Running Spectrum Lab under Linux /
- System Requirements
- Installation and directory structure
- Setting up the soundcard
- Known problems (Linux / WINE - related)
See also: Spectrum Lab's main index ;
installation and configuration (on a Windows PC)
(on a Linux machine)
You will need the following to use "SpecLab" on a Linux machine :
- a relatively fast PC with at least 1 GHz CPU, and an recent Linux installation
( I tested it with Kubuntu V 7.04 in June 2007, using the KDE desktop)
- WINE (which allows to run windows applications under Linux, but
"Wine Is Not an Emulator" )
- of course, a soundcard which is supported by your Linux distribution
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Since Spectrum Lab still runs as a native windows program on your Linux machine,
you need to install it under WINE as explained further below.
Since SpecLab only uses standard Windows API calls, which are all supported
by WINE, you do
not need any special windows DLLs /
frameworks / etc (the WINE documentation explains why it's sometimes necessary
to "borrow" certain files from a windows installation; this is not required
to run Spectrum Lab. All the required files are in the Spectrum Lab installer;
which is identical for both Win + Wine/Linux).
So let's begin the installation:
Download the Spectrum Lab installer and unzip it (install_speclab.zip ->
InstallSpecLab.exe). Even though zip-files are not the standard format under
Linux, it's easy to do with file managers like Konqueror (..those were the days..) .
Launch the WINE file manager, find the way to the Spectrum Lab installer
(InstallSpecLab.exe), and double-click the installer.
(WINE will now start the SpecLab installer, which thinks it runs on a windoze
machine. By some black magic, it even placed a quick launch icon on the KDE
desktop, which can be used to launch Spectrum Lab later).
Follow the instructions of the Spectrum Lab installer as described
here (for a windows machine). The
directory structure will be similar as on a windows machine (depending on
the WINE configuration, because under Linux we don't have a drive C:). Don't
worry about this, as you launch SpecLab through the icon on the ( KDE? /
Gnome?-) desktop. In fact WINE will create a directory name Spectrum somewhere
in your home directory, so you can easily find the files installed by Spectrum
Start Spectrum Lab by clicking on the new icon on the desktop.
(Note: Under Kubuntu, the icon initially looked like a blank page. But after
restarting Linux, the icon contained the correct symbol = the parabolic dish
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To be completed ... under Kubuntu (or other Linux distributions with the
KDE shell), use KMIXER.
Besides that, read this chapter,
which is focused on the windows audio control panel, but you will find almost
the same appearance in most (graphic) soundcard control programs under Linux,
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Text output, rotated by 90 degrees, doesn't work with some fonts.
This affects the frequency scale, and some other scales, depending on the
Effect: no numbers are displayed next to the scale, when the text should
be rotated by 90 degrees.
Reason: Some differences between the Windows GDI (graphic device interface)
and the emulation under Linux.
Workaround: If the waterfall and/or spectrum graph shall be rotated by 90
degrees, set the "Frequency scale style" to "Classic"; if the frequency
axis is horizontal set the style to "Ruler".
The waterfall doesn't scroll as smooth as it does under Windows (on the same
Reason: Emulation of the windows GDI in Wine... imo it's admirable that it
works at all !
Workaround: Turn the option "Smooth scroll" in the display settings off,
and accept the fact ;-)
Invoking the HTML-based help system under Linux
Fortunately, the author of Spectrum Lab said good-bye to Microsoft's proprietary
help system (*.hlp) a long time ago. So it's easy to display the help files
(with the Spectrum Lab documentation) on any PC now; all it takes is a web
To display pages from the help system automatically, Spectrum Lab tries to
invoke the HTML browser (preferrably Firefox, Opera, etc). To the author's
suprise, this worked even though SpecLab runs in a windows box (oh, sorry,
a WINE box), while the browser is a native Linux application. If it doesn't
work, check the browser command line (in SL's main menu: "Help"..."Show last
browser command"). When running under Linux/WINE, the browser command begins
with "winebrowser", followed by the path + filename + HTML anchor.
If the help system cannot be launched from SpecLab's help system, you can
still open the help system manually with your favourite web browser (in fact,
if you can read this document you have already found out how ! )
See also: Spectrum Lab's main index
Last modified : 2020-10-23
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