Forums > MaxMSP

Max on Linux

Jun 29 2012 | 6:10 pm

I know it gets brought up every once in a while, but I thought I’d post again to see what the interest was out there for getting Max working in Linux.

I jump between Mac, Winows, and Linux (Ubunutu) fairly regularly as no single OS can do everything I need under one roof. I teach at a university in physics and recording arts where I use Max, Wavelab, Nuendo, and Live extensively for demonstrations and PowerPoint/Keynote for presenting. I also run a recording/mastering/post studio where I again use Nuendo & Wavelab. But I also run an acoustic R&D company where I use Solidworks, QCAD, and a few other drawing/modeling tools. And lastly I head up an interdisciplinary research collective that mostly uses Max, but also vvvv, Processing, TouchDesigner, Quartz Composer, etc.

But I’m finding that I prefer Linux above Windows and Mac more and more for the sheer speed, customization, and adaptability even though it’s by far the least supported for applications which really bums me out. While I’m a big supporter of open source I’m also happy to pay for good commercial software like Max. i just wish Max, and a few others, would run on Linux.

Max is one of the biggest hangups for me to not spend almost all of my time in Linux. PD is a great program, no doubt, but I rely on a lot of the awesome and amazing externals out there and the great Max community (along with a number of other reasons). Even getting Max to run under Wine would be OK, though native support would be much more preferable. But the iLok stuff only works on Mac/Win, even though I use the software key/internet activation.

So I’m interested if there’s any other folks out there in the same boat as myself. I know Linux support is a low priority for most commercial companies that are trying squash bugs and be innovative, but I feel like Ubuntu and other flavors are on the rise and have some very cool potential in the multimedia realm (but that could also be just because I’ve been getting more into it personally). If there’s enough of us requesting maybe we could see a Linux release in the future! Anyone else interested in seeing this happen?


Jun 29 2012 | 7:32 pm

If Max could run on Linux, I would immediately abandon Apple. Ubuntu indeed is very robust as I use it since its beginning for my spare-time activities. Also, many third party objects in Max are shared by their authors with an "Open Source" spirit. After all, Max has been ported to Windows pretty late after having been developed on Macintosh. Despite Linux has a much more limited market than Windows would it be too difficult to make Max available for Linux ? I vote for it !


Jun 29 2012 | 9:16 pm

Not too sure I’d be looking at Linux that seriously myself when it comes to multimedia. The common hardware support is pretty stable, but the moment you enter the realm of specifics then it becomes a different issue.

Still; you can always look into Pure Data I suppose. Its not Max but it shares the same roots and runs natively under Linux.

Jun 29 2012 | 9:28 pm


As said elsewhere, Max is pretty much the only thing keeping me attached to OSX…

Jun 30 2012 | 12:44 pm

+1 for what it’s worth.

I’d echo all of the comments that long for Max on Linux, although I fear it’s probably just a dream that’ll never come true.

Jun 30 2012 | 4:30 pm

Same here, may be someday a port to Linux would be possible with a lot of request from users …

Jun 30 2012 | 4:44 pm

there are so many personal and selfish reasons why i want Max on Linux i will not bore the list with them, other than to say that Max is the only reason i too stay on OSX. Max-Linux and i would never have to go through all the Apple and Microsoft bullshit again in my life. just before Max6 i was seriously contemplating ditching Max so i could move on. then i got re-addicted (damn them!).

sadly, like dickmedd, i think it is a pipe dream. in fact we are more likely to see some sort of reactionary and pointless high-ish-level iOS / WinRT crap before a proper Linux port.

i do actually believe that it is completely (and commercially) misguided and also conceptually wrong of cycling74 not to port to Linux.

if they could have, they surely would have loved to have had Windows right from 1997 rather than having to wait for the port until they could find the time / resources to do it. likewise, in 10 years or so they will be kicking themselves that they did not port to linux, as by then both OSX and Windows will have become virtually impossible OS’s to sustain a serious relatively low level environment for audio video gl data mangling on. (i feel i will be stuck on 10.6.8 and 7 sp1 forever as i cannot bring myself to upgrade to the current unbelievable unusercentric nightmare offerings. sadly, kde and gnome have gone almost the same way).

also, to not port to linux is to ignore what the type of software they produce is. linux is crying out for max and vica versa. gen itself is a technology philosophically rooted in that environment, especially seeing as how it derives from luaav. (this is hugely contentious statement of course. alas brevity).

there are so many open source technologies underpinning max these days, from bullet to clang, and they already implement a genuinely cross platform interface in juce, that it would surely be less work and license hassle porting to linux than the original windows port was. and i really believe that in the future artists and possibly creative coder types will be using linux or linux-like systems almost exclusively. however i guess what they are most concerned with is support on linux, to be fair.

also, if anyone else suggests that Pd is an "alternative" to Max i will scream. people who say that have never used both softwares deeply.

also, Max-Linux would force cycling to use a different system than interlok etc for copy protection, which surely every sane human being on the planet categorically despises!

