The 7 Best Command Line Music Players for Linux

Linux has a powerful command line and it is an essential utility for major operations in the Linux operating system. It is particularly useful for system-level administrative tasks such as software installation or removal, folder or file operations, user management, and much more.

The Linux command line also offers a unique and not so well-known music player feature. You can listen to your favorite music using command line music players.

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

1. MOC

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 folder 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 the theme using different color schemes.

The app consumes little memory, so you will not experience any delay during playback. To enhance your music experience, it also has an equalizer and a mixer.

In addition, MOC allows you to assign hotkeys for various music player operations. And because it’s open source, it’s free for everyone. If you are a musician, check out these great Linux apps for musicians.

to download: MOC (Free)


mpg123 is an open source music player for Linux. The command line interface makes it more efficient and gives you a seamless music player experience. The control keys on the terminal 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 the real-time equalizer.

In addition to all that functionality, the player is also quite customizable. You can adjust audio settings, such as uninterrupted playback and mono or stereo output. It also supports ReplayGain, which normalizes the loudness of all your audio files.

mpg123 is a free app that is constantly updated and improved with new features and optimizations. It is light on your resources and takes up 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, making 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 pause. It also offers a ReplayGain function for normalizing the volume.

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

The app also allows you to search for a song on your device. And you can bind keys to various operations to quickly access the functions. You can control the music player remotely via the command “cmus-remote”. And the best part is that it’s an open-source, free app.

to download: cmus (Free)

4. music cube

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

musikcube has a file scanning feature that recognizes your music files in the device folder. It also supports crossfading playback, which makes the transition from one track to another smoother.

You can create your favorite playlist and add or edit your music queue. You don’t have to worry about the number of audio files in your directory as musikcube supports huge volumes.

musikcube is also an open-source app like many others on this list. As with cmus, you can also use it for remote playback.

to download: music cube (Free)

5. Tera

If you want to listen to your favorite radio station through your music player, Tera is a great option. It is both a music player and 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 in to your favorite radio stations directly from the terminal.

Tera offers all the important music player features such as creating and editing playlists, shuffling your audio files, managing the 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 app is open source and free.

to download: Tera (Free)

6. ncmpcpp

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

ncmpcpp allows you to edit tags for your audio files that help you find different audio files easily. The app allows you to create and edit playlists, and your local media library shows you all the audio files present in your device directories.

The music visualization feature of the app generates visually appealing patterns when you play the music. And if the detail of an artist is missing in your song, ncmpcpp can retrieve the missing details from online servers.

to download: ncmpcpp (Free)

7. Tizonia

Tizona is a powerful music player based on the cloud. It has support for 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 has support for a wide variety of audio formats and is 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 the remote control function through the interface. And thanks to the command-line interface, you can keep the music playing in the background while you do other tasks.

Tizonia is easily available for all major Linux distributions. It is an open-source music player and completely free to use. If you are a Spotify user, you can check out some of the best Linux alternatives to 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 as compared to the GUI based apps.

Since these apps don’t take up a lot of resources, you can easily multitask on your device. And they can work well on older devices too. So, go through the music players mentioned above and select the right one for your device.

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