We were one of the first publications to cover VCV Rack, the open source modular synthesizer platform. Releases have become prolific, feature-packed, and even commercial, and we have to hold back from featuring it every single issue. If you've not used VCV, download it now. It allows you to plug virtual re-creations of real hardware into a virtual rack and wire them to create any signal path you wish, from crazy experimental music, to deep and convolving reverb effects. It's incredible, and it's not surprising that since we first featured it, VCV Rack has become one of the most important open source audio projects of the last decade, with many module makers releasing virtual versions of their own, often open source, models.

But as great as VCV is, it doesn't integrate too well with the latest Linux audio applications. In particular, it's a standalone application rather than a plugin for your audio application of choice. On Windows, a developer known as "bsp" has put considerable effort into making VCV Rack work as a VST plugin, resulting in VeeSeeVSTRack. To handle the multiple instances of VCV, bsp even needed to create a custom drawing library, but it was worth it. On Windows, you can now use VCV directly within your favorite audio application, rather than always having to find a way of piping audio into your chosen tool. And with help from bsp, this wrapper and the new drawing library have been ported to Linux, giving us access to the most powerful audio processing tool you can imagine, directly within your VST-compatible host. VeeSeeVSTRack is amazing, and we had no trouble dropping the pre-build binary into our VST plugin path and using it within Ardour. But it should also work with other Linux VST compatible apps, such as Bitwig Studio and Qtractor. Give it a go!

Project Website

Create and run the most powerful modular synthesizer directly within your favorite audio apps.

Gist editor


If you've been on GitHub at all, you'll have noticed that something often referred to as "gists" have become very popular. These gists are a kind of coding note or recipe that consists of either a single file or part of a file that you keep aside or share. However, they don't need to be code; they can be anything you can conveniently note down using Git and Markdown. A gist could just as easily be the beginnings of a novel as it could be a script for clearing out your unused Docker containers. There are public gists that can be discovered and searched, and private gists you can keep to yourself or whoever you happen to share the link with (gists are never totally private). But there isn't a convenient way of working with your gists outside of the GitHub environment, and that's exactly what Lepton provides from your desktop.

When first launched, Lepton asks you to authenticate the use of the application with your GitHub account. With that done, you see a simple interface split into a main view for your public and private gists and their descriptions, and a panel on the left that allows you to sort through a collection using tags, languages, and whether they're pinned. All of this is basically mimicking the functionality of the web interface, which isn't surprising considering this is an Electron application running React. But as with the average Electron Twitter client, it feels better integrated with your desktop when you have a single window – especially when you start to learn the keyboard shortcuts – and the Markdown editor is much nicer than the web version, especially when you fold the gists you're not working on away.

Project Website

Gists are a great way of sharing code ideas or keeping your own notes.

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

  • FOSSPicks

    Graham checks out Sigil, Dragonfly Reverb, LabPlot 2.8, Node-RED, batufo, rg3d, and much more.

  • FOSSPicks

    Graham looks at the PlotJuggler 3 data visualizer, note taking with Xournal++, the KStars planetarium, and more!

  • FOSSPicks

    This month Nate feels like a youngster in a candy store all over again given the delectable range of FOSS treats. He's also delighted to have found a way to manage all his Flatpaks.

  • Sparkling gems and new releases from the world of Free and Open Source Software

    Graham looks at Cutter, Thunar 1.8.0, usbfd, Linuxbrew, Uniread, GSequencer, fkill, and more!

  • FOSSPicks

    After watching Ubuntu help NASA with its first controlled flight on another planet, Graham spent far too much time this month visiting Mars in Elite Dangerous, via Proton on Linux.

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters

Support Our Work

Linux Magazine content is made possible with support from readers like you. Please consider contributing when you’ve found an article to be beneficial.

Learn More