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*
  • 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 1.8 or newer
    • An x64-compatible CPU
  • Some kind of soundcard, preferably with native low-latency ASIO support
  • A display resolution of 800x600 or higher, preferably much higher.

*Most computers capable of running Windows 7 will fulfill this requirement.

64-bit vs. 32-bit[edit]

If you run a 64-bit operating system, you should generally use the 64-bit version of OpenMPT.
If you must use 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. If you use more 32-bit plugins than you do 64-bit plugins, you should use the 32-bit version of OpenMPT to lessen performance issues.

If in doubt, you can install both versions in separate directories and use either one at your discretion.


OpenMPT can also take advantage of some peripherals, such as:

  • A 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.*

*OpenMPT's system requirements are independent from any software plugin(s) you might use with it. Since some plugins can require higher system requirements than OpenMPT itself, you should also check the system requirements of any plugin(s) you plan on using.


  1. Download a version of OpenMPT.
  2. Install OpenMPT.
    • If you are using the Installer software for OpenMPT, you will be asked for the directory you wish to install OpenMPT into.
    • If you are updating from 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.
      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.
    • If you are using the .zip archive, unzip the archive to the folder of your choice.*
  3. Run OpenMPT.
When run 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 you should first set up your soundcard settings by opening the “Sound Card” tab in the Setup dialog. Consult the section on Soundcard Options for determining the proper settings for your system. OpenMPT’s conservative default settings should work on all Windows systems, but adjusting the options to better meet your system's capabilities will likely give you a better experience.

*Keep in mind that the .zip archived version is not configured to be portable by default. See Portability for instructions to configure it for such a use-case.


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. The Installer allows you to install a portable version of OpenMPT, which will not touch the registry (unless you choose to set up file associations) 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.

  1. Copy all of the files in the original OpenMPT folder to a new folder on the portable drive.
  2. Make adjustments for configuration storage:
    • 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:

      This will cause OpenMPT to look in the same folder as itself for the necessary files/folders.
      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:
      1. Navigate to OpenMPT's setting folder (%APPDATA%\OpenMPT). This can be achieved by any of the following methods:
        • Using the “Configuration files” shortcut from the Installer
        • Using the open_settings_folder.bat from the .zip archive
        • Using the “Show Settings Folder” option from the Help menu
      2. Copy all files to the root directory of the portable mptrack.exe (i.e. the same folder OpenMPT is located). This includes mptrack.ini, Keybindings.mkb, plugin.cache, SongSettings.ini and the tunings folder.
      3. Open mptrack.ini in a text editor 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.

      4. Close the file.

Be sure to adjust the paths in the General and the Paths / Auto Save pages of the Options dialog.

After the above changes, OpenMPT should be completely portable. If you will be working away from your main computer, remember to copy any samples, instrument files, and plugins you plan on using somewhere you can access them.

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.