Install Ardour on Linux Mint 21 Cinnamon - Tips and Tricks

When installing Ardour on Linux Mint 21 I need some time to eliminate a few issues. Therefore, here is my tutorial for you on how to quickly install Ardour on Mint 21 Cinnamon.

Why Mint 21 and not e.g. AV LInux or Ubuntu Studio? I tested all 3 distros and here you find my result why Linux Mint 21 the best for me - you find here the settings to do:

After download the .run file here is the guide to install Ardour

After the Installtion there came a warning:

 "!!! WARNING !!! - Your system seems to use frequency scaling"

That means, that Linux Mint throttles the cpu.

Solution: Download and install the CPUPower_Gui from the Application Manager and set it e.g. from “Powersave” to “Performance”. If not, you could be performance issues with Ardour.

Bildschirmfoto vom 2022-11-12 20-04-35

In my case it was enough to switch to Performance. You can adjust the min frequence up if it’s not enough on your system. Try it out. On every new boot you have to adjust it.

Permanent setting to “Performance”:
To set it permanently to “Performance” for example this is the way:

Change the following file (open parent directory as system manager e.g. in Nemo Filemanager (standard on Linux Mint 21 Cinnamon) and open this file with a texteditor: /etc/default/grub

This is a text file, and about line 10 says “GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=”
In the quotes it says either nothing or something. There you insert the following: GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=“threadirqs cpufreq.default_governor=performance”

Now enter the following in the terminal: sudo update-grub
(to update your grub settings)

After a reboot your Governor/ CPU is automatically set to performance.
Can be checked with the cpupower gui.

To get back to Powersave mode (if you want) you can adjust the textfile with
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=“threadirqs cpufreq.default_governor=powersave”

Using Jack - only if you need - for Ardour you don’t need it normal
Note: Only recommend, if you want mix audio - Ardour and another Sound player e.g Audacious. But Midi don’t work with Ardour on my system if you use Jack. So probably you don’t need it!
If you work only with Audio, it works and maybe it helps you.

First, i use Ardour under ALSA and all is fine. Its runnung without Jack, simply select ALSA and your interface.
BTW: Steinberg UR824 don’t work with Linux. I bought Behringer U-Phoria - that works fine (all models, buy how many ins and outs you need).

If you want to use some Apps who use Jack, you need to setup Jack. Or if you want use Ardour and e.g. playing music over Audacious, you need also Jack.

Jack is virtual plugin tool to connect your sound-in to sound-out. You find many articles over that in the internet, but i don’t find a proper manual with the actual gui - here is it:

First, got to user and groups and put yourself in the audio group by clicking right in the group field

Download QJackctl from your application manager of Linux Mint

QJackctl - Bedienfel

Setup: Interface (soundcard), sample rate and frames what you want to use in Ardour.

under “Miscellaneous” → take out the Replace Connections with Graph button

Start Jack (with the Play Button)
QJackctl - Bedienfel

Click now to Connect / Verbindungen (bottom left button)
Qjackctl - Verbindungen

After that you can start Ardour and switch in the audio settings Jack. If before ALSA was in, you can start Ardour bevor starting Jack and stop the audio connections. In my case i hat Audacious running.
Note: Firefox (playing Youtube videos) can not displayed over Jack.

Useful Plugins
For Sounds you have a build in ACE Fluid Synth - a SF2 Soundfont player. And a general midi synth. And many other plugins Ardour comes with.

I searched for additional Stuff and here are my results after long searching and testing:

First: Here is the place to install plugins:

Additional for VST3s:
Linux VST3 Plugins i installed here (according to the vst path /usr/lib/lxvst i made this directory): usr/lib/lxvst3
Some Plugins use this path (Plugins you download the .dep file for installing over doublecklick): /usr/lib/vst3

Usefull (for me) Effekts:
Ubuntustudio Audio plugins (the plugins from Ubuntu Studio Distribution)
install: sudo apt-get install ubuntustudio-audio-plugins
Note: There are a huge collection of Plugins - a few are not running, is not the problem, because you have so many, and the best are running

My favorite now for reverb (it comes with the Ubuntu Studio Audio Plugins above):

It works with reverb impulse responses. Here i have a huge collection of 2300 different files to download it.

Plugins, i’ve found in the internet

LoudMax – Maximizer

Dragonfly Reverbs

Only VST2 Plugins work

Speedrum Lite - Drum Sampler (i bought and use his big brother Speedrum - with transient shaper perfect for soft or hard drum sounds - decide how your drums should “kick”)
VST2 works only proper!.
Path: /usr/lib/lxvst/Speedrum_lite/
(VST3 makes not multi outs)

Redux - Sampler (fantastic sampler - the best i found in 1 week research)

Path: /usr/lib/lxvst/renoise_redux_x86_64/renoise_redux.res

Tal-Sampler (also good, needs a bit more performance as the Redux, but not the problem - i desided to use the Redux)

I hope i helped many user here a bit to have fast a great studio so that the users who use Linux for music productions become more and more.

Greetings, Party-DJ Stefan (Germany)


Vielen danke! Documenting the bits you have learned while getting up to speed is a great way to contribute.

