Cubase for Linux

Win 8.X wasn’t so bad, but modern versions of Win 10 (after 1809) are bloated. The Windows Subsystem for Linux Version 2 (WSL2) features included with newer Win 10 builds is nice to have but as far as I’m concerned, modern versions of Win 10 and Win 11 offer very little value and have compatibility issues with older hardware and software.

I don’t like Microsoft forcing me to spend more money on my PC for “arbitrary” reasons. The PC I have, is very old but it is massively multi-threaded and perfectly capable; unfortunately, modern day software developers (other than Yamaha and Steinberg) are too used to writing “bloatware” that is highly biased toward programs that use just a few threads…

Cubase (aside from the cheesy score editor…) [1] has always been and still is Rock Solid (even the more modern versions), but Microsoft Windows is another story…

[1] - It’s possible the Cubase score editor has improved a lot since I’ve last used it, but I don’t mess with it much anymore and use MuseScore now instead. I don’t have the $$$ for Dorico on top of what I paid through the years for Cubase Pro.

I believe Apples OSes are basically a perverted version of GNU\Linux.

For my studio I switched to MacOS after years of Windows because Microsoft is choosing to make it increasingly inhospitable to stability and predictable performance.

Ideally I would love to see a Cubase on Linux as I believe it’s the best OS for purpose built setups like a DAW, but just the thought of the work it will take for 3rd party devs to port all their plugins to Linux makes me feel completely hopeless.

Maybe in 10 years things will be different, but I do not see anything happening soon. Even if Cubase does get official Linux builds if I can’t use any other plugins what’s the point?

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Not so. I am not sure what you mean by ‘perverted’, perhaps ‘derived from’. In any case, the OS underlying MacOS is Darwin, a UNIX originating from NextStep, Mach, and BSD and others.

Sorry for the offense. I’ve used Macs a little and they do seem pretty responsive compared to my Win 10 box at home, but I’m not sure what the hardware differences are. I just feel Richard Stallman doesn’t always get the credit he deserves.

I’ve messed with Jack, Reaper, Ardour and LMMS a bit in GNU\Linux and Jack isn’t real stable for my EMU1212M. Too many XRuns. Maybe I didn’t tweak the OS right? Also, messing with Wine to run Windows VSTs isn’t something I’m thrilled about… (ugh…). Aside from the audio/video production issues though, Debian 11 is usually faster than Win 10 21H2 for me. Many video games run better in GNU\Linux distros than they do on Win 10 with the same hardware.

The theory is that a skilled user could supposedly build their own GNU\Linux “distro” from Linux from Scratch if they had the time and it would perform as well as any other system but you wouldn’t have anyone to pay the patent royalties for your for MPEG decoding/encoding. That’s one reason I like Google VP8/VP9 and OGG. I think those codecs are maybe all free?

Have a good day Andro and I’m sorry if I offended anyone.

BTW: After using Cubase for years, Reaper feels very “cheap” and overpriced. I know Cubase 10.5 costs big $$$, but I bought Cubase 4 more than a decade ago and upgraded a few times. Maybe about a year ago, Yamaha/Steinberg gave me a killer deal to upgrade to 10.5 so I JUMPED!!!

I more or less started computing (at least in the internt era) within the Linux environment and I will always have an affection for it for sure but it was tough work for audio. I hated having to use Jack for example. I haven’t dipped my toes into it in the last decade and I’m sure it has improved but I was mainly using Ardour with Jack on Ubuntu and Ubuntu Studio around 2008 and it was a tough slog. I know there are Reaper builds now that will run on it and I would go with that as it is a very capable DAW with an amazing community forum; although I know it is not as polished/refined in the visual stakes as Cubase. I moved from Ardour to Pro Tools to Reaper and Reason to Cubase but I spent many productive years on Reaper. I mainly jumped to Cubase because I picked up a Steinberg UR824 intrerface and I liked the idea of the DSP intergration between the DAW and the interface which wasn’t fully available in Reaper. I was also interested in some of the MIDI possibilities that Cubase looked to offer. Having said that I only purchased Elements and have been really happy with it so far, especially v11 which came with side chaining, but I don’t have any problems using Reaper.

The two primary options for Linux are Reaper and Bitwig. Of the two Bitwig is a superior product, and works more seamlessly. ~IMO.

I wouldn’t suggest it. Running a DAW in Linux introduces a number of configuration and systems nightmares for most people. It can be done, but not unless you are tech savvy and know how to manage a Linux build. AND are willing to spend a lot of time and effort to make it work properly.

One of my favorite quotes from the Bitwig forums is:

To prevent Bitwig from auto-enabling jack on its own, a user just has to stick with the graphical qjackctl interface and just make sure the dbus options are enabled and to press “start” from qjactkctl. Qjactkctl will then enable JACK via jackdbus rather than jackd.