Jul 03 2012 | 4:07 pm


Jul 03 2012 | 4:49 pm

+1 when I think that I switched to windows after 10 years under linux just for Max…

Jul 07 2012 | 12:44 pm

+ 1 here too.
What I would like to know is what exactly would be involved in creating max for linux ? What programing language how difficult would it be to do the translation etc etc ?
Seeing as there seems to be a lot of support for the idea and the whole point of linux is that its open source and if cycling74 dont have the reources – what are the chances of cycling74 turning the job over to a large group of enthusiastic volunteers ? (zero I suspect but maybe….)

Jul 07 2012 | 2:18 pm

I don’t think this thread is about open-sourcing Max but about porting it to a platform that is becoming increasingly more important to people who want to do serious work with computers. There is a number of commercial software for Linux and I don’t know any rule that would prohibit that.

Jul 07 2012 | 9:17 pm

While I too would love to have the option of editing Max on a modern linux distro like Ubuntu, my main interest is in _running_ patches on low cost streamlined machines for instillations and clustered environments. Mac minis are terribly expensive and over powered compared to some of the little machines you can run Ubuntu on. Taken further, ARM support would be just as desirable for me (raspberry pi anyone?)

Jul 08 2012 | 1:15 am

+1 =)

Jul 08 2012 | 12:17 pm

I guess the show stopper is the Pace copy protection. We have to put pressure on pace to at least support an iLok. But I’d prefer the software/driver version. The Max runtime seems to work in wine (long ago I tested it, don’t know if that is still true…)
That could be a solution for installations, nobody would put a fully authorized Max on such a machine…;-)
As far as I remember, cycling said, back when they made the port to windows, it would be much easier to do a linux port.
In the end OS X and Linux share the same Unix OS philosophy…

Jul 08 2012 | 3:47 pm

So this is then a technical challenge for Pace. And for each challenge there is a response – noone should know better than Pace. =)
Max wouldn’t be the first copy-protected app for Linux and it won’t be the last. The further the iOSification of OSX will advance the louder the calls will get. And C74 isn’t the almost-deaf, academic one-man company anymore it used to be.

Jul 11 2012 | 11:40 am

This was the answer from Pace. I just asked per e-mail.

Maybe if more people ask for it, its becomes more likely?

Am 09.07.12 19:25, schrieb PACE Anti-Piracy Technical Support:
> Linux support has been considered but is not available at this time.
> No date or timeframe has been set as to when or if such support will be
> made available. If it does, we will be sure to announce it on our
> website so check back there for any future announcements.
> Best Regards,
> Sergio Flores

Jul 11 2012 | 12:20 pm

It also looks like a wine port is out based on previous testing from others…

Jul 11 2012 | 2:55 pm

Oh dear god, please —- don’t push iLok on anyone.

Interestingly (and timely), last night I was doing some work with some world-class touring musicians and we were discussing the keyboard setup that one of them will be using in an upcoming tour in California. He mentioned he was using PPG softsynth to which I said I was surprised he would use that because of iLok.

His comment: he got a special build of the plugin with iLok disabled and a serial number activation instead. He pointed out that most developers of these products don’t actually use them in professional situations (e.g. gigs in front of thousands of fans) and have no clue about the consequences of such things breaking.

It may be fine for a permanent situation and/or where the consequences of failure are not serious (e.g, a presentation at a college, or an installation in a recording studio) but for anyone who has to use it in a live situation, particularly when in front of paying customers (fans, or if you’re a session musician, clients in a recording situation), it’s just a no-no.

Jul 11 2012 | 2:56 pm

@protocol The rating of "Garbage" does not fill one with hope!

Jul 11 2012 | 7:33 pm

@ dhjdhjdhj Exactly why I said the option of using wine was "out" meaning "not likely" :) Could have been a bit more clear. Just reporting back my research.

Jul 11 2012 | 10:46 pm

Interesting that a few users have expressed a desire to get away from OS X. I’m partly in the same boat, I’m not really digging the direction that Apple are going in desktop-wise at the moment.

I’m sure this will compound the feeling for some users:

Jul 17 2012 | 8:25 am

Sorry to perpetuate this thread (well, I’m not really sorry) but I thought I’d draw attention to the fact that Valve are now developing their gaming digital delivery service, Steam, for Linux:

I know Valve probably have a fair bit more money in the coffers than Cycling ’74, and that Steam has a larger number of users than Max, but I still feel it’s a sign of the times (they are a changin’).

Jul 17 2012 | 3:43 pm

Interesting news! Definitely a sign if a mainstream, big industry developer moves to Linux…

(and actually that would solve my other issue of needing a Windows partition pretty much only for gaming ;)

Dec 21 2012 | 8:57 pm

please excuse my reviving of a post here.
but i have been recently, actually more thinking for years, but now acting on moving to linux.
the change is coming from apple being completely illogical with prices on their units, the constant drilling of needing to upgrade and also this kind of draconian way that they work. i hate most ‘apple’ people. these are the ones that just buy into all the rubbish at a drop of a hat and buy an expensive computer to just check emails. its pointless in my view. plus as well they dont talk anymore, just ‘twaat’
i know they may cost what they are worth [i dont think 100% because i think some of the things they use are cheap, such as the CD drive and no3 usb ports on 15"] but it just gets stupid when a new computer is needed. and lately i have been getting to that point, after 5-6 years of hard use on mine.

i did install ubuntu on an abandoned dell inspiron 3100. only has 512ram at the moment [will be getting 2gb after christmax], but is something to really look at now, even in the interest for cycling ’74 and ableton. saying those 2, because i use them ALL THE TIME.
but im genuinely impressed by ubuntu 12.10 and everything it has to offer [even with crap insides in the computer], and it possibly is not making me shift, because of this max on os x and pc alone. same with ableton.

i really would like to see max move onto linux. i really think there is a market, or whatever you want to call it. but think it can help a great deal. i do know that there is the fact that things have to be started again for a new platform. i may be wrong, but i dont know.

