How to Run Cubase on Linux

If you’re a fan of Cubase and are switching to Linux, you might be wondering how to get your favorite DAW up and running.

While Cubase is designed for Windows and macOS, you can still get it to work on Linux with some effort.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the process step-by-step and tweaks to run Cubase on Linux.

Let’s dive in!

What You’ll Need:

  1. A Linux computer (Ubuntu or Fedora are good choices)
  2. Wine (a program that lets you run Windows applications on Linux)
  3. Cubase installer (download it from the official site or use your CD)

Why Run Cubase on Linux?

Before we jump into the technical details, you might wonder why you should even bother running Cubase on Linux.

Here are a few reasons:

  • Open Source Flexibility: Linux offers an open-source environment where you can customize and optimize your system for better performance.
  • Stability and Security: Linux is known for its stability and security, which can be crucial for professional audio production.
  • Cost Efficiency: Linux is free, which can save you money compared to purchasing a Windows or macOS license.

Step 1: Install Wine

First, we need to install Wine. It helps run Windows apps on Linux. As of June 2024, the latest version is Wine version 9.11.

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The installation process varies depending on your Linux distribution.

Here’s how you can do it:

For Ubuntu:

  1. Open your terminal (you can usually do this by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T).
  2. Add the WineHQ repository and key:
    bashCopy codesudo dpkg --add-architecture i386 sudo mkdir -pm755 /etc/apt/keyrings sudo wget -O /etc/apt/keyrings/winehq-archive.key sudo wget -NP /etc/apt/sources.list.d/$(lsb_release -cs)/winehq-$(lsb_release -cs).sources
  3. Update your package list and install Wine:bashCopy codesudo apt update sudo apt install --install-recommends winehq-stable

For Fedora:

  1. Open your terminal.
  2. Add the WineHQ repository and install Wine:
    bashCopy codesudo dnf install$(rpm -E %fedora)/winehq.repo sudo dnf install winehq-stable

Step 2: Install Wine Dependencies

Wine might need some extra libraries to run Cubase on Linux smoothly. Install these using Winetricks, a helper script for Wine:

bashCopy codesudo apt-get install winetricks

Step 3: Set Up Wine

Before installing Cubase, we need to set up Wine. Run Wine configuration:

bashCopy codewinecfg

This command opens a configuration window. Here, you can set up the environment and make necessary adjustments.

For most users, the default settings will work fine. Make sure to create a 32-bit Wine prefix if you’re running a 64-bit system:

bashCopy codeWINEARCH=win32 WINEPREFIX=~/.wine winecfg

Step 4: Install Cubase

Now it’s time to install Cubase. You’ll need the Cubase installer. If you have it on a CD or downloaded file, use that.

Navigate to the directory where the installer is located and run:

bashCopy codewine path/to/Cubase_Installer.exe

Replace path/to/Cubase_Installer.exe with the actual path to your installer file. Follow the installation prompts as you would on Windows.

Step 5: Install Extra Libraries with Winetricks

Some programs require additional libraries to run correctly.

Use Winetricks to install these:

bashCopy codewinetricks corefonts vcrun2015

These libraries ensure that Cubase has all the necessary components to function properly.

Step 6: Run Cubase

After installation, you’re ready to run Cubase.

Use this command to launch it:

bashCopy codewine "C:/Program Files/Steinberg/Cubase/Cubase.exe"

This command should start Cubase. If it doesn’t, you might need to troubleshoot.

Potential challenges of running Cubase on Linux include:

  1. Compatibility Issues:
    Since Cubase is not designed for Linux, using compatibility layers like Wine may result in incomplete functionality or instability.
  2. Performance Problems:
    Running Cubase through Wine or other emulation software can lead to degraded performance, including latency issues and crashes.
  3. Complex Setup:
    Setting up Cubase on Linux requires technical knowledge to configure Wine and resolve any dependencies or compatibility issues.
  4. Lack of Official Support:
    Steinberg, the developer of Cubase, does not provide official support for Linux, meaning users cannot rely on official help for troubleshooting.
  5. Plugin Compatibility:
    VST plugins and other third-party software may also face compatibility issues when running on Linux through Wine.
  6. Frequent Updates and Patches:
    Keeping Cubase and its associated plugins updated on Linux can be more challenging without official support and straightforward installation processes.
  7. Community Resources:
    While there may be community forums and user guides, they are often less comprehensive compared to the support available for Windows and macOS users.

Troubleshooting Tips

If you encounter issues with Cubase or Linux, here are some tips to help you out:

  • Check Wine AppDB: Wine has a database where users share tips on running different applications. Check the Wine AppDB for Cubase-specific advice.
  • Run in a Virtual Machine: If you face too many issues, consider running Windows in a virtual machine on your Linux system. VirtualBox or VMware are good options.
  • Update Your System: Ensure your Linux distribution and Wine are up to date. Sometimes, updates can fix compatibility issues.
  • Check for Missing Libraries: Use Winetricks to install any additional libraries that might be required for Cubase to run.

Advanced Configurations

For those who want to dive deeper, here are some advanced configurations you might consider:

  • Audio Configuration: Configure your audio settings in Wine to ensure the best performance. This might involve tweaking the ALSA or PulseAudio settings.
  • Optimizing Performance: Adjust your Linux system settings for better performance. This can include changing the CPU governor, optimizing memory usage, and disabling unnecessary services.
  • Using JACK: If you’re serious about audio production on Linux, consider using JACK (Jack Audio Connection Kit) for low-latency audio routing. It works well with many DAWs and audio applications.

Consider Linux Alternatives to Cubase

If you want to run Cubase on Linux but its too challenging, there are excellent native Linux alternatives:

  • Ardour: A powerful open-source DAW with a professional feature set.
cubase on linux
  • Bitwig Studio: A modern DAW that runs natively on Linux, known for its flexibility and innovative features.
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  • LMMS (Linux MultiMedia Studio): A free and open-source DAW suitable for beginners and advanced users alike.
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Step-by-Step Recap

Let’s quickly recap the steps to get Cubase running on Linux:

  1. Install Wine: Use the appropriate commands for your Linux distribution.
  2. Install Winetricks: To manage additional libraries.
  3. Configure Wine: Set up the Wine environment.
  4. Install Cubase: Run the Cubase installer with Wine.
  5. Install Extra Libraries: Use Winetricks for necessary components.
  6. Run Cubase: Launch Cubase and start making music.

Wrapping Up – Cubase On Linux

Running Cubase on Linux might take a bit of effort, but it’s definitely achievable. With this guide, you’ll be making music in no time.

Whether you stick with Cubase or explore native Linux alternatives, the open-source world offers plenty of tools to fuel your creativity.

If you have any questions or run into any issues, feel free to leave a comment below. We’re here to help you make your Linux audio production journey as smooth as possible!


Will Cubase Run On Linux?

No, Cubase does not natively run on Linux. With the use of Wine and some tweaking, Cubase 13 can run well on a Linux computer.

What Are The Best DAWs For Linux?

  • Bitwig Studio (Best Premium
  • LMMS (Best for Beat-Making
  • Renoise 3
  • Waveform
  • ArdourCockos
  • REAPER (Our Pick)

As always leave a comment and let us know if you’ve found a better way to run Cubase on Linux.

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