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Compiling on Linux

Compiling software is the process of turning human-readable source code into machine code a computer can execute. Compiling Mixxx is fairly straightforward on Linux. The steps below outline what to do.

Install build dependencies

Mixxx relies on several external libraries for various features.

SCons 2.x

The Mixxx build scripts still rely on SCons 2 and don't work with SCons 3 and Python 3. If your distribution (Fedora 27, …) already comes with SCons 3 the build will fail when following the instructions.

As a workaround you can simply install SCons 2 side by side::

  1. Download a standalone version of SCons 2.5.1 from here
  2. Extract the archive into any directory, e.g. /opt or somewhere into your home directory
  3. Execute python2 <your-installation-dir>/scons-2.5.1/script/scons instead of scons

Debian / Ubuntu

If your distribution is Debian based (such as Ubuntu), you can install them by running:

sudo apt-get build-dep mixxx 
sudo apt-get install g++ git scons libqt4-dev libqt4-sql-sqlite libportmidi-dev \
  libopusfile-dev libshout-dev libtag1-dev libprotobuf-dev protobuf-compiler \
  libusb-1.0-0-dev libfftw3-dev libmad0-dev \
  portaudio19-dev libchromaprint-dev librubberband-dev libsqlite3-dev \
  libid3tag0-dev libflac-dev libsndfile-dev libupower-glib-dev
sudo apt-get install libjack-dev libjack0 portaudio19-dev # because of Bug #1464120
sudo apt-get install libfaad-dev libmp4v2-dev # required for M4A support

NOTE: Updated these for Mixxx 2.0 and Ubuntu 15.10, if this does not work on recent versions of Debian please split this section up.

TODO: Please consider putting these instructions into version control so they can be kept in sync with a particular version or branch.


On Fedora, enable the RPMFusion package repository. You only need to enable the free repository; the nonfree repository is not necessary for Mixxx. Then run:

[Enter the password for the user "root" at the prompt]
dnf groupinstall "Development Tools"
dnf install gcc-c++ upower-devel
dnf builddep mixxx


For other distributions, you will need to install the following through your distribution's package manager. On most distributions, you will also need the corresponding -dev or -devel packages for each package. If you cannot find a package listed here that starts with “lib”, try searching for the package name without the “lib” prefix.

  • scons
  • libid3tag
  • libmad
  • QT 4.6.0+ (if installing from packages, make sure to get libqt4-opengl and libqt4-svg too.)
  • libogg, libvorbis, libvorbisfile
  • libsndfile
  • libmp4 (or libmp4v2) (optional, for M4A file support)
  • faad2 (optional, for M4A file support)
  • libshout
  • taglib
  • vamp-plugin-sdk (optional if not installed, Mixxx uses an internal version)
  • libchromaprint
  • libsqlite3
  • libupower-glib-dev

Get Mixxx

If you are still running as root from installing packages, return to using your normal unprivileged user account (press Ctrl + D or run exit).

If you want to compile Mixxx, you'll need to download the source code. Either grab the source for the latest release from our downloads page, or checkout a snapshot from our git repository: (See Using Git for more details & options.)

To update to the latest version of a git branch, enter (cd into) the directory you cloned the git repository into and run git pull. See Using Git for more details.

Compile and install

Once you have the source code, change to the newly created “mixxx” directory (run cd mixxx). Mixxx uses the SCons build system rather than the more common GNU autotools and GNU make. Running scons -h in the “mixxx” directory shows a complete list of build flags if you'd like to customize. To compile without any special options, as a regular user, run:

scons prefix=INSTALLATION_DIRECTORY -j NUMBER_OF_CPU_CORES optimize=native

Change INSTALLATION_DIRECTORY to the location you want to install Mixxx to. If you want to install Mixxx for all users of the OS, you do not need to specify a prefix and can leave it as the default, which is /usr/local. If you only want to install Mixxx for your user, you can specify a location in your home directory such as ~/local

Running scons will take some time, depending on the speed of your computer. Specifying NUMBER_OF_CPU_CORES will tell scons to run that many threads at a time while compiling. This speeds up compilation on multi-core CPUs. You can check how many threads your CPU can run simultaneously with the lscpu command (look for the CPU(s) field in the output). Setting more threads than your CPU can handle will decrease performance.

Once Mixxx has compiled, if you set the prefix options for scons to a directory that your normal user does not have write access to, run

sudo scons prefix=INSTALLATION_DIRECTORY install

to install it. If you set the prefix to a directory your user does have write access to, then you do not need sudo before scons. The prefix option must be the same as before or scons will recompile Mixxx before installing it.

If you want to be able to run Mixxx on different types of CPUs, change optimize=native to optimize=portable.

To compile on a Raspberry Pi, use the arguments: optimize=native opengles=1 machine=armhf with scons.

Optional: Build with m4a/AAC file support

If you want to play m4a files, add faad=1 to your scons commands above. This requires the libraries faad2 and libmp4v2 (or libmp4) to be installed.

Optional: Build with Qt5

To build with Qt5 instead of Qt4, use the scons option qt5=1. This is currently experimental. It may help with scaling the GUI on high resolution screens.

Optional: Compile with Clang

Clang is a C/C++ compiler based on LLVM. Using Clang has various benefits:

On Debian, Clang is provided as a package with a version number attached. Using 3.6 as an example, install it like this:

sudo apt-get install clang-3.6

To compile Mixxx using Clang 3.6, before running scons:

export CC=clang-3.6
export CXX=clang++-3.6

You can now use clang-specific SCons options.

  • To enable colorized output, use the color=1 scons flag.
  • To enable Address Sanitizer, use the asan=1 scons flag.

Troubleshooting scons

If scons can't find installed dependencies, try

scons --config=force


To uninstall a copy of Mixxx that you compiled, cd into the directory where you ran scons before, then run:

scons -c prefix=INSTALLATION_DIRECTORY install

INSTALLATION_DIRECTORY must be the same as that used when compiling and installing. If you needed to use sudo to install, also use sudo to uninstall.

Clean up

If scons fails with mysterious errors about not finding dependencies that you know are installed, it may be using outdated cached information to look for the dependencies. This can happen after upgrading your GNU/Linux distribution. To resolve this, try running scons -c and recompiling Mixxx.

Run without installing

If you want to just run this copy without installing, from the same directory, run: (WARNING this uses and may overwrite user-wide configs)

./mixxx --resourcePath res/

To also run from a different settings folder use:

./mixxx --resourcePath res/ --settingsPath /*the folder you like*/
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compiling_on_linux.txt · Last modified: 2017/12/23 10:58 by