Audacity currently uses libsndfile to open many uncompressed audio formats such as WAV, AIFF, and AU, and it can also be linked to libmad, libvorbis, and libflac, to provide support for opening MP2/3, Ogg Vorbis, and FLAC files, respectively. LAME, libvorbis, libflac and libtwolame provide facilities to export files to all these formats as well.
Audacity is primarily an interactive, graphical editor, not a batch-processing tool. Whilst there is a basic batch processing tool it is experimental and incomplete. If you need to batch-process audio or do simple edits from the command line, using sox or ecasound driven by a bash script will be much more powerful than audacity.
Note that older versions of Audacity put the temp directory inside of the user's home directory. This is undesirable on many systems, and using some directory in /tmp is recommended.
On many modern Linux systems all files in /tmp/ will be deleted each time the system boots up, which makes recovering a recording that was going on when the system crashed much harder. This is why the default is to use a directory in /var/tmp/ which will not normally be deleted by the system. Open the Preferences to check.
For localization files in particular (i.e. translations of Audacity into other languages), Audacity also searches <prefix>/share/locale
Audacity supports two types of plug-ins on Unix: LADSPA and Nyquist plug-ins. These are generally placed in a directory called plug-ins somewhere on the search path (see above).
LADSPA plug-ins can either be in the plug-ins directory, or alternatively in a ladspa directory on the search path if you choose to create one. Audacity will also search the directories in the LADSPA_PATH environment variable for additional LADSPA plug-ins.
Nyquist plug-ins can either be in the plug-ins directory, or alternatively in a nyquist directory on the search path if you choose to create one.
Audacity is distributed under the GPL, however some of the libraries it links to are distributed under other free licenses, including the LGPL and BSD licenses.
For details of known problems, see the release notes and the audacity wiki:
To report a bug, see the instructions at