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Mopidy extension for controlling Mopidy through D-Bus using the MPRIS specification.

Mopidy-MPRIS supports the minimum requirements of the MPRIS specification as well as the optional Playlists interface. The TrackList interface is currently not supported.

Table of contents



Install the mopidy-mpris package:

sudo apt install mopidy-mpris

If you want the latest version of Mopidy-MPRIS, add as an APT archive on your system.

Arch Linux

Install the mopidy-mpris package from AUR:

yaourt -S mopidy-mpris

Other distributions

If Mopidy-MPRIS isn't packaged for your Linux distribution yet, install the dependencies yourself:

  • pydbus D-Bus Python bindings, which again depends on python-gi. Thus it is usually easiest to install with your distribution's package manager.

Then install the package from PyPI:

pip install Mopidy-MPRIS


No configuration is required for the MPRIS extension to work.

The following configuration values are available:

  • mpris/enabled: If the MPRIS extension should be enabled or not. Defaults to true.
  • mpris/bus_type: The type of D-Bus bus Mopidy-MPRIS should connect to. Choices include session (the default) and system.


Once Mopidy-MPRIS has been installed and your Mopidy server has been restarted, the Mopidy-MPRIS extension announces its presence on D-Bus so that any MPRIS compatible clients on your system can interact with it. Exactly how you control Mopidy through MPRIS depends on which MPRIS client you use.


The following clients have been tested with Mopidy-MPRIS.

GNOME Shell builtin

Not working
Tested versions:
Ubuntu 18.10, GNOME Shell 3.30.1-2ubuntu1, Mopidy-MPRIS 2.0.0

GNOME Shell, which is the default desktop on Ubuntu 18.04 onwards, has a builtin MPRIS client. This client seems to work well with Spotify's player, but Mopidy-MPRIS does not show up here.

If you have any tips on what's missing to get this working, please open an issue.


Tested versions:
Ubuntu 18.10, GNOME Shell 3.30.1-2ubuntu1, gnome-shell-extension-mediaplayer 63, Mopidy-MPRIS 2.0.0

gnome-shell-extensions-mediaplayer is a quite feature rich MPRIS client built as an extension to GNOME Shell. With the improvements to Mopidy-MPRIS in v2.0, this extension works very well with Mopidy.


Tested versions:
Ubuntu 18.10, GNOME Shell 3.30.1-2ubuntu1, gnome-shell-extensions-mpris-indicator-button 5, Mopidy-MPRIS 2.0.0

gnome-shell-extensions-mpris-indicator-button is a minimalistic version of gnome-shell-extensions-mediaplayer. It works with Mopidy-MPRIS, with the exception of the play/pause button not changing state when Mopidy starts playing.

If you have any tips on what's missing to get the play/pause button display correctly, please open an issue.

Ubuntu Sound Menu


Historically, Ubuntu Sound Menu was the primary target for Mopidy-MPRIS' development. Since Ubuntu 18.04 replaced Unity with GNOME Shell, this is no longer the case. It is currently unknown to what degree Mopidy-MPRIS works with old Ubuntu setups.

If you run an Ubuntu setup with Unity and have tested Mopidy-MPRIS, please open an issue to share your results.

Advanced setups

Running as a service

If you have input on how to best configure Mopidy-MPRIS when Mopidy is running as a service, please add a comment to issue #15.

MPRIS on the system bus

You can set the mpris/bus_type config value to system. This will lead to Mopidy-MPRIS making itself available on the system bus instead of the logged in user's session bus.


Few MPRIS clients will try to access MPRIS devices on the system bus, so this will give you limited functionality. For example, media keys in GNOME Shell does not work with media players that expose their MPRIS interface on the system bus instead of the user's session bus.

