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).

In reply to by mirabilos

Its all good! I can still use the appimages and they work fine, im not a technical person, i was just curious about why the repositories are always behind (all distributions not just debian). Everything in debian works great for me, i only need the lastest version for musescore, i even used the 3.0 nigthlies for some time, i would deal with the crashes just to have automatic placement, for everything else i want everything as "stable" as possible, so i guess the repository policy makes sense.

Debian users (and non-Ubuntu derivatives: Linux Mint Debian Edition, …)

2.x (stable)

We have 2.3.2 in stretch-backports (current stable, soon to become oldstable) and buster (testing, soon to become stable). A slightly older version of 2.3.2 is available in jessie-backports-sloppy (current oldstable, support ended), in the package “musescore”.

git master (nightlies)

We have 3.1 (git master) snapshots in Debian experimental, in the package “musescore-snapshot”. Mind the usual rules for nightlies apply (you may lose your scores, they may not be opened by any other version, etc).

3.x (stable)

I prepared 3.0.x stable releases for Debian experimental, in order to be able to quickly upload them to bullseye (the release after buster) and then buster-backports and stretch-backports-sloppy. These are in the “musescore3” package, so you can install all versions side by side. However, it’s currently waiting in NEW due to the new binary package name. They should be available soon, although only for users of Debian unstable (although they’ll likely also work on buster).

However, to bridge the wait, I’ve uploaded my own, personal, builds (minus the huge automatic -dbgsym package) of 3.0.x (on amd64 and i386) for Debian stretch (the current stable, soon to be oldstable), to my DD homepage: (you’ll need the musescore3-common DEB plus either the amd64 or the i386 one of the musescore3 DEB)

IMPORTANT: MuseScore 3 does not officially support Debian stretch, only Debian buster and newer. To make it work on stretch, the plugin framework was completely disabled! Use at your own risk (although it looks no less stable than on buster/sid to me). Do not open bug reports regarding missing plugin functionality!

Ubuntu users (and derivatives: KXStudio, Linux Mint, …)

We have multiple PPAs where the equivalent version of the corresponding Debian packages are available for various Ubuntu releases. In general, if the Debian package is newer than what an Ubuntu release shipped, it’s available there, although nōn-LTS releases cannot get updated packages shortly after the next release is out (don’t blame us, upgrade).

2.x (stable)

MuseScore 2.3.2 is available for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (xenial), 18.04 LTS (bionic), 18.10 (cosmic) here:

Support for ancient Ubuntu releases

The same PPA also carries up-to-date 2.3.2 Debian packages for Ubuntu 12.04 (precise) LTS and 14.04 (xenial) LTS, with the caveat that installing from this PPA will update your Qt5 to a newer version, which may break unrelated applications on your system. (Since most users will not use a Qt5-based desktop on these releases, the likelihood of that is very small. The Qt5 version used is the one shipped by xenial.) On 12.04 (precise), some libraries from the system C compiler will also be updated (to the version from trusty), which again has a, smallish, likelihood of breaking things.

The desktop parts of Ubuntu releases is generally supported for no longer than nine months officially, so if something breaks, you’re on your own. Upgrade to the latest LTS (currently 18.04 “bionic”) if you encounter problems.

Many multimedia distributions, like KXStudio, are based on Ubuntu 14.04 (trusty) LTS. These fall into this category.

The PPA also carries MuseScore 2.3.1 for 17.10 “artful”, 2.0.3(!) for 15.10 “wily”, 2.0.2(!) for 15.04 “vivid”, 2.0.0(!) for 14.10 “utopic”. Please upgrade to 18.04 LTS “bionic” or 16.04 LTS “xenial” if you use these releases, as soon as possible, to get the latest security updates for your system. We are unable to update the MuseScore packages for these positively desupported releases, but we’re keeping them there for those who rely on them.

3.x (stable)

MuseScore 3.0.5 (currently) is available for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (bionic), 18.10 (cosmic), 19.04 (disco) here:

It is not possible to provide MuseScore 3 for older Ubuntu versions.

git master (nightlies)

The PPA provides the same musescore-snapshot packages as uploaded to Debian experimental, for LTS releases only (currently 18.04 “bionic”). We currently don’t have the resources to provide true nightly builds for now, although re-enabling them is a possibility in the future. (I have plans…)

In reply to by Billsey

If the command…

   sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mscore-ubuntu/mscore3-stable

… doesn’t do this, you can download the signing key from (linked from the text below “Signing key:”), save it in some file, check the fingerprint is exactly BA73545138B317ACDED4122004E482780EC0BBD2 (also shown on that site), and then do

sudo apt-key add -

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