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PDa on a Linksys NSLU2 ('Slug')

Installing PDa ('Pd anywhere') on a Linksys NSLU2 running Debian.

This tutorial describes how to install Günter Geiger's PDa ('PD anywhere') on a Linksys NSLU2 (aka 'Slug') running Debian and how to get it to work with a Speedlink USB audio interface.

Installing Tcl/tk developer packages

We logged into the Slug from a remote machine, already activating X forwarding (-X flag; see also here for a tutorial), so we could later actually start the Pd GUI on our local machine's X server:

local-machine:~$ ssh -X -C -2 username@IP.of.remote.slug

On the slug, we then installed the Tcl/tk developer packages (a common procedure for compiling also a regular version of Pd from source on Debian):

remote-slug:~$ sudo aptitude install tk8.4-dev

Compiling PDa from source

Since Günter Geiger does currently not distribute pre-compile packages for the NSLU2, we had to compile our own from his source tarball:

cd /usr/local/src
sudo wget
sudo tar xvfz PDa-0.6-src.tgz
cd PDa/src
sudo make

After this, we could run Pd successfully:

cd /usr/local/src/PDa/bin

Getting the audio interface to work

 For the audio interface to work at all (i.e. have it show up in alsamixer), the following module needs to be loaded:

 sudo modprobe 

 For it to work with PDa, a second module needs to be loaded:

sudo modprobe 

Load tests

Here are the results of some quick CPU load tests, which correspond to the ones Günter Geiger used for evaluating the performance of PDa on an iPAQ in his ICMC 2003 paper. Note that this is for the Slug's processor running at 266 MHz (some earlier versions of the Slug were underclocked at 133 MHz).

CPU load
audio off
10 oscillators
20 oscillators 90%
30 oscillators ???%*
40 oscillators 173%

* At 30 oscillators, I get weird jumping behavior of Pd's CPU load meter. Interestingly, this behavior is reproducable.

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Florian Hollerweger. Cite/attribute Resource. admin. (2008, September 19). PDa on a Linksys NSLU2 (\'Slug\'). Retrieved April 23, 2017, from Florian Hollerweger Web site: All Rights Reserved.