by Spotifyd

Spotifyd / spotifyd

A spotify daemon

4.3K Stars 227 Forks Last release: 9 months ago (v0.2.24) GNU General Public License v3.0 402 Commits 81 Releases

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An open source Spotify client running as a UNIX daemon.

Spotifyd streams music just like the official client, but is more lightweight and supports more platforms. Spotifyd also supports the Spotify Connect protocol, which makes it show up as a device that can be controlled from the official clients.

Note: Spotifyd requires a Spotify Premium account.


Provided binaries

We provide pre-built binaries through GitHub Actions for the more popular platforms: Linux, macOS and ARMv7. You can find them here. For extra integrity, the file's SHA-512 gets calculated and uploaded as well.

The provided binaries come in two flavours,

. Each are compiled with different features.
only contains the platform's most used audio backend,
has also all optional features enabled (see Feature Flags).

Compiling from source

You can also compile

yourself, allowing you to make use of feature flags.
is written in Rust. You can download the toolchain (compiler and package manager) over at Follow their instructions to get started.

Note: Please make sure that you compile the package using the most recent

verison of Rust available throug
. Some distro versions are quite outdated and might result in compilation errors.

might require additional libraries during build and runtime, depending on your platform and the way to compile it (static or dynamic). The following table shows the libraries needed for each OS respectively.

| Target Platform | Libraries | |-----------------|------------------------------------------------------| | Fedora | alsa-lib-devel, make, gcc | | openSUSE | alsa-devel, make, gcc | | Debian | libasound2-dev libssl-dev libpulse-dev libdbus-1-dev | | macOS | dbus, pkg-config, portaudio |

Note: The package names for Linux are the ones used on Debian based distributions (like Ubuntu). You will need to adapt the packages for your distribution respectively.

To compile the binary, run

cargo build --release

To install the resulting binary, run

cargo install --path . --locked

Installing with Cargo

If you have

installed, you can directly install
by running:
cargo install spotifyd --locked

That will compile and install

's latest version under
for you.

Building a Debian package

You can use the

create in order to build a Debian package from source. Install it by:
$ cargo install cargo-deb

Then you can build and install the Debian package with:

$ cargo deb --install

Note, that when building a Debian package, the

is passed to the build command already and you do not need to specify it yourself. See for the flags that are set by default in

Feature Flags

is split into a base package plus additional features that can be toggled on or off during compilation. Those can be split into two groups: The audio backend features that are responsible for playing back the music and additional functionality features, which enhance your experience using

To enable an additional audio backend, pass

as a feature flag. We currently support

provides the following additional functionality:

| Feature Flag | Description | |--------------|-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | dbuskeyring | Provides password authentication over the system's keyring (supports all platforms) | | dbusmpris | Provides multimedia key support (Linux only) |

Note: Compiling Spotifyd with all features and the pulseaudio backend on Ubuntu would result in the following command:

cargo build --release --no-default-features --features pulseaudio_backend,dbus_keyring,dbus_mpris
Media controls

Spotifyd implements the MPRIS D-Bus Interface Specification, meaning that it can be controlled by generic media playback controllers such as playerctl as well as some tools specifically designed for use with the official Spotify client such as sp.

Note: Make sure to rename the service name within the

script to

Although the code greatly improved, this feature is still considered experimental. Make sure to open an issue if you encounter any issues while using other players to control

Audio Backends

By default, the audio backend is ALSA, as ALSA is available by default on a lot of machines and usually doesn't require extra dependencies. There is also support for


Note: To disable this audio backend, pass

down during compilation.

To use PulseAudio, compile with the

flag to enable it:
cargo build --release --features "pulseaudio_backend"

You will need the development package for PulseAudio, as well as

or the equivalent package of your distribution.

To use PortAudio (works on macOS), compile with the

flag to enable it:
cargo build --release --no-default-features --features="portaudio_backend"

Note: It is important that you also pass down

as macOS doesn't support the

To use Rodio (works on Windows, OSX, Linux), compile with the

flag to enable it:
cargo build --release --no-default-features --features="rodio_backend"

On Linux you will need the development package for alsa and make/gcc. (

on debian,
on fedora)


is able to run without configuration at all and will assume default values for most of the fields. However, running without configuration will only allow you to connect to it via Spotify Connect if you're on the same network as the daemon.

CLI options

can be configured using CLI arguments. For a detailed description as well as possible values for each flag, run
spotifyd --help

Configuration file

is able to load configuration values from a TOML file too. The file has to be named
and reside in the user's configuration directory (
) or the system configuration directory (
). This also applies to macOS!

The configuration file consists of two sections,

, whereas
takes priority over

The configuration file has the following format:

# Your Spotify account name.
username = "username"

Your Spotify account password.

password = "password"

A command that gets executed and can be used to

retrieve your password.

The command should return the password on stdout.


This is an alternative to the password field. Both

can't be used simultaneously.

password_cmd = "command_that_writes_password_to_stdout"

If set to true, spotifyd tries to look up your

password in the system's password storage.


