Zynthian FAQ

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Please, add your questions to this FAQ. And of course, if you can add/improve an answer, do it! ;-)

1 LINUX Audio terminology is confusing

Understanding LINUX Audio Help in understanding all those acronyms mentioned in this Wiki

2 What RaspberryPi does Zynthian support?

You need a RBPi3 Raspberry Pi 3 Model B or Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+

RBPi2 is not longer supported by official zynthian SD images. If you want to use a different RBPi version, you should rebuild your own SD image. Also, you can try with the experimental ZynthianOS images from here:


3 Where can i buy a Zynthian Kit?

Currently you can buy the official Zynthian Kits in the Zynthian Shop.

4 How do I edit entries in the wiki?

You need to be able to login into the wiki. Register in the wiki is currently disabled by security reasons, but you can ask in the forum for getting access.

5 I just wrote my 16/32/64 GB SD card with a Zynthian image, but from Zynthian's console i only see a part of SD's total space and i've no free space left in the partition. How can i make available all the space on my SD Card?

UPDATE: From 2016-12-23, the Gorgona SD image solved this problem. Latest SD images will auto-expand the partition on the first boot, so you shouldn't have this problem never more, but if you have it ...

After writing the zynthian image into the SD card, you have to "expand" the partition to fill all the available space. Follow these steps:

+ login into your zynthian box using ssh
+ execute "df" command to see the size of your partition and the available space
+ run "raspi-config" and select the first option to expand your partition
+ reboot your zynthian box
+ login again and execute "df" command to see size of your partition and the available space. You should see the difference ;-)

Important: If you don't expand your partition, you will have problems when updating zynthian software or library, as you will run out of space.

6 I have a license for Pianoteq 6, what would be the process to enter the license key ?

You have to access the webconf tool and follow carefully the instructions from the "Software->Pianoteq" section.

For accessing the Pianoteq GUI, please read this: Opening Native GUIs from your Computer

7 Does the pre-built kit come with a RBPi3 or 3+ ?

Bundle All Kits come with a RBPi 3+. Check the shop's product descriptions:


8 I’m primarily a guitarist and thus, I’m interested in the MOD UI.

I know some people have experimented with audio input and was wondering if this would be added to the “official” Zynthian kit at some point and if so, how hard would it be to “upgrade” to it ?

We are working for adding "audio input" to official Zynthian Kits. We hope to release the new kits by spring/summer of 2019.

9 Do you think Zynthian is for me ?

Knowing that I am comfortable with tinkering (basic soldering, basic command line in linux) and that the idea would be to use Zynthian in a professional environment (studio and on stage)

If you are comfortable with linux I think this is a great project and I do recommend it.

10 About Zynthian Security

FYI, everything in Zynthian is executed as root user. The Pi user in the new PiOS images have sudo rights, so i don’t see a big security difference between the Gorgona and the PiOS images. PiOS is about automation and evolution, but currently it doesn’t improve security AFAIK.

Everybody wanting to connect his Zynthian to a “not secure” network (every network not controlled by himself should be considered “not secure” :wink: ) SHOULD CHANGE the default zynthian password. You can do that from the webconf tool.

Also, you have to understand that:

  • Although the Webconf Tool ask for the password, currently, it doesn’t use HTTPS, so your password could be sniffed by bad actors connected to the local network. That is specially true if you are using an ethernet cable or the old WEP Wifi protocol. If you are using WPA2 Wifi protocol in your 2 devices (Zynthian and your “computer”), then you should be protected against sniffers.
  • When a MOD-UI layer is created in zynthian, the MOD-UI server run completely open for everybody in the local network.
  • IMHO, these 2 are the main security holes in Zynthian. For solving it, we have to:
  1. Use HTTPS for webconf tool.
  2. Secure the MOD-UI server:
    1. Fast and Easy Way: Set a flag for “secure” networks, so MOD-UI will be “open” in that networks only
    2. Not so Easy Way: Use HTTPS and ask for the password. We should modify MOD-UI source code