Revision 22 as of 2009-09-13 14:01:49

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Main Inclusion Report for Jack-Audio-Connection-Kit (JACK)


  1. Availability:; Available for all supported architectures.

  2. Rationale:

    • Many bugs have been filed against various audio servers currently in Main (xine, alsa, portaudio, pulseaudio) and libasound2-plugins requesting that the JACK bridge/plugin/output/etc... be turned on or compiled into the package - this is not possible without the inclusion of Jack in Main. See bugs: 197957, 84900, 152487, 109659, 360590. This may not be a complete list, and duplicates of most of these have been filed.

    • The libffado drivers for firewire soundcards ( ) are only supported by the Jack driver. This makes these common, pro, semi-pro, and hobbyist audio cards inaccessible for most applications without the previous audio server bridges/plugins/outputs to jack available. Owners of these cards must recompile major audio drivers in order to get basic Ubuntu sound

    • Jack is an audio server designed specifically for professional reliable audio signals. This is not a duplicate server clogging up the "audio mess", which some people believe exists in Linux, it is a specialty tool for musicians, audio engineers, and anyone using Linux for professional audio. (In-fact if anything, allowing the aforementioned bugs to get fixed would clean up a large chunk of the "audio mess" which some believe exists. It would at least stop a large segment of people from griping so loudly about and attempting to remove PulseAudio.)

    • shrinking the Ubuntu source package delta to Debian's
    • enabling the JACK backend for PulseAudio to improve the experience of people who want PA<->JACK functionality

  3. Security:

    • No CVE entries known.

    • No Secunia history known

    • Only binaries in jackd, none of which are suid/sgid. Note: realtime capabilities are nowadays granted to users/groups though /etc/security/limits.conf

    • jackd is of course a daemon, but is not automatically started on startup
    • jackd does not listen for network connections itself - it requires the installation of a separately available 'netjack' driver for this.
    • No source code review is performed that we know of.
  4. Quality assurance:

    • In what situation does the package not work out of the box without configuration?
      • Jack needs some audio output device to connect to in order to start. This might fail if such a device is not available, or if another process is keeping a device occupied that does not support multiple concurrent connections.
      • Some configuration may be required for optimal performance (i.e. low latency) depending on the audio card used. Configuration instruction are available at

    • Does the package ask any debconf questions highter than priority 'medium'?
      • Jack does not ask any debconf questions.
    • Debian bugs: only wishlist items are open right now

    • Maintenance in Debian: Is calm

    • Upstream: Is vigorous

    • Upstream bug tracker: nothing particularly relevant or critical there either it seems

    • Hardware: This package deals well with most commonly available consumer, semi- and professional audio cards.

    • Is there a test suite in the upstream source or packaging? No

    • Is it enabled to run in the build? N/A

  5. UI standards:

    • User-visible strings are internationalized using standard gettext system ?
    • Package with translatable strings builds a PO template during package build ?
    • End-user applications ship a desktop file ? Yes

  6. Standards compliance:

  7. Dependencies:

    • cdbs (>= 0.4.26-2), type-handling (>= 0.2.5), debhelper (>= 4.1.0), patchutils (>= 0.2.25), dh-buildinfo, libasound2-dev, libsndfile1-dev, doxygen, libcap-dev, autotools-dev, libreadline5-dev, libraw1394-dev, libfreebob0-dev, libsamplerate0-dev, libcelt-dev, libffado-dev (>= 1.999)

    • Are these all in main ? Yes, all dependencies are in the Main repositories except:

      • libfreebob0-dev - in Universe repository (optinal backend-parameter for firewire support)

      • libcelt-dev - in Universe repository (optinal backend-parameter for celt support)

      • libffado-dev - in Universe repository (optinal backend-parameter for firewire support)

  8. Maintenance:

    • How much maintenance is this package likely to need ? (Simple packages may largely take care of themselves; complex packages will need dedicated developers paying attention to them.) Little maintenance should be required

    • Who is responsible for monitoring the quality of this package and fixing its bugs ? Are they Ubuntu or Debian developers ? Upstream developers along with Debian and Ubuntu developers

    • Who is the package bug contact in Ubuntu? (Needs one if its a nontrivial package which does not fully maintain itself through Debian) Ubuntu Studio developers

  9. Background information:

    • The general purpose and context of the package should be clear from the package's debian/control file. If it isn't then please explain. JACK is a sound server that handles real-time, low latency audio (and MIDI) allowing connections to a number of different applications to an audio device, as well as allowing them to share audio between themselves.

    • What do upstream call this software ? Has it had different names in the past ? JACK, Jack Audio Connection Kit or simply jackd

  10. Internationalization:

    • Are graphical applications translatable? Do they support gettext? GUI is not implicitly included with JACK


MIR bug:

Author: Scott Lavender
Contributor: Arnout 'raboof' Engelen