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Installing UTAU on Linux

Installing UTAU on Linux is very easy. Do not be overwhelmed by the sheer length of this page; I have made sure to be as thorough as possible, so while it may seem like a lot, overall it's just a series of simple steps. However, with that being said I will first approach the known issues encountered by using UTAU on Linux.

Known / common issues

  • Timing issues unless "Calculate note length by GUI front-end" is checked
  • Issues rendering unless you turn off the show batch file when rendering setting
  • Playhead lags behind while playing back audio, meaning the sound is fine but the UI is out of sync and this can be jarring during usage.


Step 1: Setting up Locale

Before you do anything, it is necessary to ensure you have your Locale set up so you can use Japanese locale. To do this, you'll need to edit /etc/locale.gen, which will require elevated permission using sudo. You can use your editor of choice. For this example I'll refer to nano, a terminal-based editor. Open a terminal and enter the following (or change nano to your preferred editor):

sudo nano /etc/locale.gen
The next thing you need to do, is find the line that has ja_JP.UTF-8 and uncomment it. This means removing the # symbol from the start of the line. This file should be in alphabetical order, which should help you find the line. Optionally you can uncomment any other Japanese locales, but this is most likely not necessary.

Save and close the file- in nano, use ctrl+x and then hit Y to confirm overwrite, and then hit enter.

Now, run the following command to generate the locale configuration:

sudo locale-gen

Now you should be good to go! feel free to run locale -a to double check the locale got enabled.

Step 2: Prerequisites

To run UTAU on Linux you'll also need some prerequisites. - wine - lib32 pulse modules - CJK fonts - winetricks

The process to install these will vary depending on your distribution. On arch linux or any deriviatives, you'll want to install these with

pacman -S wine lib32-libpulse noto-fonts-cjk

To get winetricks, you can just wget it from the official url

and afterwards, mark it as executable
chmod +x winetricks
and now run the following to install cjk fonts in wine
./winetricks cjkfonts
It may also be helpful to install msfonts just in case
./winetricks msfonts

Step 3: Installing UTAU

Next, you'll want to grab the UTAU installer from The UTAU website At the time of writing this Ameya still hasn't released the huge update we've been waiting for for years, so I'm going to be referencing version 0.4.18e in this guide. Once you've downloaded the zip, extract it. Make sure you know where you've put the .exe file and switch back to your terminal.

In my case, I extracted my utau exe to my Downloads folder. so CD to the folder you extracted it to. TIP: using ~/ in your path is a wildcard that references your home folder!

cd ~/Downloads/

Next, you'll need to run the installer with wine, in addition to setting your locale to japanese while doing so. This essentially real-time translates the shift-jis of the application to UTF8 (I think?).

LANG=ja_JP.utf8 wine utau0418e-inst.exe

If all went well, the UTAU installer should (hopefully) render correctly showing text in Japanese (and not Mojibake!!!!!!!!)

UTAU installer screenshot

As per usual, click next, and on the next page the two options (E) and (M) refer to "Everyone" and "Me" respectively. (in reference to installing for the current user, or for all users). This shouldn't make a difference however, as wineprefixes are user-specific, so use whichever.

Additionally, unlike on windows, you can install UTAU to program files just fine in WINE as permissions for that directory are for the current user (as wine prefixes are owned by the current user anyway) and not for root.

Now, something that you may find useful is to make an executable for UTAU. The most effective way to do this is to create an executable for the current user.

First, make sure the current user has a .local/bin folder

mkdir -p ~/.local/bin

Now, create an executable file in that folder to start UTAU.

nano ~/.local/bin/utau
And input the following. Ensure the directory is correct to where you installed UTAU!

#! /bin/bash
LANG=ja_JP.utf8 wine ~/".wine/drive_c/Program Files (x86)/UTAU/utau.exe"

press Ctrl+X to close the file, and when prompted press Y to save, and then hit enter.

Now run the following to make the file executable

chmod +x ~/.local/bin/utau

Now, if running utau as a command doesn't work, don't worry. The way to fix that is to add .local/bin to your path. To do so, edit your .bashrc file by typing nano ~/.bashrc At the bottom of the file, add the following:

export PATH="$HOME/.local/bin:$PATH"

similar to before, press ctrl+x, hit y and then hit enter to save changes. Afterwards, you must additionally run the line you just added in the terminal (Or you can alternatively reboot, but that takes extra time!)

Now you should be able to run utau. If not, look over the steps again, as you likely missed something.

Step 4: Configuring applications

To make it yet even easier to run UTAU, you can configue your applications to launch your new utau command. Wine should have made a launcher for your application menu already, so we'll utilise that.

nano ~/.local/share/applications/wine/Programs/U\ T\ A\ U/UTAU\ -\ 歌声  

And next, find the line that starts with "Exec". Delete everything after the = sign, and replace it with just ~/.local/bin/utau. The result should look as follows

[Desktop Entry]
Name=UTAU - 歌声合成ツール
Path=/home/hitcoder/.wine/dosdevices/c:/Program Files (x86)/UTAU/
Now your menu shortcut should open UTAU!

Step 5: Setting up fcitx5 and mozc

If you plan on doing much in UTAU you're probably going to want to be able to type in Japanese. To do this you'll need to install an Input Method Editor (IME). The one I personally recommend using is fcitx5, along with Mozc for Japanese input. Mozc is an open source version of Google's japanese IME.

Alternatives exist, such as IBus in substitution of fcitx5, and Anthy in place of Mozc. Though, in that case I'd recommend doing your research on those, I can't help you there.


sudo apt install fcitx5 fcitx5-qt fcitx5-gtk fcitx5-mozc
If any of these fail to install it may be worth browsing for related packages using synaptic package manager.

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S fcitx5 fcitx5-qt fcitx5-gtk fcitx5-mozc fcitx5-configtool

After installing these packages, edit /etc/environment

sudo nano /etc/environment
And add the following 3 lines to the bottom of the file
Optionally you can also append the following line to support applications using a modified build of SDL
Now you should be good to go! In any application use ctrl+space to switch between Japanese and English IME! すごいいいいいいいいいいい!!!!!!

Bonus: dark theme

For whatever reason, changing WINE's theme colours affects how UTAU looks too!

I've made a dark theme for WINE along with a matching UTAU theme based on the Dracula color palette. To install it, download the file from this link (right click, and save link as) and then in your terminal CD to the directory you downloaded it to, and then run:

wine regedit wine-dracula-darker.reg

This theme is based on Zeinok's Breeze-Dark theme for WINE which you can find here.

To change the theme used in utau, edit UTAU's setting.ini file which should be located at "~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files (x86)/UTAU/setting.ini" and replace all of the lines starting with COLOR_ with the following

Now you have dark UTAU!

Utau with a dark theme

Disclaimer: This guide may be subject to change at any time. It is your responsibility to check it to remain up-to-date