MPRIS (Media Player Remote Interfacing Specification) is a standard D-Bus interface which aims to provide a common programmatic API for controlling media players.
It provides a mechanism for discovery, querying and basic playback control of compliant media players, as well as a track list interface which is used to add context to the active media item.
- deadbeefAUR (using deadbeef-mpris2-pluginAUR)
- Dragon Player
- KDE#KDE Connect
- Music Player Daemon/Tips and tricks#MPRIS support
The playerctl utility provides a command line tool to send commands to MPRIS clients. The most common commands are
$ playerctl play-pause $ playerctl next $ playerctl previous
playerctl will send the command to the first player it finds. To select a player manually, use the
--player option, e.g.
--player=vlc. For better automation playerctl comes with a daemon that keeps track of media player activity and directs commands to the one with most recent activity. You can spun it into the background with:
$ playerctld daemon
In order to start playerctld when you log in, you may create the following systemd/User service:
[Unit] Description=Keep track of media player activity [Service] Type=oneshot ExecStart=/usr/bin/playerctld daemon [Install] WantedBy=default.target
You should then do a daemon-reload before enabling the service with the
Additionally, playerctld has the ability to change an "active" player, which can be useful when you have multiple simultaneous media streams:
To switch to the next player, use:
$ playerctld shift
To switch to the previous player, use:
$ playerctld unshift
The mpris_player_control is a shell script which integrates
pactl to control MPRIS clients. It supports the Play, Pause, PlayPause and Stop actions and sink volume control (mute/unmute/up/down) for Spotify.
mpris_player_control -h to show basic script usage.
An alternative to the above is to manually use D-Bus, which should be available by default as it is a dependency of systemd.
For example, the following commands can be used to control Spotify:
$ dbus-send --print-reply --dest=org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.spotify /org/mpris/MediaPlayer2 org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.Player.PlayPause $ dbus-send --print-reply --dest=org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.spotify /org/mpris/MediaPlayer2 org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.Player.Next $ dbus-send --print-reply --dest=org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.spotify /org/mpris/MediaPlayer2 org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.Player.Previous $ dbus-send --print-reply --dest=org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.spotify /org/mpris/MediaPlayer2 org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.Player.Stop
Media control from bluetooth headsets and similar devices may be forwarded to MPRIS.
Install the bluez-utils package and run
mpris-proxy. In order to start up mpris-proxy in the background and/or when your system starts, you may create a systemd/User service:
[Unit] Description=Forward bluetooth media controls to MPRIS [Service] Type=simple ExecStart=/usr/bin/mpris-proxy [Install] WantedBy=default.target
Then do a daemon-reload before you start/enable the service with the