Install on Linux

Updated 3주 ago

    As of MuseScore 2.0.3 you can, for the first time, get hold of a copy for Linux straight from the download page, just like Windows and Mac users. This is possible thanks to the AppImage packaging format, which runs on pretty much all Linux distributions. If you prefer, there is still the option to get it the traditional way via your distribution's package manager (but you may have to wait for it to get packaged by the relevant maintainer). Of course, you can always build from source.

    AppImage

    The AppImage format is a new way of packaging Linux applications. AppImages are portable - they don't have to be installed - and they run on pretty much any Linux distribution. Dependencies are included in the one AppImage file.

    Step 1 - Download

    Before you download an AppImage, you need to know your processor's architecture. These terminal commands will show it:

        arch

    or

        uname -m

    The output will be something like "i686", "x86_64" or "armv7":

    • i686 (or similar) - 32-bit Intel/AMD processor (found on older machines).
    • x86_64 (or similar) - 64-bit Intel/AMD processor (modern laptop and desktop computers, most Chromebooks).
    • armv7 (or later) - ARM processor (phones & tablets, Raspberry Pi 2/3 running Ubuntu Mate, some Chromebooks, usually 32-bit at present).

    Now you can head over to the download page and find the AppImage that best matches your architecture. Once downloaded, the file will be named "MuseScore-X.Y.Z-$(arch).AppImage".

    Step 2 - Give execute permission

    Before you can use the AppImage you need to give permission for it to be run as a program.

    From the Terminal:

    This command gives the user (u) permission to execute (x) the AppImage. It works on all Linux systems.

        cd ~/Downloads
        chmod u+x MuseScore*.AppImage

    Note: Use the "cd" command to change directory to wherever you saved the AppImage.

    From a File Manager:

    If you prefer to avoid the command line, there is usually a way give execute permission from inside a File Manager.

    In GNOME Files (Nautilus), simply:

    1. Right-click on the AppImage and select "Properties".
    2. Open the "Permissions" tab.
    3. Enable the option labelled "Allow executing file as a program".

    The process may be slightly different in other file managers.

    Step 3 - Run it!

    Now you should be able to run the program simply by double-clicking on it!

    When you downloaded the AppImage it was probably saved in your Downloads folder, but you can move somewhere else it at any time (e.g. you could put it on your desktop for easy access). If you ever want to remove it then simply delete it.

    Installing the AppImage (optional)

    You can run the AppImage without installing it, but you must install it if you want it to be completely integrated with your desktop environment. This has the following benefits:

    • Adds the AppImage to your Applications Menu or Launcher
    • Sets the correct icons for MuseScore's files (MSCZ, MSCX) and for MusicXML files (MXL, XML)
    • Makes the AppImage available via your File Manager's right-click "Open with..." menu

    To install it, run the AppImage from the Terminal with the "install" option (see immediately below). This copies a desktop file and various icons to your computer. If you want to remove them you will need to run the "remove" option before you delete the AppImage. This does not affect any scores created with any version of MuseScore.

    Using command line options

    Running the AppImage from the Terminal allows you to use various command line options. The AppImage has some special options in addition to MuseScore's normal command line options.

    You will need to change directory (cd) to wherever the AppImage is saved your system, for example:

        cd ~/Desktop
        ./MuseScore*.AppImage [option...]

    Or give the path to the AppImage:

        ~/desktop/MuseScore*.AppImage [option...]

    Use the "--help" and "man" options to get more information about the available command line options:

        ./MuseScore*.AppImage --help   # displays a complete list of command line options
        ./MuseScore*.AppImage man      # displays the manual page (explains what the options do)

    Distribution Packages

    Debian

    (Ideally before, otherwise while or after) installing MuseScore itself, you can install one or more soundfont packages (if none is installed, the dependencies will pull in a suitable soundfont automatically):

    • musescore-general-soundfont-small: the standard MuseScore_General soundfont in SF3 format, as shipped with MuseScore for other operating systems
    • musescore-general-soundfont: the MuseScore_General HQ soundfont in SF3 format, as available via the Extensions manager
    • musescore-general-soundfont-lossless: the MuseScore_General HQ soundfont in uncompressed SF2 format: takes up a lot more space on your hard disc, but offers the highest sound quality and extremely fast startup times
    • fluidr3mono-gm-soundfont: the old soundfont shipped with MuseScore 2.0 (antecessor of MuseScore_General), use only if resources are very tight or you need it
    • timgm6mb-soundfont: the old soundfont shipped with MuseScore 1.3; cannot substitute the others; use only if you need it; extremely tiny

    Note: only the MuseScore_General soundfont (HQ or regular) supports single-note dynamics (SND), and you need at least version 0.1.6 of those soundfonts (from unstable or backports) for SND support!

