Windows-Native Vsts Under Linux

I’m wondering if it’d be feasible to build a Linux-native VST plugin that uses Wine to load a Windows-native one.

The idea is to be able load and use each Windows plugin in Renoise in exactly the same way you would on a Windows box, so that songs built using Windows VSTs would be playable on either system.

I also wonder if it would be possible for linux Renoise to support windows vsts. I run windows Renoise on Wine and Ubuntu. I can use Windows Vsts, and it runs great. Obviously linux Renoise with win vst would be better.

I think the first DAW which manages to support windows Vsts on Linux will have a huge commercial advantage and will dominate Linux audio. I always hear people say that they only run Windows because of their music software. Renoise is half the way there with already because it has a Linux version.

i know you can run some windows vsts under linux through wine

It is possible to run Renoise through wine <_<

Renoise can now load DSSI plug-ins on Linux, and there is a DSSI-VST wrapper that loads Windows VST plug-ins via Wine. Have you tried this yet?

Some discussion about getting it to work:

I’m not sure that it would work in exactly this way, though. On Windows, Renoise would see that your song uses the normal VST plug-in. On Linux, Renoise would see that your song uses the VST plug-in container/wrapper, but not whatever Windows VST plug-in is actually loaded within it. As far as Renoise is concerned, each plug-in would have its own unique ID and would therefore be treated as two completely different things. So you would probably need to write a Windows version of the plug-in wrapper as well, and use it to wrap your VST plug-ins no matter whether you’re working on Windows or Linux, just so that Renoise could effectively ‘see’ the same plug-in ID and therefore handle things the same way on each system.

Another alternative may be to use similar techniques as Chris Walton’s Oversampler VST, which lets you oversample the output of any other VST plug-in to improve its quality by reducing aliasing. If you have a plug-in named SomeSynth.dll, then you must make a physical copy of the oversampler’s DLL file and rename it to SomeSynth.os.dll. The oversampler then mimics all of the properties of the original plug-in and reports these to the host instead. Perhaps this same method could be used for the Linux/Windows wrapper plug-in. The problem here is that Renoise identifies VST plug-ins on Windows by their filename, so it would still be treating SomeSynth.dll and SomeSynth.os.dll as two different things. Not sure if it’s the same with Renoise for Linux, but I suppose it would be possible to figure something out here. As long as Renoise sees ‘SomeSynth’ on Windows and ‘SomeSynth’ on Linux, and both plug-ins behave in exactly the same way, then it should work.

Either way you look at it, there will have to be some kind of weird workaround in place to make this work.

Well, there is another major drawback and that is that a lot expensive Windows plugins require an iLok USB key, of which there currently are no Linux drivers.
I don’t see a way to get these VST’s running. If you speak about a huge commercial advantage, this would mean that the commercially interesting market would be able to use their commercial plugins on Linux and exactly for this market, Linux is not a usable platform.
So a huge advantage if a Linux DAW would be able to use Windows plugins: Yes, but a commercial advantage:No.
Ofcourse, Wine is open source, so perhaps a hybrid compilation to allow native Linux applications to communicate with Windows DLL’s is possible to program, but which developer would consider that fun to work out?

Yeah that’s what I had in mind.

I’m referring here to ‘commercial advantage’ with the same meaning as ‘competitive advantage’. I’m not suggesting Linux audio software is a huge business or ever will be. However, the Renoise devs obviously see a future in Linux audio, or they would not have ported it.

I’m not sure a lack of iLok support is really that much of an issue. The users who have a lot of iLok based plugs are probably not in the market for a sub-$100 DAW. The people who this will appeal to are windows based DAW users who would make the jump to Linux if there were more/better instruments and FX available. Other possible users might be those who already use linux for audio, but would like better access to windows vsts.

I’m sure the revenue generated by new users would outweigh the development time and cost, especially as a lot of work towards this goal has already been completed by others (wine/DSSI-VST).
Obviously this functionality would have to interest the devs and the current Renoise user base to be worthwhile.


I just got Renoise working under Wine in Linux Mint. Never even considered the possibility. I will be installing plug-ins like a maniac now, and testing if they work. Should I post here with my results, or should I start a new thread devoted to the subject for others, as well as myself to post their finding?

EDIT. Don’t bother. It can play a song, but you certainly wouldn’t want to make one using it!

That’s too bad man. It runs great over here on Ubuntu 10.04. You are using ASIO drivers with JACK?

Not using asio. How do i do that?

WineAsio, a link between asio apps and JACK Maybe you will get better performance if you use it.

I get good latencies on the regular drivers, and also I haven’t registered Renoise yet, so I have no asio.

The only problem I have is that sometimes a vst editor window can take a second or two to open. I don’t know if this is the case in windows Renoise, or something specific to wine.

To tell you an inside secret: Renoise was ported to Linux since it was already ported to MacOS, from there Taktik said it was fairly easy to make the port to Linux.
Knowing this, that means that plugin developers who have Mac versions of their plugins, should have not a lot of trouble porting their OSX plugs to Linux. The only reason they don’t is they don’t see any market on Linux as the majority of DAWs aren’t ported there as well.
If only a few DAW developers would simply port their OSX edition to Linux, i’m sure plugin developers will follow.

Linux may perhaps not be easy at start, ones it runs, it won’t get unstable that quick.


I got renoise working under wineasio. Although I can’t install any tools. Dragging them into Renoise window won’t do anything. Is it possible to install tools by some other way? I tried to open tools with Renoise but that didn’t worked either.

I got Ubuntu 10.10 and Renoise 2.6 rc1.

why don’t you install the linux version of renoise instead?

Because I want to use my Windows Vst’s with Renoise. I haven’t tested dssi-vst ( That could be an answer too.

I know that this may not be the best solution according to you, but the only way to have Windows VST working good is to use them under Windows. Forget any other solution because it will never please you

Thanks for straight answer . I might start songs in Ubuntu with samples and basic effects and finish songs in Windows.

Do you mean Xrnx Tools?
If so, you can try to install them manually, though I don’t know whether the method is effective under wineasio.

You can open the Renoise Preferences folder by clicking;
main menu “Help” → “Show the Preferences Folder…”
Then make Scripts >> Tools >> com.renoise.??? folders and place them there.
(my explanation is not good enough, so please read the linked thread well)