The default setup will often not permit Mopidy to publish its service on the D-Bus system bus, causing a warning similar to this in Mopidy's log:

MPRIS frontend setup failed (g-dbus-error-quark:
GDBus.Error:org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.AccessDenied: Connection ":1.3071"
is not allowed to own the service "org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.mopidy" due to
security policies in the configuration file (9))

To solve this, create the file /etc/dbus-1/system.d/org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.mopidy.conf with the following contents:

<!DOCTYPE busconfig PUBLIC "-//freedesktop//DTD D-BUS Bus Configuration 1.0//EN"
  <!-- Allow mopidy user to publish the Mopidy-MPRIS service -->
  <policy user="mopidy">
    <allow own="org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.mopidy"/>

  <!-- Allow anyone to invoke methods on the Mopidy-MPRIS service -->
  <policy context="default">
    <allow send_destination="org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.mopidy"/>
    <allow receive_sender="org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.mopidy"/>

If you run Mopidy as another user than mopidy, you must update user="mopidy" in the above file accordingly.

Once the file is in place, you must restart Mopidy for the change to take effect.

To test the setup, you can run the following command as any user on the system to play/pause the music:

dbus-send --system --print-reply \
  --dest=org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.mopidy \
  /org/mpris/MediaPlayer2 \

UPnP/DLNA with Rygel

Rygel is an application that will translate between Mopidy's MPRIS interface and UPnP. Rygel must be run on the same machine as Mopidy, but will make Mopidy controllable by any device on the local network that can control a UPnP/DLNA MediaRenderer.

The setup process is approximately as follows:

  1. Install Rygel.

    On Debian/Ubuntu/Raspbian:

    sudo apt install rygel
  2. Enable Rygel's MPRIS plugin.

    On Debian/Ubuntu/Raspbian, edit /etc/rygel.conf, find the [MPRIS] section, and change enabled=false to enabled=true.

  3. Start Rygel.

    To start it as the current user:

    systemctl --user start rygel

    To make Rygel start as the current user on boot:

    systemctl --user enable rygel
  4. Configure your system's firewall to allow the local network to reach Rygel. Exactly how is out of scope for this document.

  5. Start Mopidy with Mopidy-MPRIS enabled.

  6. If you view Rygel's log output with:

    journalctl --user -feu rygel

    You should see a log statement similar to:

    New plugin "org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.mopidy" available
  1. If everything went well, you should now be able to control Mopidy from a device on your local network that can control an UPnP/DLNA MediaRenderer, for example the Android app BubbleUPnP.

Alternatively, upmpdcli combined with Mopidy-MPD serves the same purpose as this setup.

Development tips

Mopidy-MPRIS has an extensive test suite, so the first step for all changes or additions is to add a test exercising the new code. However, making the tests pass doesn't ensure that what comes out on the D-Bus bus is correct. To introspect this through the bus, there's a couple of useful tools.

Browsing the MPRIS API with D-Feet

D-Feet is a graphical D-Bus browser. On Debian/Ubuntu systems it can be installed by running:

sudo apt install d-feet

Then run the d-feet command. In the D-Feet window, select the tab corresponding to the bus you run Mopidy-MPRIS on, usually the session bus. Then search for "MediaPlayer2" to find all available MPRIS interfaces.

To get the current value of a property, double-click it. To execute a method, double-click it, provide any required arguments, and click "Execute".

For more information on D-Feet, see the GNOME wiki.

Testing the MPRIS API with pydbus

To use the MPRIS API directly, start Mopidy, and then run the following in a Python shell to use pydbus as an MPRIS client:

>>> import pydbus
>>> bus = pydbus.SessionBus()
>>> player = bus.get('org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.mopidy', '/org/mpris/MediaPlayer2')

Now you can control Mopidy through the player object. To get properties from Mopidy, run for example:

>>> player.PlaybackStatus
>>> player.Metadata
{'mpris:artUrl': '',
 'mpris:length': 342000000,
 'mpris:trackid': '/com/mopidy/track/36',
 'xesam:album': '65/Milo',
 'xesam:albumArtist': ['Kiasmos'],
 'xesam:artist': ['Rival Consoles'],
 'xesam:discNumber': 1,
 'xesam:title': 'Arp',
 'xesam:trackNumber': 5,
 'xesam:url': 'spotify:track:7CoxEEsqo3XdvUsScRV4WD'}

To pause Mopidy's playback through D-Bus, run:

>>> player.Pause()

For details on the API, please refer to the MPRIS specification.

Project resources