Ardour with VST GUI issue

I just compiled and installed Ardour with VST support. Everything is fine but small GUI issue which is described in HOW-TO.
But I am not able to solve this.

“The GUI/editor for the plugin doesn’t appear!
When you go to edit the plugin parameters, you may see just a blank gray window, or two windows (one gray, one with the plugin editor in it), or one window looking the way you would expect. This behaviour is controlled by Wine’s “managed windows” settings, and unfortunately there is no single correct value for this. Which setting you want depends on the window manager you are using, so if you see this gray window/no window issue, run wine-config. Go to the “Graphics” tab and change the curent setting of “Allow the window manager to create managed windows”. Then restart Ardour and try again. This appears to fix the issue for almost everyone.”

I don’t know what does mean this: “run wine-config”
When I put in console wine-config … wine-config: command not found
When I put in console wine -config … wine: could not load L"c:\windows\system32\-config.exe": Module not found

Thanks for any suggestions/help

Best Regards


I think it should be winecfg. At least that is what it is on Ubuntu (with wine from

Yes, run the command winecfg, and it may take a moment, but eventually it will launch. From there, just follow what the How-To said and you should be fine.


Thanks a lot,
yes winecfg works… but next instruction is:

"Go to the “Graphics” tab and change the curent setting of “Allow the window manager to create managed windows”. Then restart Ardour and try again. This appears to fix the issue for almost everyone.” "

In my wine configuration window is message: “Allow the window manager to control the windows”
and this was checked. Maybe different version of wine.

I unchecked “allow pixel shader” and choose vertex hardware shader none.

Still the same “double plug-in window”

I tried all possible setings for wine configuration window (graphics tab),
but still “double plug-in window” :frowning:

I have wine 0.9.54-1~etch1

Any suggestions/help?


PS:matter is worse… when close these windows and try open again only grey one apears…
so no possible make settings on this plug-in more… only solution is to reopen session :frowning:

Hi Mirami,

I have the same problem with debian testing and fluxbox, running Ardour2.3-vst an wine 0.9.56.

The bad news is: The double windows and the only-once openable window is caused by the too recent version of wine. Downgrade to something like wine 0.9.44 (mabye a bit oabove also workls, I don’t know at which point it is broken) or alike if you want this to work. But you will have other issues like crashed with older versions of wine (alas also with newer version, but different ones…).

I wrote my experiences with Ardour-VST here
and I would rate it “broken” altogether. Do not use Ardour VST or you won’t get happy. I don’t know myself what to do; I really need some VST plugins, but I guess I’m better off using bad LADSPA plugins than having more errors than anything else on the screen.

Plus, you won’t be able to get good support from the developers - they cannot do much about errors resulting from code of wine or third party VST plugins. Ardour with VST support isn’t debuggable, and I’d wish the developers would cut VST support to avoid people to get false assumptions about what Ardour can do, because this is not a bad thing caused by Ardour; it’s about the plugins.
VST plugins (nearly all) are made for MS Windows, so you need an “emulator” like wine to run them in Linux, and I guess this will always be unstable (maybe unless wine really focuses on VST plugins, but they are more working on making Adobe Photoshop and alike available).


have you tried wine 0.9.57 ?
If you are a bit flexible and look for a compromise, just try and run your VSTs in dssi-vst and create inserts in ardour’s tracks. I get very near stable results like this. I think (but am not sure) that ardour is internally using FST for its VST support. But I also use Rosegarden for my MIDI editing and soft synth stuff, it’s internally using dssi-vst for supporting VSTi’s and I am very satisfied by it + dssi-vst version 0.6 does not require the steinberg headers. I use e.g. Addictive Drums and Pianoteq which integrate very well in my studio environment. Maybe it’s something ardour could get inspired from for VST support ? or maybe the Ardour VST issues have another origin ?

and thanks for help … It seems to be problem mainly by wine…
Benjamin can you pls describe a little difference in behavior between different version of wine… to choose easier working version.
Thorgal I didn’t tried wine 0.9.57 I am using 64studio distro which is very stable and based on stable etch repos.
Your suggested wine is from Sid repo with a lot of dependencies… too much fo me… don’t what risk unstable system.
Thanks for tip… dssi-vst

As regards VST I found this link … seems to be interesting …



@thorgal: I don’t really understand how to use dssi-vst, and how to use it in an insert effect (does this work with correct latency btw?). Is there a detailled instruction out there?

I tried Rosegarden with dssi-vst and it looks great because it only shows the values of the plugin and not the colorful interface. But Ardour does no support dssi and there are no plans for it (referring to Paul Davis whom I asked about that within the last 2 weeks).

