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Linux audio software

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Linux audio software

The following is an incomplete list of Linux audio software.

Audio players


  • Banshee is a free audio player for Linux which uses the GStreamer multimedia platforms to play, ‬encode, and decode Ogg Vorbis, MP3, and other formats. Banshee supports playing and importing audio CDs and playing and synchronizing music with iPods. Audioscrobbler API support.
  • BMP, also known as Beep Media Player, is a free audio player based on XMMS multimedia player (mentioned below). It looks like Winamp and also supports its skins, including XMMS’s. BMP supports most of the audio formats that XMMS does; the main difference is between plugins that these players use. BMP has been discontinued in favor of BMPx, which shares very little of BMP's codebase.
  • Clementine is a cross-platform, open-source, Qt based audio player, written in C++. It can play Internet radio streams; managing some media devices, playlists; supports visualizations, Audioscrobbler API. It was made as a spin-off of Amarok 1.4 and is a rougher version of said program.
  • Decibel Audio Player is a GTK+ audio player made in Python. It is targeted at the Gnome desktop environment and follows the Gnome Human Interface Guidelines. Its goal is to be fast and straightforward to use, with a clean and user-friendly interface. It is built around a modular structure that lets the user disable unneeded features.
  • Exaile is a free software audio player for Unix-like operating systems that aims to be functionally similar to KDE’s Amarok. Unlike Amarok, Exaile is a Python program and uses the GTK+ toolkit.
  • Muine is an audio player for the GNOME desktop environment. Muine is written in C# using Mono and Gtk#. The default backend is GStreamer framework but Muine can also use xine libraries.
  • Quod Libet is a GTK+ based audio player, written in Python. Its main distinguishing feature is its approach to music library management. Instead of categorizing the songs by genre, artist, and album, the focus is on search and display. Quod Libet supports regular expression searches of its music library, and is stated to perform efficiently with music libraries of over 10,000 titles.
  • Rhythmbox is an audio player inspired by Apple iTunes.
  • Songbird is a cross-platform, open-source media player and web browser. It is built using code from the Firefox web browser. The GUI is very similar to Apple iTunes, and it is also capable of syncing with Apple iPods. Like Firefox, Songbird is extensible via downloadable add-ons. It's able to display lyrics retrieved from the net, and also the ones embedded through metadata (ID3v2 tag) after adding the LyricMaster plugin. Linux official support for Songbird was discontinued in April, 2010. But in December, 2011 a group of programmers openly forked it into Nightingale.


  • GMPC (Gnome Music Player Client) is a front end for Music Player Daemon. It’s fast and easy to use, while still making optimal use of all the functions in MPD.
  • Cantata is a KDE-based front-end for Music Player Daemon.
  • Ario is a light GTK2 client to MPD


  • Amarok is a free music player for Linux and other Unix-like operating systems using KDE. It uses Phonon to play audio.
  • aTunes is a free, cross-platform audio player for operating systems supporting the Java programming language (Linux and other Unix-like OS's, Windows, Mac). aTunes is also capable of playing Internet radio streams and automatically displaying associated artist information, song videos, and song lyrics.
  • Audacious is a free media player for Linux or Linux-based systems. Audacious can be expanded via plugins, including support for all popular codecs. On most systems a useful set of plugins is installed by default, supporting MP3, Ogg Vorbis and FLAC files.[1] Audacious' classic interface looks and feels very similar to Winamp. It is compatible with ladspa plugins.
  • cmus is a small and fast text-mode music player for Linux and many other Unix-like operating systems.
  • herrie is a minimalistic text-mode music player. It is written to support a variety of operating systems (including Apple MacOS X, BSD Unix, Linux, and MS Windows via Cygwin), audio subsystems and file formats, including playlists. It has somewhat vi-like keybindings with a split-screen interface and what its developers call "more exotic features" such as AudioScrobbler support and built-in support for chroot-ing itself to a directory.
  • JuK is a free software audio player for KDE, the default player since KDE 3.2. JuK supports collections of MP3, Ogg Vorbis, and FLAC audio files.
  • mpg123 is a real time MPEG 1.0/2.0/2.5 audio player/decoder for layers 1,2 and 3 (MPEG 1.0 layer 3 aka MP3 most commonly tested). Among others working with Linux, MacOSX, FreeBSD, SunOS4.1.3, Solaris 2.5, HPUX 9.x, SGI Irix and Cygwin or plain Windows. It is free software licensed under LGPL 2.1
  • MOC is an ncurses-based console audio player. It is designed to be powerful and easy to use, and its command structure and window layouts are similar to the Midnight Commander console file manager. It is very configurable, with ALSA, OSS or JACK outputs, customizable color schemes, interface layouts, key bindings, and tag parsing.
  • SoX is a multi-platform command-line audio editor.
  • XMMS (X MultiMedia System) is a GTK1-based multimedia player which works on many platforms, but has some features which only work under Linux. XMMS can play media files such as .ogg, MP3, MOD’s, WAV and others with the use of input plugins. It is a free software audio player similar to Winamp that runs on many Unix-like operating systems. However, development of XMMS has been deprecated in favor of XMMS2, a new audio player built from scratch on the more modern GTK2 libraries. See also Audacious on this page as a successor to the historic XMMS.
  • Tomahawk is a cross-platform music player built with social media and multi-source music streaming in mind. It features support for services like Spotify, Grooveshark, Dilandau, SoundCloud, 4shared, Jamendo,, Ampache, Owncloud, and Subsonic.