BUT, you may go, well what if we cant move to linux?
then, go for hackintosh. been doing some searches of late, preparing for next year and also a new computer. this just seems to be the way to go really, if you dont want to shift.
the main bad-boys i have seen are mainly from HP & Lenovo, cant remember off the top of my head. but these can be hackintoshed. this would save you in the reams of £1500/$2000, yes thats the choice i do think.
can still use os x [which is what i want it for, dont care about the ‘look’ of a machine, as long as it works. plus as well, have a big enough hard drive and have linux on as well.

anyhow, just saw this post because of my recent need to upgrade and look for a new os to work with.
also please excuse my minor rant, it gets silly sometimes ;)

leed [lewis edwards]

Dec 22 2012 | 10:07 am

"plus as well they dont talk anymore, just ‘twaat'"

hehehehe, tweeting like a bunch of twats, nice :)

+1 for linux(max isn’t the only reason for me using osx, but linux is a smooth and user-encouraging system. it seems to encourage people to get smarter about their use of computers than microsoft and apple with their legal-but-still-rather-monopolistically-dependence-creating practices).
there was mentioned in an article, when Max5 was introduced that the changes made there were conducive to at least starting to consider a linux version of max. what pid said about cycling kicking themselves 10 years from now is more likely to be untrue. but seems like it will take awhile anyways. i’m hopeful and trusting. all of us who use computers in a development way, could probably use more practice in patience anyways ;)

Dec 25 2012 | 1:45 pm

"When we got home, head full of ideas about encouraging people to port Max to the Raspberry Pi":
… quotation from


Dec 25 2012 | 6:52 pm

Heh ! maybe we should continue feed that thread throughout months and years, and in a matter of months or years C74 will begin considering the question ;D

Dec 26 2012 | 7:28 am

+1 Max has kept me on my mac for far too long.

Dec 26 2012 | 12:20 pm

+10 Would love to finally switch to linux, too!!!!!

Dec 26 2012 | 1:40 pm

This is probably the biggest reason why Linux has not been successful in penetrating the larger user base. The majority of users (probably 99% at least) don’t actually care about their computer or OS or getting to know it better. They simply want to get their work/job done, whether it’s writing a letter, doing their email, writing or performing their music, etc.

For the most part, OS X does the best job as an OS that just stays out of the way and let’s you get things done. In my opinion, that’s the real reason Apple has been so successful. The higher initial cost is a small price to pay to avoid spending time (which is a far higher cost for most users) dealing with the computer as opposed to getting on with your work.

but linux is a smooth and user-encouraging system. it seems to encourage people to get smarter about their use of computer

Jan 04 2013 | 1:11 pm

Currently visible on Cycling '74's Twitter profile:


  1. platformhints.png


Feb 06 2015 | 3:04 am

EDIT: sorry my reply was for this topic:

Feb 24 2015 | 8:38 pm

As a former professional audio developer, i can say that Linux video and audio performance is a couple of degrees above windows and Mac performance, the latter two of which end up being quite similar. For developing complex drawing interfaces like grid editors, anything with real-time interface updates (levels, complex & exciting freq spectrums, etc), Xorg is unmatched. The performance of alsa (Linux audio 8 years ago, not sure what they use now) over core audio and DirectSound is also no contest.

The reality for us was that the Linux market was almost worth nothing in reality. And this was for a well known product from a well known studio. It is a smaller user base AND linux users don’t spend money like the users of commercial OS’s (that should be obvious even by the wording of this sentence), so it just isn’t worth it. Audio software is so difficult to develop that as far as I am aware these problems are more stressful to deal with than in other fields. But man, if we wanted to build the fastest and most technilogically advanced systems out there with the lowest latency it would have to be Linux.

Jul 31 2015 | 9:44 am

Here, here! MaxMsp running on a Linux Kernel would be fantastic! I hate Microsoft and Apple.. I don’t like dual boots and have managed to get Max working really well in ubuntu 14.04 LT through virtualbox. Still not directly working off the Kernel obviously but for those who don’t want to have a hard drive windows boot it’s a good option – I allocated 20 out of 32Gb of RAM and 6 out of 8 2.9GHz CPUs to Windows and have been using Max for a week and it copes with things very nicely indeed.

Jul 31 2015 | 11:41 am

Yvan, how exactly are you doing it? You only have Ubuntu as the boot OS? How does Windows come into play?

