When building Audacity from source the configuration fails and prints this error:

configure: error: Could not find wx-config: is wxWidgets installed?
is wx-config in your path?

I've read the build instructions in the readme, then downloaded all the needed dependencies. The distro version is 16.04.


I have identified the source of the problem. I was trying to use the nonexistant Xenial repository for wxWidgets. Utopic was the latest distro listed on the repository page, so I added deb http://repos.codelite.org/wx3.0.2/ubuntu/ utopic universe to /etc/apt/sources.list.

./configure was successful. make failed, generating the follwing errors:

commands/CommandManager.cpp:115:21: fatal error: gtk/gtk.h: No such file or directory compilation terminated.

Makefile:3695: recipe for target 'commands/audacity-CommandManager.o' failed

make[2]: *** [commands/audacity-CommandManager.o] Error 1 make[2]: Leaving directory '/home/obalaban/Downloads/audacity-minsrc-2.1.2/src'

Makefile:1346: recipe for target 'all' failed

make[1]: *** [all] Error 2 make[1]: Leaving directory '/home/obalaban/Downloads/audacity-minsrc-2.1.2/src' Makefile:716: recipe for target 'all-recursive' failed

make: *** [all-recursive] Error 1


After following andrew.46's recommendations, my build failed yet again.

BlockFile.cpp: In function ‘void ComputeMinMax256(float*, float*, float*, int*)’:
/usr/include/wx-3.0/wx/math.h:91:31: error: ‘isnan’ was not declared in this scope
#define wxIsNaN(x) isnan(x)
^ BlockFile.cpp:339:11: note: in expansion of macro ‘wxIsNaN’

   if (wxIsNaN(summary256[3*i+2]))    

/usr/include/wx-3.0/wx/math.h:91:31: note: suggested alternative:

#define wxIsNaN(x) isnan(x)  

BlockFile.cpp:339:11: note: in expansion of macro ‘wxIsNaN’

  if (wxIsNaN(summary256[3*i+2]))  

In file included from /usr/include/wx-3.0/wx/math.h:58:0,
from /usr/include/wx-3.0/wx/gdicmn.h:23,
from /usr/include/wx-3.0/wx/utils.h:26,
from BlockFile.cpp:51:
/usr/include/c++/5/cmath:641:5: note: ‘std::isnan’

 isnan(_Tp __x)  

Makefile:2440: recipe for target 'audacity-BlockFile.o' failed
make[2]: * [audacity-BlockFile.o] Error 1
make[2]: Leaving directory '/home/obalaban/audacity-build/audacity/src'
Makefile:1362: recipe for target 'all' failed
make[1]: *
[all] Error 2
make[1]: Leaving directory '/home/obalaban/audacity-build/audacity/src'
Makefile:781: recipe for target 'all-recursive' failed
make: *** [all-recursive] Error 1

  • Have you added 'Sources' to your Repository list and tried with: sudo apt-get build-dep audacity? This should pick up the required -dev file... BTW release version 2.1.2 is available in the Xenial repositories, are you building the git version?
    – andrew.46
    Aug 13, 2016 at 3:21
  • I downloaded the source code from fosshub.
    – LostSoul
    Aug 13, 2016 at 3:53

3 Answers 3


To compile Audacity under Xenial Xerus (bearing in mind that there is also a reasonable Xenial Repository version of 2.1.2 available) use the following:

Use the build dependencies:

Activate the 'Source' Repositories by following this trail:

Dash > Software & Updates > Ubuntu Software > Source Code

Click on the 'Source Code' box and allow the Repositories to reload. Then install the build dependencies and a few extras:

sudo apt-get build-dep audacity
sudo apt-get install checkinstall

Download Audacity source and build:

Use the following single command to automate the whole process:

mkdir -v $HOME/Desktop/audacity_build && cd $HOME/Desktop/audacity_build && \
wget https://github.com/audacity/audacity/archive/Audacity-2.1.2.tar.gz && \
tar xvf Audacity-2.1.2.tar.gz && cd audacity-Audacity-2.1.2 && \
./configure --without-ffmpeg && make -j 4 && \
sudo checkinstall --pakdir "$HOME/Desktop/audacity_build" \
     --backup=no --deldoc=yes --pkgname audacity --pkgversion 2.1.2 \
     --fstrans=no --deldesc=yes --delspec=yes --default

If you are interested in living on the edge a little more you could always try the git repository with a few small modifications to the code above...

Keep your version:

Not a bad idea to pin your package, since you will doubtless be experimenting with your build:

echo "audacity hold" | sudo dpkg --set-selections

And then a newer repository version will not trump your own...


  • Compile failed against FFmpeg so it is removed from the process (./configure --without-ffmpeg). This will limit a few of the export and import capabilities of Audacity but you may not use this? Worthwhile to get to the bottom of this failure nevertheless...
  • Remembering that a simple sudo apt-get install audacity will get a decent version of Audacity 2.1.2 under Xenial Xerus...
  • I followed your instructions but the build failed. So I installed Audacity using apt.
    – LostSoul
    Aug 13, 2016 at 8:22
  • @LostSoul So you get a decent copy anyway :). Can I ask what the build failure was? I tested pretty comprehensively on my own system...
    – andrew.46
    Aug 13, 2016 at 8:26
  • 1
    @LostSoul Thanks for putting the build failure details in your question. This looks like a bug that has been fixed: bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=824264 . Are you using the Repository version of WxWidgets? If not remove your compiled version or even PPA version and install the Repository version, this works well with Audacity under Xenial...
    – andrew.46
    Aug 13, 2016 at 10:06

Check whether the development packages for wxWidgets are installed, these files contain header files needed to compile wxWidgets. If you have Synaptic, you can type:


Look for packages that end with -dev

In these case, you could install libwxgtk3.0-dev it contains the wx-config script.


Have you completed installing wxWidgets? This might have been the problem. I faced this too as the documentation did not specify the complete installation of wxWidgets. For complete installation, I navigated to the docs folder in the wxWidgets and then to the gtk folder. According to the instructions there, for complete installation of wxWidgets, the steps are-

> mkdir buildgtk
> cd buildgtk
> ../configure --with-gtk
> make
> su <type root password>
> make install
> ldconfig
[if you get "ldconfig: command not found", try using "/sbin/ldconfig"]

After that, you have to build Audacity. The steps are-

>create a 'build' subdirectory in Audacity folder and change to it.
>../configure --with-lib-preference="local system"

>make install  # as root

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .