For the past few years I have been using Windows where I was working on quite a good piece of tracker - MadTracker (which sadly is not available for Linux). Recently I had to migrate to Linux and I have no intentions of maintaining two operating systems.

I have seen this thread (wasn't much help full in my case): Linux digital recording - Audacity or Ardour?

Also, I checked out some general lists over the Internet and could not find one with VST and VSTi support. That is important.

What trackers are available as options to me?

4 Answers 4


I think Renoise might fit the bill, which is a tracker-style sequencer that does support VST. However, VST plugins don't run on Linux natively (they're compiled for OSX or Windows), so unless there's some kind of wrapper software, you can't use them in Linux. However, Renoise supports LADSPA and DSSI plugins which I believe run on Linux.

  • Yup, but you may as well support FOSS by using it.
    – d-_-b
    May 2, 2011 at 5:13
  • @sims I'm not sure what you mean? Renoise isn't FOSS - it's proprietary and has a monetary cost.
    – Warrior Bob
    May 4, 2011 at 14:53
  • That's what I'm saying - hence the "but". There are freeloaders, those who use FOSS and pirateware because it's free, and there are who create FOSS - even if it's just by understanding FOSS and using it. I was suggesting to use a FOSS application on a FOSS OS.
    – d-_-b
    May 5, 2011 at 0:15
  • @Sims Ah okay, that makes more sense - thanks for the clarification. I tend to disagree but this isn't really the forum for that; I understand your point now.
    – Warrior Bob
    May 5, 2011 at 15:17

The Reaper website says it will work in WINE. I have had good luck running Windows apps in WINE in the past, but I have not tried Reaper on it.

It is a great inexpensive DAW with VST support. The demo is fully functional and they do have some instructions in their forums on how to install in WINE.


From a quick search over at KVR, I could recommend the following:

Out of the three, I've only used Ardour and played around with Muse. Jost looks good though considering it's a JACK application.

  • None of these are actually trackers, though. MusE is a highly underrated and excellent program, but it sports the traditional piano roll workflow and is aimed at orchestrators.
    – Skrylar
    Jun 23, 2015 at 14:26

If you want to use native VSTi under Linux, you have only two options:

http://renoise.com - excellent tracker, with great community, fast, stable as crazy, fully featured, rich in internal plugins.

http://www.energy-xt.com/ - not tracker, but offers typical horizontal timeline. Pretty fast and stable, but without multicore support and without 64bit version. Also community is poor and author Jorgen is no so fast with updates.

Both of them are not FLOSS, but price if very affordable.

Yeah, there is also ardour - but do not expect too much from it since it doesnt support piano roll ;)

Version 3 of ardour supports piano roll - but still is alpha, and VST is not enable by default.

Both energyXT and Renoise are production ready and offers you possibility to focus on composing instead of geekness (like ardourd or others ones)...

  • Have you tried Jost? I'm interested to see how it's native VST support is. I've used energy-XT quite a lot on Windows. How does it run on Linux? It's quite amazing it now has audio support. I think one of the most powerful features for me was that it is also a VST plugin.
    – d-_-b
    May 5, 2011 at 0:31
  • energyXT cannot be run as VST under the linux, which sucks, but can handle VSTi plugins (native ones). I tried jost, but was far from usability. However, I switched to Windows lately because of poor plugins availability for Linux
    – bluszcz
    May 5, 2011 at 9:29
  • Yeah, that's my take. Commercial devs write for Win or Mac. The best thing Linux has going is JACK. I use a JACK setup with xwax and sooperlooper for DJing. Works better than the commercial offerings.
    – d-_-b
    May 5, 2011 at 12:29

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