This is an alternative to the password field. Both

can't be used simultaneously.

use_keyring = true

The audio backend used to play the your music. To get

a list of possible backends, run spotifyd --help.

backend = "alsa"

The alsa audio device to stream audio to. To get a

list of valid devices, run aplay -L,

device = "alsa_audio_device" # omit for macOS

The alsa control device. By default this is the same

name as the device field.

control = "alsa_audio_device" # omit for macOS

The alsa mixer used by spotifyd.

mixer = "PCM"

The volume controller. Each one behaves different to

volume increases. For possible values, run

spotifyd --help.

volume_controller = "alsa" # use softvol for macOS

A command that gets executed in your shell after each song changes.

on_song_change_hook = "command_to_run_on_playback_events"

The name that gets displayed under the connect tab on

official clients. Spaces are not allowed!

device_name = "device_name_in_spotify_connect"

The audio bitrate. 96, 160 or 320 kbit/s

bitrate = 160

The directory used to cache audio data. This setting can save

a lot of bandwidth when activated, as it will avoid re-downloading

audio files when replaying them.


Note: The file path does not get expanded. Environment variables and

shell placeholders like $HOME or ~ don't work!

cache_path = "cache_directory"

If set to true, audio data does NOT get cached.

no_audio_cache = true

Volume on startup between 0 and 100

initial_volume = 90

If set to true, enables volume normalisation between songs.

volume_normalisation = true

The normalisation pregain that is applied for each song.

normalisation_pregain = -10

The port spotifyd uses to announce its service over the network.

zeroconf_port = 1234

The proxy spotifyd will use to connect to spotify.

proxy = ""

The displayed device type in Spotify clients.

Can be unknown, computer, tablet, smartphone, speaker, tv,

avr (Audio/Video Receiver), stb (Set-Top Box), and audiodongle.

device_type = "speaker"

Alternatives to storing your password in the config file <!-- omit in toc -->

  • password_cmd
    config entry

This feature allows you to provide a command that prints your password to

, which saves you from having to store your password in the config file directly. To use it, set the
config entry to the command you would like to use and remove the
config entry.

For example (using the password-management utility pass).

  # ~/.config/spotifyd/spotifyd.conf
  password_cmd = "pass spotify"
  • use_keyring
    config entry /
    CLI flag <!-- omit in toc -->

This features leverages Linux's DBus Secret Service API or native macOS keychain in order to forgo the need to store your password directly in the config file. To use it, complile with the

feature and set the
config entry to
or pass the
CLI flag during start to the daemon. Remove the
config entries.

Your keyring entry needs to have the following attributes set:

  application: rust-keyring
  service: spotifyd

To add such an entry into your keyring, you can use

, a CLI used to communicate with agents that support the Secret Service API:
  secret-tool store --label='name you choose' application rust-keyring service spotifyd username 

You can use the keychain GUI on macOS to add an item respectively, or with the built-in

  security add-generic-password -s spotifyd -D rust-keyring -a  -w

Shell used to run commands indicated by
<!-- omit in toc -->

If either of these options is given, the shell

will use to run its commands is the shell indicated by the
environment variable, if set. If the
environment variable is not set,
will use the user's default shell, which, on Linux and BSD, is the shell listed in
. On macOS it is the shell listed in the output of
dscl . -read /Users/ UserShell

Running as a system service

on Linux


unit file is provided to help run spotifyd as a service on systemd-based systems. The file
should be copied to either:

Packagers of systemd-based distributions are encouraged to include the file in the former location. End-user should prefer the latter. It should be noted that some targets are not available when running under the user directory, such as

Control of the daemon is handed over to systemd. The following example commands will run the service once and enable the service to always run on login in the future respectively:

systemctl --user start spotifyd.service
systemctl --user enable spotifyd.service

on macOS

On macOS the system wide and per-user daemon/agent manager is known as

. Interfacing with
is performed through

In order to use

as a service on macOS one must specify a
that represents the service, and place it in

Here is a .plist which works with macOS Catalina 10.15.3:


Once present in the

directory, the .plist must be loaded and started with the following commands.

sudo launchctl load -w /Library/LaunchDaemons/rustlang.spotifyd.plist

sudo launchctl start /Library/LaunchDaemons/rustlang.spotifyd.plist

One may also unload/stop the service in a similar fashion replacing load/start with unload/stop.


  • You should update "YourUserName" with your actual username for macOS (or remove "UserName" to run as root.

  • The string, --no-daemon is needed as launchd won't receive a PID for the process and will lose its remit over spotifyd. So it's best to include it, there will be no difference in use, nor will you see any log output.

  • macOS tries to start the daemon immediately on boot, and spotifyd fails if Wifi isn't connected. So one must have a keep alive (which retries if it fails to launch on boot), that retries after 30 seconds, which is enough for wifi etc to come up.

Common issues

  • Spotifyd will not work without Spotify Premium
  • The device name cannot contain spaces


We always appreciate help during the development of

! If you are new to programming, open source or Rust in general, take a look at issues tagged with
good first issue
. These normally are easy to resolve and don't take much time to implement.


This project would not have been possible without the amazing reverse engineering work done in librespot, mostly by plietar.

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