Is running Dorico in a virtual machine possible?

I am planning to buy Dorico 3, however I want to be sure it runs on my system before I spend that much money.

I am using Linux (Ubuntu) as my operating system, and Dorico can’t run on that. I do have a Windows 10 virtual machine using VirtualBox. However I noticed some programs don’t like to be run in that, due to requiring some hardware features that apparently are not emulated.

Does anyone here use Dorico 3 in VirtualBox in Linux, or at least knows that it works?

(And yes I do know wine, but setting it up so such a complex software runs reasonably well is too much work for me)

Welcome to the forum, PianoBanana. I’m afraid we’ve not tested this kind of configuration, because it’s not supported, so I don’t have any actual facts to hand, but my concern would be that you might run into problems with the eLicenser, and with audio support. On the other hand, if you can run Cubase in such an environment (again, I have no idea, because it’s not supported) then Dorico may well also run OK, since its most critical audio components are shared with Cubase.

Thank you Daniel. I will try installing Cubase to test if that works. I had a Dorico 2 Trial (without Audio as I didn’t Install the files for that) running with the same setup a few months ago so I think the licensing stuff works.

Is there anything based on Linux that you (or really anyone here anyone having it running) know that works?

I haven’t tried this myself, and I am by no means an expert for VMs, but unless you have a really powerful machine, I’m wondering if you can allocate enough hardware resources to the VM for Dorico to run smoothly.

I’d be interested to hear about your experience with this.


I have used for many years VirtualBox on Windows and Linux.
But I switched to VMWare, because its graphic support for Windows is much better. (DirectX etc.)
So it might be, that you have graphic problems within VirtualBox, that don’t exists on VMWare.
My experience is, that disk I/O is the biggest issue in virtualisation. So you would probably get into real performance issues when you use a sampler for audio output.

But I have not used Dorico in any virtual environment.

Regards, Felix

My experience is just about anything should work with VMware, but performance is a serious concern - especially with anything involving graphical user interfaces, you do take a big performance hit by virtualizing. I know because I’ve tried running audio applications via VMware before. It may work 100%, but be so unresponsive that it will drive you crazy.

Yes, that’s my experience, too. Sometimes even typing into a shell can be slow – a teensy bit, but just enough to be noticeable and drive you mad over time.

On the topic of hardware resources which can obiviously affect performance

My full system has the following components, of which I split everything about in half for each operating system. If it’s slow I can even give it another 1/8 processor and a few more GB RAM. As it’s weigh above the minimum required specifications I assume Dorico will run at usable speeds even when subtracting the cost of virtualization.

Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-7820HQ CPU @ 2.90GHz
Graphics card: NVIDIA® Quadro® M2200, 4 GB memory
RAM: 32GB DDR4 2400MHz
VM virtual disk is physically on builtin SSD, and on a different one than Linux

So I have decided to risk it and buy Dorico, and if it doesn’t run at all I will dual boot and run it from there. And since many of you use or recommend VMWare I will also use that from the start on.

You can try the trial version of Dorico 2 (the Dorico 3 trial isn’t out just yet, but probably will be quite soon) to see how that performs.

That originally was my plan, but I can’t find any working Dorico 2 trial link anywhere. (this is likely an issue on my side) Could you tell me where I can get a trial code?

I didn’t try it in Linux, but Dorico 3 (and Dorico 2) works just fine in Parallels VM on Mac. Using either Windows 7 or Windows 10, and the eLicenser.

I can’t complain about the performance of Dorico itself in this VM, but playback performance isn’t good enough for our NotePerformer software, which isn’t too surprising. You have a better chance with the built-in sounds, if you use the largest buffer possible for the audio device settings.

I just installed Dorico and it works! (mostly)

Used VirtualBox and not VMWare as VMWare gave me quite a few problems even without Dorico running within it.

So if anyone else uses Linux and wants to try running Dorico 3 in a virtual machine, here is what works after installing Dorico freshly without any adjustments:

  • eLicenser works without any issues
  • Dorico itself sometimes has a bit of lag when moving the score, but by far not enough to drive me crazy
  • Applying some options can take noticable amounts of time (mostly <1s, not annoying for me as I don’t do it that often)
  • Condensing can take more than a second (I might need to adjust hardware here)
  • real-time audio output generally works, but not very well. Playing back a piano score with some complexity in it reproducably randomly skips a few 10th seconds of audio. Organ sound does not work at all, which was quite shocking for me as the first test project I wrote was for organ, making me think sound does not work at oll.
  • playing the notes as you write them has a bit of delay close to 0.4 seconds, this might get a bit annoying
  • generated audio output files don’t lag when played back outside the virtual machine, so it’s still possible to use the quite nice included sounds

Overall quite usable, and audio might be improvable with a bit of options adjusting.

(EDIT: found out that organ just had no instrument associated and thus could not generate sound. Does work now)

Condensing is always a bit slow especially for big scores, so it is hard to say how much of the delay is due to the virtualization and how much is simply required by the feature itself.

Increase your ASIO buffer size to try to fix the realtime audio output issues.

(seem it might be better to continue this than start a new new one)

I appreciate the answer given, but I have a slightly different use case in mind to ask the Dorico team about.

In Azure I can spin up enormous machines or services and pay fairly little by the minute (not leaving them up all the time, while sleeping, etc.) I can spin up a machine already configured and ready to run a certain product.

Given the processing power challenges, I could see a market for Dorico in the cloud as a service - If I knew that I’d get a supported machine with X libraries or products(Steinberg partner products I’m sure) with 128 cores, 1TB of memory and premium SSD, ready to rock. In THAT case. well yah that there might be latency going back and forth but it isn’t going stutter and die when I load it really heavily… Still a big win, and I don’t have to front that kind of hardware or use it only when I truly need it.

That would be a composer cloud for real to me. I think too of certain AVID services that are available for transcoding and such to support media teams . If I have a work environment competitive with anyone that I can even access from a fairly inexpensive more portable device…