Developer(s)XMMS Team
Initial releaseNovember 1997 (1997-November)
Final release1.2.11 (November 16, 2007; 16 years ago (2007-11-16)) [±]
Preview releasenone (none) [±]
Written inC, C++ (GTK+ 1.x)[citation needed]
Operating systemUnix-like
TypeAudio player

X Multimedia System (XMMS) is an audio player for Unix-like systems released under a free software license.


XMMS was originally written as x11amp by Peter and Mikael Alm in November 1997.[1] The player was made to resemble Winamp, which was first released in May that year. x11amp received Winamp skin support in version 0.7 on May 6th, 1998.[2] Though the original release was made under a license that did not provide any access to the program's source code, it is now released under the GPL-2.0-or-later.

On June 10, 1999, 4Front Technologies decided to sponsor x11amp development and the project was renamed to XMMS[3] - the name being an acronym for X MultiMedia System. Most XMMS users take this to mean "X11 MultiMedia System" or "X Window System MultiMedia System"; the official interpretation of the "X" is "Cross-platform".[4]

In 2002, Peter Alm initiated the XMMS2 project, aiming to produce a successor to XMMS using all new code and devoted solely to audio playback.[5]


XMMS has continued to use GTK+ 1.x toolkit, despite the current version being GTK 4. The primary reason for this reluctance to upgrade is that many XMMS plugins (written by third parties) are dependent on the older version of GTK+ to properly function, e.g., "about" boxes and configuration dialogs. Many software developers also consider the XMMS codebase to be poorly designed and difficult to maintain. These factors led to various forks and related projects:


XMMS's default theme. Here the three windows have been docked together. The top left box is the main control panel; the bottom left is the optional equalizer, and the right box is the playlist editor.

XMMS currently supports the following audio and video file formats:


Xmms skinned with imported wsz on Ubuntu 11.10 with cue info activated.

XMMS has a default skin provided, but it is also possible to use any WSZ classic skins to enhance the graphic attractiveness of the player. (see attached image)


Xmms with xmms-coverviewer in action on Ubuntu 11.10.

xmms-coverviewer is an XMMS plugin which allows XMMS to display album art and further enhance the graphical interface of the player. (see attached image)


  1. ^ "Discussion with XMMS developers". SlashNET. 1999-06-13. Archived from the original on 2007-08-28. Retrieved 2006-11-04.
  2. ^ "X11AMP [Previous news]". 1999-04-17. Archived from the original on 1999-04-17. Retrieved 2024-02-18.
  3. ^ "Press Release". 4Front Technologies. 1999. Retrieved 2006-11-04.
  4. ^ XMMS - X Multimedia System: A Cross platform Multimedia Player
  5. ^ "About". Archived from the original on 2010-04-17. Retrieved 2015-05-26. XMMS2 is a project started (in late 2002) by one of XMMS's original authors - Peter Alm - to produce a "kick-ass music player" (much like the world's 347349739921 other music player projects). In short, XMMS2 is the next generation XMMS. So, XMMS2 is definitely an audio player. But it is not a general multimedia player - it will not play videos. It has a modular framework and plugin architecture for audio processing, visualisation and output, but this framework has not been designed to support video.
  6. ^ "Youki - Audio Player". Ubuntu Forums. 2009. Retrieved 2010-05-18.
  7. ^ "History/Prehistory". As the number of applications using (or switching to) GTK2 grows, users grow dissatisfied with the XMMS team's inertia, regarding GTK2 support. Milosz Derezynski forks XMMS to begin the Beep Media Player project, while Mohammed Sameer does the same and names his effort 'XMMS2'. Sameer's project is eventually abandoned, and he relinquishes the 'XMMS2' name.
  8. ^ all4mp3.com - Thomson mp3PRO Plugins
  9. ^ Musepack - Plugins
  10. ^ xiph.org - Vorbis audio compression
  11. ^ Etree - xmmms-shn — SHN plugin for XMMS
  12. ^ http://mcmcc.bat.ru/xmms-wma/ Index of /xmms-wma Archived July 15, 2013, at the Wayback Machine