    The command sudo update-alternatives --config MuseScore_General.sf3 can be used at any time to select the default soundfont used by MuseScore if you install more than one (note timgm6mb-soundfont cannot be selected here).

    Then, install the musescore3 package for MuseScore 3.x (the current stable version) or musescore for MuseScore 2.x (there’s also musescore-snapshot for the unstable developer preview). The packages are available in the following distributions:

    • musescore3: sid (unstable), bullseye (testing/Debian 11), buster-backports (stable/Debian 10), stretch-backports-sloppy (oldstable/Debian 9)
    • musescore: buster (stable/Debian 10), stretch-backports (oldstable/Debian 9), jessie-backports-sloppy (oldoldstable/Debian 8)
    • musescore-snapshot: experimental (usable on unstable)

    See https://backports.debian.org/Instructions/ for instructions on how to add an official Debian backports repository to your system and install packages from there.

    Note: without the appropriate backports, older versions may be available: MuseScore 2.0.3 on stretch, MuseScore 1.3 on jessie. Using the latest 2.3.2 version for 2.x-format scores instead (or conversion to 3.x) is strongly recommended!

    Fedora

    1. Import the GPG key:

      su
      rpm --import http://prereleases.musescore.org/linux/Fedora/RPM-GPG-KEY-Seve
       
    2. Go to the download page of the MuseScore website. Click on the link for the stable Fedora download and choose the correct rpm package for your architecture.

    3. Depending on your architecture, use one of the two sets of commands to install MuseScore

      • for arch i386

        su
        yum localinstall musescore-X.Y-1.fc10.i386.rpm
         
      • for arch x86_64

        su
        yum localinstall musescore-X.Y-1.fc10.x86_64.rpm
         

    If you have difficulty with sound, see Fedora 11 and sound.
    See also the hints for the various distributions on the download page.

    KDE neon 18.04 (bionic)

    The KDE neon packages are built on a different repository than the normal Ubuntu PPAs, as this is the only way for us to build packages for KDE neon. Due to limitations of the OpenSuSE Buildservice used, this currently only provides amd64 (64-bit PC) packages, no ARM packages (Slimbook or Pinebook remix).

    All commands listed below must be entered in a terminal, in one line each.

    1. Remove the Ubuntu PPAs (all three of them) from your system if you’ve ever configured it before. This is generally in /etc/apt/sources.list or one of the files below /etc/apt/sources.list.d/; if you used add-apt-repository (the recommended way) to enable the PPA, you can remove them with: sudo rm -f /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mscore-ubuntu-ubuntu-mscore*

      KDE neon is not compatible with the Ubuntu PPAs!

    2. Install a few standard packages (usually they are already there, but just in case they aren’t) to be able to securely download the repository signature key:

      sudo apt-get install wget ca-certificates
     
    1. Download (via secure HTTPS connection) and install the repository signing key:
      wget -O - https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/mirabile:/mscore/bionic-neon/Release.key | sudo apt-key add -
     
    1. Enable the repository:
      echo deb https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/mirabile:/mscore/bionic-neon ./ | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mscore.list
     
    1. Make the new packages available:
      sudo apt-get update
     

    Now, it’s time to install one or more soundfont packages (ideally install the one you want before installing MuseScore):

    • musescore-general-soundfont-small: the standard MuseScore_General soundfont in SF3 format, as shipped with MuseScore for other operating systems
    • musescore-general-soundfont: the MuseScore_General HQ soundfont in SF3 format, as available via the Extensions manager
    • musescore-general-soundfont-lossless: the MuseScore_General HQ soundfont in uncompressed SF2 format: takes up a lot more space on your hard disc, but offers the highest sound quality and extremely fast startup times
    • fluidr3mono-gm-soundfont: the old soundfont shipped with MuseScore 2.0 (antecessor of MuseScore_General), use only if resources are very tight or you need it
    • timgm6mb-soundfont: the old soundfont shipped with MuseScore 1.3; cannot substitute the others; use only if you need it; extremely tiny

    If you skip this step, a suitable soundfont will be automatically installed when you install MuseScore itself in the final step.

