Cubase for Linux

You’re making the unfounded assumption that offering a Linux option would not increase revenue.

He was replying to your “Linux users would not pay for Cubase is invalid, as they would have paid for the license already.” remark in a rhetorical way.

Linux would of course increase revenue, but it may not increase profits. I don’t know how hard it would be to port Cubendo but i’d love to see it, they’re already releasing the same patches for Mac/Win so they’ve got a framework there to build on - i’ve tried Linux for audio for years and years, and still waiting for the plugin support and DAW that suits me to come along in Linux, it’s close, but i can’t make the compromises at this point in time.

Hi there! Linux user here, allow me to share some of my thoughts over this thread and about the possibility of Cubase on Linux.

So I’ve read of people having some problems with Linux in one way or another. I firmly believe (and can be demonstrated) that all the tools available for audio production on Linux are fantastic, but even their creators admit that their tools may not do everything as expected, so comparisons of the like “Ardour is good or great, but not Cubase” (Unless this was referred to the personal perception of how they prefer a DAW or a tool to work with, like saying “FL is good, but is not Cubase”, but that’s an entirely different thing) well obviously, they are different DAWs with different approaches (each one has its own strengths and weaknesses), so are the others already available on Linuxland. And they have different workflows that suits someone’s else perspective so this is a very YMMV.

With that out of the way, I think if someone has experienced those problems they could reach places like libremusicproduction and linuxmusicians.com, in which they offer tips, suggestions and fix-mes on how to do things, I think if someone has the time and effort they can indeed make awesome music with any of the tools already natively available. I will however, state, that Linux won’t do everything, and if your particular setups requires a ton of sample libraries, exclusive VSTs or certain workflows that can only be achieved with your native DAW, then I won’t recommend those people to switch. If they have tight deadlines, jobs to comply and stuff to do™ then Linux isn’t going to be their major choice and that’s completely understandable. If they are also more comfortable with a Windows or macOS-exclusive DAW and feel is better for their overall personal experience then I also won’t tell them to switch because is what they are most comfortable with and are able to do their stuff on. Learning a new DAW does requires getting used to new concepts and models so is not always the best idea in mind.

Lastly and now back to Steinberg’s Cubase. Which I think is what matters and is on-topic for this discussion, so from a technical standpoint. It is definitely possible, latest Cubase has a Qt interface, right? If so, you would only need to find pre-existing libraries that can get you the work of the backend engine and you’re ready to go. If companies like Bitwig and Cockos, who are really tiny in scope (one only has 10 persons, out of 6 programmers, and the other is a two-man combo) were capable of doing Linux ports, then the subsidiary of a multinational like Yamaha with reportedly 180 employees surely can.

From people’s standpoint, it can vary I suppose. I wouldn’t certainly mind another DAW available natively on the platform, the more the merrier! We do have plenty of tools already to make music so adding one to the mix only gives more choice to us, obviously not all audio users of Linux are going to jump into Cubase if it was ported but I imagine they could take a look at it and see how it is, give it a try as some people say, they may like it or not. In the end, isn’t having more and more choice what matters? Windows or macOS users certainly don’t complain when a new DAW enters the foray at least.

From a business standpoint, eh…I kind of doubt Steinberg would do a Linux port. It got into the feature list of which it got a good position (as seemingly it’ll be among the ones who gets the most attention, or so the top 25 separation would led me to believe), but if their business relies primarily on selling hardware and software. Why bother putting out a Linux port? Even if it was possible? I half-expect a big fat “No” when the time comes for them to answer. Not because I will speculate about their financials, available programmers, man resources, etc. but simply because it doesn’t seem like the kind of company who would put out their flagship product into another OS, with possible profits in it, or not.

Mind you, these are my impressions, how I view things, how I interpret them. If I am proven wrong later down the like and they do a Linux port, cool! I guess, if they don’t, cool! I guess. Is not a “Who is right and who isn’t?” game for me, is simply a very basic analysis of how I feel about the whole situation overall. Personally, I think they could start with small steps (port their other VSTs to Linux little by little, or make an alpha/beta test of Cubase to see if it works down their line) but if their managers or engineers aren’t interested nor anyone at the company, then there won’t be Cubase on Linux, as simply as that. The only choice people have at this point is to wait and see what the company says.

