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Compiling On Linux

fwcd edited this page Apr 7, 2024 · 49 revisions

Compiling software is the process of turning human-readable source code into machine code a computer can execute. Compiling Mixxx is fairly straightforward on Linux. The steps below outline what to do. If you need help after reading this page, feel free to ask questions on our Zulip chat.

Download Mixxx source code

If you want to compile Mixxx, you'll need to download the source code. Source archives for releases are on, but if you want to contribute to Mixxx, we recommend forking the project. Check out Set up Git to get started.

Install build dependencies

Debian & Derivatives (e.g. Ubuntu, Raspbian)

There is a script in the code repository that will download and install all dependencies:

tools/ setup


Using the buildenv script (recommended)

For building the main branch, the recommended approach is to use the script, which will add the RPM Fusion repository and automatically install all dependencies:

tools/ setup


Enable the RPM Fusion package repository. You only need to enable the free repository; the nonfree repository is not necessary for Mixxx.

Then run:

sudo dnf install gcc-c++ ccache ninja-build
sudo dnf builddep mixxx

The following dependencies are needed for building the main branch in addition to those from 2.4 that have been installed by builddep:

sudo dnf install qt6-qt{5compat,base,base-private,declarative,shadertools,svg}-devel qtkeychain-qt6-devel

Arch & Derivatives

If you are developing on Arch, you should have the base-devel group installed.

The tools you are going to need for working with Mixxx are:

sudo pacman -S --needed git gcc cmake

Alternatively, you can substitute gcc with clang.

Then install the dependencies:

sudo pacman -S --needed protobuf vamp-plugin-sdk rubberband soundtouch \
    chromaprint libid3tag taglib \
    lame libogg libmad libvorbis libmp4v2 faad2 opusfile wavpack \
    libshout libsndfile portmidi portaudio \
    sqlite upower lilv libopenmpt-modplug \
    qt5-declarative qtkeychain-qt5 qt5-svg

Note: This will soon be integrated with the AUR packages ( and

Nix & NixOS

Creating a release

nix-build shell.nix --arg releaseMode true --arg defaultLv2Plugins true

This will build a fully functional mixxx derivate to run at any time.

Development Environment

To get a working development environment start a nix-shell like this:

nix-shell --arg enableKeyfinder true --arg defaultLv2Plugins true

You can then use the commands configure, build, run, debug for your workcycle. The result will be placed in the folder cbuild. ccache is used inside the development shell to speed up your recompile times.

VSCode support

You can use following task for building mixxx inside the nix development environment and have proper error parsing:

    "label": "build",
    "type": "shell",
    "command": "nix-shell --arg enableKeyfinder true --arg defaultLv2Plugins true --command 'build;'",
    "options": {
        "cwd": "${workspaceFolder}"
    "problemMatcher": {
        "base": "$gcc",
        "fileLocation": ["absolute"]
    "group": {
        "kind": "build",
        "isDefault": true
    "runOptions": { "instances": 1}

Non-system Qt

To build Mixxx with a version of Qt older or newer than your distribution's package manager, download the latest Qt source code. For each Qt version, it is available at that link in a directory called "single" and has a filename like qt-everywhere-src-VERSION.tar.xz. Extract that archive and compile the source code:

tar xf qt-everywhere-src-VERSION.tar.xz
cd qt-everywhere-src-VERSION
./configure -prefix /path/to/qt/install -system-sqlite -sql-sqlite -qt-zlib -opensource -confirm-license -nomake examples -nomake tests -skip qt3d -skip qtwebengine
make -j`nproc`
make install


If you're building Mixxx 2.2 or earlier, refer to the old instructions below.

Mixxx uses the CMake build system. Building and installing Mixxx follows the standard CMake procedures.

Before compiling, you need to configure with CMake. This only needs to be done once; you don't need to repeat it when you compile Mixxx again.

This step checks if you have all the dependencies installed, similar to the configure script of GNU autotools. /usr/local is used as the installation path in this example, but you can set this to anywhere as long as your $PATH environment variable includes a bin directory under the installation path (/usr/local/bin if the installation path is /usr/local). Don't use the prefix /usr, because it is reserved for packaged version of Mixxx (deb/rpm/...) and will interfere with the update process of your package manager.

These examples assume you have the Mixxx source code at ~/mixxx. If you have it elsewhere, use that path instead in the following commands.

cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr/local -S ~/mixxx -B ~/mixxx/build


cmake --build ~/mixxx/build --parallel `nproc`


cmake --build ~/mixxx/build --target install --parallel `nproc`

If you want to compile and install in one step, you can skip the compilation step above and just run this command.

Run without installing

The mixxx binary will be in the CMake build directory. You can simply run it directly:


If you use Wayland you need to add -platform xcb when running the mixxx executable for the waveforms to work. Unfortunately this will not be resolved until we switch to Qt6 and rewrite the waveform renderers.