Jul 31 2015 | 12:33 pm

Hi Telegrammae. Yes I only have Ubuntu 14.04 LT as a boot OS.
You can create virtual machines within an OS and so I run Windows 7 in Ubuntu through Virtualbox (I’m not an expert at all but it seems like a better option than Wine).
For ubuntu you can install Virtualbox e.g
Once you have have virtualbox installed you can configure a new virtual machine for Win7, or OSX.
Here’s a nice video of how to create a Windows virtual machine within Ubuntu if ever: (IF anyone is interested in this)
Follow pretty much his outline, although MAX will need a fair whack of CPU and RAM, I have allocated 5/8 CPU’s (said 6 earlier but actually) and ~20/32 Gb RAM – don’t be afraid and make sure you put execution Cap to 100% in System/Processor section otherwise there’s a good chance sound may clip. The other BIG thing and it was a pain in the ass for me big time at the start (sound was clipping every now and then, not just in MAX) is to change the host Audio Driver to ALSA Audio Driver – This with 100% Cap mentioned above and a fair whack of CPU and RAM and it runs really sweet, nearly as good as Ubuntu, it’s pretty cool.
If you are to do this make sure you follow the whole way through your man’s video and add a guest user otherwise you won’t be able to resize window to fullscreen.
Hope this helps, works great for me :).

Jul 31 2015 | 1:45 pm

That’s a great great news, I can’t work anymore on OSX and all those NSA’s friendly OS :( They are offense to privacy. I try to keep working on my old snow leopard but Max 7 is a pain. So I’ve set a dual boot with Yosemite dedicated to Max but things are really complicated now.
Do you use Max 7 with virtual box and is it working really nice?
Besides that it seems Wine is only good for Max 5.

Aug 01 2015 | 8:26 am

Yvan, thanks for the info! Is there a way, in Ubuntu, to install a virtualbox running OS X instead of Windows 7?

Aug 02 2015 | 4:22 am

Maybe Cycling74 could make a Linux port of Max a KickStarter project?

That way they’d see how many users are really prepared to put money into it, and if there weren’t enough they wouldn’t have to risk wasting resources on it.

Aug 02 2015 | 7:19 pm

Hi Kyred,
Yes I use max 7 through virtualbox and it works very nicely indeed.. You just need to tweak things in the virtualbox settings so that things run smoothly, and I’d imagine it’s machine dependent. If you try it out and have issues let us know if ever. But yes It all works fine.

Aug 02 2015 | 7:23 pm

Hi Telegrammae,
No worries :). I haven’t installed OS X through virtualbox but It’s supposed to work the same way, you can install any OS virtually with virtualbox. If it’s something you’re really considering and would like pointers, I can try and help..Let me know.

Aug 03 2015 | 4:18 am

You’ll find that quite a bit of extra hacking is required to make a guest OS X run in a VM whose host is not itself OS X, to say nothing of issues anytime there’s an OS X update, and that the Apple license agreement forbids it 👿

Aug 05 2015 | 5:43 pm

Ah didn’t realise that! Apple… Almost feel like trying it out in defiance!
Found a link on askubuntu which seems to address the hacking requirements:
There’s a link on the page in "smile4ever’s" post:
"I will warn you that I do not condone this, so please don’t try it. However, for educational purposes, it is possible to install OSX in VirtualBox… you need a Hackintosh install disc to do this though. For information on this, have a look here: Lifehacker "How to Run Mac OS X Inside Windows Using VirtualBox". Ignore the fact that they are using VirtualBox in Windows, because the same process will work in Ubuntu too."
Best of luck to those who try.

Aug 06 2015 | 1:25 am

I can say that hackintosh OSX LION works fine on PC, no need for Virtual Box.

Aug 19 2015 | 7:18 am


Sep 20 2015 | 11:30 am


Dec 18 2015 | 7:14 am

+1 Yes! for shure max on Linux!!! we need it! it is a computer philosophy and it seems clever. And linux on a mac rocks.

Dec 18 2015 | 7:54 am

Linux is the future!

Dec 18 2015 | 9:25 am


Dec 18 2015 | 1:56 pm

post deleted due to lack of ACTUAL subject knowledge

Dec 20 2015 | 11:53 am

+1 for Max on Linux
I am running Ableton on Wine with a realtime kernel. To bad that maxforlive is not working at all. Will try to get it working but if not i will have to skip max completely. (i will probaly move to Csound or Pd in that case.

Only reason i run Windows is to play some games. Virtualbox, Xen or KVM are not an option for Max.
Linux is just that smooth, so please Cycling 74 can we have a native port or a working version for wine?

Dec 20 2015 | 11:53 am

Just installed Ableton 9 suite and maxforlive and its working!

Dec 20 2015 | 3:03 pm

+1 Max on Linux (if possible without Wine)
Manjaro (Arch) linux is amazing fast now as dual boot on my MBP that i wanna experience Max on it.

@BOSSS: On which Linux distro are your running Ableton 9 suite and maxforlive?

