From ArchWiki

Pianobar is a free/open-source, console-based client for the personalized online radio Pandora (only available in the USA).


  • play and manage (create, add more music, delete, rename, ...) stations
  • rate songs and explain why they have been selected
  • upcoming songs/song history
  • customize keybindings and text output
  • remote control and eventcmd interface (send tracks to last.fm, for example)
  • proxy support for listeners outside the USA
Tip: Since Pianobar is a command line interface based program it can be placed in a different vterm than your desktop and be left to run.


Install the pianobar package.


First, you need to create a configuration file for Pianobar. This should be located at $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/pianobar/config or ~/.config/pianobar/config

$ man pianobar
       The  configuration file consists of simple key = value lines, each ter‐
       minated with a newline (\n) character. Note that keys  and  values  are
       both  case  sensitive, and there must be exactly one space on each side
       of the equals sign.

       act_* keys control pianobar's key-bindings.  Every  one-byte  character
       except for \x00 and the special value disabled are allowed here.

Here is an example configuration file. See pianobar(1) for more configuration options.

$ ~/.config/pianobar/config
audio_quality = {high, medium, low}
autostart_station = stationid

password = plaintext_password
user = your@user.name


Sound Quality Issues

If you are experiencing sound/quality issues when running pianobar, and you are currently using ALSA as your sound driver, the following fixes may be useful.

Warning: The provided fixes may affect other applications that use audio as the default driver is being changed.
  1. Install alsa-oss. See the ALSA page for more information.
    • Change the default libao driver from alsa to oss.
    • # /etc/libao.conf
    • Now run pianobar
      • $ aoss pianobar
  2. Alternatively, you can use pulseaudio.
    • # /etc/libao.conf
Note: Be sure to remove the dev=default option of the alsa driver or adjust it to specify a specific Pulse sink name or number.

Network Error

If you are receiving the "Network error: Peer certificate cannot be authenticated with given CA certificates", try adding the following line to your .config/pianobar/config file:

ca_bundle = /etc/ca-certificates/extracted/tls-ca-bundle.pem

See also