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cmus in the artist/album view
Original author(s) Timo Hirvonen
Initial release June 5, 2005; 11 years ago (2005-06-05)[1]
Stable release 2.7.1 (July 13, 2015; 13 months ago (2015-07-13)) [±]
Preview release 2.6.2 (June 29, 2015; 13 months ago (2015-06-29)) [±]
Written in C
Operating system Unix-like
Available in English
Type Audio player
License GNU General Public License

cmus (C* Music Player) is a small and fast console audio player for Unix-like operating systems. cmus is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) and operates exclusively through a text-based user interface, built with ncurses.

The text-only design reduces the resources needed to run the program, making it a strong choice for older or less-powerful computers as well as systems where a graphical environment (such as the X Window System) is not available.


cmus was originally written by Timo Hirvonen. At around June 2008 he discontinued development of cmus, which resulted in a fork named "cmus-unofficial" in November 2008. After a year of development, a take over request was sent to SourceForge, which was granted after a 90-day period without response from the original author.[2] This resulted in a merge of the fork back into the official project in February 2010.[3]

User interface[edit]

cmus' interface is centered on views. There are two views on the music library (an artist/album tree and a flat sortable list) and views on playlists, the current play queue, the file system and for filters/settings. There is always only one view visible at any time.

Owing to the console-orientation and portability goals of the project, cmus is controlled exclusively via the keyboard. Commands are loosely modeled after those of the vi text editor. General operation mimics being in command-mode of vi, where complex commands are issued by prepending them with a colon, (e.g. ":add /home/user/music-dir"), simpler, more common commands are bound to individual keys, such as "j/k" moving down/up, or "x" starting playback, and searches beginning with "/" as in "/the beatles".

Core features[edit]

cmus in the List view
cmus in the File Browser view
cmus in the Filter view

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Inital release tag
  2. ^ "SourceForge Ticket #6365". Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "Freshmeat announcement: cmus is alive". Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  4. ^ cmus added to OpenWrt

External links[edit]