Overview of the Faust Universe

While in its most primitive form, Faust is distributed as a command-line compiler, a wide range of tools have been developed around it in the course of the past few years. Their variety and their function might be hard to grab at first. This chapter provides an overview of their role and will hopefully help you decide which one is better suited for your personal use.

The Faust Distribution

The Faust distribution hosts the source of the Faust compiler (both in its command line and library version), the source of the Faust architectures (targets), the various Faust compilation scripts, a wide range of Faust-related-tools, the Faust DSP Libraries (which in practice are hosted a separate Git submodule), etc.

The latest stable release of the Faust distribution can be found here. It is recommended for most Faust users willing to compile the Faust compiler and libfaust from scratch.

To have the latest stable development version, you can use the master branch of the Faust git repository which is hosted on GitHub. For something even more bleeding edge (to be used at your own risks), you might use the master-dev branch of the Faust git repository. master-dev is the development sub-branch of master. It is used by Faust developers to commit their changes and can be considered as "the main development branch". The goal is to make sure that master is always functional. Merges between master-dev and master are carried out at each stable release by the GRAME team.

Also, note that pre-compiled packages of the Faust compiler and of libfaust for various platforms can be found on the of the Faust website.

The Faust distribution is organized as follows:

bin/           : contains the compiler and the [Faust tools](../tools)
include/       : contains header files required by the Faust tools
lib/           : contains the Faust libraries
share/         : contains documentation, the Faust libraries and architecture files

Note: you can install the Faust distribution anywhere you want, provided that the faust command is available from your PATH (requires to update your .profile if not in a standard location).

The following subsections present the main tools build on top of the Faust compiler and intended to facilitate your life.


FaustLive is an advanced self-contained prototyping environment for the Faust programming language with an ultra-short edit-compile-run cycle. Thanks to its fully embedded compilation chain, FaustLive is simple to install and doesn't require any external compiler, development toolchain or SDK to run.

FaustLive is the ideal tool for fast prototyping. Faust programs can be compiled and run on the fly by simple drag and drop. They can even be edited and recompiled while running, without sound interruption. It supports also native applications generation using the Faust online compiler.


Faustgen is a Max/MSP external that provides features similar to FaustLive. It's the ideal tool for fast prototyping in Max/MSP. Faustgen is part of the Faust project, and distributed in the Faust releases.

Faust Editor

Faust Editor is a zero-conf tool that provides all the compilation services, including binaries generation for all the supported platforms and architectures.

Faust IDE

Faust IDE is a zero-conf tool that provides all the compilation services, including binaries generation for all the supported platforms and architectures, but also various utilities for signal processing development.

Faust Playground

Faust Playground is a graphical environment to develop Faust programs with a higher level approach. It has been initially designed for kids and for pedagogical purpose.