Tracktion Linux FAQ

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321 posts since 14 Nov, 2011

Post Sun Sep 21, 2014 2:46 am


Last updated: 19th August 2015

This FAQ attempts to answer the most frequently asked questions regarding the Tracktion Digital Audio Workstation for GNU/Linux. It is not a manual for Tracktion but rather a collection of Linux-specific information absent from the Tracktion 4 manual. It will be updated frequently, as required.

Q. Is Tracktion for Linux free?

Tracktion 4 is free of cost but you are required to register your copy to disable demo mode. Tracktion 5 and 6 licenses for Linux were issued freely whilst it was still beta software. If you obtained a free Linux license for Tracktion 5 or 6 it should continue to work on the machine you registered it on for the lifetime of the T5/6 series.

TSC now employ a dedicated Linux developer. As of v6.1 Tracktion for Linux is considered production-ready and licenses now need to be purchased for new installs. One license lets you use the Linux, OSX or Windows builds and install Tracktion on up to three machines.

Tracktion's underlying tool kit, JUCE is both free (for non-commercial use) and open source but Tracktion 5 and later is no longer available for free.

Q. What Linux distributions are supported by Tracktion?

Tracktion for Linux is currently built under and packaged for Ubuntu 12.04 amd64. Ubuntu 12.04 uses glibc 2.15 so you should be able to run Tracktion so long as you are running a 64-bit Intel/AMD Linux distribution that uses glibc 2.15 or later.

You can install Tracktion simply by clicking on its .deb package if you are running a recent 64-bit Ubuntu or Debian-based distro and you have gdebi or gdebi-kde installed. Users of rpm distros like Fedora, RHEL and OpenSUSE will need to convert the deb into an rpm package using a tool such as alien.

Arch users can install Tracktion via the AUR package.

Q. I'm not running a Debian or Ubuntu-based distro and there isn't a tool to convert .deb packages into packages for my distro. How can I install Tracktion?

You need ar installed to extract the data.tar.lzma from the Tracktion Debian package and then untar that to the root of your filesystem, like this:

Code: Select all

ar xv TracktionInstall_X_X_X_Linux_64Bit.deb
sudo tar xvf data.tar.lzma -C /
Q. Is there a 32-bit version of Tracktion for Linux?

There is no 32-bit build of Tracktion for Linux and there is unlikely to be whilst Tracktion for Linux is undergoing beta testing.

Q. I hear Tracktion now supports Melodyne. Can I use Melodyne under Linux?

As of July 2015 Celemony do not support Linux so there is no Melodyne support under Linux.

Q. What plugin formats are supported?

Tracktion 5+ supports Linux-native VST plugins as well as LADSPA plugins. Tracktion 4's LADSPA support seems to be broken under v4.5.6 and it is unlikely to be fixed because TSC no longer maintain v4.

Tracktion currently has no LV2 plugin support but the Carla v2 plugin host can be built as a Linux VST plugin which brings LV2, DSSI and Windows VST support to Tracktion. falkTX, the author of Carla, claims Carla VST should enable you to use any Windows VST with Linux Tracktion that works with Windows Tracktion running under wine.

If you just want to experiment with using Windows VSTs under Tracktion for Linux you can try using Airwave or abique's vst-bridge.

Bridged and wine-dependent plugins are frequently unstable or unusable and Tracktion doesn't sandbox plugins yet so badly behaved plugins can crash the whole DAW. Plugin sandboxing, which means crashing plugins won't also also take down Tracktion, is a planned feature for T6.

Q. What are the main differences between Tracktion for Linux and Tracktion for Windows or OSX?

In many cases where you would be required to hold the ALT key under Windows or OSX, Linux users have to instead hold down the Meta (Windows) key instead. For example, the pop-up help for a clip says you can lasso multiple clips by holding down ALT and dragging with the left mouse button but under Linux this is performed by holding the Meta key and dragging.

There are a few other areas where the Linux build of Tracktion lacks features that are present on other platforms such as the included video sync and some exporting capabilities.

Q. Is my audio hardware supported?

To verify the Linux compatibility of PCI, integrated and USB audio devices check the ALSA Hardware Matrix. For FireWire devices, consult the FFADO Device Support database. As of Linux 3.16, ALSA supports some FireWire devices.

Q. Does Tracktion support JACK Transport?

There is currently no support for syncing Tracktion with other JACK clients via JACK Transport.