Dec 22 2015 | 4:07 am

+1 – i wonder how many users have linux as their most wanted feature

Dec 22 2015 | 4:35 am

It’s more the embed-ability rather than running it specifically on Linux.
I guess that’s what the gen export stuff has been about, but it’s a pretty high bar to ride that ride (vs just being able to run a regular patch on Linux).

Dec 22 2015 | 5:38 am

I am with you Rodrigo for the embed possibilities, there is a lot of potential. I love Linux, but lets face it, Max on desktop Linux is not realisatic at this point. Just consider the amount of developers they have and put that against the tasks for a port: Supporting a gazillion different desktops (or, if they select one: dealing with the outrage of 30% if the Linux community : "Unity is crap and Ubuntu betrayed us!" ;) ), with currently at least 3 different window servers, struggeling with a defacto non support of pulse audio by any professional audio interface company, having to deal with another gazillion open source-re-writes of original graphic card drivers… just to name a few. Wine on the other hand is imho nothing else than a workaround, far from delivering really good, professional results for an application that works so closely to the system on all aspects….
And last, Linux destops are at the moment afaik somewhere around 2% of all computer users. If it would be my company and I’d have to make a choice, where to put my resources, in this case I’d clearly opt for "killing one darling-project", in order for the others to be awesome…
… and just to avoid some net-bashing-before-christmas: I really love Linux!!! Really, really, really ;)))

Dec 22 2015 | 6:14 am

Full embed-ability and support for GNU/Linux are main reasons that led me to PureData.
Insanity and idleness pushed me into its sources for the next years.

Dec 22 2015 | 6:18 am

Oops. FLOSS rocks.

Dec 28 2015 | 5:39 am


please forgive the intrusion (in the absence of PM here), and the ‘wrong forum’ crime; can you suggest or point me to any guidance on installing/previewing a Linux distro on a Windows 10 tablet? I have been trawling the webz all morning.

Sorry for noise . . . .


Dec 28 2015 | 5:08 pm

Hi Brandan, not sure if I can be a grest help, haven’t worked with windows tablets yet. but you csn mail me via my website:

cheers, jan

Dec 30 2015 | 2:51 am

Hey thanks Jan; I will email when I have more concrete questions. A composer/programmer colleague has recommended Fedora + PlanetCCRMA, and has offered to walk me through the installation process. We use it in SARC on some Dell workstations and it runs Arduino, Processing, Supercollider and PD, without any major issues.

Many thanks

Mar 15 2016 | 8:30 am

+1 For me… want to use Max on Raspberry Pis.

Mar 15 2016 | 10:17 am

this is my +3

Mar 23 2016 | 4:45 am

+2 with Raspberry Pi3

Mar 23 2016 | 4:52 am

(+5 with bela platform too)

Mar 23 2016 | 1:28 pm

+ 10 Max on Linux would remove a major hurdle. Really want to get it on Pi and embedded systems not to mention being able to ditch OS X and Windows.

Mar 24 2016 | 7:13 am

I broke down, got a Raspberry Pi 2 B and started working with Pd on it. It’s totally fun and the potential is incredible. I wish Max would run on this, but I’d rather not wait for it.

Apr 14 2016 | 2:39 pm

Max on Linux? I’m in!
Running Max on a Raspberry Pi would make so many things so much more easy and affordable!
Linux is the only way forward anyway as Apple has completely abandoned the pro market and Windows is just rubbish.


May 19 2016 | 2:13 am

Ditched Windows after the ‘free Win10’ update fiasco. Totally Linux now. I use PD and/or Supercollider for serial comms and audio synthesis. But still really miss Max and Gen, and I’m not looking forward to translating my 100’s of patches into PD-land. Virtualisation is an option, but my lack of skills might prevent me from getting a realistic impression of it, and Wine might be another option. So, in laziness, a Linux port of Max would be the dog’s!


May 19 2016 | 4:19 am

. . . . Okay, so it’s ‘just’ Max Runtime, but still – I can view and run all my old patches now. thanks to Wine [edit: and Fedora23, dnf install].

  1. wellThatWasEasy


May 19 2016 | 7:11 am

I’d even be ready to pay up to half of the price of a new licence as a crossgrade fee for a linux version!!!

May 19 2016 | 8:28 am

Steady on! But, thinking about it, if it is dev time that it needs could it be crowdfunded? I’d back it, but I’m sure it is more complicated than I could possibly imagine and opens up the door to a load of hardware issues and support nightmares.

Nice one Brendan, what’s the performance like?

May 19 2016 | 11:10 am

Nice Brendan

May 19 2016 | 2:01 pm

Isn’t juce meant to be a cross plattform framework to compile on win, osx and linux? And of course, if there is extra development to do (i’m sure there is, see arguments in the posts above which sound reasonable): just sayin, if it’s the money for this development that is the point – maybe enough people would be ready to pay for it?
I’d be ready! I’m about having to buy either a new mac as my current one is dying (again. "Graphic card problems, sorry, warrenty is out, get an appointment at the geniuis bar to replace your logic board, it’s cheap, only 550€. You can get it in rose though.") or switch to win which scares me very very much.

