I just spent most of the past weekend installing and configuring Ubuntu Studio 12.04 on my 27" iMac. The plan was to dual boot (I use REFIT) and be able to use OSX for ... well, a few of my recording studio apps, and Ubuntu for just about everything else.
I mean, there are sooooo many excellent music production apps on Linux! The problem, though, has long been the fact that music is the final frontier of Linux--unless you are willing to totally get into the guts of your system and do a ton of work to configure everything correctly. Which I was willing to try!
Well, after 17 hours, I was pretty happy with my setup. I had installed the realtime kernel and even put KXStudio on top of everything else. I was like a kid in a candy store with unlimited funds. There was so much excellent stuff to try out!
And it worked. Sort of. I had to do a bunch of stuff to kill off Pulseaudio [great current poll question: what do you hate more: Unity or Pulseaudio?], and then I had to alter config files to make sure it didn't respawn.
It was NOT easy, but I was damn happy with the setup in the end. I had my USB audio interface working, MIDI input was working--I turned it off and told my wife how happy I was and that it was worth it in the end.
Today I got home from work and decided to record a guitar riff or two....
...crashes galore. No sound at all. Couldn't start Jack.
I gave up.
Since I had already switched to regular Ubuntu 12.04 (yep, the dreaded Unity desktop interface) on my laptop, I decided to just bite the bullet and go with Ubuntu on the iMac too.
Unity has improved. Not sure if I'll get sound to work great or not, but I can always use OSX for that. In the end I learned a LOT more about how Linux works--which is never a bad thing; it's good to become familiar with the future.
I teach Computer Science at a progressive public high school, using mostly open source tools. I improvise a lot and spend most of my time working with students and writing code in Python, Java, Obj-C, LISP....