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Automatic installation#

There are user-made guides to install Tidal Cycles. Be sure to check out the following solutions:

  • Ansible method : Ubuntu / debian / Mint (/ most debian-based distros)
  • Yay : installation on Arch / Manjaro.

Manual installation#

You need to install several components to get a complete Tidal Cycles system (Git, Haskell, SuperCollider and SuperDirt). Hopefully, your Linux distribution makes the pre-requisites easily available to you via a package manager. You will also need a text editor. Check the sidebar to get a list of supported editors along with instructions for setting them up.

If your distribution comes with the apt package manager (Debian family), you can install some of these dependencies using the following command:

sudo apt-get install build-essential cabal-install git jackd2

Once you are done with this first installation phase, please follow the tutorial below ⬇️!


I - SuperCollider

  • Ubuntu / Mint / Debian : compiling Tidal Cycles from source is recommended to get the last version running. Packages are generally too old. Alternatively, try these scripts: build-supercollider.
  • Arch / Manjaro: install via your package manager.

II - SuperDirt

SuperDirt is the audio engine for Tidal Cycles. Tidal will not be able to make any sound or to send MIDI/OSC without it! SuperDirt is also embedding the default audio samples used by Tidal. To install SuperDirt, open SuperCollider and paste the following line of code. Evaluate it by pressing Ctrl+Return:

Quarks.checkForUpdates({Quarks.install("SuperDirt", "v1.7.3"); thisProcess.recompile()})

It might take a while 😄! You will know when the installation process is done by looking at the logs. You should see the following:

Installing SuperDirt
Installing Vowel
Vowel installed
Installing Dirt-Samples
Dirt-Samples installed
SuperDirt installed
compiling class library...
(then some blah blah, and finally, something like:)
*** Welcome to SuperCollider 3.10.0. *** For help press Ctrl-D.

Optionally, you can also install SuperDirt without opening the SuperCollider IDE. If you are familiar with the command line, type sclang in a terminal to launch the SuperCollider interpreter and paste the line above. Everything will work the same! You can also install various plugins in your text editor to interact with SuperCollider without using the IDE (Emacs, Vim or Atom).

To start the interpreter just run sclang in a terminal, then just paste the command line from above and press Enter to run it. Once the installation is done, you can exit the interpreter by pressing Ctrl + C.

III - SC3 Plugins


If you installed SuperCollider using the build-supercollider method, you won't need to install them. SC3Plugins is compiled and installed by the script.

SC3Plugins is a community-made extension for SuperCollider. Installing it is highly recommended. You won't be able to use the default synthesizers provided with Tidal Cycles without it. Please be sure to read these instructions to get the extension.

  • Ubuntu / Mint / Debian: follow the instructions above.
  • Arch / Manjaro: there is an up-to-date package in the Community repository.

Tidal Cycles#

Open a Terminal. If you’re unsure how to open a terminal window in Linux, it varies according to distribution, but generally you can find Terminal in the menus. Then type and run these two commands (ignoring any complaints that cabal has of 'legacy v1 style of usage'):

cabal update
cabal install tidal --lib

(Depending on your cabal version, you might have to leave off the --lib on the last command.)

If you've never installed TidalCycles before, then the cabal install tidal step may take some time. At the end of the command output, it should say Completed tidal-x.x.x (where x.x.x is the latest version number) without any errors.

Last updated on by Pierre Krafft