So, its pretty “jackd”. :crazy_face:

The last thing Cubase needs is to have this kind of headaches with the software. Inevitably the kind of user who doesn’t understand setting up and using the correct drivers on windows is never going to get all of the command-line requirements done correctly in Linux, and inevitably those are the users who are going to try.

I’m rather technical, but there is no way I want to deal with Linux headaches when trying to make music!


Same here. After spending my career in software development, I’m quite versed in technology, but the very last thing I will want to do when writing music is worrying about … command-line parameters :slight_smile:

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Folks, my original post titled “Cubase for Linux” (over here) from 2014 was actually a feature request to ask for a Linux build as an alternative, not to spark OS wars. Over the 367 posts in that recently-closed topic (why?), you’ll see the discussion going around the same loops over and over again.

If someone doesn’t like Windows, they can use Mac, if someone doesn’t like Mac they can use Windows, all I was suggesting was that if someone liked neither Windows nor Mac, it would be nice if they had the alternative of using Linux.

Don’t like Linux? Don’t use Linux. Done.


I remember there was a time when Steinberg (and others?) were planning to release a DAW OS, wasn’t it? About VST & Linux > Could Steinberg not also port VST SDK to Linux IF they were planning to code Cubase/their products for Linux? BUT, as by my little experience with Linux, there is not the only one Linux, right? Debian, Ubuntu, Suse? I use(ed) Linux Mint as a LIVE system and Ubuntu (I now the core is the same) and also tried CentrOS, but each distribution has its own application layer.

VST3 and VST2 is used in linux. Fedora/redhat/ibm recently removed all VST stuff from their OS since Steinberg have non GPL compliant rules for their GPL released SDK.
Commercial use of linux/VST I think Waves Soundgrid is the most successful product.

Steinberg could eliminate a lot of the variables by providing a distro incorporating all their products. You would then just authorise the ones you need with activation codes you buy online.

If I may quote myself from my original 2014 post:

This would be cool!

Hello, Red Hatter here! I find this to be interesting, without derailing this thread do you have any links to issues/discussion around this? I haven’t been able to find anything in the brief searches I’ve made so far. Are you perhaps referring to the usage guidelines involving the VST trademark?

(I don’t seem to have the ability to post links, so apologies for the non-clickability):

Personally, I would love to see more audio toolkits adding support for the Linux platform. “Linux” can be a huge and sometimes overwhelming ecosystem, though there are ways of scoping things down. With the advancements made to the platform over the past few years such as Pipewire in the audio stack, it would be great if vendors would be willing to check out what we have to offer.

Coming from the M&E industry myself, Linux support was a pretty big part of life for those in the medium to large VFX/Animation studios (I had the opportunity to work at Pixar and Blue Sky Studios). One of the ways the industry reduced the complexity of Linux support was by standardizing around a specific or limited set of long term support operating systems. In this case RHEL and its clones were the primary choice (a mix of reasons, technical and historical are at play there). Just like how a vendor may only support a specific set of versions of macOS or even Windows 10 builds, the same rules can be applied to the Linux landscape from the vendor, even if the application in question can run elsewhere without issue.

That being said, DAWs are only a piece of the puzzle; hardware manufacturers, plugin authors, etc also need to be on board with providing their tools to the platform. As cool as WINE is, I don’t think anyone really wants to be using it if it can be avoided. Trying to enable an entire industry/ecosystem is a big challenge.

Getting back on track, ultimately this and @MrSoundman’s original thread are about expanding Cubase’s supported platforms to include Linux in some capacity for which I cast an enthusiastic +1! I’ve been getting back into music composition/arrangement and though I like the features Cubase offers, as with most DAWs I’d need to use my Windows 10 dual-boot I keep for some specific workloads since I daily drive Fedora Linux.

If any Steinberg staff are reading this and are interested, I’d be more than happy to try setting up communication channels with our Workstation team here at Red Hat. Pro Audio is a really cool space and I’d love to see us be able to support those use cases as well as we can!


Not much. I think they do not want any confrontation. If steinberg does not want to play by
the rules IBM wont push them.

Welcome to the discussion Mike, great to get your input!

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I’ve been sceptical about Linux but now I’m on the fence at least. I wouldn’t mind seeing Microsoft between a rock and a hard place at the moment. Not impressed by their OS in 2022. They’re just too large to care about the functionality of the OS as much as they care about shareholders and nifty business moves. There will be a time in the distant foreseeable future when I need a new computer and maybe I should look into Linux at least as a dual boot or something similar. Now I try to avoid to look that deep into computers but you gotta change with the times. So … I’m not against Linux anymore, curious rather.

But what happens to all old plugins? Is it possible to write a wrapper? Is a wrapper a good alternative just because it’s possible?

That technology already exists. It’s probably more a question of whether a specific plugin that you need will work in the environment, whether the developer would support that use, etc. Interestingly, the VST SDK already caters for creating plugins on Linux, so there’ s technically nothing stopping a developer from also releasing Linux version of their VSTs.

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