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cmus (C* MUsic Player) is a small, fast and powerful console audio player which supports most major audio formats. Various features include gapless playback, ReplayGain support, MP3 and Ogg streaming, live filtering, instant startup, customizable key-bindings, and vi-style default key-bindings.


Install the cmus package, or cmus-gitAUR for the development version.

See the optional dependencies for available codecs and output plugins (installed can be listed with cmus --plugins).

Using cmus with ALSA

Install the alsa-lib package.

When using cmus with ALSA the default configuration does not allow playing music. What you might encounter when trying to start cmus is a blank terminal line with no output whatsoever. To fix it, create a new config file and set the following variables

set output_plugin=alsa
set dsp.alsa.device=default
set mixer.alsa.device=default


See cmus(1), cmus-tutorial(7) and cmus-remote(1).


Tango-edit-cut.pngThis section is being considered for removal.Tango-edit-cut.png

Reason: Next paragraph duplicates man pages. (Discuss in Talk:Cmus#)

To configure cmus start it and switch to the configuration tab by pressing 7. Now you can see a list of default keybindings. Select a field in the list with the arrow keys and pressEnter to edit the values. You can also remove bindings with D or del. To edit unbound commands and option variables scroll down in the list to the relevant section. Variables can also be toggled instead of edited with space. Cmus allows changing the color of nearly every interface element. You can prefix colors with "light" to make them appear brighter and set attributes for some text elements.

Remote Control

Cmus can be controlled externally through a unix-socket with cmus-remote. This makes it easy to control playback through an external application or key-binding.

One such usage of this feature is to control playback in Cmus with the XF86 keyboard events. The following script when run will start Cmus in an xterm terminal if it is not running, otherwise it will will toggle play/pause:


if ! pgrep -x cmus ; then
  xterm -e cmus
  cmus-remote -u

Copy the code above into a file ~/bin/cplay and make it executable.

Tango-edit-cut.pngThis section is being considered for removal.Tango-edit-cut.png

Reason: Duplicates Openbox#rc.xml. (Discuss in Talk:Cmus#)

To use cmus-remote in Openbox, edit ~/.config/openbox/rc.xml and change the following key-bindings to look like this:

Note: Make sure there are no conflicting keybindings in rc.xml
    <keybind key="XF86AudioPlay">
      <action name="Execute">
        <command>cmus-remote -u</command>
    <keybind key="XF86AudioNext">
      <action name="Execute">
        <command>cmus-remote -n</command>
    <keybind key="XF86AudioPrev">
      <action name="Execute">
        <command>cmus-remote -r</command>

Now when you use the XF86AudioPlay key on your keyboard, cmus will open up. If it is opened already it will then start playing. Using the XF86AudioNext and XF86AudioPrev keys will change tracks.

Audio Scrobbling

Cmus doesn't support audio scrobbling itself, but there is third party solutions. Install cmusfmAUR for or scrobbling. For initial configuration run cmusfm init and follow link to perform authentication.

By default cmusfm scrobbles to the service. However, it is possible to change this behavior by modifying service-api-url and service-auth-url options in the configuration file (~/.config/cmus/cmusfm.conf). Afterwards, one should reinitialize cmusfm cmusfm init in order to authenticate with new scrobbling service. In order to use as a scrobbling service, one shall use configuration as follows:

service-api-url = ""
service-auth-url = ""

Next step is to set cmusfm as status program for cmus. Execute command in main cmus window :set status_display_program=cmusfm

See also