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Some additional things to sounds. I searched a lot about this things, and if all new user find here the solution, it makes it easier to get started with Ardour.

With Ardour SF2 and SFZ Sound can used (many you find free to download in the internet).
SF2 - can directly played with the ACE Fluid Synth (Ardour Plugin).
SFZ files can played with Sfizz or open and played with e. g. Redux (Sampler)

Convert: With Polyphone (in my Linux Mint 21 Application Manager) you can convert SF2, SFArk oder SFZ to e.g. SF2 or SFZ file.
Short Tutorial: Soundfonts 4U - Customizing Your SoundFont

Here a great list for download SF2, SFZ etc files.

BTW: SFPack und SFList Files you can convert with SFPack (Windows - free)

So in the end, you can with this tools all convert to an SFZ Sound, and if you want load in a sampler like Redux and adjust something.

In addition, there are a large number of freely-available sample libraries available on the PianoBook site for the free-as-in-beer DecentSampler plugin.

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Here is a tip for virtual guitar racks:
For Metal productsions the “Metal” and for normal things the “GFX” run in Ardour as VST2 plugins on my Linux Mint 21 Cinnamon - plug and play via .deb installation file.
(the VST3 not at the moment, but i sent the information to the developer - so maybe in the next time it works also as VST3)

Thanks to @ardourwlk for his tip: Search Sound Rom Player and Guitar Rack as Plugin under Linux - #2 by ardourwlk

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Now talk about Sounds
I think the switch from e.g. Cubase to Ardour makes on the first step (in my case) hard work to find sounds. Cubase is a plug an play software where Halion or Groove Agent comes with 1000 of Sounds.

As i startet with Ardour i need about 1 Week to search and download SF2 and SFZ Files

Download Sounds here for a fast and nice start with Ardour

My idea today was, to contribute Ardour user in this case of Sounds.
Here, you find now over 1400 sounds. And i add over time more. (i’ve downloaded about 100GB on Sounds, but first i have to sort them).

All Packages have a SF2 Sound Package (1 file with more sounds) and i extracted all as single SF2 Files and also converted as SFZ files. I use the Redux Sampler who can import SFZ Files (and export too).

My workflow: I sort single SF2 in my sound directory used for Ardour. Sounds i would like to change i load it as SFZ file in Redux.

BTW SF2 files can played in Ardour (for new user) the “ACE Fluid Synth” in Ardour. SFZ files, can played by sfizz

If new use search a great Drum Sampler: Speedrum is my recommendation. You can test speedrum light - also fine.

Note: If the file browser in Speedrum for save full drumsets to your drive (oder load full drumsets) does not open, you need this workaround to fix it (e.g. at Linux Mint 21 Cinnamon): Install Ardour on Linux Mint 21 Cinnamon - Tips and Tricks - #11 by stefan-franz

Hope that helps new user for a fast switch from Windows to Linux and a fast producing with Ardour.
Greetings Stefan Franz - Party-DJ-Stefan

Some words to the nightly builds.
If you use the debug version of the nightly builds, Ardour makes sound dropouts of about 0,1s if you play your project and click to another track.

The normal (non debug) builds work fluidly. I searched about this many ours and thought my system is bad…

While I appreciate your efforts to document and establish an information source like this, I wonder if this is the right place to do so.
I’m watching linux audio development since almost 20 years, and have seen many attempts to create such platforms or how you want to call it. if driven by a single person, out of personal interest, they will almost certainly come to an end at some point, and become orphaned or out of date.
I’m not writing to discourage you, just invite you to consider existing collaboration sites for similar stuff,
e.g. musical-artifacts for soundfonts, IR file collections etc., instead of offering your private cloud space.

Just my 2 cents, thanks anyways!

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While debug builds do have an overhead, that is not generally true and specific to your system. Perhaps caused by video drivers, of WIFI.

Chances are that the optimized version will eventually also cause this when you add more load.

(see You can likely avoid it by using rtirq.)

I almost exclusively use debug builds and they work reliably (no xruns or audible artifacts) even at relatively low buffersizes. [worst case] DSP load is perhaps 10% higher compared to an optimized build, but that percentage depends on your system.

Here (thinkpad x-series) the key was to setup and 99-cpu-dma-latency.rules from

Then again, this is all established knowledge and applied by most Pro Audio GNU/Linux distros, so that you do not have to worry about it.

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Solution, if e.g. Speedrum (or may be other plugins used in Ardour) don’t open a file requester to save or load from your drive.

Thanks to Robin for this tip. wow.

What to do (i explain it for a newbie like me):
Create a file here: add /usr/local/bin/zenity or ~/bin/zenity:

zenity is a textfile in the path with this content:

exec /usr/bin/zenity “$@”

Save it an make it executable (right mouse properties / rights). Then (in my machine) the file requester opens.

Solution for the memory warning when starting Ardour

If you have an alert like this:

WARNING: Your system has a limit set for reserving memory. This could cause Ardour to run out of memory before the system limit is reached.

You can view the memory limit with 'ulimit -l' and usually change it in /etc/security/limits.conf.

here is the solution

If you have sometimes a bit graphic freezing, here is the explanation.

I like the LSP-Plugins

Here is great update - maybe always the newest version.