Q. Are Tracktion projects portable between the Linux, Windows and OSX versions?

Yes, provided that the project only uses integrated Tracktion plugins and/or VST plugins that are available on all of the relevant platforms.

Q. I have Tracktion installed and registered... now what?

Configure Tracktion to use JACK by going to Settings -> Audio Devices. Set 'Audio Device Type' to 'JACK' and you will likely want to choose 'system' for both the input and output devices. If you have more than 2 inputs or outputs on your audio device you will want to enable those extra ports in the channels sections. If you want to use any MIDI hardware connected to your machine, you have to enable them under the MIDI devices menu before you can assign MIDI hardware to any tracks.

Next you will want to get Tracktion to scan your plugins so go to Settings -> Plugins -> Scanning and Sorting and scan for both VST and LADSPA plugins.

Q. I cannot scan my plugins! The plugin scan never completes successfuly. What can I do?

This is a known bug. The current workaround is to run Tracktion under gdb just to scan your plugins. Make sure gdb is installed then run:

Code: Select all

# gdb Tracktion
> run
After scanning your plugins, quit out of Tracktion and gdb and start Tracktion normally.

Q. My MIDI device is connected and powered on but I don't see it listed under Tracktion's MIDI devices menu. What can I do to make my MIDI hardware work?

If you are not running a distro optimized for audio then you are likely running without the ALSA MIDI module loaded. You can load it manually with:

Code: Select all

sudo modprobe snd_seq_midi
If you want the ALSA MIDI module loaded automatically at boot, create a file named something like /etc/modules-load.d/alsamidi.conf containing just the name of the ALSA MIDI module, snd_seq_midi.

Have fun!
Last edited by danboid on Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:00 am, edited 47 times in total.

321 posts since 14 Nov, 2011

Re: Tracktion Linux FAQ

Post Sun Sep 21, 2014 2:48 am

Have I forgot anything or slipped up somewhere?

Do I deserve a sticky now?

321 posts since 14 Nov, 2011

Re: Tracktion Linux FAQ

Post Sun Sep 21, 2014 3:42 am

Writing this made me wonder if Tracktion is likely to remain free for Linux, even when its considered stable?

I'm sure this question has been asked before but I don't recall seeing it answered. I suspect TSC are waiting to see what happens with Tracktion Linux and Linux at large?

Whatever happens, I applaud TSC for being early supporters of pro Linux audio and I would put Tracktion at the top of the list of non-free DAWs most likely to be open source eventually, for obvious reasons.

I would buy Tracktion for Linux if it did go non-free and only cost as much as the other versions; that's if they didn't give me a complimentary copy for being one of their main Linux testers and supporters! ;)

321 posts since 14 Nov, 2011

Re: Tracktion Linux FAQ

Post Sun Sep 21, 2014 4:16 am

I've just done a bunch of edits to make a few of the answers clearer and added a nod to the upcoming plugin sandboxing of T6.

My previous post in this thread was my 200th KVR post!

321 posts since 14 Nov, 2011

Re: Tracktion Linux FAQ

Post Sun Sep 21, 2014 4:41 am

In respect to 'what plugins does Linux T5 support?' I'd like to include a bit more on LV2 other than 'its not supported'.

Is LV2 support under consideration for T6 or further down the line?

Thanks TSC!

User avatar
4933 posts since 11 Feb, 2005 from Bordeaux France

Re: Tracktion Linux FAQ

Post Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:24 am

Good work, danboid. I'd add that LV2 support via Carla VST is nearly ready. Carla vst is a host that can handle lapsda, vst (linux and windows), dssi and lv2. So all our needs will be covered.
You can't always get what you waaaant...

321 posts since 14 Nov, 2011

Re: Tracktion Linux FAQ

Post Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:41 am

Hi stanlea

I've not tried Carla-as-a-VST myself yet. From what falkTX and others have said its not fully working just yet. However, the early code is already in git and I have faith F will get it working soon so I've given that a mention and I've also added links to Airwave and abique's vst-bridge in the same answer/edit.

321 posts since 14 Nov, 2011

Re: Tracktion Linux FAQ

Post Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:27 pm


Feel free to correct me on anything or to reproduce/link this on the Linux page.