According to th file names, I also think that Ardour uses FST, but I don’t know what this means in practice.

@mirami: If I have enough time within the next month, I may try different wine versions and document the results. As for now, I can only say that I used wine 0.9.44 or 0.9.45 and it crashed every 2 minutes while I edited. 0.9.55 and 0.9.56 are a bit more “stable”, but they have the windows problem (your report above) and also crashed at various times.


Hey Benjamin,

You use dssi-vst like this :

e.g. when I want to use the Addictive Drums VSTi, I can launch it from a shell :


or I can make a nice icon in my desktop panel with the above command

It requires that you have the jack-dssi-host installed, a /usr/local/lib/vst or /usr/lib/vst with your VSTs dlls or that you have the env variable VST_PATH set to where you have them. Note : do not leave spaces in VST dll filenames, you can of course rename them at your own will (I just use _ instead of spaces).

Once your VSTi is running through dssi-vst, it will be visible in e.g. qjackctl like any other jack app. Then, you can create an insert in the pre or post-fader track plugin area, and set the ins and outs of your insert, etc (I have by default a jamin insert in the master post fader and a VST running through dssi-vst can be created just like this jamin insert).

This is as easy as this :slight_smile:
Regarding latency, wineasio does a good job! but YMMV :slight_smile:

Thanks Benjamin,
this information “wine 0.9.44 or 0.9.45 crashed very much and 0.9.55 aor 0.9.56 are a bit more “stable” but have double window”
is good enough for me… This mean wait for better VST support…
Maybe next release :slight_smile:


Hey Thorgal,

this is the tip of the year! In this way you can run a clean and stable non-vst Ardour Version and nevertheless use VST Plugins! In the worst case the Plugin would crash, and not Ardour, yeah!

But one very important aspect is: How do you save the Plugin configuration? Ardour cannot do this as far as I understand it, because the Plugin in the dssi-host is like another program. Can jack-dssi-host save different configuartions in some way?


Yeah, the worst I experienced was a jack shutdown. Ardour simply disconnects but does not crash :slight_smile:
Now, about what you ask, I don’t really know, it depends a lot on the VST you’re using. I only use this trick of mine for 2 VST intruments (Addictive Drums and Pianoteq), so I cannot really tell you much VST effects. But my VSTi’s allow me to save my own presets, and so on. These two VSTi’s are really running great under wine and as dssi plugins. So once again, YMMV :slight_smile:

One more thing, as part of an experiment, I tried the following :

  • install virtualbox
  • install winXP
  • run winXP through virtualbox
  • output the sound using pulseaudio
  • run the jack-pulseaudio modules on the linux host

et voila :slight_smile:

install all your windows VSTs in the virtual machine, have fun :slight_smile:

I tested this stuff with great success but it’s just a proof of concept because the virtualbox takes up quite some CPU …
so if you don’t have a beefy PC, forget it! and regarding latency … I haven’t really measured anything because this setup is not really useful as of now. Maybe in the next months or next year :wink:

Thorgal, thanks for these suggestions. Unfortunately my most important VST effects cannot save configurations on their own…

DSSI support in Ardour would be so awesome…!

Well, and as of virtualbox… I could install WinXP (well, first get it…) but then I could just install it as a real OS and run a Windows DAW on it I guess…

Maybe I’ll ask the developers of jack-dssi-host if they could implement something to save settings. Or bribe the Ardour developers to implement dssi support :wink: Was’t there a topic about paying for feature? :wink:


haha! that’s true, if you had winXP, why not run a winDAWs ? :wink:
I just happened to have a legal copy of winXP pro that I never used for anything. When I heard that virtualbox was using pulseaudio on the linux host, I immediately thought about the setup I described above, and tried it just for fun. And it works! just unusable at the moment though …

Regarding DSSI support, it’s already implemented in Rosegarden where I use my VSTi’s as soft plugins (you should see Addictive Drums being controled by rosegarden, it’s really cool, you just edit your MIDI drum patterns on the fly, enable jack transport, control transport from Ardour, etc, really great!) I don’t think there would be much work to do if one could only import the rosegarden dssi code to ardour (?)
The rosegarden interface has plugin editing capability so you don’t need to fire up the VST native GUI but it has limitations, my VSTi’s have too many parameters for rosegarden to handle on its GUI so I do need the native VSTi GUI. Anyway, could something like that be implemented in Ardour ?

On another note, have you tried ‘vsthost’ through wine ? I never really tried it since I wanted a linux native host but I know it works. It might even help you save VST settings (?)


I filled a feature request:

I hope I got everything right. It would be great if we could get the developers to implement dssi support. I’d really pay for this feature if available.