How to install the real-time kernel in Ubuntu

To use Ubuntu as an audio production server you need the real-time kernel. This allows applications to have some guarantee of the maximum response time of any task. High priority tasks are given the CPU within a fixed minimum amount of time allowing for processor intensive tasks to actually be completed. Follow along to see how to install the real-time kernel yourself. A vanilla install of most Linux distributions does not enable the real-time kernel, but it is easy enough to install.

sudo apt-get install linux-rt

to install it. Now, we have to change the boot loader (GRUB) to load the real-time kernel. Edit the file

sudo gedit /etc/default/grub

by commenting out the line

GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT=0

then update the GRUB configuration.

sudo update-grub

This will allow you to select which kernel to run at boot time so you can alternate between the real-time and vanilla kernels depending on your needs.

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