2518 posts since 4 Jan, 2005

Re: Tracktion Linux FAQ

Post Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:59 am

I might have to have another go at this once Carla VST comes out .... I'm too stuck on VST and Windows at the moment . I do like LV2 plugins for Linux though ... Will Carla VST bridge 32 bit VST plugins from Wine to 64 bit T5 or T6 or will people be using 64 bit Wine ? I'm pretty curious ...... Great work guys .

103 posts since 19 Sep, 2007 from Viseu, Portugal

Re: Tracktion Linux FAQ

Post Mon Sep 22, 2014 1:42 pm

fedexnman wrote:Will Carla VST bridge 32 bit VST plugins from Wine to 64 bit T5 or T6 or will people be using 64 bit Wine ? I'm pretty curious ...... Great work guys .
At least under Linux, Carla can bridge 32bit/64bit plugins plus wine32/64 ones.
If you want windows vst2/3s you'll need wine of course, and how stable they are depends on the wine version you have.

The carla way to handle the wine stuff is different from all other projects though.
Carla has a real windows binary (compiled with mingw) with just a small specially-built wine DLL.
The Windows VST code uses Juce, so a lot of workarounds are already in place.
If a VST works in tracktion/wine then it will work in Carla, since they use the same code (Juce).

321 posts since 14 Nov, 2011

Re: Tracktion Linux FAQ

Post Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:40 pm

Thanks for your reply falkTX!

I've just updated the FAQ with some of your info on Carla VST, updated the last answer with the news that TSC have fixed the Linux plugin management bugs and added a little more explanation of the documents purpose/scope to the intro.

9 posts since 9 Sep, 2014

Linux/Wine/VST Hardware Dongle (e.g. TC electronic DAC i/o)Re: Tracktion Linux FAQ

Post Mon Sep 22, 2014 5:22 pm

a question maybe too much in detail for a sticky/faq.
There should really be a tree in this forum for Tracktion/Linux/Plugins, etc.

E.g TC Electronic Desktop Konnnekt 6 firewire audio interface. It is reported to work with linux for basic i/o. But not for the alsa-mixer, etc. It features VST plug-ins and a non DSP live monitoring reverb. Both depending on the cpu of the host computer, where the device acts as a hardware dongle. "TC near" software controls this on Win/Mac along with mixing and monitor routing, phantom power, etc.

So, to fully use this device under linux we depend on a wine setup. Has anyone heard of any ongoing afford to work out?

321 posts since 14 Nov, 2011

Re: Tracktion Linux FAQ

Post Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:21 pm

Hi Vel

I think covering Linux audio hardware support is outside of the scope of this FAQ. It is a FAQ for info directly related to Tracktion under Linux and nothing more. I may add a link to an external resource or two that covers Linux audio hardware compatibility.

I agree that Tracktion (users) would benefit from having a better plugin compat. resource. The best place for that would probably be the Tracktion wiki. It might make sense to move this FAQ to the wiki soon too. I'd like some feedback from TSC before I do much else with this though.

ALSA / Linux gained ALSA-native firewire support as of kernel 3.16. I've not tried it myself yet as I no longer have any FW devices.


PDF: ... rewire.pdf


Table of contents
1. Introduction
2. Common Specifications
3. Device features
4. Existing drivers
5. Investigation for user-land driver
6. Investigation for kernel-land driver
7. Enhancement of ALSA firewire stack
8. Driver implementation
9. Rest of issue

9 posts since 9 Sep, 2014

Re: Tracktion Linux FAQ

Post Tue Sep 23, 2014 5:29 pm

Thank you @danboid!

Your info and pointing out kernel version vs. firewire support helped a lot.

The limited support for sound I/O makes linux a poor choice for most users.
Maybe these links are worth to be listed in the faq regarding i/o:

recommended audio interfaces with linux:
also pointing to
- ffado
- alsa-project

further reading: ... t-on-linux

I remember, some firewire audio interfaces sporting the "Dice"-Chip will not be supported for 192khz with linux. But I have no quote on that regarding kernel version.

Great f.a.q.!


edit: something unclear with the dice chip fw interfaces

9 posts since 9 Sep, 2014

Supported distributions Re: Tracktion Linux FAQ

Post Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:05 pm

Tracktion 4 linuX is build with ubuntu 12.

Which other distributions are reported to work?
How about Studio 1337/leeds ( ? It runs both 32bit and 64 bit with realtime kernel. Good for old hardware,too. did anyone try that?

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