May 19 2016 | 10:00 pm

I agree that Linux support is something desirable — even Cockos published a native-Linux build of Reaper for testing. But even if the framework is cross-platform it doesn’t mean the linux version wouldn’t require maintenance. Support of different distros, desktop environments, different GPU drivers of different crappiness, etc, etc. — Linux is such a technology zoo that many devs are trying to avoid supporting it. And ROI of this support would be small anyway compared to Mac/Win platforms.

May 21 2016 | 1:21 am

@lukewoodbury I haven’t stress tested it yet, but I was surprised to find that it worked straight out of the box, as it were. I ran my granary patch, which usually demands around 20-30% CPU, and it was fine. Because it’s runtime only I can’t tweak or test audio settings (sigvs etc). But later on today I’ll do some serial stuff, some video and maybe udp/OSC, then report back.

Then I might risk downloading the full Max package . . . . .


Jun 13 2016 | 4:59 pm

I’ve got to say that as both Mac and Windows Platforms are becoming increasingly hostile to people who do things differently, Linux becomes more and more appealing.

And Max is definitely a way of doing things Differently.

To be clear by doing things Differently, I’m talk about making our town tool, for media manipulation. Mac used to be about media creators and tools for them, the iPodification of MacOS and Mac Hardware, has resulting in me not wanting the new Mac Products, especially the Pro Laptops.

So what to do when I need an upgrade?

Jun 14 2016 | 6:59 am

+1 furiousgreencloud
i’m asking myself the same question actually. My 2011 mbp is holding well for now but the technological things have shorter lifespans than their users ; and i’m very reluctant on buying a new one with no CD driver, or no SD card reader, or a proprietary audio connection instead of jack 3.5mm, or the need to carry around an adapter for basic usb. There might be some exageration on my part tho ;) Also reluctant on Windows, because Windows ; but it will eventually maybe be the way to go…but it’s a stretch….

Jun 14 2016 | 1:54 pm

The only thing tying me to macOS is Max and how much development there is for it. If it was as good on windows/linux I’d jump ship immediately. It would take a critical mass and a huge movement for linux to become common in the realm of professional audio I believe.

Jun 14 2016 | 2:03 pm

+1 on all of these "post OS X" sentiments. I’m still holding out hope that the next gen proper laptops are actually fast, and that USB to USB-C cables work fine for all general USB/soundcard needs.

One concern I’d have in going fully Linux is I can imagine soundcard drivers, and drivers in general, being a big pain in the ass. (Naive question, but can you just use regular MOTU/RME soundcards on Linux?)

Jun 14 2016 | 11:57 pm

Hi all,

As much as I would love Max for Linux, I don’t see it happening anytime soon. We have asked for a linux version for years and it doesn’t seem to be a priority for Cycling74.

For those looking for bangs in a can, I can recommend the lattepanda ( ). I backed them on kickstarter and Max runs without issues on it. Of course, it is an Atom processor so it isn’t as powerful as a laptop but still performs better than the Pi.

Hope this is useful for some.


– Miguel

Jun 15 2016 | 1:23 am

I’m using Lattepanda too for live sets and installations.
Finally I’ve replaced my UDOO and Raspi boards with something can handle Max :)
It’s a real blast.

Jun 15 2016 | 2:02 am

I got a LattePanda too for using Max on. It came broken and there was very little support information or contact opportunities, but they are brand new and are probably overwhelmed by their Kickstarter. I got it going in the end and have done some basic audio and Jitter testing and got the on-board Arduino going. Need to do some proper testing, but all looks good so far!

Jun 15 2016 | 4:56 am

Interesting, I hadn’t seen that before.

Jun 15 2016 | 11:06 am

received a lattepanda at my home, but will be back there in 2 weeks only… glad to see it’s working for at least some of you ^_ ^ hope it will be nice for gigs with simple fx processor on an electric violin.

Jun 16 2016 | 11:32 am

I do have mixed feelings about going on with Apple computers too. The current Mac Book Pro range is not so much powerful so in any case I am waiting for the next generation, before the end of 2016 hopefully, to replace my current one. This will help making a decision. However proprietary connectors and "iOSization" of Mac OS X (err… ….macOS) are not heading in the right direction for sure.

Besides your favourite software and the mandatory drivers for soundcards and controllers, another question is how one adapts to another operating system. Especially after 20 years spent using Macs almost exclusively.

Jun 16 2016 | 4:16 pm

"If Max could run on Linux, I would immediately abandon Apple."

I really couldn’t put it better myself. Max is really my native musical language. It’s really tortured me every time I hear some new techno-dystopian nightmare coming true that I can’t abandon my mac. Especially since Apple seems to count on exactly this situation.

Jun 18 2016 | 1:25 am

Like many of you, I also hate where Apple have been going lately. I’ve had a brief look at Linux and PD and quickly decided it’d take way too long to get all the required skills. (I’m a musician far far FAR more than I’m a computer geek!) I reckon it’d take even longer for C74 to port Max to Linux.

So I’ve been looking at the world of Hackintosh and, unless Apple pull an affordable rabbit out of a hat by the end of the year, that’s where I’ll be going. They’re basically forcing many of us that way anyway.

