Original author(s)Timo Hirvonen
Initial releaseJune 5, 2005; 17 years ago (2005-06-05)[1]
Stable release2.10.0 (July 5, 2022; 6 months ago (2022-07-05)) [±]
Written inC
Operating systemUnix-like
Available inEnglish
TypeAudio player

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 GPL-2.0-or-later 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

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

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


  1. ^ Initial release tag
  2. ^ "SourceForge Ticket #6365". Archived from the original on 12 November 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2017.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  3. ^ "Freshmeat announcement: cmus is alive". Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  4. ^ cmus added to OpenWrt