I just picked up a $280 Asus netbook and installed Ubuntu on it. ReBirth seemed a perfect addition; its compact-sized UI, lightweight processing and memory requirements, and simple functions are the ideal companion to a netbook. And, thanks to Propellerhead, it also happens to be free.

If you stick with Windows, just download and go. On Linux, though, you have to give the installer some help to see the install disc. (Why install Linux? I’m finding Ubuntu is just fine for battery life, and I wanted to take advantage of the OS’ optimizations for netbooks and its flexibility for the work I do, audio and otherwise. Windows 7 Starter, by contrast, I found slow and painfully hobbled.) You’ll need WINE, a Windows compatibility tool, in order to run this Windows app in Linux without virtualization.

Here’s what to do, adapted from a forum discussion on the topic.

First, mount the disc. I’m assuming you’ve downloaded to a folder called “Downloads” in your home directory:

mkdir /files/media/rebirth
sudo mount -o loop ~/Downloads/rebirth*.iso /files/media/rebirth
wine /files/media/rebirth/"Install ReBirth RB-338.EXE"

The trick is, while ReBirth is free, it does check to see if you have the CD the first time you load it. Even though the disc is mounted, it’s not mounted in a way programs in WINE can see it. The fix: make a shortcut to WINE’s virtual “E:” drive:

cd ~/.wine/dosdevices
ln -s /files/media/rebirth e:
ln -s ~/Downloads/rebirth*.iso e::

That’s it. Now you can go enjoy some soft synth history. 13 years after its introduction and five years after it reached the end of its life, ReBirth is still a lot of fun. I hope we see software get longevity like this more often. (I plan to work out some other tweaks for my setup here, so I may add to this guide later; stay tuned.)

More:
ReBirth Museum, with community, resources, and more
ReBirth port for iPhone, plus Q&A on that version

Anyone else running ReBirth on WINE? Other tips for netbooks running Windows or Linux? Shout out.

  • http://blog.hernanfloresleyes.com.ar hernan

    Awesome.

    It would be really cool being able to run ableton Live in Ubuntu, that way i wouldn't have to dual boot.

    Are there any latency issues?

  • Marco

    I have installed rebirth on ubuntu 10.04 a few months ago. It runs fine, but if you want MIDI in and audio-out to show into the jack graph you'll have an hard time. Wine supports alsa (midi and audio) and jack (audio only!)… so:

    1) if you choose just ALSA driver (in wine config dialog) you will not see rebirth's outputs in jack;

    2) if you choose just JACK driver you will not see rebirth's midi input in jack graph, and without alsa-midi you will not remote control rebith nor send it tempo informations.

    3) if you choose both JACK and ALSA you will be searching for troubles, on my pc it simply doesn't work.

  • miSmiS

    @Marco: There is an ALSA plugin which can forward audio to JACK.

    I use it to get Flash to play through JACK, maybe it works with WINE, too.

    http://alsa.opensrc.org/index.php/Jack_(plugin)

  • Automageddon

    Is there a way to run Rebirth on Mac OSX Intel?

    I downloaded the MAc version from RebirtMuseum as soon as this came out, but apperently only the Classic environment is supported.

    Rebirth was my first piece of software, I have so many fond memories of it…

  • http://@miSmiS Marco

    yes, it works, but it's not what I'm looking for… that plugins creates a temporary audio output to jack, that appears on the graph as soon as the app outputs audio… I want a permanent graph change that shows as soon as I load the application (rebirth, here)

  • http://bedroomproducer.com Fractal Dimension

    This would make a great "acid-appliance" with a touchscreen, although the buttons and knobs might be too small on a netbook screen. Anyhow, any recommendations for touchscreen netbooks for music?

  • http://hendersonsix.com Henderson

    Looks interesting indeed, and great to hear that it is still available and not fallen into obsolescence.

  • Hari Seldon

    @Automageddon

    +!
    ;-)

  • http://tagmagic.wordpress.com Jaime Munarriz

    A pity they didn't remove this silly CD checking. That's why sometimes warez is needed.

    Legal software should be pain-free for legal users.

  • toupeira

    To use JACK with apps that support ASIO you need wineasio.

    Ableton on Wine actually works pretty fine for the most part, though with the normal version the GUI is annoyingly slow. You can fix this by using the DIB engine patch for Wine which greatly improves DirectDraw performance, but is a bit hairy to apply.

