Does Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 work under linux?

Does anybody own this device and uses it under linux? Starting from which kernel version is it working? How does the software-mixer work under linux?

Thanks in advance.

I’ve taken delivery of one today!
As an interface, it’s working fine on AV Linux with Ardour 4. On the rather old laptop I’m using it with, I got a few xruns recording 8 mic inputs with the stock “pre-empt” 3.12 kernel but the RT version let me screw the latency right down (2.3ms, I didn’t actually try any lower) without problems. It was recognised and works as a class compliant USB 2 audio device without my needing to install or configure anything.
The internal mixer is a different matter. Elsewhere on this forum is this thread: which you may find useful. It seems there is full support in kernel 3.19.

PS actually mine’s an 18i20 (hece ref to 8 mic channels), but it seems pretty clear the Scarlett range are all the same apart from the number of actual analogue I/Os connected.

So I will need to update my Fedora 17 box… :frowning:

Thanks for the quick replies.

I can now confirm that full Scarlett mixer support works with Kernel 4.0. AV Linux users may be interested to know that I installed a Ubuntu low-latency kernel 4.0 as described at (yes, on Debian based AV Linux!) and it seems to work perfectly, at least for Ardour - I haven’t tested extensively on other hardware or many other applications yet.


I believe your last post may have been put in the wrong thread?


Sorry, yes it is in the wrong thread! I’ve copied it to the right one but I don’t think I can delete it from here.
Thanks for the warning!

Alsa Mixer for 18i8 series should works out of the box with any Linux Kernel 3.19++.
For Mixer-UI posted a demo on with pointers to source and binary repositories.

I am less impressed with the Scarlett 18i20 than I was at first. Nothing to do with Linux, but it had a noisy mic channel (if I turned the gain up, the crackling noise actually registered on the lowest meter LED at -42dB). A replacement has the same problem on Channel 8 and possibly some routing control problems as well. A little research on the web also reveals several stories of Scarlett units failing after a short period of use.
So the second one is going back to Thomann for a refund, and a RME Fireface UC is on its way. Twice the price and only two mic preamps, but I know I won’t have any trouble with it.

Hi, I’m considering buying that device. I use ubuntu 16.04. Someone created a a soft to work with it under ubuntu (maybe direct/latency free mixing it live, but I’m unsure). See:

Has anyone tested this? (the author of this software seems not to answer on youtube).
There is also a lot of hope on what is said at but without the device to test it is hard to know what can be done exactly.
Thank you very much in advance for any comment.

@mayeulk. I have been using one for about 6 months now on AVLinux with no problem. It is class compliant so it doesn’t need any drivers installing. It just works.
The 18i8 has it’s own internal monitoring mixer so that live input can be routed directly to its outputs for latency free monitoring. The configuring of this mixer is done by software which is not available for linux. I couldn’t get it working under wine either.
What I did was borrow a windows machine, set up the monitor mix as I wanted and the 18i8 remembers it’s config so there’s no need to keep going back to it when it’s plugged back into Linux.
If you use JACK then you can connect ins and outs via jack patch-bay thereby making the software redundant. I will test this next time I’m in the studio.

Hallo- has anyone tried to connect a facusrite octopre with Scarlett 18i8 for getting another 8 ins more? I’d just tried to get jack working with this hardware configuration but I can’t get the 8ins of the Octopre to run with jack/ alsa. Using windows I made the Configuration and stored it in hardware. But when I switch to Linux (debian) I can only find the original 18 channels from the scarlett.

The alsa-mixer interface is indeed just a low-level interface and for complex mixer-interfaces like the Scarlett-series a dedicated GUI is needed.

I did hack a GUI a while ago, but hardcoded for the 18i6. I am in the same boat as tartina: Works for me, but making it works for others will be a time-consuming part and time is scarce.
I’ve just pushed the source to – looks like

If you connect the Octopre using ADAT cable (TOSLINK), you should get the 8 ins as ADAT channels, so 8 channels of the 18 inputs are now the Octopre inputs. You don’t get 8 extra inputs, they are already in the 18i8.
Sorry for my bad explanation…

@bassmix, starting from kernel 3.18 (or maybe 3.19) you can control the scarlett mixer from amixer, thanks to Robin Gareus’ work on the scarlett mixer driver. There is no graphical app to control it, I was trying to make one, but my spare time is very little at this moment. I’m succesfully controlling my 18i20 from amixer, I have to admit it’s not very comfortable, but it works.

@tartina: Yes you are right- I’ve found it already shown in the manual. Sometimes better read it!? Have you any further experience with the scarlett 18i8? I have not get any comfortable mixer to work with this interface. Only the alsa mixer shows the controls of the scarlett in a rudimentary way. Any idea? What I’ve tried to install on a Debian system is the alsajson mixer, but I have got problems to compile it! (could not find alsa?! while compiling the gateway)

I usually use amixer, it works, it’s not user friendly. I started to write a graphical application to control the scarletts, but my spare time is low now, and I’m spending too much time parsing the output of alsalib (which is not very easy to use). I haven’t published the source in github yet, because it really does nothing, but if someone could help I will…

Robin - That mixer interface looks great. How hard do you think it would be to modify to work for the 18i20?


@scherbi - Part of the source is parametrized (replace some “6” with “8” or “20”) and update the “Mapping” (the control-IDs are currently hardcoded in src/scarlett_mixer.c line 250… 321)

Making it work for some single other system is probably easy, but turning it into a general purpose tool (find device, detect device type, support all Scarlett NN i MM variants) needs some significant rework.

PS. I’ve just mirrored it on

Thanks! I’m attempting a version in Python as well. My 18i20 is out for repair now though (lost 2 preamps; repair covered under Sweetwater warranty).