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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 configuration 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).


To configure cmus, see cmus(1).

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.

To use cmus-remote in Openbox, see Openbox#rc.xml.


To make cmus work with JACK server run the above command in cmus:

:set output_plugin=jack

Audio scrobbling

Cmus does not 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


Cannot see tracks after adding

If you cannot see tracks just added, that can be because you did not install ffmpeg package. You can see available files extension with:

$ cmus --plugins

See also