Latest software with older custom hardware


A few years ago, by the time of V4, I built a custom zynthian with a 5-inch capacitive screen, 4 encoders but no push buttons under the display, which wasn’t a big deal because there was a configuration option for showing these buttons at the bottom of the screen instead.

I’d like to update to the latest Zynthian OS to benefit from the latest features, but associated V5 official hardware now has 20 buttons. Is it still possible to use the latest software without a bunch of hardware buttons, i.e. can corresponding commands be triggered from the touch screen and how?

I thought I had read somewhere a while ago it was possible to operate recent OS versions with a touchscreen only, but I’ve been unable to find the info again.

Thanks in advance


Hi @pat

The “On-screen buttons” are not mimics of the S1-S4 buttons. They do different things. S1-S4 are extra hardware buttons that can be bound to trigger events. The on-screen buttons provided some navigation and functionality that was not possible or more awkward with touchscreen only, i.e. without the 4 encoders and their switches.

You can still use Zynthian with touchscreen only. We occasionaly make changes that may break this functionality, e.g. navigation may be awkward or impossible but if this is reported then we try to fix is ASAP.

These options in webconf INTERFACE->UI Options can help with pure touchscreen:

  • Enable onscreen buttons
  • Enable cursor (if using a mouse rather than touch)
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I have zynthian with just 4 encoders on my pedal board and oram is usable as the previous stable version. Yes, you will often need to do additional clicks and selects to get to some screens instead of just clicking one button on V5 but everything is still possible.

I have moved most of my zynthians to 5" screen , 20 buttons and 4 encoders on the right using MINI V2 hardware but sometimes I miss old screen layout with two encoders left and two encoders right. There is something nice about that design. Maybe, if we introduce 8 encoders in future (4 on each side of the screen) it will look as nice as before.

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