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Simple Installation Instructions

Here are simple instructions for building and installing Shairport Sync on a Raspberry Pi B, 2B, 3B or 3B+. It is assumed that the Pi is running Raspbian Stretch Lite – a GUI isn't needed, since Shairport Sync runs as a daemon program. For a more thorough treatment, please go to the README.md page.

In the commands below, note the convention that a # prompt means you are in superuser mode and a $ prompt means you are in a regular non-priviliged user mode. You can use sudo ("SUperuser DO") to temporarily promote yourself from user to superuser, if permitted. For example, if you want to execute apt-get update in superuser mode and you are in user mode, enter sudo apt-get update.

Configure and Update

Do the usual update and upgrade:

# apt update
# apt upgrade

Note: The upgrade step above will automatically update to the most recent stable Rapsberry Pi firmware.

(Separately, if you haven't done so already, consider using the raspi-config tool to expand the file system to use the entire card.)

Turn Off WiFi Power Management

If you are using WiFi, you should turn off WiFi Power Management:

# iwconfig wlan0 power off

WiFi Power Management will put the WiFi system in low-power mode when the WiFi system is considered inactive, and in this mode it may not respond to events initiated from the network, such as AirPlay requests. Hence, WiFi Power Management should be turned off. (See TROUBLESHOOTING.md for more details.)

Reboot the Pi.

Remove Old Copies and Old Startup Scripts

Before you begin building Shairport Sync, it's best to search for and remove any existing copies of the application, called shairport-sync. Use the command $ which -a shairport-sync to find them. For example, if shairport-sync has been installed previously, this might happen:

$ which -a shairport-sync
/usr/local/bin/shairport-sync

Remove it as follows:

# rm /usr/local/bin/shairport-sync

Do this until no more copies of shairport-sync are found.

You should also remove the initialisation script files /etc/systemd/system/shairport-sync.service and /etc/init.d/shairport-sync if they exist – new ones will be installed if necessary.

Build and Install

Okay, now let's get the tools and sources for building and installing Shairport Sync.

First, install the packages needed by Shairport Sync:

# apt install build-essential git xmltoman autoconf automake libtool libdaemon-dev \
    libpopt-dev libconfig-dev libasound2-dev avahi-daemon libavahi-client-dev libssl-dev

Next, download Shairport Sync, configure it, compile and install it:

$ git clone https://github.com/mikebrady/shairport-sync.git
$ cd shairport-sync
$ autoreconf -fi
$ ./configure --sysconfdir=/etc --with-alsa --with-avahi --with-ssl=openssl --with-systemd
$ make
$ sudo make install

By the way, the autoreconf step may take quite a while on a Raspberry Pi -- be patient!

Now to configure Shairport Sync. Here are the important options for the Shairport Sync configuration file at /etc/shairport-sync.conf:

// Sample Configuration File for Shairport Sync on a Raspberry Pi using the built-in audio DAC
general =
{
  volume_range_db = 60;
};

alsa =
{
  output_device = "hw:0";
  mixer_control_name = "PCM";
};

The next step is to enable Shairport Sync to start automatically on boot up:

# systemctl enable shairport-sync

Finally, either reboot the Pi or start the shairport-sync service:

# systemctl start shairport-sync

The Shairport Sync AirPlay service should now appear on the network with a service name made from the Pi's hostname with the first letter capitalised, e.g. hostname raspberrypi gives a service name Raspberrypi. You can change the service name and set a password in the configuration file. BTW, you should never use an important password as the AirPlay password for a Shairport Sync player – the password is stored in Shairport Sync's configuration file in plain text and is thus completely vulnerable.

Connect and enjoy...

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