound-types (it is really an offshoot of Ableton). Finally, there is Reaper. May be some potential here. With some work, it can be made to run on Linux. And there is some speculation that the devs may in future make it more Linux-friendly. And Reaper should soon have some sort of notation or staff view, it is definitely in the works.
The one thing we can do is advocate for software devs to make their products Linux-friendly. for example, my interface, a Steinberg UR-22, doesn't work on Linux. Supposedly you can make it work, but only a geek would be able to pull it off. All Steinberg has to do is write drivers for Linux and the problem would be solved. DAWS would be more difficult. Sonar, which is what I use (8.5 - no way I'm going pay on an ongoing basis for monthly updates that are irrelevant to my needs), will probably never run on Linux. There's just not enough money in it. At least now. that could change, if more people become disgusted with MS and migrate to Linux.
So, that is the view as I currently see it. Just thought I'd share it and see if anyone has any thoughts on it. The computer world is going through big changes. Many of them for the worse, in my view. I do see Linux as a sort of potential savior. There is a great base to build on, but the demand must be there.
Just thought I'd update this thread, as it's been over a year. In the meantime, I have transitioned to Reaper from Sonar. It has worked out well, I can do exactly what I need to do, and there's no annoying "Command Center" to download (an hour plus process. Reaper, by contrast, downloads AND installs in two minutes. That's correct, two minutes). What is really great is that the Reaper devs really listen to the users, and fix things. For example, they instituted a notation view, which was why I switched from Sonar. Sonar's devs refused to work on their notation view, despite a lot of begging, including a thread with over 1,000 posts. And also very encouraging, there is reason to hope that Reaper will run natively on Linux at some future time. All I'm hoping for is that it be ready by 2020, EOL for windows 7.
Lately I have been fooling around with LMMS, a DAW that runs on everything. It came bundled with Zorin 12 Ultimate, which I recently installed. I found a decent midi set from a guy named C. Christian Collins. A free download, which was easy to install in LMMS on their sf2 player. And I'm now investigating whether the Kontakt Player will work on LMMS. I see some indications that it might. Which could open the door to GPO, the original incarnation, which came on Kontakt. That would mean truly decent sounds on a DAW in Linux. The only thing missing for me would be notation.
If Reaper does develop a Linux version, I will be leaving Windows for good (except for some isolated uses, like OCR software, which I recently used to put all my old poems in my computer. No good Linux alternative for that). Until then, I will continue using Reaper on Windows 7, and exploring other Linux DAWS. Maybe I'll finally get Rosegarden working.
Another update. Progress is occurring with a Linux Native Reaper version. Justin Frankl, the developer of reaper, is working on it, and the Linux-savvy forum members there are daily tinkering with it. It will soon be possible to do music on Linux Reaper. How applicable that would be to classical composers remains to be seen. The most challenging thing will be Windows VST's, especially sample libraries. But folks already have the Kontakt Player running, so that is very encouraging. And considering Justin's genius - he sold his Winamp to AOL for millions of dollars - I am confident that the future is bright, at least for Reaper users. Imagine, buying Reaper for 60.00, and using it on a free operating system, with continuous updates, also all free. Goodbye Microsoft Monopoly!
I have succeeded not only in activating both Aria and sforzando on Zorin 12, I now have them working in LMMS as VST inst's. Eric Patenaude's (Plogue Forum) suggestion to import the keycard actually worked. That got the standalone versions working. I finally discovered last night that the dll versions were hiding in my Wine/C:/ProgramFiles/Garritan and Plogue folders. That allowed me to finally import them into the Vestige plugin that comes with LMMS. Only the 32 bit works, but possibly with more configuration the 64 bit will as well.
Bottom line: Garritan Personal Orchestra 4 and 5 working in LMMS on Linux Zorin 12. The ambiance and convolution reverbs work with the send on the mixer. All other controls appear to work also. Most importantly, it saves, and reopens. So, fully functional. So far I have only used an instance of Aria or sforzando per inst, but I'm going to try using multiple instruments on the same instance and see what happens.
I am next going to try installing Reaper on Ubuntu 14.04, using Wine, and see if I can get the same results. If so, I would then have GPO working in Reaper, my current DAW. Keep in mind, Reaper now has notation. If successful, this means it's possible to use a first class DAW, with notation, on Linux, with GPO for sounds. We're getting there!