Zynthian on x86_64 "Intel" architecture?

Has anyone got Zynthian running on x86 / x86_64 based hardware ?
I love Zynthian - specially the touchscreen interface and the fairly easy way to configure it and would love it on an “ordinary” laptop with an external touchscreen connected. The main reason for this is that this would allow me to load Windows VSTs via Carla or another host and some great pieces of Linux synth software are not available as ARM builds (yet).

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Simply install the needed software on your laptop. I recommend to start with a fresh Debian and adapt the rbpi “setup” script.

Good Luck!!

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I had it running on a netbook with Fedora before I dove in with the v2 kit. The biggest issue I had with it was I wanted things to run as a normal user, not as root, and also from inside a user dir, not /zynthian That required some jigging about.

Where do I start ? Do I have to clone all the github repos and install them one by one ? Or is there (and where) a generic script that automatically pulls and installs everything ? All installers I can find are for the creation of SD-card images.
Thanks for any help in advance.

You should take a look to the setup script, on the zynthian-sys repository:




Thanks for this info. The script gives a good insight about how Zynthian is setup. I always wanted to ask about integrating KXStudio but now I can see that it’s already there.

That would be actually interesting.
What is “(https://github.com/zynthian/zynthian-sys/tree/master/scripts/setup_system_desktop_jessie.sh” doing differently from “https://github.com/zynthian/zynthian-sys/tree/master/scripts/setup_system_rbpi_raspbian_lite_buster.sh”?

The jessie script is very outdated, you should use the buster script as reference …

If I get it right we can built on top of a standard vanilla raspbian on a x86 machine by running the installation script. Is that correct?

Use a minimal debian (and not raspbian or raspiOs) installation as a starting point.

Personnal advice: run the building script manualy, one command after the other and not “as is”, or you will not be able to detect building errors. E.g : They are some raspberry specific command that Can be removed.

I’ve done that on an allwinner h5 sbc some Time ago but the result was not really usuable: horribly slow …
Hope you’ll be more lucky.

Thanks for the swift response. I will start with a debian virtual machine and try my way through the commands. I am not very familiar with technical details of all the commands mentioned in the scripts (apart from the rather regular ones like adding repositories, apt-get etc). As soon as I have finished I will let you know.

I’ve got no experience in all that kind of virtual machines.
I’ve always asked myself if a virtual machine can access to all the hardware of the host and especially the audio sub system or the usb ports.
Do you have any feedback about that ?

please take note that you must at least export these variables before running the building script:

export ZYNTHIAN_DIR="/zynthian"


export ZYNTHIAN_SW_DIR="$ZYNTHIAN_DIR/zynthian-sw"

export ZYNTHIAN_UI_DIR="$ZYNTHIAN_DIR/zynthian-ui"

export ZYNTHIAN_SYS_DIR="$ZYNTHIAN_DIR/zynthian-sys"

export ZYNTHIAN_DATA_DIR="$ZYNTHIAN_DIR/zynthian-data"

export ZYNTHIAN_MY_DATA_DIR="$ZYNTHIAN_DIR/zynthian-my-data"

export ZYNTHIAN_EX_DATA_DIR="/media/usb0"

export ZYNTHIAN_RECIPE_DIR="$ZYNTHIAN_SYS_DIR/scripts/recipes"

export ZYNTHIAN_PLUGINS_DIR="$ZYNTHIAN_DIR/zynthian-plugins"


export LV2_PATH="/usr/lib/lv2:/usr/lib/arm-linux-gnueabihf/lv2:/usr/local/lib/lv2:$ZYNTHIAN_PLUGINS_DIR/lv2:$ZYNTHIAN_DATA_DIR/presets/lv2:$ZYNTHIAN_MY_DATA_DIR/presets/lv2"

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The purpose of the virtual machine is to use it as a test-bed for practice as I don’t have a second machine other than my daily driver that I use for my work. Thanks for the export variables commands as well.

qemu+kvm on linux can pass through hardware to the guest os if you need it to.

Ok, good to know. Thank you.

Any update or progress on this?

Hi All,

I really want to try Zynthian out, it really does look like it checks all the boxes :slight_smile:

I don’t have a Rpi but I do have an old laptop motherboard and touchscreen lying around so I’d like to set it up there.

I tried using the buster setup script as mentioned above by really couldn’t get it running. Does anyone have any tips or a guide?

Does the emulator version replace the need for installing a “full” version?

Thanks for any help and congrats guys, this is an amazing project.


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Sorry @prawnguy !!

x86_64 architecture is not officially supported. Of course, zynthian can be run on it, but we have no updated scripts for configuring the system, so you are “kind of alone”. Of course, if you decide to go forward with this, we would help you as mush as we can, answering your doubts, etc. If you do so, please, share your work (bash script??) so more people can follow your steps.


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I’m actually planning on doing this at some point - another reason I’m building a USB midi controller that maps right onto the standard UI right now, it gets that whole issue pre-solved.

So prawnguy, if you’re up for it, you would not be alone, you and I would work on this together, and like I said, if you like it, I’m currently solving the problem of having the standard controls on a PC with no GPIO available.

And while I’m not a C guy yet, I am willing to state that I am a beast with both Linux and Python, so as long as the devs say it’s possible, we will succeed. But there will be pain and tears, there is always pain and there is always tears.

…possibly with a viable x86 version of Zynthian at the end.