Manual: System Setup

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System requirements[edit]

System requirements are few. There are different versions of OpenMPT for various hardware and software configurations. All you need to run and use OpenMPT is:

  • 32-bit version:
    • Windows 7 or newer / Wine 1.8 or newer
    • An x86-compatible CPU with support for the SSE2 instruction set (most computers running Windows 7 will fulfil this requirement)
  • 32-bit version for legacy systems:
    • Windows XP (with Service Pack 3) or newer / Wine 1.6
    • Pentium 1 or a better x86-compatible CPU
  • 64-bit version:
    • Windows 7 or newer / Wine 1.8 or newer
    • An x64-compatible CPU
  • 64-bit version for legacy systems:
    • Windows XP or newer / Wine 1.6
    • An x64-compatible CPU
  • Some kind of soundcard, preferrably with native low-latency ASIO support
  • A display resolution of 800x600 or higher, preferrably much higher.

If you run a 64-bit operating system, you should generally use the 64-bit version of OpenMPT. However, if you still make use of 32-bit VST plugins, then you should take care: Plugins that do not match OpenMPT’s “bitness” need to be run in a bridge process, and every bridged plugin slows down OpenMPT’s audio mixer. So if you generally use more 32-bit plugins than 64-bit plugins, you should use the 32-bit version of OpenMPT instead. If in doubt, you can install both versions in parallel (but not into the same folder).


Other options to make OpenMPT a great user-friendly application:

  • MIDI-compatible external device. See the MIDI Reference for setting up a MIDI device for use in OpenMPT.
  • External speakers or headphones, including Quad Surround systems for soundcards that support this configuration.
  • Software plugins (either VST or DirectX plugins) that are compatible with your computer and operating system.

Please note that OpenMPT itself is very modest when it comes to system requirements, but plugins come with their own system requirements and you will need a much more powerful rig to run most of them.


  1. Download OpenMPT.
  2. If you are using the installer software for OpenMPT, you will be asked where you wish to create the OpenMPT folder. If you are updating a previous version, the installer will replace the old files and folders with any new ones by default as well as update the registry (for file associations) if necessary. In case you are using the .zip archive, unzip the archive to the folder of your choice.
    Note: As with all software, updates may not be as stable as their previous versions, or features that you have become accustomed to may have been reworked in the new version. Although the Installer will keep the old user files (by giving the files a new extension), it is recommended you backup your previous version of OpenMPT until you are satisfied with the upgrade.
  3. When you run OpenMPT for the first time, the Welcome dialog will appear automatically to allow you to set up some basic settings. There are many more ways to customize OpenMPT through the Setup dialog, but the main thing you want to start out with is setting options for the Soundcard. Open Sound Card tab in the the Setup dialog, and consult the section on Soundcard Options for determining how best to set up for your computer system. OpenMPT’s conservative default settings should work on all Windows systems, but you will most likely be able to improve your OpenMPT experience by changing them to what you machine is capable to do.


If you would like to use OpenMPT on a flash drive or other removable media, there is an option to keep OpenMPT self-contained so that it does not leave a footprint on the computer’s system. Normally, using OpenMPT’s installer affects the system registry and creates a new folder in the Settings directory. Portable Mode bypasses all of these. Here are three ways to achieve complete portability for OpenMPT:


This is the preferred option. Use the OpenMPT Installer software to create a new OpenMPT setup on your removable drive. There is an option for installing a portable version of OpenMPT, which will not touch the registry (unless you choose to set up file associations in the installer) and use the application’s directory for saving configuration files.

Command-line switch[edit]

You can force OpenMPT into using portable mode by specifying the /portable command-line switch. Even if there is no configuration file present in OpenMPT’s directory, it will not look for an existing configuration in %APPDATA%\OpenMPT.

Manual setup[edit]

To manually create a portable OpenMPT setup, you will need an existing installation from a non-portable drive. Copy all of the files in the original OpenMPT folder to a new folder on the portable drive.

  • If you do not need to use previous configurations and settings that were already created, simply create a new text file in the portable OpenMPT folder, open it in a text editor, and enter the following two lines:
    Now save the file as mptrack.ini.
  • If, on the other hand, you do want to import your previous configurations (like keyboard shortcuts, tunings, and other preferences), you will need to navigate to OpenMPT’s setting folder by using the “Configuration files” shortcut (if you have used the installer) or the file "open_settings_folder.bat" (if you have used the .zip archive). You may also use the “Show Settings Folder” option from the Help menu. In all cases, you will be redirected to the folder %APPDATA%\OpenMPT. From this folder, copy all of these files to the root directory of the portable mptrack.exe (i.e., into the same folder). This includes mptrack.ini, Keybindings.mkb, plugin.cache, SongSettings.ini and the tunings folder. Open mptrack.ini in a text editor (such as Notepad) and find the line which says [Paths]. Insert the following line after it:
    This will cause OpenMPT to look in the same folder as itself for the necessary files/folders.
    Close the file.
    Be sure to adjust the paths in the General and the Auto Save pages of the Options dialog.

Now OpenMPT is completely portable. If you will be working away from your main computer, be sure to copy all of your samples, instrument files, and plugins you need onto your portable drive (although they do not have to be in the same folder as the application).

Important notes: Special care has to be taken of modules with external content:

  • Plugins need to be installed on the same removable drive as OpenMPT or else they cannot be found on another computer. Some plugins cannot be used in a portable fashion since they may depend on program data on the system drive or registry entries.
  • Paths to external samples in MPTM modules are stored as relative paths to the MPTM file if possible, so they are portable as long the samples are stored on the same drive as the module file.