    Note: only the MuseScore_General soundfont (HQ or regular) supports single-note dynamics (SND), and you need at least version 0.1.6 of those soundfonts (from our repository) for SND support!

    The command sudo update-alternatives --config MuseScore_General.sf3 can be used at any time to select the default soundfont used by MuseScore if you install more than one (note timgm6mb-soundfont cannot be selected here).

    Finally, you can install the latest stable version of MuseScore with sudo apt-get install musescore3 and the old 2.x version with sudo apt-get install musescore (the musescore-snapshot package with an instable developer preview is also available).

    Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, …

    WARNING: these instructions are not for KDE neon users (see above)!

    MuseScore 2.x (the old version) is available from 18.10 (cosmic) to 19.10 (eoan) out of the box. Older Ubuntu releases carry older versions (18.04 (bionic) has 2.1, 16.04 (xenial) has 2.0, 14.04 (trusty) and 12.04 (precise) have 1.3 and 1.2, respectively). Similar to the Debian instructions, we recommend using the latest 2.3.2 version for old 2.x scores instead, or migrating those scores to MuseScore 3.

    Besides the versions supplied by the distribution itself, the MuseScore Debian packager provides newer versions of MuseScore for older Ubuntu releases in official PPAs (package archives).

    Please activate the Stable releases of MuseScore 3 repository on your system and then install the musescore3 package, available for all releases from 18.04 (bionic) onwards. (It is not feasible to provide MuseScore 3 for older Ubuntu releases, as those lack the minimum Qt version required by MuseScore 3.)

    If you wish to install the older MuseScore 2, activate the Stable releases of MuseScore 2 PPA and install the musescore package, available for 12.04 (precise), 14.04 (trusty), 16.04 (xenial), and 18.04 (bionic) onwards. (Some intermediate releases may have slightly older MuseScore versions still available, but it’s best to update to the next LTS.) On the ancient 12.04 (precise) and 14.04 (trusty) releases, this will upgrade the Qt library in your system, which may break unrelated software (and on 12.04 even the C++ libraries are upgraded), mind you; best to upgrade to a newer LTS.

    There’s also a MuseScore Nightly Builds (unstable development builds) PPA, from which the daring can install the musescore-snapshot package, for LTS, that is, 18.04 (bionic) only.

    WARNING: these PPAs are only suitable for Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu/… but not for Debian or KDE neon!

    As with Debian, you can install one or more soundfont packages (ideally install the one you want before installing MuseScore, but if you don’t, a suitable one will be installed alongside MuseScore):

    • musescore-general-soundfont-small: the standard MuseScore_General soundfont in SF3 format, as shipped with MuseScore for other operating systems
    • musescore-general-soundfont: the MuseScore_General HQ soundfont in SF3 format, as available via the Extensions manager
    • musescore-general-soundfont-lossless: the MuseScore_General HQ soundfont in uncompressed SF2 format: takes up a lot more space on your hard disc, but offers the highest sound quality and extremely fast startup times
    • fluidr3mono-gm-soundfont: the old soundfont shipped with MuseScore 2.0 (antecessor of MuseScore_General), use only if resources are very tight or you need it
    • timgm6mb-soundfont: the old soundfont shipped with MuseScore 1.3; cannot substitute the others; use only if you need it; extremely tiny

    Note: only the MuseScore_General soundfont (HQ or regular) supports single-note dynamics (SND), and you need at least version 0.1.6 of those soundfonts (possibly from the PPA) for SND support!

    The command sudo update-alternatives --config MuseScore_General.sf3 can be used at any time to select the default soundfont used by MuseScore if you install more than one (note timgm6mb-soundfont cannot be selected here).

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