The sentence begins with “if”, because I wasn’t - and am not - following your logic.

Yes, those who buy Cubase buy a license technically, and that license is platform agnostic.

But you imply that offering Linux would increase revenue, and that would mean gaining new users, not the ones that already bought Cubase for other platforms. So the distinction is essentially irrelevant unless you’re trying to say there is no difference in revenue because all that would happen is that users would move over from Win/OSX to Linux.

So again, the question is how many people there are out there that want to use Cubase but are not going to spend money on it because it isn’t on Linux, but if it became available for Linux then would buy the license. Every user that has already bought a license or are going to buy a license without Cubase running on Linux are irrelevant to conversation of increasing profit, or at the very least paying for increased expenses.

See my point?

So again, the question is how many people there are out there that want to use Cubase but are not going to spend money on it because it isn’t on MacOS, but if it became available for MacOS then would buy the license. Every user that has already bought a license or are going to buy a license without Cubase running on MacOS are irrelevant to conversation of increasing profit, or at the very least paying for increased expenses.

So again, the question is how many people there are out there that want to use Cubase but are not going to spend money on it because it isn’t on Windows, but if it became available for Windows then would buy the license. Every user that has already bought a license or are going to buy a license without Cubase running on Windows are irrelevant to conversation of increasing profit, or at the very least paying for increased expenses.

So again, the question is how many people there are out there that want to use Cubase but are not going to spend money on it because it isn’t on Linux, but if it became available for Linux then would buy the license. Every user that has already bought a license or are going to buy a license without Cubase running on Linux are irrelevant to conversation of increasing profit, or at the very least paying for increased expenses.

See my point?

See, I have three points. And none of them makes sense.

Ok, one last time then.

Let’s say Cubase Pro is $500.
Let’s say there currently are 100,000 users.
10,000 x $500 = $50,000,000.

Now let’s say that 50% of them would prefer to use Cubase on Linux. And let’s say Steinberg creates a version of Cubase for Linux. Let’s see how that changes revenue:

100% of 100,000 users already have a license.
0% of them are going to pay again for the Linux version.
Increased revenue = 0 x $500 - $0

None of them contribute to increased revenue.


Now let’s say that there are 5,000 people out there who are about to buy a DAW. They look around at options. There’s Logic, and that’s OSX only. There’s Cubase which is both Win/OSX. All of them decide that Cubase would be the best option. 30% of them like OSX. 50% of them like Windows. 20% prefer Linux. So far we can see that increased revenue will at least be;

(0.3 x 5,000 x $500) + (0.5 x 5,000 x $500) = 2,000,000 dollars…

What about the remaining 1,000 people that want to buy a new DAW? Well, some of them basically say “I love Cubase, and I’ll use either OSX or Windows, even though I prefer it ran on Linux”… and the second category say “Windows? OSX? Screw that. I’m going to NOT buy Cubase and instead just get something that runs on my Linux computer”… Let’s say the first category is 75% of that group, and the second category 25%. Let’s look at this;

Cat 1: 0.75 x 1,000 x $500 = $375,000 increased revenue
Cat 2: 0.25 x 1,000 x $500 = $125,000 LOST REVENUE DUE TO NOT SUPPORTING LINUX

As you should be able to see the argument that some have already paid for Cubase is completely irrelevant as far as future revenue due to Linux support goes.

All that is left to do is figure out how large Cat #2 of prospective buyers is in order to determine future revenue due to Linux support - and then just subtract any costs incurred by supporting Linux.

Here again is what I was responding to: " The license on the USB-eLicenser is the product, therefore the argument that Linux users would not pay for Cubase is invalid, as they would have paid for the license already."


Hopefully you get it now.

Personally I think it’d make maybe more sense to port to UWP instead so it’ll run on the upcoming Win Core OS.