    But be aware of these major show stoppers:

    * audio recording doesn't work, as well as some other actions involving temporary files

    * expect frequent crashes (recovering works though)

    * I had to tweak my JACK configuration a lot before it was more or less stable, the main improvement was using a higher client timeout (-t 10000 instead of the default 500ms)

    So it's only useful for tinkering around, but if you're expecting to do serious work with Ableton on Linux you'll only end up in a world of pain…

  • Kyran

    Ableton live installs fine and the gui runs smooth in crossover (the commercial version of wine).

    Anything that involves making a wav file (recording, freezing, cropping, decoding mp3's etc) doesn't work. There is some system call that is not implemented in wine.

    Getting good latency in jack with wine programs is harder to do: you will get better cpu load in windows for the same project, but it's not unworkable.

    Reaper and Zynewave Podium both work flawless in wine.

    Native clients like ext2 or renoise work great, but you'll have to miss out on your windows plugin collection.

  • http://bedroomproducersblog.com/ bedroom producers bl

    i use a lenovo s10 as the central part of my live setup. since its power comes from an intel atom, i have to be pretty modest with the amount of software i'm running on it during a live show. still, these sorts of limitations can relly force you to use your creativity to te max.

  • http://www.deepmovements.com Manuel-M

    And what about Reason on Linux….I'm dreaming…

  • Greg

    Thanks, I'd been meaning to do this for awhile.

  • http://moreproof.com Gabe

    I toyed with linux for audio work a couple of years ago, but there were important aspects of my workflow that I just couldn't recreate with it at the time. Lately, however, I've been thinking more and more about taking the plunge.

    Rebirth is still a very useful tool for me on my windows box, and it's been one of the programs that has kept switching. I don't suppose it's possible to get the individual instrument outputs (done on windows via rewire) working with jack, is it?

  • http://www.indamixx.com ronald stewart

    Here is a pic of Ableton Live 8 running on Indamixx Pro wit WINE.

    http://www.trinityaudiogroup.com/abeltononIndamix

    Yeah!

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/gidskid Gidskid

    Any one having problems with the 2nd part of the tut? I can’t make it recognise the CD thing?

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @Gidskid: make sure all your paths are the same as mine here. And do a quick ls in that wine directory to make sure it's there and you're in the right place?

    @Gabe: yeah, actually, you can route to JACK that way if I'm understanding you correctly.

    Ableton is probably one of the toughest things to get working on Linux; I think at that point, you're better off with Windows or Mac by a wide, wide margin. Some of the other tools work better. I don't think you should screw up your workflow just to use an OS, but conversely, if you can get the two working together nicely, it's a beautiful thing.

  • http://tagmagic.wordpress.com Jaime Munarriz

    so, community, someone starts working on a LiveLinux Machine…

    it is clear Linux needs such a program.

  • simon

    @Manuel-M

    Reason 3+4 both worked ok for me under wine, just one weird thing to look out for, you cannot access the top level menu except by pressing ALT once and waiting for it to appear. Other than that seemed ok, though I got fed up with trying to install midi devices under linux and gave up

  • KidBomba

    How about Andoid!? Why no ReBirth for Android :(

  • midijunkie

    k so its not really a comment so much as it a this didn't work for me. so here goes:

    ok so i'm having all kinds of trouble installing rebirth. first i start out by typing in dir -l and heres what comes up:

    midijunkie@navi:~$ dir -l

    total 352

    drwxr-xr-x 3 midijunkie midijunkie 4096 2011-01-13 17:15 Desktop

    drwxr-xr-x 2 midijunkie midijunkie 4096 2011-01-13 14:12 Documents

    drwxr-xr-x 2 midijunkie midijunkie 4096 2011-01-13 15:36 downloads

    -rw-r–r– 1 midijunkie midijunkie 357 2010-12-27 20:35 examples.desktop

    -rw-r–r– 1 midijunkie midijunkie 216738 2011-01-02 20:28 Firefox_wallpaper.png

    drwx—— 2 midijunkie midijunkie 4096 2011-01-08 14:58 fw-lib

    drwxr-xr-x 2 midijunkie midijunkie 4096 2011-01-13 14:51 help

    -rw-r–r– 1 midijunkie midijunkie 132 2011-01-02 12:54 ideas

    drwxr-xr-x 4 midijunkie midijunkie 4096 2011-01-08 15:55 midijunkie

    -rw-r–r– 1 midijunkie midijunkie 835 2011-01-10 00:26 Midijunkie.txt

    drwxr-xr-x 5 midijunkie midijunkie 12288 2011-01-10 20:26 Music

    drwxr-xr-x 2 midijunkie midijunkie 4096 2011-01-11 18:26 Pictures

    -rw-r–r– 1 midijunkie midijunkie 65536 2011-01-10 00:26 powder.sav

    drwxr-xr-x 2 midijunkie midijunkie 4096 2010-12-27 15:39 Public

    -rw-r–r– 1 midijunkie midijunkie 101 2011-01-11 14:11 ricci movies

    drwxr-xr-x 2 midijunkie midijunkie 4096 2010-12-27 15:39 Templates

    drwxr-xr-x 2 midijunkie midijunkie 4096 2010-12-27 15:39 Videos

    kk so now i know whats where then i type sudo mkdir -p /mnt/iso

    it then asks me for my pwd. then puts me back to the main prompt. next i type in:

    midijunkie@navi:~$ sudo mount -o loop -t iso9660 /home/midijunkie/downloads/rebirth.iso /mnt/iso

    then i get:

    /home/midijunkie/downloads/rebirth.iso: No such file or directory

    so i do dir -l again heres what i get:

    midijunkie@navi:~$ dir -l

    total 352

    drwxr-xr-x 3 midijunkie midijunkie 4096 2011-01-13 17:15 Desktop

    drwxr-xr-x 2 midijunkie midijunkie 4096 2011-01-13 14:12 Documents

    drwxr-xr-x 2 midijunkie midijunkie 4096 2011-01-13 15:36 downloads

    -rw-r–r– 1 midijunkie midijunkie 357 2010-12-27 20:35 examples.desktop

    -rw-r–r– 1 midijunkie midijunkie 216738 2011-01-02 20:28 Firefox_wallpaper.png

    drwx—— 2 midijunkie midijunkie 4096 2011-01-08 14:58 fw-lib

    drwxr-xr-x 2 midijunkie midijunkie 4096 2011-01-13 14:51 help

    -rw-r–r– 1 midijunkie midijunkie 132 2011-01-02 12:54 ideas

    drwxr-xr-x 4 midijunkie midijunkie 4096 2011-01-08 15:55 midijunkie

    -rw-r–r– 1 midijunkie midijunkie 835 2011-01-10 00:26 Midijunkie.txt

    drwxr-xr-x 5 midijunkie midijunkie 12288 2011-01-10 20:26 Music

    drwxr-xr-x 2 midijunkie midijunkie 4096 2011-01-11 18:26 Pictures

    -rw-r–r– 1 midijunkie midijunkie 65536 2011-01-10 00:26 powder.sav

    drwxr-xr-x 2 midijunkie midijunkie 4096 2010-12-27 15:39 Public

    -rw-r–r– 1 midijunkie midijunkie 101 2011-01-11 14:11 ricci movies

    drwxr-xr-x 2 midijunkie midijunkie 4096 2010-12-27 15:39 Templates

    drwxr-xr-x 2 midijunkie midijunkie 4096 2010-12-27 15:39 Videos

    basically what i got before no change. so then i try:

    midijunkie@navi:~$ sudo mkdir /home/midijunkie/image.iso

    no password prompt this time so i do dir -l again and this time i get:

    midijunkie@navi:~$ dir -l

    total 356

    drwxr-xr-x 3 midijunkie midijunkie 4096 2011-01-13 17:15 Desktop

    drwxr-xr-x 2 midijunkie midijunkie 4096 2011-01-13 14:12 Documents

    drwxr-xr-x 2 midijunkie midijunkie 4096 2011-01-13 15:36 downloads

    -rw-r–r– 1 midijunkie midijunkie 357 2010-12-27 20:35 examples.desktop

    -rw-r–r– 1 midijunkie midijunkie 216738 2011-01-02 20:28 Firefox_wallpaper.png

    drwx—— 2 midijunkie midijunkie 4096 2011-01-08 14:58 fw-lib

    drwxr-xr-x 2 midijunkie midijunkie 4096 2011-01-13 14:51 help

    -rw-r–r– 1 midijunkie midijunkie 132 2011-01-02 12:54 ideas

    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2011-01-13 18:18 image.iso

    drwxr-xr-x 4 midijunkie midijunkie 4096 2011-01-08 15:55 midijunkie

    -rw-r–r– 1 midijunkie midijunkie 835 2011-01-10 00:26 Midijunkie.txt

    drwxr-xr-x 5 midijunkie midijunkie 12288 2011-01-10 20:26 Music

    drwxr-xr-x 2 midijunkie midijunkie 4096 2011-01-11 18:26 Pictures

    -rw-r–r– 1 midijunkie midijunkie 65536 2011-01-10 00:26 powder.sav

    drwxr-xr-x 2 midijunkie midijunkie 4096 2010-12-27 15:39 Public

    -rw-r–r– 1 midijunkie midijunkie 101 2011-01-11 14:11 ricci movies

    drwxr-xr-x 2 midijunkie midijunkie 4096 2010-12-27 15:39 Templates

    drwxr-xr-x 2 midijunkie midijunkie 4096 2010-12-27 15:39 Videos

    this time there is a location:

    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2011-01-13 18:18 image.iso

    so i try to mount the rebirth.iso:

    sudo mount -o loop -t iso9660 /home/midijunkie/downloads/rebirth.iso /home/midijunkie/image.iso

    and the it returns this:

    /home/midijunkie/downloads/rebirth.iso: No such file or directory

    then i use:

    midijunkie@navi:~$ sudo rmdir /home/midijunkie/image.iso

    i run dir -l and the location is now gone. so i reboot my puter and follow what you have and heres what i get:

    midijunkie@navi:~$ mkdir /files/media/rebirth

    mkdir: cannot create directory `/files/media/rebirth': Permission denied

    so i add sudo then try it again and i get the main prompt. so i go on to the next step and heres what happens:

    midijunkie@navi:~$ sudo mount -o loop ~/Downloads/rebirth*.iso /files/media/rebirth

    /home/midijunkie/Downloads/rebirth*.iso: No such file or directory

    the rebirth.iso was unzipped to a folder in /home/midijunkie/downloads. so i'm at a loss as to what to do from here i am somewhat new to linux i have far more knowledge of Windows and Macs, but i'm using a laptop a friend gave me its rather old like 5-6 years old and no hard drive. I use and external drive for it. the current version of Ubuntu i'm using is 10.04 been having problems trying to get it to up-grade fetch seems to fail every time on the last packet. yes i have wine installed it is set to XP. as for that not sure either. can someone suggest any other ways i could possibly get rebirth to install if i still can't get 10.10 up-grade installed.

    thx,

    midijunkie

  • None

    Midijunkie,

    The first thing to do when reading other peoples command line instructions is to try to understand what each line of the instructions is doing then relate that to your system and files. Don't just blindly copy and paste.

    When you got:

    "/home/midijunkie/downloads/rebirth.iso: No such file or directory"

    it was because you had not downloaded the rebirth.iso (file image of the rebirth cd) to your downloads directory) or had called it something else, or put it somewhere else. That was the start of your problems.

  • guest

    This didn’t work for me, I followed all the instructions here.

    Here is what comes up when I type ls -l while in ~/.wine/dosdevices

    Code:
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 david david 14 2012-03-15 13:40 a: -> /media/floppy0
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 david david 8 2012-03-15 13:40 b:: -> /dev/fd0
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 david david 10 2012-03-15 13:21 c: -> ../drive_c
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 david david 14 2012-03-15 13:41 e: -> /media/rebirth
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 david david 10 2012-03-15 13:21 e:: -> /dev/loop0
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 david david 11 2012-03-15 13:40 h: -> /home/david
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 david david 1 2012-03-15 13:21 z: -> /

    rebirth installed fine, but I still get the waiting for cd message when I start it up.

    thanks a lot

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Hmm… which distro? Maybe it’s locating things in a different spot.

    • guest

      I’m running ubuntu 11.10 with wine 1.4 rc2

  • Dave

    Hey Peter, Dave Phillips here. I was doing some research on an article, ReBirth came onto the radar, eventually I ran into the mount problem. Thanks for the solution, the program is now running nicely on an old Ubuntu 10.04 (i686) system with plain ALSA and Wine 1.3.33.

    Best,

    dp

    • Dave Phillips

       And it’s now working well with FeSTige, Wine 1.5.5, and AVLinux 5.0.1. :)