Jun 18 2016 | 3:43 am

Hi Bill
Among my list of skills, musician is at the top, computer wizard is way down the list. But I found the move to Linux very very easy indeed, loads of resources and support online. And I really haven’t looked back, Fedora23 and the Gnome desktop are an absolute delight; it’s like the OS just sits there and says "I’m ready to do your bidding, where shall we go today?"

Hackintosh I can’t comment on, but I’m aware that it’s a popular solution for those annoyed by the OS/hardware update/purchase cycle.

PD (extended) on Linux is less of a delight. I need all the serial extensions to PD, and installing vanilla PD and then manually installing the necessary extensions seems a bit daunting so I feel your pain. That said, I can run all my Max patches in Linux/Fedora23 using WINE. And it was EVEN EASIER than migrating to a new OS.

Go PlanetCCRMA !

my 2c

Jun 18 2016 | 6:34 am

Don’t expect that cycling will ever port max to linux,
at least as long as big brother Ableton has no plans on doing so.
Removing Max ability to build plugins in favor of maxforlive was
a major dissapointment in the development of max since version 4.6,
just to name one among many

Jun 18 2016 | 9:07 am

Back then, when M4L was lauchned there was a note published about abandoning Pluggo. There reason they mentioned was basically that it became unmaintainable for C74 because of to often changing and incoherrently implemented standards in the VST world. Hence the decision to work closely with one partner instead. And honestly, for me it was a game changer. I think the Live/M4L combination fantastic! But let’s agree to disagree here ;)
IMHO the non success of Linux in the desktop world (e.g. which major professional audio company is fully supporting it in hard and software?) is mainly rooted in an idiotically fragmented Linux community. … i already lost count of the Ubuntu distributions and derrivates allone, which is a debian derrivate which is… i guess you know what i mean. Unfortunately most community/open source projects only reach a mature and professional level, when they don’t have to do the boiring and time consuming front end work. Maybe – as now some bigger players in the gaming industry have started to open up to linux – we will finally see some improvements. But i fear as soon as one company gets influential enough, there will be also enough rebells starting a new fork … or two or three…

Jun 18 2016 | 9:50 am

Fork is fun. It is sometimes (for me it was with PureData) the only solution to stop to complain.

Jun 18 2016 | 3:33 pm

@Brendan McC: Thanks for your views – I’ll certainly keep them in mind. Glad you found something that works so well for you. :-)

I’ll most likely still try Hackintosh first, but if my fake apple changes shape to that of a pear I’ll be back with lots of Linux and WINE questions!

PS: Looked up Planet CCRMA before hitting Reply. Wow – looks like a great resource – thanks! That’s definitely going into my notes file!

Jun 18 2016 | 7:53 pm

how is hackintosh these days ? how do the latest OSX behave as hackintosh ?
@jojo lapin : long time no see here !… forking puredata, that’s some dedication to stop complaining ^^

Jun 18 2016 | 9:28 pm

@Vichug: Dunno what it used to be like, but it seems really up-to-date, thorough and straightforward.

e.g. has a monthly Buyer’s Guide with lists of all the latest fully compatible components for various Mac sizes from mini to Pro. Latest one = June 2016. There are instructions on how to use the required installation, setup and adjustment software (which seems to be continually developed). Guides for El Capitain (10.11.5?) back to Snow Leopard. Blog posts on the latest from Apple and Intel, forum, etc. Certainly enough to make a complete newbie like me confident enough to give it a go.

And, of course, several other people have Hackintosh web sites.

Jun 18 2016 | 9:33 pm

thanks for the infos

Jun 18 2016 | 10:44 pm

@vichug : yep, i spend all my free time in refactoring Pd for my use. That’s a lot of work. And TBH it sounds totally stupid. But i have now the satisfaction that i "own" it. No dependencies to C74, to Apple, and everybody else.

Jul 06 2016 | 3:11 pm


Oct 13 2016 | 12:25 am

wellp, this is an ongoing topic and im sure c74 is well aware of the growing demand for max on linux, yet seems quiet on the matter. In apple’s latest developments and further ventures into a ‘rootless’ environment of UNIX, that is ‘el crapitan,’ i had finally had it up to here with apple and switched to linux. it hurt deeply but i knew that ment giving up
max. i remade PD versions of my most important patchwork which took quite a bit of time and re-learning my work flow. I was just getting ready to cancel my max subscription when i thought id take one last crack at running max in wine on linux, and guess what?
i did it.

using a combination of crossover, winetricks and playonlinux, i actually have the runtime of max 7 running. as of last night, everything seems to be working well except a crash that occurs every time i try to use the umenu object. today im gojng to tackle that full on and see if i can tweak a wine prefix well enough to run it smoothly. i even have ASIO and ALSA passing zero latency audio and midi between max and linux! im very excited about this as i had basically given up on the idea until last night. if anyone is interested in how to set this up for themselves im happy to share everything i know, or if anyone has some tips on how to make it work better id love to hear it. Ill keep everyone posted on my progress.

