Hanns Holger Rutz edited this page Nov 7, 2015 · 27 revisions


This document describes how to install the SysSon software on a new computer. SysSon depends on a prior installation of Java and SuperCollider.

  • This is explained in the section Preconditions.
  • SysSon itself may then be either obtained as an already compiled Binary (a simple process)
  • or compiled from Source Code (a more involved process).
  • After the installation, you can learn how to Run the application.


Java Development Kit (JDK)

SysSon requires the Java Development Kit (JDK). The supported Java version is 6 or higher. We have tested SysSon with OpenJDK 6, Apple JDK 6, OpenJDK 7 and Oracle JDK 8.

Determining Existing Version

To verify if an appropriate Java is installed, open a shell/terminal (OS X: /Applications/Utilities/, Windows: cmd.exe) and execute:

java -version

If the shell replies java: command not found, there is no existing Java version, proceed to the download instructions. OS X may detect that you try to run Java although it is not yet installed and offer you directly to proceed to the installation. If Java is installed, you will read something like the following:

java version "1.8.0_66"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_66-b17)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 25.66-b17, mixed mode)

In that case you are done and can proceed to the SuperCollider installation.

If you have trouble, you may want to consult this page:

The installation process depends on your operating system. The easiest way is through the official Oracle Java Download site that offers downloads for Linux, Windows and OS X. On Linux, you may want to choose OpenJDK instead which is open source. For example, on Debian, a sudo apt-get install openjdk-8-jdk will do. On older Debian versions, you may need to use openjdk-7-jdk instead.

(Note that Java 6 technically is Java 1.6, Java 7 is 1.7, and Java 8 is 1.8).


SuperCollider is a sound synthesis server used by SysSon. The official website is Here you can find download and installation instructions.

VERY IMPORTANT: As of this writing, the latest released version is 3.6.6 which is defect as multi-channel file streaming does not work and SysSon relies on this feature! If you have this version, please remove it! You must install an older 3.6.x version. Pre-releases of the upcoming version 3.7 may be available, but these have not been tested with SysSon yet, so we cannot recommend their installation at this point.


Follow the direct link to the 3.6.5 installer (unlike the description, this does come with the new IDE).


Ubuntu and Debian: Do not install the default package which as of this writing is the broken 3.6.6. Instead you must find the older package version 3.6.3~repack-7 for Debian or 1:3.6.3-0ubuntu1~oneiric1 for Ubuntu.

You may then also want to inhibit automatic updates of SuperCollider which would proceed to the broken 3.6.6:

sudo apt-mark hold supercollider

If you want to build SuperCollider from source, we have compiled the required steps to build 3.6.5 on Debian here:

Jack: We recommend that you also install qjacktl as a front-end to the Jack audio server. Here you can easily set up a patchbay so that SysSon's sound output is automatically connected to the desired sound-card channels.


There is no direct link on the SuperCollider website. Please go instead to and download version 3.6.5.

Getting a Binary

Readily compiled SysSon binaries for all platforms are available at the GitHub Releases Page.

  • For all platforms, use the download. Unpack it in a convenient location. Linux and Mac must use the script bin/sysson to start, Windows must use the script bin/sysson.bat to start.
  • For Debian, we also provide a separate .deb download. This is preferable as it gives you a Desktop icon, puts sysson into your default execution path and allows you to easily remove the package later.

Building from Source

Building SysSon from source is simple: just clone the repository and run the sbt build tool. It will download all necessary dependencies, including Scala itself.

The best way to get the source code, is via the git source code management tool. The official website has download links for all major platforms. Once you have git up and running, open a shell/terminal and decide for a directory in which you want SysSon to be installed

cd <some-base-directory>

Now clone the repository

git clone

If you are having trouble with your firewall, try the https variant:

git clone

This will download the sources into a new directory sysson. Change into that directory:

cd sysson

It includes a shell script sbt that works out-of-the-box on Linux and Mac. It probably does not work on Windows. In any case, you can follow the installation instructions for sbt from the official website. Once sbt is up and running, you can build the software:

./sbt assembly

If you do not want to use the sbt shell script (e.g. on Windows) and you have installed sbt on your system, use instead

sbt assembly

The first time you run this, it will take a while, because the launcher will download and install the full sbt build-tool, then the Scala compiler and Scala library, followed by the libraries on which SysSon depends, and finally it will start compiling SysSon. Successive builds should be much faster.

When sbt successfully finishes, you have a self-contained executable jar file SysSon.jar in your installation directory.


With the universal download, simply run the bin/sysson script (Linux, Mac) or the bin/sysson.exe script (Windows). If you have installed the Debian package, simply look for sysson in your desktop environment and place it in the favourites.

Once the application has come up with the main window, if this is first time, take a moment to look at the preferences (menu item). Especially on Mac and Windows, you will have probably have to define the location of the SuperCollider server program (scsynth or scsynth.exe) before you can boot it.

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