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Pre-built packages

If you're running either Debian or Ubuntu, there are Sonic Pi releases that you can install without having to build the app yourself.


The Sonic Pi package is in Debian Sid (Unstable), Debian Stretch (Testing) and Ubuntu 16.04. To install, just enter:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install sonic-pi


Starting with Ubuntu Xenial 16.04, sonic-pi is packaged in the main archive:

sudo apt-get install sonic-pi

The Sonic Pi Ubuntu PPA repository always contains the latest stable release for Ubuntu 14.04 "Trusty Tahr", 15.10 "Wily Werewolf" and 16.04 "Xenial Xerus". You can install it this way:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:sonic-pi/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install sonic-pi

Then follow the instructions under Generic Linux to prepare for running it, noting the special steps needed for the jackd audio server rather than pulseaudio. You can then run sonic-pi from the command line, or from the GUI menu.

If you run into issues with running jackd along with pulseaudio, search the issues for pulseaudio, and/or help with the port of supercollider to be able to use pulseaudio as well as jackd.

Generic Linux

We're making an effort to simplify the build process. If you're on 15.10 or 16.04, you should be able to get a finished binary with the following commands

cd app/gui/qt/

If this doesn't work for you, please get in touch, we'd like to ensure the script just works for as many platforms as possible.

Otherwise you may need to resolve dependencies yourself, suggestions follow.


With 2.11 there are some significant changes which make development a little more complex, please bear with us as we work to sort out issues. If you're having trouble with a particular platform the folks in sonic-pi's gitter channel ( can assist.

If you're savy with resolving dependencies, here's the general idea.

Sonic-pi is depricating qt4 support. The current build instructions assume qt5 Sonic-pi is now using supercollider 3.7.1, there isn't a debian package for this yet. You must build from source. Sonic-pi is using boost to access real time data from scsynth (For the scope feature) Sonic-pi uses the qwt library to render the scope (Tested with 6.1.2 for qt5) Sonic-pi uses the qscintilla2 library for the text editor. Sonic-pi is moving to c++11 for the gui, in case your compiler doesn't suppor it for some reason.

Debian package dependency names (Jessie):

apt-get install ruby2.1 ruby-dev cmake pkg-config g++ libfftw3-dev qt5-qmake libqt5scintilla2-dev libboost-dev

libqwt-qt5-dev is available, but only from stretch. It's possible you may need libboost1.58-dev from stretch instead. If libboost-dev doesn't work for you, please let us know.

For Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial): apt-get install ruby ruby-dev cmake pkg-config g++ libfftw3-dev qt5-qmake libqt5scintilla2-dev libqwt-qt5-dev libboost1.58-dev libqt5svg5-dev

For Ubuntu 15.10 (Wily): apt-get install ruby2.1 ruby-dev cmake pkg-config g++ libfftw3-dev qt5-qmake libqt5scintilla2-dev libqwt-qt5-dev libboost1.58-dev

For Ubuntu 14.04.3 (Trusty Tahr): apt-get install ruby2.0 ruby-dev cmake pkg-config g++ libfftw3-dev qt5-qmake libqt5scintilla2-dev libboost-dev

14.04 does not have libqwt-qt5-dev, you will have to build it from source. 14.04 libboost-dev is version 1.54, it has not been tested, it may not work. Upgrading to 15.10 or later would be recommended.

** NOTE ** Fedora instructions have not been updated to reflect changes to 2.11, please get in touch if you'd like to help Fedora package dependency names:

  • supercollider (via Planet CCRMA)
  • ruby (or use RVM to manage specific versions)
  • qscintilla-devel (will install qscintilla and qt-devel)
  • cmake

SuperCollider SC3 Plugins

After installing SuperCollider, you will also need to compile and install the SuperCollider SC3 UGen Plugins from source, if your distribution does not provide a binary package of them.

You will need your distribution's supercollider-dev package for this step.

git clone
cd sc3-plugins
git submodule init
git submodule update
git checkout efba3baaea873f4e4d44aec3bb7468dd0938b4a6
cp -r external_libraries/nova-simd/* source/VBAPUGens
rm -rf source/NCAnalysisUGens # these plugins don't work with Jessie's supercollider
sed -i "/# NCAnalysisUGens/,/^#/d" source/CMakeLists.txt
sed -i s/JoshUGens// source/CMakeLists.txt
sed -i s/TagSystemUGens// source/CMakeLists.txt
sed -i s/NCAnalysisUGens// source/CMakeLists.txt
mkdir build
cd build

Depending on if your SuperCollider 3.7.1 installed to /usr/ or /usr/local run either

cmake -DSC_PATH=/usr/include/SuperCollider -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release ..


cmake -DSC_PATH=/usr/local/include/SuperCollider -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr/local -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release ..


sudo make install

Server extensions

Compile the server extensions by cding into the directory app/server/bin and running the script compile-extensions.rb. This will take some time.


You must compile the server extensions prior to this step.

cd into the directory app/gui/qt/ and run the script rp-build-app. This will also take some time.


Start the jack sound server daemon jackd. This is easily done through qjackctl, available as qjackctl in Debian.

If qjackctl doesn't work for you try starting it manually: jackd -R -d alsa -d hw:1

On systems like Ubuntu that run pulseaudio, use pasuspender -- jackd -R -d alsa

Then run the script sonic-pi in the directory app/gui/qt.

Arch Linux

AUR Package

Arch Linux users are strongly recommended to install the sonic-pi-git package from the AUR; see the wiki article on the Arch User Repository if you are unfamiliar with how to install such a package. The PKGBUILD found in this package will:

  • Clone the latest sonic-pi source from GitHub
  • Apply a patch to fix a library naming issue
  • Build sonic-pi from source, according to the instructions found in Generic Linux
  • Install the built software components to /opt/sonic-pi-git
  • Install the launcher to /usr/bin/sonic-pi

After installing, users need to follow the instructions in the Generic Linux section to start the jackd server, and then run sonic-pi at a command prompt.

Building from source

Users can opt to build from source as well if they would like. Instructions and dependencies can be found within the PKGBUILD file in the AUR package previously mentioned, as well as the required patch file.

Linux Mint (beta)


Tested on Linux Mint 17.2, inspired by this issue.

First, install the binary:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:sonic-pi/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install sonic-pi

Next, install qjackctl:

sudo apt-get install qjackctl

Then, launch qjackctl from the command line (while suspending PulseAudio):

pasuspender -- qjackctl

Click the 'Start' button in qjackctl, then launch Sonic Pi :)