Composer, electronic musician, improviser

New SuperCollider on (x)Ubuntu

SuperCollider on Xubuntu

My page on installing SC3.x on Ubuntu has been a popular page here at scacinto.com. Because it was written 3+ years ago, and more importantly, because so much changed with the SC3.6 update I felt compelled to write up another tut. This time I’m installed 3.6.x on Xubuntu 13.10. The flavor of Ubuntu you choose doesn’t matter. I like X because it uses the lighter XFCE desktop environment. Actually, I like and use #! Linux more, but Ubuntu is the easier and more people use it (even though #! is better!) so here goes:

Set up the SuperCollider Repos

Open a terminal shell and enter the following:

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys FABAEF95


sudo add-apt-repository ppa:supercollider/ppa


sudo apt-get update

Install SuperCollider

In the shell:

sudo apt-get install supercollider-ide

(During installation you will be prompted to add your user to the audio group so Jack can use RT priority. Make sure you select ‘yes’ here as ‘no’ is selected by default.)

The new supercollider IDE is totally awesome and game-changing and you should use it and not gedit or vim or anything else. Installing the supercollider-ide package installs a bunch of stuff including (but not limited to) supercollider, supercollider-common, supercollider-ide, supercollider-server, and jack2 including qjackctl. You no longer have to build for support for Jack2 and the QT GUI is installed by defaul so no more having to get and install and configure Swing. Life.is.good.

To run SC3.6:

In a shell:

qjackctl &



Run the following to check the GUI:

GUI.qt; // set by default i think, but what the hell...

var w;
w = Window("my name is... panel", Rect(128, 64, 340, 360));

32.do({ arg i;
b = Button(w, Rect(rrand(20,300),rrand(20,300), 75, 24));
b.states = [["Start "++i, Color.black, Color.rand],
["Stop "++i, Color.white, Color.red]];

That’s it people. I hope you’re not disappointed. If you want to remember the Bad ol’ Days, check out this post on installing 3.4 on Ubuntu from back in 2011. Just don’t try to follow the instructions…

Filed under: SC3 - Code - Music - More, Tutorial / How-to, , , , , , , ,

8 Responses

  1. […] This page is sad and old and out-of-date.  Please check out this new updated page with new updated instructions that are new and happy and up-to-date.  The below information should […]

  2. Coopernicus says:

    This won’t work for installing on Crunchbang, will it? Because I just tried, and it didn’t.

    I already have SC on #! via Emacs (did that phrase mean anything to anyone else!?!?), but it seems to be an older build (no VarLag, which is in a patch I’m trying to use), and no SwingOSC gui. Also, I don’t remember how I installed it.

    Do you have any recommendations? I’ve followed your advice off and on for a few years now… I’d love to have that sleek SC experience I see in YouTube videos, especially since I don’t really know how to use SC yet, and Emacs is one unfriendly mofo.

    • scacinto says:

      I have the IDE running on CrunchBang. I *think* the way I did it was to enable the sid (debian) repos in Crunchbang because the supercollider packages are there. Then it’s just a matter of installing supercollider-ide as here, then disabling the sid repos so you don’t accidentally hose your system. This is sort of a hack and your apt updating system may throw some crap at you after your do this because you will have packages installed that aren’t in the active repos. Such is life and the sacrifice is worth having the IDE. I’ll do a quick test install on a virtual machine and post-back with specifics.

    • scacinto says:

      OK – check out my new post for installing on CrunchBang – only takes a few minutes and everything is the same after you enable the repos: https://scacinto.wordpress.com/2014/02/06/2294/

  3. […] written a couple of tutorials on installing SuperCollider on Debian (Ubuntu and CrunchBang) Linux that you may find helpful if you are a Linux user. Mac and Windows users […]

  4. SuperCollision says:

    hey i actually have an issue with the qt gui window creation. ive looked into it and can’t find anything.

    so it creates a qwindow, it says so in the post window. i get an sc cube icon in the taskbar that says my name is..panel,
    however when i click on it nothing happens and i dont actually see the window that was created. aka no window is showing up. im using ubuntu 12.04, i have qt4. is this an ubuntu issue or an sc issue. either way any help would be appreciated


    • scacinto says:

      What does it say when you run



      What happens when you run the first example (Adding Views) from the Window help file? I don’t have a 1204 box so I can’t recreate your problem. On my Xubuntu 13.04 machine the above returns IdentityDictionary[ (qt -> class QtGUI) ] and the second test (from the Window help file) produces the QT window with buttons as expected.

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