Installing aubio

aubio runs on Linux, Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and probably a few others operating systems.

Aubio is available as a C library and as a python module.

Cheat sheet

  • get aubio latest source code:

    # official repo
    git clone
    # mirror
    git clone
    # latest release
  • build aubio from source:

    # 1. simple
    cd aubio
    # 2. step by step
    ./waf configure
    ./waf build
    sudo ./waf install
  • install python-aubio from source:

    # from git
    pip install git+
    # mirror
    pip install git+
    # from latest release
    pip install
    # from pypi
    pip install aubio
    # from source directory
    cd aubio
    pip install -v .
  • install python-aubio from a pre-compiled binary:

    # conda [osx, linux, win]
    conda install -c conda-forge aubio
    # .deb (debian, ubuntu) [linux]
    sudo apt-get install python3-aubio python-aubio aubio-tools
    # brew [osx]
    brew install aubio --with-python
  • get a pre-compiled version of libaubio:

    # .deb (linux) WARNING: old version
    sudo apt-get install aubio-tools
    # python module
    ./ install
    # using pip
    pip install .
  • check the list of optional dependencies:

    # debian / ubuntu
    dpkg -l libavcodec-dev libavutil-dev libavformat-dev \
            libswresample-dev libavresample-dev \
            libsamplerate-dev libsndfile-dev \
            txt2man doxygen

Downloading aubio

A number of distributions already include aubio. Check your favorite package management system, or have a look at the aubio download page for more options.

To use aubio in an android project, see Android build.

To compile aubio from source, read Building aubio.

Pre-compiled binaries

Pre-compiled binaries are available for macOS, iOS, and windows

To use aubio in a macOS or iOS application, see Frameworks for Xcode.

Debian/Ubuntu packages

For the latest Debian packages, see

For the latest Ubuntu packages, see

For the latest version of the packages, see Use git-buildpackage to build from the git repository. For instance:

$ git clone git://
$ cd aubio
$ git buildpackage

Building aubio


To download a prebuilt version of aubio, see Downloading aubio.

aubio uses waf to configure, compile, and test the source. A copy of waf is included in aubio tarball, so all you need is a terminal, a compiler, and a recent version of python installed.


Make sure you have all the Build options you want before building.

Latest release

The latest stable release can be downloaded from

$ curl -O<version>.tar.bz2
$ tar xf aubio-<version>.tar.bz2
$ cd aubio-<version>/

Git repository

The latest git branch can be obtained with:

$ git clone git://
$ cd aubio/

The following command will fetch the correct waf version (not included in aubio’s git):

$ ./scripts/


Windows users without Git Bash installed will want to use the following commands instead:

$ curl -fsS -o waf
$ curl -fsS -o waf.bat


To compile the C library, examples programs, and tests, run:

$ ./waf configure

Check out the available options using ./waf configure --help. Once you are done with configuration, you can start building:

$ ./waf build

To install the freshly built C library and tools, simply run the following command:

$ sudo ./waf install


Windows users should simply run waf, without the leading ./. For instance:

$ waf configure build

Running as a user

To use aubio without actually installing, for instance if you don’t have root access to install libaubio on your system,

On Linux or macOS, sourcing the script scripts/ should help:

$ source ./scripts/

This script sets LD_LIBRARY_PATH, for libaubio, and PYTHONPATH for the python module.

On Linux, you should be able to set LD_LIBRARY_PATH with:


On Mac OS X, a copy or a symlink can be made in ~/lib:

$ mkdir -p ~/lib
$ ln -sf $PWD/build/src/libaubio*.dylib ~/lib/

Note on Mac OS X systems older than El Capitan (10.11), the DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH variable can be set as follows:



If you wish to uninstall the files installed by the install command, use uninstall:

$ sudo ./waf uninstall

To clean the source directory, use the clean command:

$ ./waf clean

To also forget the options previously passed to the last ./waf configure invocation, use the distclean command:

$ ./waf distclean

Frameworks for Xcode

Binary frameworks are available and ready to use in your XCode project, for iOS and macOS.

