Update the MuseScore Ubuntu PPA

• Sep 10, 2020 - 11:51

I have been using MuseScore on my Ubuntu system for several years now using the official Ubuntu package at first, then the MuseScore PPA, for timely updates. However, I was shocked to find out the other day that there had been several releases of MuseScore since v3.2.3 which have made it neither into Ubuntu’s own repository nor the MuseScore PPA.

I understand that you want to encourage using the AppImage build. However, I prefer my software integrated with my distribution and updatable with the rest of my programs, as well as not taking up more space than necessary. I am hesitant to use the MuseScore Snap for the same reasons, first because of often overzealous confinement, second because for every snap, two older versions are kept around as backup, which is a waste of disk space – the MuseScore Snap is almost 200 MB in size.

Is the Ubuntu MuseScore PPA deliberately abandoned? Or is the lack of recent updates an oversight?


The reason we encourage people to use the AppImage is we can guarantee it is up to date, we can guarantee it was built correctly, and we can guarantee it is thoroughly tested. None of those are true of any other build, including a Snap. So, don't let issue you might have had with Snap and wasted space with older versions dissuade you from using the AppImage. Plus, the AppImage only has to be maintained once, not once for each distribution, so by focusing on that, we can spend more of our limited resources developing and testing and thus ensure a better product.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

The thing about the AppImage is that its UI is absolutely hideous compared to the distribution version. I’ve tested the AppImages of both v3.2.3 and v3.5 and both are equally atrocious, largely – thought not exclusively – because many elements are way too big. If I have to choose between the newer features in the v3.5 AppImage and the properly and compactly laid out UI in the v3.2.3 distro package, I’ll take the latter any day.

In reply to by schyrsivochter

Normally there shouldn't be any difference in how the AppImage or distribution build seems your screen resolution, but if you are running one from a terminal command line and the other from a desktop icon or similar method, then you may have a difference in your environment variable settings. So in addition to or instead of using "-D", you might try setting or upsetting QT_AUTO_SCREEN_SCALE_FACTOR for the environment with the problem.


I know this is quite old, but my question is the same… Should we contact the PPA contact to ease packages generation (it seems stuck, but there is no real issues with the build from git…) ? I'd rather have a build using the packages rather than executing an AppImage for MuseScore (though I somehow understand the position from the devs here), and also it's a better way to get updates, and it would also ease proper integration in Ubuntu as well. Maybe 22.04 could be a target also, but it will require getting before the freeze, if it didn't already happen…

In reply to by GilouMuse

Indeed, the "install" option to the AppImage should do everything necessary to integrate with your desktop (icon, file associations, etc). If you find something it misses, that would be an issue we'd want to know about so we can fix it.

As for the updates, there is work towards a more straightforward way to update AppImages, but it won't really be possible to put it into play until MuseScore 4, since there are no further 3.x releases planned. Not tying into the standard update process is indeed the biggest weakness of an AppImage, but given the other weaknesses of depending on third-party builds that may or may not be done correctly and may or may not be up to date), to me it's a fair tradeoff. In particular, the idea of easier updates from the distributions' packages is only realized if they are actually provided in a timely fashion. In theory, it would be easy to get all distributions to always update their packages on each release. To be honest, I don't know why it doesn't actually happen, but at some point, it makes sense to go with what does work rather than what should work.

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