A number of our users have been asking for help using Saffire 6 USB on Linux. Before we get to that, I thought it would be useful to clarify our interfaces status on Linux, then I’ll post up some information that will be useful for brave driver developers wanting to attack the devices that don’t work.
Please note that this is cobbled together from the back of my head, so might well be inaccurate – I’ll endeavor to correct and update it as best I can.
Finally, please understand that Focusrite does not officially support Linux. Although some people are seeing positive results in the comments, and some of our products are “known to work”, your mileage may vary. Good luck!
USB Audio Interfaces
Could work: Scarlett 2i2, 2i4, 8i6, 18i6, 6i6, 18i8, 18i20, Saffire 6 USB MkII (USB audio class 2.0 compatible), Forte and iTrack Solo.
Note that Forte’s display will not function on Linux as its content is rendered by a daemon running on the host. I don’t think this should affect its operation as a sound card though.
Could work (but no driver): Saffire 6 USB, Novation nio 2|4
VRM Box will work as an audio device, with two outputs (headphones). However, the VRM processing will not work, as this is embedded in the kernel mode driver on OS X and Windows and would be a very complex task to port (sorry, we have no plans to open source the VRM algorithm any time soon).
FireWire Audio Interfaces
Saffire Pro 40, Pro 24, Pro 24DSP, Liquid Saffire 56: may work via FFADO drivers.
Saffire Pro 40 (second revision): does not work with FFADO driver. These devices can be identified by serial number – any unit with a serial greater than PF0000100000 will not (currently) work.
Saffire, Saffire Tracker, Pro 26i/o, Pro 10 i/o: full support via FFADO drivers
Novation USB Controllers
Impulse, ReMOTE SL MkII (& ZeRO), ReMOTE SL (& ZeRO), Nocturn Keyboard: should work (USB class-compliant MIDI ports). Note that Impulse and SL/ZeRO MkII have extra vendor-specific USB endpoints that will not work without a driver, these are for communication with the Automap server application which is not essential for MIDI control.
Launchpad: works (thanks to driver by Will Scott)
Nocturn: could work, though not USB class-compliant so would need a driver. Could probably be adapted from the Launchpad driver with a trivial change of USB PID (see below).
Launchkey: should work – class compliant.
Launchpad S – class compliant!
Ultranova: requires driver, not known if one exists. Automap / plug-in editor interaction is complex (routing logic in the Windows / OS X drivers) but MIDI could work easily enough.
MiniNova: requires driver. The MiniNova (and UltraNova) librarian and soon to be released editor have a back-door to communicate with the hardware (purely to prevent spam MIDI data clogging up your DAW), which can’t work with the class driver. As with the Nocturn, UltraNova & Launchpad, the format for USB MIDI transfers is simply raw MIDI data (as opposed to the four-byte packeting of USB MIDI class data).
Xio & X-Station: should work (USB audio class-compliant ports).
USB VIDs and PIDs
|Saffire 6USB (USB 2.0 version)||1235||0x8008|
|RemoteSL + ZeroSL||1235||0x0003|
|Remote SL Compact||1235||0x0008|
|Remote SL MkII||1235||0x000B|
|Saffire 6 USB||1235||0x0010|
|VRM Box Audio Class (2-out)||1235||0x0014|
|XIO Emergency OS Download Device||1235||0x1005|
|Nocturn Keyboard Emergency OS Download Device||1235||0x1012|
|VRM Box DFU||1235||0x3203|