MuseScore 3 for Debian schedule

• Jan 11, 2019 - 23:08

The setting:

Debian 9 “stretch”: current stable, will become oldstable once “buster” is released
Debian 10 “buster”: currently testing, will freeze Really Soon and be released in a couple of weeks
Debian 11 “bullseye”: currently nonexistent, will be born as new “testing” after “buster” is released

In stretch, users currently can install musescore 2.0.3 which is, of course, not satisfying, so stretch-backports ships the same musescore version that will be in buster, namely 2.3.2.

We currently have musescore-snapshot 3.0 in Debian “experimental”. We will release the next Debian stable (buster) with musescore 2.3.2, for the following reasons:

  • stretch-backports MUST ship the same version as buster
  • we wish for users to have 2.3.2 available, so they can still work on 2.x scores
  • 3.x can be shipped easily in buster-backports and stretch-backports-sloppy (a “backports+1” suite taking from “bullseye”)
  • if we had 3.0 or even 3.0.1 in buster, that’d be what people get, we’d lose 2.x completely, and we’d be stuck with these premature releases as default musescore new Debian stable users get
  • whatever is in stable cannot be upgraded, whereas backports can (from the next stable)

Therefore, please bear with us a bit, we’ll provide regular musescore 3.x versions after the upcoming “buster” release (for now, use the musescore-snapshot package from “experimental”) and, in the meanwhile, will ensure that the best 2.3 you can get is part of the release, while working together with the MuseScore developers to improve the 3.x series.

I believe this is also more in agreement with the plans to have small bugfix releases every couple of weeks.

Thanks to ABL, a way to make MuseScore 3.x available on Debian stretch (Qt 5.7) is now available (although without QML plugins).


Hi, strech user here with a noob question. Why is it so hard to get the lastest version of musescore on the repositories? I mean, i can download the appimage and it just works, why the repos work so differently?
When the repos are updated to 3.0 are we going to get the weekly or so updates regularly or are they going to be late?

In reply to by Federico Butera

This has to do with how the various repositories in Debian work.

I can currently only provide MuseScore to stretch via stretch/stable (which is nailed down to 2.0.3, because that’s what it was when stretch was frozen prior to its release) and stretch-backports.

stretch-backports pulls from the “next” stable (buster, currently in testing, expected to be released in a couple of weeks). I need this to provide 2.3.2 to users.

Then there will be buster-backports, pulling from the next again stable (bullseye). This will not come into existence prior to the buster release, though. I’m currently working, in Debian experimental (not part of any release plans), to get MuseScore 3.x up to the usual quality standards. (That being said, you can, in theory, use MuseScore 3 from Debian experimental, right now. You should do so using a Debian unstable chroot though, because it needs the newer Qt. But I’ve built it locally for stretch as well (see below), there’s just no Debian repository in which I can currently provide this to users. Would you, or the MuseScore core devs, be interested in me providing MuseScore 3 for stretch right now in a private repository (like *buntu PPA)?)

Once 3.x will be in unstable → testing following the buster release, I can backport it to not only buster-backports but also stretch-backports-sloppy. However, this will need a couple of weeks because this distribution simply does not exist yet.

These are all caused by distro policy. Similarily, the backports always must be kept up-to-date with respect to their relative parent release; that is, if I were to put 3.0.1 into buster, it would compleyely obliterate the 2.3.2 release in Debian. (Which is very important for users to have, to work on their 2.x scores without needing to completely relayout them in 3.x, if that is even possible without crashes yet.)

Besides, MuseScore 3 really needs a newer Qt than what is available in stretch. While ABL has found a way to compile it anyway, it will completely lack plugin functionality, and, over time, perhaps more. (That being said, plugins don’t work right in 3.0 either anyway.)

In reply to by mirabilos

Hi, i would be interested in a ppa if someone made it. This is not only an issue with debian, i used mint for a year or so and the repo was always behind in updates, i always used the appimage but i have to manually do file asociations icons etc, also i have to check regularly for updates, a ppa would be far more convinient.

In reply to by Federico Butera

We have a PPA for *buntu and derivatives (including most Linux-Mint versions) which I keep up to date with what’s in Debian.

Stable releases carries 2.3.2 currently:

Nightly releases carries 3.0 (except I need to update it to 3.0.1):
(I haven’t gotten around to much since I caught the cold.)

I’ll try to figure something out to ship 2.x, 3.x and nightlies separately later (I have several ideas regarding to this but will have to carefully weigh them against the normal Debian and *buntu releases and Debian backports).

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.