Building Ardour on arch

UPDATE: It turns out if you want LV2 GUIs to show up you need to install the suil package, it is an optional dependency, but well worth it!

NB: I haven’t written this post with the intent of showing every-day users how to build Ardour on Arch, if you just want to use it, go make a donation or subscribe over at, and support the development of a great application.

I switched to Arch Linux recently, because I was having major issues with Ubuntu and Debian. Build Ardour on Ubuntu/Debian is really easy because of the apt-get build-dep command, which (if a package publishes the data) pulls down all the build-time dependencies of a package.

Arch doesn’t have that, but as I found out Arch also packages headers and static libs in with the normal packages (no separate -dev packages to install), so it somewhat evens out.

Step 1 – Dependencies

I used the package list from my post as the basis for this post because MSYS uses pacman, and has similar naming conventions for packages.

So, first step (assuming you’ve got a working Arch Install with Jack set up and working).

> sudo pacman -S glib2 gobject-introspection c-ares \
libidn rtmpdump gnutls libutil-linux gtk-doc \
docbook-xsl intltool libjpeg-turbo jbigkit \
pkg-config ladspa icu boost curl fftw libusb \
libxml2 libogg flac libvorbis libsndfile \
libsamplerate soundtouch pcre cppunit taglib \
gnome-doc-utils gnome-common atk libpng harfbuzz \
cairo fontconfig freetype2 pixman pango jasper \
libtiff gdk-pixbuf2 shared-mime-info gtk2 \
libsigc++ cairomm atkmm pangomm gtkmm liblo \
serd sord sratom lilv aubio portaudio \
jack2 libltc rubberband soundtouch liblrdf cppunit suil

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

My arch system had Python 3 setup as python and the version of waf that Ardour uses doesn’t seem to like python 3, so I had to run it with python2:

> python2 waf configure
> python2 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.


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