Ouch, LMMS!

As you may know, I sometimes make music. The program of my preference for making these is LMMS. I have plans on learning trackers and Ardour in the future, but I’m afraid this plan will never go beyond the drawing board.


My workflow used to be… a little peculiar, for the most part out of inertia. Distraught with MuseScore’s 4.0 update¹, I downloaded the last prior version — 3.6.2 — as an AppImage and simply ran it whenever I wanted to edit scores. Nowadays, I have bitten the bullet and installed MuseScore 4.0, mostly because it supports my MIDI keyboard way better than the old version did (that is to say, it didn’t support my MIDI keyboard).

This method of working eventually swept over to other programs as well, and so I ended up using MuseScore, Godot, and, well, LMMS as AppImage files. And this worked very great, up to some point.

It might all have started with a wine upgrade, though the actual traces are hard to draw. All I can say with certainty is that at some point, my VST instruments stopped working. The exact problem was that wine could not read the file “RemoteVstPlugin32.exe.so” which was located in the AppImage’s mount directory. This error tripped me up for a long time, frankly because the file existed and wine just wouldn’t accept that fact for some reason.

It shall at this point be said that, even though I did eventually find a fix, the error still persists in the AppImage version, and I don’t plan on using it ever again.

The reason I was more inclined to use LMMS’s AppImage version in the first place was that the version that was shipped in the openSUSE Tumbleweed repositories was — and still is — version 1.2.2, whereas all of my projects since 2021 had been created using the preview version 1.3.0.alpha.1. I know of the dangers of using development software in production, but I have noticed some features I don’t really want to miss at this point. Furthermore, though I haven’t actually encountered such an issue, there might have been situations where the old version would be incompatible with my project files. I wanted to prevent such an occasion from ever happening, so I just stuck with it.

Recently, however, a new repository appeared in the openSUSE landscape. It is called multimedia:proaudio², and it is apparently maintained by some group known as “Geekos DAW”, who are determined to bring music production software to openSUSE. Pretty neat stuff.

=> multimedia:proaudio repository on OBS
=> Geekos DAW explanation page

This repository maintains an LMMS package at version 1.3.0.alpha.1, the version that I use and the latest LMMS version available. This is good, as this makes it the first openSUSE repository to ship this version. Not even the custom user repositories do.

Another thing that happened that might have coincided with my issue was openSUSE’s throwing out of the lmms-vst package, which claims to provide “Wine dependent VST plugins”. I don’t know what exactly this means, but it is only 164,1 kilobytes in size, and I declare that this is not enough space to worry about not having it. By sheer coincidence, multimedia:proaudio also still maintains this package! So I installed both of them using the simple YaST one-click installer³, and there I was with a recent LMMS version and lmms-vst package.

Of course, because reality is a satire, this version accepted VST instruments flawlessly. I thought myself finally at my goal, when I noticed one even bigger problem: All my effects were gone!

I could get away without using special VST instruments, in fact, I had done so for a long time. But having to miss my effects would have been an impossibly hard pill to swallow.

I stopped thinking about LMMS for about two weeks after that, sometimes trying my luck at fixing the problem with the AppImage, failing. It was just half an hour ago that I finally found the final puzzle piece, pushed it into its place, and that I am now left with an LMMS package that worked as flawlessly as it did just two months ago!

Here was my problem: The effects I used were exclusively based on LADSPA. While these are shipped with LMMS in the AppImage and the Windows executable version, they were not packaged in the version shipped in the multimedia:proaudio repository. The good thing about LADSPA effects (I really have no clue about what they are on a fundamental level, my knowledge stems from the LMMS manual) is that they are integrated modularly into the LMMS architecture, that is they are based on files in the library directory.

Running the LMMS AppImage, I was able to extract all the LADSPA plugins out of the mount directory in the /tmp folder, and transplanted them onto /usr/lib64/lmms, where they were needed.

This was the final necessary push. I am so happy to have this off my chest. Onto making some new, kick-ass tracks!

¹ Why was note highlighting removed? It was really important to me!

² Is it recent? The OBS page implies the repository might have existed for a year. Maybe I just didn’t see it the last time I installed LMMS.

³ Two clicks, really, but it was simple nonetheless