Oct 13 2016 | 1:19 am

PS: I have been running my entire professional studio comfortably on a Hackintosh for years. I recently decided that I would try to upgrade from Yosemite to el capitan, only to find that the direction in which apple is going is something I will not tolerate even if I had a real mac machine. Let’s face it: Apple is over priced, intrusive to one’s own hardware capabilities, dumbed down and now they are becoming more and more hostile towards people who wish to be down with open source. El Capitan does not even run freaking VLC Player out of the box, saying that the app could be a virus and damage your computer! Ummm… NOPE. VLC is just not iTunes which is why I use it and also presumably why they dont like it. The bottom line is that Max, OSX and hackintoshes have been great and well worth it for years… but now, its simply not. Apple is taking their OS in the same direction as their phones: Dumbed down, over priced, appealing not to artists but to the lowest common denominator, and so concerned with anti-piracy that you have to jump through countless hoops just to be able to run apps on your own computer that are not directly signed by apple. They keep this crap up and they will lose all their business to linux and even Windows! I know they have lost my business, where I was once a gung ho apple supporter and even employee! Anyone who is thinking about putting together a hackintosh, I would say that unless you are cool with running Yosemite or lower, it’s no longer worth it. Learn Linux. You’ll be glad you did. Linux support is still lacking but it is on the ups, and if enough of us take our dollars away from these greedy ass corporations and go where true digital freedom awaits, the support will follow. Im giving it tonight to get Max RT running under wine. I’ll give it the best shot I have in me, but if I am unsuccessful then im off to sharpen my skills in PD and canceling my subscription to Max. Yes, it hurts… I have spent years developing tools for audio production in max… but its necessary because corporations are getting more and more aggressive in ways we should not tolerate, much less pay money for. I love all you in the max community!
Wish me luck out there!

Oct 13 2016 | 4:45 am

I sort of regret +1ing this thread. The mac does feel a bit like a sinking ship after that peter kirn article but it’s been through a lot worse. If I do jump that ship, it’s not like it’s up to C74 to follow me.

If it helps any I read this interview where Z says, "Increasingly our customers want to build software for a variety of contexts and environments beyond the desktop." So it’s not like he’s unaware.

Oct 13 2016 | 5:30 am

It does seem like all the eggs are firmly in the "gen export" basket, which unfortunately leaves people like me in the lurch. I don’t use gen a ton, most of my patches are 80% control/logic/mapping bits, and I’m not comfortable enough with Xcode to take a block of exported code and compile something useful out of that.

The whole reason of using something like Max (as opposed to a "real" language (I know, I know…)) is it’s general working paradigm, with objects/cables/prototyping/etc… This is a gross overstatement I’m sure, but if I could work comfortable in Xcode, I’d just do that and skip the gen step altogether.

Oct 13 2016 | 11:43 am

my guess is that there are liscencing issues with ableton etc that prevent c74 from really persuing a linux port. Its not like the customer demand isnt there.

As of now, its still crashing anytime a umenu is clicked. Its quite frustrating as it seems that nothing I do has any effect. Everything works pretty smoothly, but as soon
as a umenu object is clicked, the graphics glitch and everything crashes. So close yet so far… If anyone has any advice, I’d greatly appreciate it!

Oct 14 2016 | 4:09 am

Dual boot is easy those day’s, keep your life simple.
I am moving slowly from MacOS to Linux but MacOS stays in place purely for running Max.*
When you don’t want to get involved with MacOS, remove all unneeded running apps, widgets, …, and let Max open in fullscreen at MacOS boot. You don’t have to use it, it only have to keep running Max. :-)

* Because since El Capitan, MacOS and Safari are all the time trying to connect to so many servers that i don’t get work done. :-P

@AUDIOMATT: "Increasingly our customers want to build software for a variety of contexts and environments beyond the desktop." = Linux :-)

Oct 14 2016 | 8:13 am

In regards to TH8A’s comment regarding licensing issues with Ableton, etc. Maybe there could be a special version of Max, like Max for Live, but instead be Max for Linux. It could be different, limited, or stripped down if necessary, but at least be something that utilizes the same language and runs on Linux. Just a thought.

I am splitting my time between a Mac doing Max and a Raspberry Pi doing Pd. I really wish Max would work on Linux, the possibilities are huge, as most on this thread I’m sure know.


Oct 14 2016 | 8:34 am

Our relationship with Ableton doesn’t restrict our ability to develop Max for other platforms, fwiw.

The latest release of Gen’s code export offers improved support for Linux and ARM platforms — you can now run Gen-exported code on Linux-based platforms like Raspberry Pi and Bela and even bare-metal embedded systems like the Cortex M4 (for instance, in Rebel Technology’s OWL Eurorack module and pedal). Over the coming days and weeks, we’ll be rolling out support materials related to that, so stay tuned!

Oct 14 2016 | 9:16 am

Intriguing and welcome news. Staying tuned.

Oct 14 2016 | 2:09 pm

But does somebody has tested Max patches in the Mod Duo?
On their website they stated:
"The MOD Duo utilizes an open standard for the plugins called LV2. It also features integrations for great audio technologies such as Max/MSP, Pure Data and Faust. Taking the example of a Max user that means:
With the MOD he can finally take all of his Max patches conveniently to the stage – in a pedal."

@Cycling74: Is it possible to save Max patches in this device and us them?

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