We highly recommend installing CCache if you are building Mixxx frequently, whether for development or testing. CCache drastically speeds up the time to recompile Mixxx, especially when switching between git branches. CMake works with CCache automatically.

You will probably want to increase the default ccache size of 5.0GB to something much larger to accommodate Mixxx's large build sizes. You can adjust the cache size with the --set-config flag:

ccache --set-config=max_size=20.0G

Development tips

Debug build and assertions

If you want to make a debug build, add -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug -DDEBUG_ASSERTIONS_FATAL=ON to the end of the cmake configure command. Debug builds should be started with the command line option --debugAssertBreak to trigger a breakpoint in the debugger if debug assertions are violated or to abort Mixxx immediately. This ensures that messages about violated debug assertions are not missed between various other debug log messages. We recommend this if you are working on Mixxx code, but not if you are performing with Mixxx.

Non-System Qt

Append -DCMAKE_PREFIX_PATH=/path/to/qt/install (where /path/to/qt/install is the path you used when building Qt) to the cmake configure command to instruct cmake to prefer the Qt version from that path.

Mixxx <= 2.2

Mixxx 2.2 and earlier used the SCons build system.

Once you have the source code, change to the newly created "mixxx" directory (run cd mixxx). Running scons -h in the "mixxx" directory shows a complete list of build flags if you'd like to customize. To compile without any special options, as a regular user, run:

scons prefix=INSTALLATION_DIRECTORY -j `nproc` optimize=native

Change INSTALLATION_DIRECTORY to the location you want to install Mixxx to. If you want to install Mixxx for all users of the OS, you do not need to specify a prefix and can leave it as the default, which is /local. If you only want to install Mixxx for your user, you can specify a location in your home directory such as ~/local

Running scons will take some time, depending on the speed of your computer. Specifying NUMBER_OF_CPU_CORES will tell scons to run that many threads at a time while compiling. This speeds up compilation on multi-core CPUs. You can check how many threads your CPU can run simultaneously with the lscpu command (look for the CPU(s) field in the output). Setting more threads than your CPU can handle will decrease performance.

Once Mixxx has compiled, if you set the prefix options for scons to a directory that your normal user does not have write access to, run

sudo scons prefix=INSTALLATION_DIRECTORY install

to install it. If you set the prefix to a directory your user does have write access to, then you do not need sudo before scons. The prefix option must be the same as before or scons will recompile Mixxx before installing it.

If you want to be able to run Mixxx on different types of CPUs, change optimize=native to optimize=portable. If you want to contribute code to Mixxx and use a debugger, use optimize=off.

To compile on a Raspberry Pi (only compatible on Rapsberry Pi 3 and later), use the arguments: optimize=native machine=armhf with scons.

Debug build

To catch bugs early during development build and run Mixxx with the following options.

build=debug debug_assertions_fatal=1

Debug builds should be started with the command line option --debugAssertBreak to trigger a breakpoint in the debugger if debug assertions are violated or to abort Mixxx immediately. This ensures that messages about violated debug assertions are not missed between various other debug log messages. We recommend this if you are working on Mixxx code, but not if you are performing with Mixxx.

Optional: Build with m4a/AAC file support

If you want to play m4a files, add faad=1 to your scons commands above. This requires the libraries faad2 and libmp4v2 (or libmp4) to be installed.

Optional: Compile with Clang

Clang is a C/C++ compiler based on LLVM. Using Clang has various benefits:

On Debian, Clang is provided as a package with a version number attached. Using 6.0 as an example, install it like this:

sudo apt-get install clang-6.0

To compile Mixxx using Clang 6.0, before running scons:

export CC=clang-6.0
export CXX=clang++-6.0

You can now use clang-specific SCons options.

  • To enable colorized output, use the color=1 scons flag.
  • To enable Address Sanitizer, use the asan=1 scons flag.

Troubleshooting scons

If scons can't find installed dependencies, try

scons --config=force


To uninstall a copy of Mixxx that you compiled with SCons, cd into the directory where you ran scons before, then run:

scons -c prefix=INSTALLATION_DIRECTORY install

INSTALLATION_DIRECTORY must be the same as that used when compiling and installing. If you needed to use sudo to install, also use sudo to uninstall.

Clean up

If scons fails with mysterious errors about not finding dependencies that you know are installed, it may be using outdated cached information to look for the dependencies. This can happen after upgrading your GNU/Linux distribution. To resolve this, try running scons -c and recompiling Mixxx.

Run without installing

If you want to run your compiled version without installing, from the same directory, run:

./mixxx --resourcePath res/ --settingsPath <folder>

You can omit the --settingsPath argument, but then mixxxx will use and potentially overwrite your user-wide configs.

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