The realtime-lsm module is needed if you want to get a good latency. (at least better than 10ms!)

  1. Get the source from:
  2. Install Kernel 2.6.x (x=7++) as the README in the realtime-lsm.tar.gz file says.
    In short (taken from the README):
  • This LSM requires a 2.6 kernel
  • The alsa modules for the soundcard should be already loaded for testing

Error on starting MusE

If you get this error:

midi thread 21011 _NOT_ running SCHED_FIFO

There is proably something going wrong with MusE and realtime. Check if you have installed the LSM module below. A simple "lsmod | grep realtime" can point out if it's installed.

The example below shows that the module is installed:

joachim@knabber:~$ lsmod | grep realtime
realtime                8336  0


These instructions assume you know how to configure, build and install Linux kernels. If not, please consult the README and Documentation files in your kernel sources.

When you configure the 2.6 kernel, you need at least these options.


You probably also want CONFIG_MODULE_UNLOAD=y, so the LSM can be unloaded. Reloading is currently the only way to change parameters.

Note that CONFIG_SECURITY_CAPABILITIES *must* be a module. If it is configured directly into the kernel ("=y"), the realtime LSM will not work.

Compile the kernel and its modules in the usual way. This need not be done as `root', but does require write access to the kernel build tree.

 $ make bzImage
 $ make modules

Don't forget (as root) to install the kernel `bzImage' in some appropriate place, update /etc/lilo.conf, and run `lilo'.

Unpack the LSM.

 $ tar xvzf realtime-lsm-${version}
 $ cd realtime-lsm-${version}

If `/usr/src/linux' does not point to your kernel sources, set the appropriate KERNEL_DIR in the Makefile or pass it as an argument to make. Now build the LSM and install all the kernel modules. The make can be done by any user, but does require write access to the kernel build tree. Ensure you build using the same compiler used to build your kernel (add CC=<path/to/compiler> to the make commands below if required).

 $ make KERNEL_DIR=/usr/src/linux-2.6.6
 $ sudo make install

The install requires root authority. For 2.6.5 and earlier kernels this also recreates the entire /lib/modules/2.6.x subdirectory. If that already exists, you might want to save it under a different name first, just to be safe.

For 2.6.6 and later kernels, make install only writes `realtime.ko' to the `extras' subdirectory. So, you still need to go back to the kernel directory and install the remaining modules...

 $ cd /usr/src/linux
 $ sudo make modules_install


                   Realtime Linux Security Module
 Copyright (C) 2003 Torben Hohn
 Copyright (C) 2003, 2004 Jack O'Quin

This Linux Security Module (LSM) enables realtime capabilities. It was written by Torben Hohn and Jack O'Quin, who make no warranty concerning the safety, security or even stability of your system when using it. It is provided under the provisions of the GPL (see the file COPYING in this directory).

This LSM requires a 2.6 kernel. It might work with a 2.4 kernel that has the SELinux security hooks installed, but that has not been tested.

INSTALL gives a brief description of how to build and install this program as a kernel module.

Once the LSM has been installed and the kernel for which it was built is running, the root user can load it and pass parameters as follows:

 # modprobe realtime any=1

 Any program can request realtime privileges.  This allows any local
 user to crash the system by hogging the CPU in a tight loop or
 locking down too much memory.  But, it is simple to administer.  :-)

 # modprobe realtime gid=29

 All users belonging to group 29 and programs that are setgid to that
 group have realtime privileges.  Use any group number you like.

 # modprobe realtime mlock=0

 Grants realtime scheduling privileges without the ability to lock
 memory using mlock() or mlockall() system calls.  This option can be
 used in conjunction with any of the other options.

 # modprobe realtime allcaps=1

 Enables all capabilities, including CAP_SETPCAP.  This is equivalent
 to the 2.4 kernel capabilities patch.  It is needed for root
 programs to assign realtime capabilities to other processes.  This
 option can be used in conjunction with any of the other options.

 The JACK Audio Connection Kit ( includes a
 `jackstart' program which uses CAP_SETPCAP to run the JACK daemon
 and its clients with realtime capabilities.

 There are serious security exposures with CAP_SETPCAP.  If an
 attacker manages to subvert some system daemon running with root
 privileges, it can use this capability to deny needed privileges to
 other root processes.


To test if the latency patch is installed and loaded type:
"jackstart -d alsa"

If you get something like this, something went wrong:

root@debian:/usr/src/realtime-lsm-0.1.1# jackstart 
jackstart: cannot get realtime capabilities, current capabilities are:
          =ep cap_setpcap-ep
   probably running under a kernel with capabilities disabled,
   a suitable kernel would have printed something like "=eip"

If you get this, it is ok:

root@debian:/usr/src/realtime-lsm-0.1.1# jackstart -d alsa
back from read, ret = 1 errno == Success
jackd 0.94.0
Copyright 2001-2003 Paul Davis and others.
This is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute it
under certain conditions; see the file COPYING for details

JACK compiled with System V SHM support
loading driver ..
creating alsa driver ... hw:0|hw:0|1024|2|48000|0|0|nomon|swmeter|rt|32bit
control device hw:0
configuring for 48000Hz, period = 1024 frames, buffer = 2 periods
Couldn't open hw:0 for 32bit samples trying 24bit instead
Couldn't open hw:0 for 24bit samples trying 16bit instead
Couldn't open hw:0 for 32bit samples trying 24bit instead
Couldn't open hw:0 for 24bit samples trying 16bit instead

Starting MusE as normal user resulting in this is also bad:

joachim@knabber:~/muse/0.7/muse/muse$ ./muse
set realtime scheduler: Operation not permitted
midi thread 13997 _NOT_ running SCHED_FIFO
JACK ERROR: cannot open specified fifo [/dev/shm/jack-1000-ack-fifo-13918-1] for  writing (Permission denied)
cca_open_socket: could not connect to host 'localhost', service '14541'
cca_init: could not connect to server 'localhost' - disabling ladcca
JACK ERROR: cannot continue execution of the processing graph (Bad file descriptor)


To check which latency you get first close "jackstart -d alsa" with a CTRL+C from commandline. Next start the "qjackctl" program which is a nice frontend for the jackdaemon.

Now click the "SETUP" button on the right and:

  • check "realtime" in the "parameter" section!
  • set the server to "jackstart"
  • set samplerate to "44100" or what you desire!

After this you close with an "OK" click. Next start the "jack daemon" with clicking the play button in the main toolbar. If you don't get any error after 2-5 sec everything should be fine. -> Check the "Status" and the "Logs" if everything went fine.

Debian notice

My current unstable system loaded the module "realtime" (because of the entry in the /etc/modules file) but didn't load it with the right parameters. Even after i added the following line into the /etc/modules.conf file.

options realtime allcaps=1

The problem was because i had a new version of modprobe

ii  module-init-to 3.1-rel-2      tools for managing Linux kernel modules
ii  modutils       2.4.26-1.1     Linux module utilities

and because of that i had to add

ln -s /etc/modules.conf /etc/modprobe.conf
Powered by MediaWiki