  1. Download and extract the corresponding file from the Download page
  2. Select Build Phases in your project setting and unfold Link Binary with Libraries
  3. Add AudioToolbox and Accelerate system frameworks (or make sure they are listed)
  4. Add aubio.framework from the unzipped
  5. Include the aubio header in your code:
  • in C/C++:
#include <aubio/aubio.h>
  • in Obj-C:
#import <aubio/aubio.h>
  • in Swift:
import aubio

Using aubio from swift

Once you have downloaded and installed aubio.framework, you sould be able to use aubio from C, Obj-C, and Swift source files.

Here is a short example showing how to read a sound file in swift:

import aubio

let path = Bundle.main.path(forResource: "example", ofType: "mp4")
if (path != nil) {
    let hop_size : uint_t = 512
    let a = new_fvec(hop_size)
    let b = new_aubio_source(path, 0, hop_size)
    var read: uint_t = 0
    var total_frames : uint_t = 0
    while (true) {
        aubio_source_do(b, a, &read)
        total_frames += read
        if (read < hop_size) { break }
    print("read", total_frames, "frames at", aubio_source_get_samplerate(b), "Hz")
} else {
    print("could not find file")

Android build

To compile aubio for android, you will need to get the Android Native Development Toolkit (NDK), prepare a standalone toolchain, and tell waf to use the NDK toolchain. An example script to complete these tasks is available in scripts/build_android.

Build options

If built without any external dependencies aubio can be somewhat useful, for instance to read, process, and write simple wav files.

To support more media input formats and add more features to aubio, you can use one or all of the following external libraries.

You may also want to know more about the other options and the platform notes

The configure script will automatically for these extra libraries. To make sure the library or feature is used, pass the –enable-flag to waf. To disable this feature, use –disable-feature.

To find out more about the build commands, use the –verbose option.

External libraries

External libraries are checked for using pkg-config. Set the PKG_CONFIG_PATH environment variable if you have them installed in an unusual location.


If pkg-config is not found in PATH, the configure step will succeed, but none of the external libraries will be used.

Media libraries

libav, open source audio and video processing tools.

If all of the following libraries are found, they will be used to compile aubio_source_avcodec. so that aubio_source will be able to decode audio from all formats supported by libav.

  • libavcodec
  • libavformat
  • libavutil
  • libavresample

To enable this option, configure with --enable-avcodec. The build will then failed if the required libraries are not found. To disable this option, configure with --disable-avcodec


libsndfile, a C library for reading and writing sampled sound files.

With libsndfile built in, aubio_source_sndfile will be built in and used by aubio_source.

To enable this option, configure with --enable-sndfile. The build will then fail if the required library is not found. To disable this option, configure with --disable-sndfile


libsamplerate, a sample rate converter for audio.

With libsamplerate built in, aubio_source_sndfile will support resampling, and aubio_resample will be fully functional.

To enable this option, configure with --enable-samplerate. The build will then fail if the required library is not found. To disable this option, configure with --disable-samplerate

Optimisation libraries


FFTW, a C subroutine for computing the discrete Fourier transform

With libfftw3 built in, aubio_fft will use FFTW to compute Fast Fourier Transform (FFT), allowing aubio to compute FFT on length that are not a power of 2.

To enable this option, configure with --enable-fftw3. The build will then fail if the required library is not found. To disable this option, configure with --disable-fftw3


On macOs/iOS, blas are made available through the Accelerate framework.

On Linux, they can be enabled with --enable-blas. On Debian (etch), atlas, openblas, and libblas have been successfully tested.

When enabled, waf will check for the current blas configuration by running pkg-config --libs blas. Depending of the library path returned by pkg-config, different headers will be searched for.


On Debian systems, multiple versions of BLAS and LAPACK can be installed. To configure which libblas is being used:

$ sudo update-alternatives --config


ATLAS BLAS APIs will be used the path returned by pkg-config --libs blas contains atlas.


