Rack on pengwin

Pengwin is a Linux distribution that runs on Windows 10. It is very easy to build Rack, and for $10, it’s the simplest way for me to verify that my plugin compiles on Linux.

Unfortunately, the implementation is limited and does not expose sufficient audio hardware; Rack crashes when run. I’ve filed a bug (which is actually a feature request) against the developers here.

did you tried installing another source? (I m not Pengwin user , I dont know if it is posible)

why you are not using a virtual machine? I use a windows and android machines inside my linux and work pretty nice, is really easy to install only limited by the hardware capabilities.

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Yes, I use the free VMWare player to host Ubuntu. No problems.

That’s neat that you got it for free. The website says it would cost me $150.

I have tried off and on to get hyper-v hosted Linux to work on Windows 10, but the setup is awkward, and the one time I got it working it was too slow to be of practical use.

Yes, I tried building alsa from scratch, but it’s not the problem; the underlying Windows hardware is not exposed.

See https://www.vmware.com/uk/products/workstation-player/workstation-player-evaluation.html : “The free version is available for non-commercial, personal and home use.”

For compiling (but not running) Rack for Linux under Windows 10, WSL (Windows Subsystem For Linux) should be by far the most painless and performant option, and also completely free: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/wsl/install-win10

However Rack for Linux won’t be able to run under WSL. It will also be quite difficult to run Rack in any virtual machine under Windows, because of trouble with OpenGL and/or audio devices. It certainly doesn’t work under Virtualbox and I doubt any other ones. I think the simple truth is that Rack is meant to be run on hardware, and that is that.

Rack runs very well in an Ubuntu guest on a Windows 10 host using VMWare Player. Both graphics and sound performance are very good.


That’s excellent news Richie. Care to share to detail about the VM config, in terms of audio interface and graphics settings? Thanks.

Sure, no problem! Here are the VMWare Player settings, which I don’t remember changing from the defaults:

(The host sound card is shown there as “Remote audio” because I’m away from my desk, taking these screenshots over Remote Desktop. Under normal circumstances it would be my physical sound card that appeared there.)

VMWare Player treats the sound card as a removable device, so be sure to connect it:


Within the guest, I only see one audio device:

Oddly, “Test Speakers” doesn’t work, but Rack does:


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Thanks for the link. I did look for that a while ago, don’t know why I couldn’t find it.

The free version of VMWare installed and runs Rack fine. I ran into a couple of minor issues. I had to disable “Device Guard and Credential Guard” which probably got enabled on my earlier attempts to get Hyper-V to work, and I had to enable “Stereo Mix” in Windows 10 “Sound” control panel to enable sound output in Unbuntu.

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I’ve been able to get a VirtualBox Windows 7 image working on Arch Linux. The opposite of what you want, but maybe the opposite will work.

I tried and failed to make Rack work in a VirtualBox Linux guest on a Windows host. I don’t think VirtualBox has good enough OpenGL support in that direction. Certainly there are plenty of people on the internet complaining about that.

(I didn’t bang my head against it for very long before switching to VMWare Player. There might be some way to make it work, but I didn’t find it.)

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Yeah, they butchered the OpenGL support some time ago :unamused: