compiling Csound

In this location I gather some tips and tricks about Csound, a powerful audio synthesis and processing system with a long tradition which goes back to 1957. I use it since the 1990s.

compiling csound on Linux

To have a modern csound which matches your system, its best to compile your own. There is documentation in the manual at this page but I miss some parts so I write my experiences here. I am not sure if its best practise so follow these steps on your own risk, I am not liable for anything. When I wrote this the version 5.06 is current. Csound uses scons instead of the usual make so make sure that you meet all requirements to run scons.

Usually in the repositorys are old versions of the v. 4 branch while 5.06 is the current version, offering a lot of additional functionality and opcodes. The download section on Sourceforge have some binarys for Linux to but I managed to wreck an Ubuntu installation by blindly running the installer, which overwrote some librarys.

After you downloaded the sources, open a terminal and go to the directory where you stored the compressed files. Untar it with

tar xzf Csound5.07.0.tar.gz

That should create a csound5 folder since the version 5.07. In former versions was not there so you have to create the file with the commands


Now you can edit to reflect your particular situation, I altered the lines with options of my computer architecture

customCCFLAGS = ['-march=k8','-mtune=k8']
customCXXFLAGS = ['-march=k8','-mtune=k8']

and the home of my Java installation which differd from the preset.

The file SConstruct contains the default options and I changed directly in there, I dont know if its the best way but works perfectly for me.

After that


should compile csound and

sudo scons install

should install it.