The 7 Best Command Line Music Players for Linux

Linux has a powerful command line and it is an essential utility for major operations of the Linux operating system. It is especially useful for system-level administrative tasks such as installing or uninstalling software, folder or file operations, user management, and more.

The Linux command line also provides a unique and little-known music player feature. You can listen to your favorite music using command line based music players.

These music players are fast and consume less memory than GUI apps. So let’s take a look at some of your best options for command line music players.


MOC or Music On Console is a minimalist music player for Linux. It is based on a command line interface and you can use your keyboard to browse your audio files. You can navigate to a directory and play the audio files from there using MOC.

MOC supports all major audio formats and also works in the background so you can perform other tasks on your system. You can press the Q button to minimize the MOC player and also change its theme using different color schemes.

The app consumes little memory, so you won’t experience any lag while playing. To enhance your music experience, it also has an equalizer and mixer.

Additionally, MOC lets you assign hotkeys for various music player operations. And since it’s open-source, it’s free for everyone. If you are a musician, you can check out these great Linux apps for musicians.

To download: MOC (Free)


mpg123 is an open source music player for Linux. Its command-line interface makes it more efficient and gives you a smooth music player experience. Its terminal control keys allow you to use the media player with your keyboard.

mpg123 also supports audio shuffle and you can easily create your playlists. You can also fine-tune the sound with its real-time equalizer.

Along with all these features, the player is also quite customizable. You can customize audio settings such as gapless playback and mono or stereo output. It also supports ReplayGain, which normalizes the volume of all your audio files.

mpg123 is a free application that is constantly updated and improved with new features and optimizations. It is light on your resources and occupies less space than other music players.

To download: mpg123 (Free)

3. cmus

cmus is a fast command-line music player for Linux. Like other apps on this list, it uses less system resources which makes it fast. If you are using an older device, cmus will give you a good music player experience.

cmus provides continuous playback to play your music without any pauses. It also provides a ReplayGain function to normalize the volume.

You can browse your system directories to add music to cmus from anywhere. Moreover, it allows you to add or edit audio queues, and you can also create your custom playlists.

The app also lets you search for a song on your device. And you can bind keys to various operations to quickly access its features. You can control the music player remotely via the “cmus-remote” command. And the best part is that it is a free and open source application.

To download: cmus (Free)

4. music cube

musikcube is a feature-rich music player for Linux with a command-line interface that makes it work smoothly on all Linux devices. It also supports audio streaming from multiple online sources.

musikcube has a file scan feature that recognizes your music files in the device directory. It also supports crossfade playback, which makes transitioning from song to song smoother.

You can create your favorite playlist and add or edit your music queue. There is no need to worry about the number of audio files in your directory because musikcube supports huge volumes.

musikcube is also an open source application like many others on this list. Similar to cmus, you can also use it for remote play.

To download: musikcube (Free)

5. Tera

If you want to listen to your favorite radio station through your music player, Tera is a great option. It is a music player as well as a radio player in one app.

As you might have guessed, it is based on a command line interface. You can listen to your favorite songs from the device directory and tune to your favorite radio stations directly from the terminal.

Tera provides all major music player features such as creating and editing playlists, shuffling your audio files, managing music queue, and much more. You can also search for your favorite radio station by name, state or language.

Tera has over 27,000 radio stations available and you can save your favorite stations as a list. The application is open-source and free.

To download: Tera (Free)

6. ncmpcpp

ncmpcpp is a highly customizable command line based music player for Linux. You can customize the interface as well as the audio settings according to your preferences. It runs on Music Player Daemon which is a famous music player server.

With ncmpcpp, you can edit tags of your audio files which help you find various audio files easily. The app lets you create and edit playlists, and your local media library will show you all the audio files in your device’s directories.

The app’s music visualization feature will generate visually appealing patterns when you listen to music. And if an artist’s details are missing from your song, ncmpcpp can retrieve the missing details from online servers.

To download: ncmpcpp (Free)

7. Tizonia

Tizona is a powerful cloud-based music player. It supports all major streaming sites like Spotify, SoundCloud, YouTube, TuneIn, Google Play Music and others. You can stream your music through a simple and fast command line interface.

Tizonia supports a wide range of audio formats, and it’s also useful for playing music from your local files. It has robust audio and streaming engines that make it fast and optimized.

It also supports remote control function through its interface. And its command-line interface lets you keep music playing in the background while performing other tasks.

Tizonia is readily available for all major Linux distributions. It is an open-source music player and totally free to use. If you are a Spotify user, you can check out some of the best Linux alternatives for Spotify.

To download: Tizonia (Free)

Listen to music through the Linux terminal

Command line music players are not well known to most Linux users. But these music players are quite easy to install and use. These apps offer a whole new music player experience compared to GUI-based apps.

As these apps do not consume much resources, you can easily multitask on your device. And they can also work well on older devices. So, browse through the music players listed above and select the one that suits your device.

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