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Compiling from source

Giada source code is hosted and mantained on GitHub. It requires a C++17-compatible compiler, Git and CMake already installed. This document is about setting up Giada from the command line, but you can also configure and build it directly in your IDE.

Grab the code

First of all clone the remote repository on your machine:

git clone

a new folder giada/ will be created. Go inside and initialize the submodules (i.e. the dependencies):

git submodule update --init --recursive

Configure and build

Invoke CMake from inside the giada/ folder as follows:

cmake -B <build-directory> -S . 

For example:

cmake -B build/ -S . 

CMake will generate the proper project according to your environment: Makefile on Linux, Visual Studio solution on Windows, XCode project on macOS. When the script is done without errors, open the generated project with your IDE or run CMake from the command line to compile Giada. Command line example:

cmake --build build/ 			


Some dependencies are included as git submodules. However, Giada requires other external libraries to be installed on your system. Namely:

Additional configuration parameters

You can pass several parameters to CMake during the configuration stage as -D<parameter>=<value>. For example:


CMAKE_BUILD_TYPEDefines the build type.Debug, Release
WITH_VST2Enables support for VST2 plug-ins. Requires the now deprecated VST2.x SDK by Steinberg. Disabled by default.ON, OFF
WITH_VST3Enables support for VST3 plug-ins. Disabled by default.ON, OFF
WITH_TESTSIncludes the test suite. Requires the Catch2 library installed. Disabled by default.ON, OFF

Run the tests (optional)

All unit tests in Giada are based on Catch2 automated test framework, which supports several command-line options. Please take a look at the official documentation to understand the gritty details. Giada must be configured with -DWITH_TESTS=ON first, while tests are run as following:

./giada --run-tests [optional catch parameters]