Distributions and Add-Ons

Graphical programming

  • Pure Data or Pd, graphical programming language.
  • VSXu does not produce/filter sound but can visualize audio data in real time.

Audio programming languages (text-based)

  • ChucK, an audio programming language for realtime synthesis, composition, and performance.
  • Csound, composition, synthesis and processing.
  • Nyquist, Lisp-based language for sound generation and analysis. Audacity supports plug-ins written in the Nyquist language.
  • SuperCollider, Smalltalk-like language for real-time audio synthesis.

DJ tools

Drum machines

  • Breakage, a machine learning drum machine
  • Giada (website), a loop/drum machine, sequencer, live sampler and effect host
  • Gneutronica is a simple MIDI drum machine and rudimentary sequencer program
  • Hydrogen, drum machine and sequencer
  • Jackbeat, drum machine
  • Musing, commercial Beat Maker, Drum Software, Beat Machine
  • Ordrumbox, drum machine software
  • SDDM, sample player for multi-layer drumkit samples

Recording, editing and mastering

  • Ardour, a multi-track audio recorder. DAW
  • Aria Maestosa, a multi-track MIDI sequencer.
  • Audacity, audio editor.
  • Baudline, signal analyzer.
  • Bitwig, commercial digital audio workstation
  • Buzztrax, music composer.
  • Denemo, score editor
  • Ecasound, audio recorder.
  • Energy-Xt, commercial digital audio workstation
  • Gnome Wave Cleaner, denoise, dehiss and amplify.
  • Impro-Visor, edit and playback jazz solos over chord changes and rhythm.
  • Jokosher, audio editor.
  • Jamin, Jack Audio Mastering INterface - multiband equalizer and band compressor
  • LilyPond, score typesetter.
  • LinuxSampler, sampler.
  • LMMS, music composer. DAW
  • Mp3gain, adjust MP3 playback volume without re-encoding.
  • Mp3splt, splits MP3 and Ogg Vorbis files without re-encoding.
  • MusE, MIDI sequencer (not to be confused with MuSE).
  • NoteEdit, score writer.
  • MuseScore, score writer.
  • Protux, a multi-track audio recorder.
  • Renoise, commercial modern tracker-style sequencer.
  • ReZound, audio editor.
  • Qtractor, a full featured multi-track DAW, with audio and MIDI sequencer.
  • Rosegarden, MIDI sequencer. DAW
  • Seq24, a loop based midi sequencer.
  • Sweep, audio editor.
  • Tracktion, commercial digital audio workstation
  • Traverso DAW, a multi-track audio recorder.

Sound servers

  • aRts, the KDE 3 soundserver.
  • Phonon, the multimedia framework provided by Qt 4 and used in KDE 4.
  • EsounD, the Enlightened Sound Daemon.
  • JACK Audio Connection Kit, low latency sound server.
  • NAS, the Network Audio System.
  • NMM, Network-Integrated Multimedia Middleware.
  • PulseAudio, a sound server. A drop-in replacement for EsounD.

Patch bays

  • Qjackctl, JACK control panel and patch bay


  • Amsynth
  • din, software synthesiser, musical instrument (uses computer mouse as bow)
  • FluidSynth, with the QSynth interface.
  • Gnaural, binaural beat and pink noise synthesizer.
  • LMMS, tracker/sequencer/synth.
  • PySynth, a simple software synthesizer in Python.
  • TiMidity, Play/Convert MIDI files as/to PCM
  • ZynAddSubFX, software synthesizer.

Effects processing

  • FreqTweak, real-time audio processing with spectral displays.
  • LADSPA, the Linux Audio Developers Simple Plugin API.
  • DSSI, Disposable Soft Synth Interface, a virtual instrument (software synthesizer) plugin architecture.
  • SoX, the Audio Swiss Army knife.
  • LV2, is the new audio Linux standard for plugins.

Format transcoding

Radio broadcasting

  • Airtime, an automation system for radio stations.
  • Campcaster (discontinued), an automation system for radio stations.
  • Icecast, free server software for streaming multimedia.
  • Liquidsoap, Swiss-army knife for multimedia streaming.
  • OpenBroadcaster, Radio station in a box.

Radio listening

  • Streamtuner, browse and listen to hundreds of streamed radio stations.

Tablature software

  • TuxGuitar, a tabulature editor, score writer and player oriented for guitarists.

See also


External links

  • Linux Audio and Sound – Application and Software Index at
  • Linux Musicians - Making music on Linux
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