Does anybody have experience with Reaper on Linux OS?

I have been using Linux OS for awhile, learning about it and considering transitioning over from Windows eventually. I see that Reaper has a Linux version, so that seems feasible, though I have no experience with it yet. I’m wondering if .vst/.vst3 plugins will work on Linux, as Reaper has its own set (not to mention all the 3rd party plugins I could move over).

I think Reaper on Linux has to be installed via “Flatpak”, and I haven’t really used that so far. The beginner route is to use the “Snap” app installs, kind of their version of “the app store” (though pretty much everything is FREE - yay Linux!).

I’d appreciate any thoughts or resources, or advice, on how this works and where to go from here. I think Linux is the future of computing if you don’t want Big Brother mucking around in your business … and as I said before - it’s FREE!

As a plug–in developer, we create OS–specific builds, macOS and Windows, of everything we make. You have to as a Unix build for macOS will not work in a Linux environment even though they are both Unix variants.

Unfortunately, we don’t provide Linux builds as we haven’t seen any one distro reach an appreciable level of acceptance in the market. Also, being FOSS doesn’t help with standards or lack thereof, so (rhetorical question) for what Linux–supported plug–in format would one use as a target?

BTW, if you’re looking for a free OS, Linux is a relatively new family. What was supposed to be a simple and lightweight OS has over time taken on most of the trappings of older and more complete Unix versions, without the advantages those provide. In passing, I have to mention the absurd forking that has occurred in the greater Linux community, with >600 active distributions out there now. Which “Linux” would one use? :wink: One nice thing about Linux is that there are several audio–specific distros out there…As my head of development said, “LINUX, as with Windows, brings a whole host of (its own) problems.”

You might want to check out FreeBSD and Darwin, both derived from BSD, a very old and well resourced parent of much of the Unix variants out there today. BSD was arguably the first fork of the original Unix (AT&T Unix that ran our phone system) waaay back in the late 1970s, meant for the research and educational market. Wikipedia states that, “FreeBSD maintains a complete system, delivering a kernel, device drivers, userland utilities, and documentation, as opposed to Linux only delivering a kernel and drivers, and relying on third-parties like GNU for system software.[4] The FreeBSD source code is generally released under a permissive BSD license, as opposed to the (limiting) copyleft GPL used by Linux.”

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Check out Ubuntu Studio…


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Good question. I know it’s a whole other paradigm, and many DAWs and plugin mfr’s do not support Linux. But Reaper does, so I figure there must be a use (and support) for .vst/.vst3 on Linux.

Apps that do offer Linux versions will usually have 3 versions for some of the main ‘flavors’ of Linux. That covers quite a bit of ground, but not all distros.

The number of distros is indeed overwhelming and massive. And yes, Linux is not perfect by any means, but from what I understand may be much more secure than Windows or MacOS - at least from the standpoint of those mfr’s spying on you with “telemetry” and such. The Open Source and FOSS nature of Linux actually provides some advantages of transparency and innovation, while also creating the “Wild West” diversification mentioned above. It has some security features and “sandboxing” that help do this, and some specific Linux distros are built to have the most secure platform possible (more for advanced users I think).

Thanks, I’ll check those out! Yes, Linux is only a kernel for the most part, as I understand it. GNU (or related versions) emulate what we normally think of as an Operating System. The fact that Linux is outside the offerings and paradigm of the Windows/Apple dominated market is both a challenge and an opportunity, IMO. It’s challenging enough that most people won’t even bother, they’ll just take the easy route and accept “data slavery” as their lot in life. They’ll see Linux as too much work. But I see freedom from the “Matrix” and more self-reliance as the reward. The Linux community is so widespread and horizontally connected (not vertically, as in hierarchy) that it won’t be affected by stock market crashes and corporate takeovers, the way the global digital monstrosities will. And you have a much better chance of your data not being harvested and sold to the highest bidder (remember the “data slavery” I mentioned? :wink:).

Good good. I largely agree with you. Most FOSS has a better potential for a longer life than most commercial software. That said, less than 1% of the pro audio market does not a viable product make. Our business sees majority macOS users with Windows coming in a strong second.
I, for one, am happy with Apple’s attempt to balance privacy with profit. Though not perfect, the at least walk the walk. Their products are competitively priced, built to far outlast their utility, and provide frankly amazing value. Microsoft, Amazon and Google? We use their stuff as well but only trust them about as far as I could thrown their CEO, which is zero.

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Yes, the Linux market is still pretty small, but quite dedicated from what I’ve seen. Just as small in the pro audio realm as you suggest, but since Reaper has offered a Linux version for several years at least, I figure there has to be some substantial demand for it. The Apple people used to be the rebels against the Microsoft corporatism … and now the Linux people are the rebels against the whole system, Apple included. Yes, Apple is cooler in some ways, definitely pushed innovation for some years, but it’s a massive corporatocracy now.

I’m hoping that more people will walk away from Big Tech in a massive way. Things only change when people speak with their wallets. And their habits.

Every few versions of Linux I am about to ditch all else and go until I hit a major snag on something that it cannot do. The latest version I played with and still have installed basically became useless as it wouldn’t play and support most major video formats and after reading quite a bit on manuals I still can’t make sense why. From what I gleaned is that most of these are proprietary formats and Linux doesn’t have them.

I was running at one point a decent 2 channel recording interface into what I think was Ubuntu or Ubuntu Studio and Ardour. There were some DAW makers that put in a little effort and created Linux installers as well, n-Track and Tracktion Waveform might be worth looking into.

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Yeah, video codecs and device drivers that are proprietary can be problematic from what I understand. It’s because of the FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) nature of Linux.

Ah, Ardour! You’ve got me thinking now. I do have some licenses for older versions of Harrison Mixbus, and I see their current version has a Linux install, but I’d have to have an older Linux version for install that matches one of my licenses, I think. But maybe Ardour, it seems to be free. It looks like n-Track does not have a Linux version, but Tracktion Waveform Free does. And of course there’s still Reaper.

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Hey Stan,

Sound On Sound magazine has a fun read on Linux for audio production. Worth digging into once it times out and passes through their pay wall…

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Thanks! I may have found it. Is this the article you are referring to? It’s from last month (February) and looks like it’s freely available now.

Yup, that’s the one!

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I’m WAY late to this conversation but here’s something else to look at. I cannot speak to it’s usefulness though as I haven’t messed with it in at least 5 years.

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Thanks Al! I have heard of AV Linux, and may have to take a closer look as it might be the ultimate version. I’ve gotten used to Ubuntu, so my first move may be Ubuntu Studio, to give that a try. I may download the .iso of AV and run it “live” off a bootable USB drive.

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