3 unstable releases

0.3.0 Jan 14, 2021
0.2.25 Jan 12, 2021
0.2.24 Jan 24, 2020
0.2.23 Jan 11, 2020
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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, slim and full. Each are compiled with different features. slim only contains the platform's most used audio backend, full has also all optional features enabled (see Feature Flags).

Compiling from source

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

Note: Please make sure that you compile the package using the most recent stable verison of Rust available throug rustup. Some distro versions are quite outdated and might result in compilation errors.

Spotifyd 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 cargo installed, you can directly install spotifyd by running:

cargo install spotifyd --locked

That will compile and install spotifyd's latest version under $HOME/.cargo/bin for you.

Building a Debian package

You can use the cargo-deb 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 --release 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 Cargo.toml.

Feature Flags

Spotifyd 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 spotifyd.

To enable an additional audio backend, pass <audio_backend_name>_backend as a feature flag. We currently support alsa, pulseaudio and portaudio.

Spotifyd provides the following additional functionality:

Feature Flag Description
dbus_keyring Provides password authentication over the system's keyring (supports all platforms)
dbus_mpris 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 sp script to spotifyd!

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 spotifyd.

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 pulseaudio and portaudio.

Note: To disable this audio backend, pass --no-default-features down during compilation.


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 package of your distribution.


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

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

Note: It is important that you also pass down --no-default-features as macOS doesn't support the alsa_backend feature!


To use Rodio (works on Windows, OSX, Linux), compile with the --features 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. (libasound2-dev,build-essential on debian, alsa-lib-devel,make,gcc on fedora)


Spotifyd 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

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

spotifyd --help

Configuration file

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

The configuration file consists of two sections, global and spotifyd, whereas spotifyd takes priority over global.

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

# If set to true, `spotifyd` tries to bind to the session dbus
# and expose MPRIS controls. When running headless, without a dbus session,
# then set this to false to avoid binding errors
use_mpris = 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 = "http://proxy.example.org:8080"

# 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

  • password_cmd config entry

    This feature allows you to provide a command that prints your password to stdout, which saves you from having to store your password in the config file directly. To use it, set the password_cmd config entry to the command you would like to use and remove the password config entry.

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

    # ~/.config/spotifyd/spotifyd.conf
    password_cmd = "pass spotify"
  • use_keyring config entry / --use-keyring CLI flag

    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 dbus_keyring feature and set the use-keyring config entry to true or pass the --use-keyring CLI flag during start to the daemon. Remove the password and/or password_cmd config entries.

    Your keyring entry needs to have the following attributes set:

    application: rust-keyring
    service: spotifyd
    username: <your-spotify-username>

    To add such an entry into your keyring, you can use secret-tool, 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 <your-username>

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

    security add-generic-password -s spotifyd -D rust-keyring -a <your username> -w

Shell used to run commands indicated by password_cmd or on_song_changed_hook

If either of these options is given, the shell spotifyd will use to run its commands is the shell indicated by the SHELL environment variable, if set. If the SHELL environment variable is not set, spotifyd will use the user's default shell, which, on Linux and BSD, is the shell listed in /etc/passwd. On macOS it is the shell listed in the output of dscl . -read /Users/<username> UserShell.

Running as a system service

on Linux

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. It should be noted that some targets are not available when running under the user directory, such as network-online.target.

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 launchd. Interfacing with launchd is performed through launchctl.

In order to use spotifyd as a service on macOS one must specify a .plist that represents the service, and place it in /Library/LaunchDaemons.

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

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">

Once present in the /Library/LaunchDaemons 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 spotifyd! 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.


~483K SLoC