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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.


After performing any configuration, remember to restart the daemon.

# systemctl restart subsonic

For details on using systemctl, see Systemd#Using_units.

Configure permissions

By default, Subsonic runs as root. The following instructions make Subsonic run as user "subsonic".

Stop the daemon if it's running. Add a system user named "subsonic". Optionally, add this user to the "audio" group to enable the jukebox feature.

# systemctl stop subsonic
# useradd --system subsonic
# gpasswd --add subsonic audio

Create several folders and customize their permissions.

# cd /var/subsonic
# chown -R subsonic:subsonic .
# test -d transcode || mkdir transcode
# chown -R root:root transcode

Change this line in /var/subsonic/


to this:

sudo -u subsonic ${JAVA} -Xmx${SUBSONIC_MAX_MEMORY}m \

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/subsonic/transcode folder. Create the transcode folder if it does not already exist, then make the necessary symlinks.

# mkdir /var/subsonic/transcode
$ cd /var/subsonic/transcode
# ln -s `which ffmpeg`
# ln -s `which flac`
# ln -s `which lame`


To enable HTTPS browsing and streaming, edit /var/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.


UTF-8 file names not added to the database

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.

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 -


Madsonic is a fork of Subsonic with extra features, does not require a registration fee (read completely free) 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