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on 30 September 2010

Ubuntu proved the optimal choice for a non-profit radio station

Simplicity in switching, ease-of-use, great client/server side management and outstanding reliability – Ubuntu proved the best choice for KRUU-FM Radio Station.


KRUU-FM, a non-profit community radio station based in Iowa, USA, broadcasts locally 24 hours a day via an FM signal, and online to 30 countries via an MP3 audio stream. They have about 100 hosts, with 75 programs, from bedtime-stories to death-metal music.


KRUU-FM needed to update the operating system in their studio and needed a solution that:

  • Looked good and was simple to use, so that Windows and Mac users could step in and get working right off.
  • Reliable and easy to manage both locally and remotely.
  • Supported audio editing and mixing software/hardware.


The staff chose to implement Ubuntu. Sundar Raman, a presenter at KRUU-FM, says, “Our requirements were quite complex and our decision to go with Ubuntu was based on three factors and Ubuntu won hands down. We did not want to get stuck in the world of managing different binary distributions based on what was supported and what was not. The Synaptic package manager is more elegant than the RPM-based solutions in some paid-for Linux distros and can be used by just about anyone. Critically we wanted a distro that would be usable by the average user.”


Client side management: Ubuntu has been easy to roll-out. Application search and installation are far easier than on an equivalent proprietary software install and more convenient than some other distributions.

Server side management: The daily technical support of non-technical personnel has also been eased by the clean design ethos of Ubuntu and the ability to add Nautilus scripts to do many of the smaller tasks (audio conversion, automatic saves, etc.).

Strong support community: The centralised and forums/application provide a lot of assistance in getting the systems working properly.

Sundar concluded, “Ubuntu worked out great technically. However, where it was truly remarkable was in the area of community support. Since Ubuntu is so popular, our decision to go 100% Linux-based, including for our recording and mixing consoles, was well supported. The existence of the Ubuntu-Studio community helped us make our decision to drop Pro-Tools, and go with Ardour and Audacity on all our workstations.”

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