[linux-audio-dev] initial release of libfst - in-process VST support

Paul Davis paul at linuxaudiosystems.com
Mon Apr 19 19:58:18 UTC 2004

Torben Hohn and I are pleased to release an initial version of libfst,
a small GPL'ed C library that provides support for using win32/x86 VST
plugins (FX and VST/i) within native Linux applications, with the
assistance of the Wine project's libwine.

  We expect there will be several minor problems with this
  initial release. Please help us fix them!

How is this different from VSTserver?

This work differs from Kjetil Mattheusen's VSTserver because the
plugin is loaded into the address space of the program using the
library, not into a server. As a result, it is a more appropriate
solution for audio applications that might support many VST plugins,
where the context switches required in the VSTserver case do not scale
well. The downside, of course, is that a misbehaving plugin will crash
the host application, which VSTserver avoids.

Why is it called FST?

In case you wonder, "fst" stands for FreeST. Imagine saying "VST" with
an odd lisp.

Where do I get it?

The tarball is available from


How do I know it works?

Ardour and gAlan are already using this technology, and please read my
next announcement.


The library is very small. You will need a recent version of Wine. The
configure step (which uses stuff built by Wine) takes much longer than
the compilation. 

To build the library from source, you will need the Steinberg SDK
header files AEffect.h and aeffectx.h. These cannot be redistributed
by us or anyone else. The configure script will tell you where to get
them. The registration process with Steinberg points you to an FTP URL
that does not have the VST SDK on it. Use this instead:


Please do NOT bypass the Steinberg registration process. It is
important to show them whatever level of interest the Linux world has
in VST.


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