$ pkg-config --libs blas
-L/usr/lib/atlas-base/atlas -lblas
$ ./waf configure --enable-atlas
Checking for 'blas'                      : yes
Checking for header atlas/cblas.h        : yes


OpenBlas libraries will be used when the output of pkg-config --libs blas contains ‘openblas’,


$ pkg-config --libs blas
-L/usr/lib/openblas-base -lblas
$ ./waf configure --enable-atlas
Checking for 'blas'                      : yes
Checking for header openblas/cblas.h     : yes


Netlib’s libblas (LAPACK) will be used if no specific library path is specified by pkg-config


$ pkg-config --libs blas
$ ./waf configure --enable-atlas
Checking for 'blas'                      : yes
Checking for header cblas.h              : yes

Platform notes

On all platforms, you will need to have installed:

  • a compiler (gcc, clang, msvc, …)
  • python (any version >= 2.7, including 3.x)
  • a terminal to run command lines in


The following External libraries will be used if found: libav, libsamplerate, libsndfile, libfftw3.


The following system frameworks will be used on Mac OS X systems:


To build a fat binary for both i386 and x86_64, use ./waf configure --enable-fat.

The following External libraries will also be checked: libav, libsamplerate, libsndfile, libfftw3.

To build a fat binary on a darwin like system (macOS, tvOS, appleOS, …) platforms, configure with --enable-fat.


To use a specific version of the compiler, --msvc_version. To build for a specific architecture, use --msvc_target. For instance, to build aubio for x86 using msvc 12.0, use:

waf configure --msvc_version='msvc 12.0' --msvc_target='x86'

The following External libraries will be used if found: libav, libsamplerate, libsndfile, libfftw3.


The following system frameworks will be used on iOS and iOS Simulator.

To build aubio for iOS, configure with --with-target-platform=ios. For the iOS Simulator, use --with-target-platform=iosimulator instead.

By default, aubio is built with the following flags on iOS:

CFLAGS="-fembed-bitcode -arch arm64 -arch armv7 -arch armv7s -miphoneos-version-min=6.1"

and on iOS Simulator:

CFLAGS="-arch i386 -arch x86_64 -mios-simulator-version-min=6.1"

Set CFLAGS and LINKFLAGS to change these default values, or edit wscript directly.

Other options

Some additional options can be passed to the configure step. For the complete list of options, run:

$ ./waf --help

Here is an example of a custom command:

$ ./waf --verbose configure build install \
            --enable-avcodec --enable-wavread --disable-wavwrite \
            --enable-sndfile --enable-samplerate --enable-docs \
            --destdir $PWD/build/destdir --testcmd="echo %s" \
            --prefix=/opt --libdir=/opt/lib/multiarch \
            --manpagesdir=/opt/share/man  \
            uninstall clean distclean dist distcheck

Double precision

The datatype used to store real numbers in aubio is named smpl_t. By default, smpl_t is defined as float, a single-precision format (32-bit). Some algorithms require a floating point representation with a higher precision, for instance to prevent arithmetic underflow in recursive filters. In aubio, these special samples are named lsmp_t and defined as double by default (64-bit).

Sometimes it may be useful to compile aubio in double-precision, for instance to reproduce numerical results obtained with 64-bit routines. In this case, smpl_t will be defined as double.

The following table shows how smpl_t and lsmp_t are defined in single- and double-precision modes:

Single and double-precision modes
  single double
smpl_t float double
lsmp_t double long double

To compile aubio in double precision mode, configure with --enable-double.

To compile in single-precision mode (default), use --disable-double (or simply none of these two options).

Disabling the tests

In some case, for instance when cross-compiling, unit tests should not be run. Option --notests can be used for this purpose. The tests will not be executed, but the binaries will be compiled, ensuring that linking against libaubio works as expected.


The --notests option should be passed to both build and install targets, otherwise waf will try to run them.

Edit wscript

Many of the options are gathered in the file wscript. a good starting point when looking for additional options.

Building the docs

If the following command line tools are found, the documentation will be built built:

These tools are searched for in the current PATH environment variable. By default, the documentation is built only if the tools are found.

To disable the documentation, configure with --disable-docs. To build with the documentation, configure with --enable-docs.