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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


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Forums
Q: What’s in the Forums?
A: It’s an old school bulletin board system. The organisation of a Forums/Forum may make it easier for users too look up items of interest (compared to the blog format). Another difference is you need to register and sign up to the Forums to create a thread of make comments, where as in the blogs all comments are anonymous. This Forums is still at an experiment stage to gauge it’s effectiveness over the more traditional blog format. If we find this to be ineffective the Forums section will be removed and it’s contents merged back into the Blog area.

Q: Where’s my Activation Email?
A: Check your spam folder. If you are holding multiple email accounts, please check the your email that's registered to PayPal.

Q: Why can I not use the Forum Activate Code to Activate My Snakeoil Machine?
A: The two systems are different. The former is to verify your forum account while the latter is to activate experimental features for your Snakeoil. 

About Snakeoil 
Q: Will my DAC/computer/motherboard work in Snakeoil OS?
A: Snakeoil is based on Linux. As such it can support almost every computer hardware known to man (Linux support far more audio devices than Windows 10). However, only the more popular hardware are supported by the ISO. This ISO should work with 95% of the computers out there. If you are the remaining 5%, all it takes is a simple modification to get Snakeoil OS to work. Refer to the manual for more information.

Q: What is Snakeoil?
A: It’s a Ubuntu Server distro tweaked to give the highest sound quality for my home system. Some of the features include (but not limited to!):
  • Easy to use 
  • High performance, low latency custom kernel (RealTime) specially tweaked for a better sound
  • Custom complied players (e.g. mpd, squeezelite and xmms) with most bells and whistles removed to give that magical performance. (Most players shipped with Snakeoil will only support the following formats: WAV, FLAC and DFF/DSF)
  • Headless operation. Remotely install (with the familiar Ubiquity installer) and configure everything from another networked machine
  • Unnecessary device drivers and system services are disabled
  • Web pages with good contrast and big clear fonts
  • Additional tweaks for donors
  • and more
Obviously what sounds good to me will not necessarily be ideal for you. Hence Snakeoil also gives you the flexibility to pick and choose - from different softwares, to different kernels and different file systems. Ultimately you get to call the shots.

Q: Why choose Ubuntu?
A: It just happen to be the operating system I happen to use.  Using a custom kernel and software in general takes the biggest bottlenecks out of the equation when it comes to distros. And it mostly boils down to the way the startup scripts work and software package management. Both are not really applicable to sound quality as far as I can tell. With over 20 years of experience using Linux, a future version of Snakeoil may well be based on another distro. We will simply follow the sound.

Q: Why call it Snakeoil?
A: The word Snakeoil has taken on a negative connotation on the Internet. I am hoping to turn that tide back. i.e. I want this site to be ranked #1 when googling phrases like “audiophile snakeoil” or “hifi snakeoil".

Q: What are the system requirements?
A: A mini-ITX (mITX) board with a Atom processor is highly recommended, but there is also a generic 386 ISO that should work with most motherboards. Please refer to the manual (Hardware Requirements Chapter. Remember to click on “more” to see the contents).

Q: Where to download Snakeoil OS?
A: Snakeoil OS is broken up into two sections. First time users need to install SnakeoilOS via a ISO - go here for the latest ISO. Once Snakeoil OS is installed and running, you may want to head to the firmware section and apply the latest update

Q: Why is the ISO download so big at > 400 MB?
A: Because we include X Windows. X Windows is required by some music players as they are graphical applications only (e.g. Spotify Connect, JRiver, Clementine).

Q: Why force me to register for a forum account to download the firmware?
A: This new policy is introduced in mid December 2016 as some clown think it's funny to initiate about 4000+ downloads over two days (wasting around 25 GB of my bandwidth).

Q: The download don’t work, it cancels after a while.
A: If you have problems with downloads please use a third party download manager.

Q: I see a activation tab, isn’t Snakeoil free?
A: Snakeoil is free to use, free to modify, and free to commercialise. The activation option activate some experimental features that are yet to be made available in the "mainstream". Testing these features is my token of appreciation to donors of this project. Do not feel 'trapped' you have to donate because you don't. Your Snakeoil OS is not locked down, SSH in and you can do everything that's in the Snakeoil OS menus (and more).

Q: The Snakeoil tab doesn’t seem all that impressive, is that all this distro can offer compared to the other audiophile distros out there?
A: The ability to customise the firmware (either totally, or in parts) plus the ability to use different kernel gives you a massive advantage other distros can’t offer - a way to customise your snakeoil machine to suit your computer and your needs precisely. e.g. Upload a kernel that do exactly what you want, firmware that behaves the way you want it. The power of this feature will become more apparent in the future as I slowly add more kernels and firmwares in the Forums resources sections.

Q: How do I support the Snakeoil development and get my activation code?
A: Click the PayPal found in the Snakeoil tab. Send me a token sum and an activation code will be sent to your PayPal email within 5 minutes. This code will unlock additional snakeoil features. Please contact me if you did not receive the activation email

Q: What is your response time?
A: In general I will respond within 24 hours. All this depend on my work load and time of day. If you get no response within 48 hours please re-submit your question or request.
 

Music Playback
Q: Does Snakeoil support native DSD?
A: Yes. Please go here for a list of supported DACs. Start a new thread in Feature Requests if your DAC is not in the list.

Q: I want to add [Insert your favourite player] in Snakeoil.
A: Start a new thread in Feature Requests and the Snakeoil squad will look into it.
Snakeoil Operating System - Music, your way!
SnakeoilOS Mission
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Our mission is to create a free to use computer OS that is easy to install, intuitive to operate and play music that will connect and engage with you emotionally.

SnakeoilOS gives you the freedom to spend more time on listening, enjoying and exploring music. Wasting time on computers is now a thing of the past! Everything is constantly evolving/improving. Please check back often for updates.

If you like this project, do show your support with a small token donation. All donations collected will be used to run this website, and for purchasing new equipment for the project.

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