Skip to content


Travis CI Build Status AppVeyor Build Status


In order to build the VST3 plugin or the LV2 plugin with a GUI, you need to install dependencies:

  • Ubuntu/Debian: sudo apt install libx11-dev libx11-xcb-dev libxcb-util-dev libxcb-cursor-dev libxcb-keysyms1-dev libxcb-xkb-dev libxkbcommon-dev libxkbcommon-x11-dev libfontconfig1-dev libcairo2-dev libpango1.0-dev libfreetype6-dev
  • Fedora: sudo dnf install libX11-devel libxcb-devel xcb-util-devel xcb-util-cursor-devel xcb-util-keysyms-devel libxkbcommon-devel libxkbcommon-x11-devel fontconfig-devel cairo-devel pango-devel freetype-devel

In order to build also the standalone client and other demos, you need to install also the JACK Audio Connection Kit library.

  • Ubuntu/Debian: sudo apt install libjack-jackd2-dev
  • Fedora: sudo dnf install jack-audio-connection-kit-devel

The benchmarks depend on the benchmark library. If you wish to build the benchmarks you should either build it from source and install the static library, or use the library from your distribution. Debian and Ubuntu provide a libbenchmark-dev package that does this.

Build System

We use CMake as build system. The basic process is to create a build directory, cd into it, configure and build it using cmake:

mkdir build
cd build
cmake ..

Current configuration switches for CMake are:

ENABLE_LTO                Enable Link Time Optimization                 [default: ON]
SFIZZ_JACK                Enable JACK stand-alone build                 [default: ON]
SFIZZ_RENDER              Enable renderer of SMF files                  [default: ON]
SFIZZ_LV2                 Enable LV2 plug-in build                      [default: ON]
SFIZZ_LV2_UI              Enable LV2 GUI build                          [default: ON]
SFIZZ_VST                 Enable VST plug-in build                      [default: ON]
SFIZZ_AU                  Enable AU plug-in build                       [default: OFF]
SFIZZ_PUREDATA            Enable Puredata plug-in build                 [default: OFF]
SFIZZ_BENCHMARKS          Enable benchmarks build                       [default: OFF]
SFIZZ_DEMOS               Enable feature demos build                    [default: OFF]
SFIZZ_DEVTOOLS            Enable developer tools build                  [default: OFF]
SFIZZ_TESTS               Enable tests build                            [default: OFF]
SFIZZ_SHARED              Enable shared library build                   [default: ON]
SFIZZ_USE_VCPKG           Assume that sfizz is build using vcpkg        [default: OFF]
SFIZZ_USE_SNDFILE         Build with libsndfile                         [default: OFF]
SFIZZ_USE_SYSTEM_ABSEIL   Use Abseil libraries preinstalled on system   [default: OFF]
SFIZZ_USE_SYSTEM_SIMDE    Use SIMDe libraries preinstalled on system    [default: OFF]
SFIZZ_USE_SYSTEM_KISS_FFT Use KISS libraries preinstalled on system     [default: OFF]
SFIZZ_USE_SYSTEM_PUGIXML  Use pugixml libraries preinstalled on system  [default: OFF]
SFIZZ_USE_SYSTEM_CXXOPTS  Use CXXOPTS libraries preinstalled on system  [default: OFF]
SFIZZ_RELEASE_ASSERTS     Forced assertions in release builds           [default: OFF]

By default this builds and installs:

  • The shared library version of sfizz with both C and C++ interfaces
  • The JACK client
  • The offline rendering client
  • The LV2 plugin and its UI
  • The VST3 plugin

See the relates sections for building details for:


You can find the JACK client in clients/sfizz_jack. The JACK client client will forcefully connect to the system output, and open an event input in JACK for you to connect a midi capable software or hardware (e.g. jack-keyboard). If no JACK server is already started it will start one with basic options.

Rendering MIDI files

You can find sfizz_render in clients/sfizz_render. From your build directory, type clients/sfizz_render --help for more information.


If you already cloned the repository without the --recursive option, update the submodules manually with

git submodule update --init --recursive

All targets but the GUI-less LV2 plugin can be disabled using:


and process as before.

All targets but sfizz-render can be disabled using:


and process as before.

You can build with clang, although in that case the CMakeFile defaults to using libc++ instead of libstdc++.