What a laugh. There are literally many billions of devices out there running a Linux of some sort. I’ll bet that most of us have way more Linux devices in our studios than WIndows, Mac or iOS devices combined (mixing desks, effects processors, synths, screens, TVs, NAS, phones, routers etc).

It would make sense to invest in existing and established operating systems but you are asking support for a DAO operating system like Win Core OS? What’s next? Win CE?

You sure picked the right post to comment on. Congrats.

Maybe we could harness all the negative energy here and use it to make electricty we could sell to pay some devs to write a Linux version …

I second the opinion of samptone.

Did you mean the quote below?

Yeah, me too …

Me too. As long as it also ran:

  • All my MS software I need
  • Davinci Resolve
  • isotope RX Advanced
  • Equator Audio reverbs
  • Pro Tools HDX
  • Soundminer
  • Netflix (in 5.1)
  • Spotify
  • Lynx TWO-B
  • UAD-2
  • Contour Shuttle
  • Avid’s Eucon protocol

… and a few more things…

A dedicated audio machine complete with hardware, custom OS and Software… made by Yamaha…

That’ll be $15k for the starter model then lol.

How an earth could they develop all that and sell for a price that’s viable for everyone? It’s not doable.

You’re clearly heavily invested in Windows and that’s fine. Others are heavily invested in Mac and that’s fine too. We just want a third option.

I don’t mind a third option, I’m just stating what I’d need to buy such a box. Not want. Need.

Some of it already runs on Linux, but some probably doesn’t. And regardless whatever box Steinberg/Yamaha would sell would need a Linux distro that ran all of that. And I’m not unique in this btw.

Manufacturers can buy mini 4-core boards at scale for less than $100, Thunderbolt and USB3 for the AD/DA so we can mix & match our own. The OS is free, remember? Not much customization necessary. The software (i.e. Cubase) would just need to be ported, and, as it’s already cross-platform and uses a number of open-source components, I don’t foresee any unsurmountable difficulties.

As soon as you get to mix & match on your own the whole concept of “turnkey” is gone. The ADAC is key for us in pro audio so it needs to work. I would assume that to be one of the key features of this proposed box.

As for “just ported”, it’s not “just” ported, it also needs to be supported. So then someone needs to maintain the OS distro and be in sync with Steinberg, or Steinberg needs to do it, or it needs to stay put at one single version.

I honestly don’t think it takes that much for other components to start placing demands on updates and support for this additionally supported OS. So yeah, one component might be $100, but you have to factor in all components and software and then add support overhead to it.

A $100 part actually costs more like $2-300 in manufacturing - this isn’t an eBay seller building a few machines at cost price - every part has to be sourced, tested and supply chain agreements put in place for production runs. Plus the control of Incoming and assembly QA assessments, failures in process etc. So many factors, people to pay and already occupied production lines to schedule these assemblies into, and a shed load of admin piled on top.

Many companies weight the true cost of a part at 2-4x the actual cost price due to overheads.

The OS isn’t ‘free’ either, Steinberg have to develop, test AND support it… hundreds of thousands just to have two guys work making it saleable, cohesive and user friendly, and they’d need to project manage and fit it into their existing infrastructure, along with Yamaha on the hardware side. On top of that they also need to protect their IP and make it secure.

It’s also critical how this would compare with other such products on the market which Yamaha have vested interest in, and their reputation for hardware in the market as a whole.

How would they even begin to predict sales on such a project. Look at the Nuage controllers for pricing, if you broke down the ‘parts’ cost you could never justify the selling price by using this $100 part philosophy. That’s why the cost of a custom Steinberg/Yamaha hardware and OS combo would be through the roof!

Plus it would get bad mouthed on if less than perfect as they are platform owner, app developer and hardware manufacturer. They’d be mad to even entertain the idea… particularly if all this expense goes into running a cross platform app on which inherently is buggy and out dated in certain areas.

Doomed from the start pretty much.

OK let’s just give up then. Oh look, someone else is doing it :astonished: