Building Ardour on Ubuntu

[UPDATE] I’ve found that the instructions below cause jackd2 to be uninstalled, which causes some problems. Reinstalling the jackd2, libjack-jackd2-0, libjack-jackd2-dev and pulseaudio-module-jack packages should fix those issues[/UPDATE]

I’m taking a journey into audio software, and I’ve been playing around on Linux because there’s quite a good open-source audio community out there. The shining star (in my opinion) is Ardour, a really excellent, open-source DAW. In fact Harrison Mixbus is based on it.

Anyway, many of the developers who work on Ardour use Debian, but I prefer UbuntuStudio, so here are some simple steps to building on Ubuntu. I’m assuming that you already have a dev environment set up (ie you’ve gone ahead and installed build-essentials, git etc).

These instructions are pulled largely from the Ardour instructions, with a few other useful tips given to me by Robin Gareus and Paul Davis in IRC.

I’m running Ubuntu Studio 15.04.

Step 1 – The dependencies

The Ardour website has a list of Ardour’s dependencies. You’ll notice that there are a few libs which they have modified versions of. You don’t need these special ones – you can get by without them. I learned yesterday that APT has very neat mechanism for installing these dependencies. A package maintainer can specify the list of dependencies required to build the package, not just to install it. So, to install the dependencies do the following:

> sudo apt-get build-dep ardour3

On Debian, that would actually give you all the dependencies for Ardour 4 (their Ardour3 package is actually version 4.x). On Ubuntu there are a couple more dependencies you need to install:

> sudo apt-get install vamp-plugin-sdk libtag1-dev libaubio-dev liblrdf0-dev librubberband-dev

Now you should have all the dependencies for Ardour.

Step 2 – Get the code

Assuming you have already changed to the directory where you want to clone ardour

> git clone git://

Alternatively you could go to their github mirror and fork that, and then clone that to your machine. If you want to submit changes doing them via github PRs is by far the easiest way.

Step 3 – Build

Next change into the ardour directory that was cloned

> cd ardour

Then we build

> ./waf configure
> ./waf

If you are missing any depenencies then you should find out during the waf configure step.

Step 4 – Run

To run the version you just built

> cd gtk2_ardour
> ./ardev

Waf also lets you do install/uninstall/clean etc.

2 thoughts on “Building Ardour on Ubuntu

  1. Hi, thanks for the info! A couple questions related to git. Say the git build updated, and I want to run the latest/ greatest from that build. How would I update Ardour to run from the latest git build? Could you make or suggest a tutorial on how to do it? Thanks!

    1. Hi,

      Assuming you’ve just cloned exactly as in the instructions above you can just do:

      git pull origin master

      to update to the latest code, then do a:

      ./waf configure && ./waf

      to rebuild.

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