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Subsonic is a music server that lets you store your music on one machine and play it from other machines, cell phones, via a web interface, or various other applications. It can be installed using the subsonicAUR package on AUR. As of version 6, the software is not open source anymore.


After performing any configuration, remember to restart subsonic.service.

Install transcoders

By default, Subsonic uses FFmpeg to transcode videos and songs to an appropriate format and bitrate on-the-fly. After installation, you can change these defaults so that, for example, Subsonic will transcode FLAC files using FLAC and LAME instead of FFmpeg. You should therefore Install the ffmpeg, and you may also want to install flac and lame.

For security reasons, Subsonic will not search the system for any transcoders. Instead, the user must create symlinks to the transcoders in the /var/lib/subsonic/transcode folder. Create the symlinks like so:

$ cd /var/lib/subsonic/transcode
# for transcoder in ffmpeg flac lame; do ln -s "$(which $transcoder)"; done


With Subsonic

To enable HTTPS browsing and streaming, edit /var/lib/subsonic/ and change this line:


To this:

Note: port 8443 seems hard-coded somewhere. When attempting to change it to port 8080 it will automatically redirect the browser to port 8443 after manually accepting the invalid HTTPS certificate. You will still be able to re-navigate to port 8080 after the warning page and have it work on that port.

With Nginx

If you already have multiple web services running, it might be easier to use a single SSL configuration everywhere. The following Nginx configuration runs Subsonic under :

server {
    listen              443 default ssl;
    ssl_certificate     cert.pem
    ssl_certificate_key key.pem

    location /subsonic {
      proxy_set_header X-Real-IP         $remote_addr;
      proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For   $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
      proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto https;
      proxy_set_header Host              $http_host;
      proxy_max_temp_file_size           0;
      proxy_pass               ;
      proxy_redirect                     http:// https://;

To run Subsonic under a different path, you have to set the following options in /var/lib/subsonic/ :


With LightTPD

The following configuration makes LightTPD accept HTTPS connections and proxy them to localhost. An advantage of this approach is that Subsonic does not need to be aware of SSL settings, and it can be left with default settings. This configuration is also designed to play well with the case where LightTPD is hosting multiple sites at a single IP address.

# Documentation at:
# Check for errors: lighttpd -t -f /path/to/config
server.modules += ("mod_proxy", "mod_redirect")
server.username       =  "http"
server.groupname      =  "http"       =  "/var/run/"
server.errorlog       =  "/var/log/lighttpd/error.log"
server.document-root  = "/srv/http/"
index-file.names = ("index.html")
mimetype.assign = (
    ".avi"       =>  "video/x-msvideo",
    ".css"       =>  "text/css",
    ".html"      =>  "text/html",
    ".jpg"       =>  "image/jpeg",
    ".log"        =>  "text/plain",
    ".markdown"  =>  "text/plain",
    ".md"        =>  "text/plain",  # markdown
    ".mkv"       =>  "video/x-matroska",
    ".mp4"       =>  "video/mp4",
    ".nfo"        =>  "text/plain",
    ".png"       =>  "image/png",
    ".rc"        =>  "text/plain",
    ".rst"       =>  "text/plain",  # reStructuredText
    ".svg"       =>  "image/svg+xml",
    ".txt"       =>  "text/plain",
    ".xml"       =>  "application/xml",
    ""           =>  "application/octet-stream"

$SERVER["socket"] == ":80" {
    $HTTP["host"] == "" {
        url.redirect = ("^/(.*)" => "$1")

$SERVER["socket"] == ":443" {
    # A default ssl.pemfile is required. It can be overridden in specific host
    # blocks. It *may* also be possible to override, but this has
    # not been tested.
    ssl.engine  = "enable"
    ssl.use-sslv3 = "disable" = "/etc/lighttpd/ssl/GandiStandardSSLCA2.pem"
    ssl.pemfile = "/etc/lighttpd/ssl/"

    $HTTP["host"] == "" {
        ssl.pemfile = "/etc/lighttpd/ssl/"
        proxy.server = (
            # This proxying is completely transparent to clients. We load
            # balance requests for this path or extension...
            "" => (
                # ... among the following servers. The string naming each server
                # is just a label, and it has little functional impact. (It
                # might affect log file output?)
                ("host" => "", "port" => 4040)


FLAC playback

The FFmpeg transcoder doesn't handle FLAC files well, and clients will often fail to play the resultant streams. (at least, on my machine) Using FLAC and LAME instead of FFmpeg solves this issue. This workaround requires that the FLAC and LAME transcoders have been installed, as explained in #Install transcoders.

Start Subsonic and go to settings > transcoding. Ensure that the default FFmpeg transcoder does not get used on files with a "flac" extension, then add a new entry. You'll end up with something like this:

Name Convert from Convert to Step 1 Step 2
mp3 default ... NOT flac ... mp3 ffmpeg ...  
mp3 flac flac mp3 flac --silent --decode --stdout %s lame --silent -h -b %b -

UTF-8 file names not added to the database

Tango-view-refresh-red.pngThis article or section is out of date.Tango-view-refresh-red.png

Reason: The default init system under Arch is now Systemd, not SysV. (Discuss in Talk:Subsonic#)

You must have at least one UTF-8 locale installed.

If you start subsonic using /etc/rc.d/subsonic, and your /etc/rc.conf has DAEMON_LOCALE="no", then the subsonic daemon will be started with the C locale, and Java will skip any folders with "international characters" (e.g. ßðþøæå etc.). Either set DAEMON_LOCALE to "yes" (but this will affect all rc.daemons), or add a line to the beginning of /var/subsonic/ which sets LANG to an installed UTF-8 locale, e.g. LANG=nn_NO.utf8.

Accessing the database

Subsonic stores all its data inside a HyperSQL database in /var/lib/subsonic/db. You can access it with a simple web interface by going to http://localhost:4040/db.view (replace with your Subsonic URL).

You can also use the SQLTool command-line tool from the HyperSQL distribution, found in hsqldb2-javaAUR.

Warning: This tool cannot be run concurrently with your Subsonic instance and severely corrupt your database if misused, since newer versions of SqlTool automatically try to upgrade the database to a version that Subsonic does not support. The following assumes that you have a copy of the database in the db.copy directory.

This command can be run interactively without other arguments :

$ java -jar /usr/share/java/sqltool.jar --inlineRc=url=jdbc:hsqldb:file:db.copy/libresonic,user=sa,password=
SqlTool v. 5337.
JDBC Connection established to a HSQL Database Engine v. 2.3.3 database

It can also run commands non-interactively. This command exports all the contents in the MEDIA_FILE table :

$ java -jar /usr/share/java/sqltool.jar --inlineRc=url=jdbc:hsqldb:file:db.copy/libresonic,user=sa,password= - <<< '\xq MEDIA_FILE'
8074 row(s) fetched from database.
Wrote 3252295 characters to file 'MEDIA_FILE.csv'.

This command exports the whole database as a SQL file :

$ java -jar /usr/share/java/sqltool.jar --inlineRc=url=jdbc:hsqldb:file:db.copy/libresonic,user=sa,password= - <<< "backup database to 'backup.tar' script not compressed;"
1 / 1 subsonic.script...


Madsonic is a (non-free) fork of Subsonic with extra features and is available in AUR.

Once you start the server, pay close attention to the Transcoding options, as you will probably have to change the command from "Audioffmpeg" to "ffmpeg".

External links