A spotify daemon
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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.

Spotifyd requires a Spotify Premium account.

What happened to the old spotifyd, written in C?

Unfortunately, Spotify decided to kill the libspotify library we used, and hence we had no choice but to rewrite everything.


Travis CI builds binaries for systems running Linux on AMD64 and ARMv6 which should run on any Raspberry Pi model. The binaries can be found here. Other systems have to build from source for now. You will need the ALSA package for your distribution, e.g. libasound2-dev on Ubuntu.

Detailed install instructions can be found on the wiki.

Build from source

The Rust compiler and Cargo package manager are needed:

cargo build --release

The resulting binary will be placed in target/release/spotifyd.

The default is to build spotifyd with an ALSA backend, but it is possible to build with other audio backends, making Spotifyd availible on platforms other than Linux, by adding the --no-default-features argument to cargo and supplying an alternative backend (see the Configuration section).


Spotifyd will search for a file name spotifyd.conf in the XDG config directories (meaning, a users local config is placed in ~/.config/spotifyd/spotifyd.conf, a system wide config is in /etc/spotifyd.conf or in /etc/xdg/spotifyd/spotifyd.conf) and has the following format:

username = USER
password = PASS
backend = alsa
device = alsa_audio_device # Given by `aplay -L`
mixer = PCM
volume-control = alsa # or alsa_linear, or softvol
#onevent = command_run_on_playback_event
device_name = name_in_spotify_connect # Cannot contain spaces
bitrate = 96|160|320
cache_path = cache_directory
volume-normalisation = true
normalisation-pregain = -10

Every field is optional; Spotifyd can even run without a configuration file. Options can also be placed in a [spotifyd] section which takes priority over the [global] section. This is useful when you run applications related to Spotifyd which shares some, but not all, options with Spotifyd.

Values can be surrounded by double quotes (") which is useful if the value contains the comment character (#).

Command Line Arguments

spotifyd --help gives an up-to-date list of available arguments. The command line arguments allows for specifying a PID file, setting a verbose mode, run in no-daemon mode, among other things.

Audio Backend

By default, the audio backend is ALSA, as ALSA is available by default on a lot of machines and requires no extra dependencies. There is also support for pulseaudio and portaudio.


To use PulseAudio, compile with the --features flag to enable it:

cargo build --release --features pulseaudio_backend

You will need the development package for PulseAudio, as well as build-essential or the equivalent in your distribution.


To use PortAudio (works on OSX), compile with the --features flag to enable it:

cargo build --release --no-default-features --features portaudio_backend

You will need the development package for PortAudio (brew install portaudio), as well as build-essential or the equivalent in your distribution.


Spotifyd communicates over the Spotify Connect protocol, meaning that it can be controlled from the official Spotify client on Android/iOS/Desktop.

For a more lightweight and scriptable alternative, there is the Spotify Connect API.


Spotifyd implements D-Bus MPRIS which means it can be controlled by some generic media playback controllers such as playerctl as well as some tools specifically designed for use with the official Spotify client such as sp (requires changing the DBus service name to spotifyd instead of spotify).

The D-Bus server is currently experimental. Enable the dbus_mpris feature when compiling to try it out.

Running as a systemd service

A systemd.service unit file is provided to help run spotifyd as a service on systemd-based systems. The file contrib/spotifyd.service 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.

Control of the daemon is then done via 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


In --no-daemon mode, the log is written to standard output, otherwise it is written to syslog, and where it's written can be configured in your system logger.

The verbose mode adds more information; please enable this mode when submitting a bug report.

Common Issues

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


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