Raspberry Pi: Mopidy on a credit card

Mopidy runs nicely on a Raspberry Pi. As of January 2013, Mopidy will run with Spotify support on both the armel (soft-float) and armhf (hard-float) architectures, which includes the Raspbian distribution.


How to for Raspbian “wheezy” and Debian “wheezy”

This guide applies for both:

  • Raspbian “wheezy” for armhf (hard-float), and
  • Debian “wheezy” for armel (soft-float)

If you don’t know which one to select, go for the armhf variant, as it’ll give you a lot better performance.

  1. Download the latest “wheezy” disk image from http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/. This was last tested with the images from 2013-05-25 for armhf and 2013-05-29 for armel.

  2. Flash the OS image to your SD card. See http://elinux.org/RPi_Easy_SD_Card_Setup for help.

  3. If you have an SD card that’s >2 GB, you don’t have to resize the file systems on another computer. Just boot up your Raspberry Pi with the unaltered partions, and it will boot right into the raspi-config tool, which will let you grow the root file system to fill the SD card. This tool will also allow you do other useful stuff, like turning on the SSH server.

  4. You can login to the default user using username pi and password raspberry. To become root, just enter sudo -i.

  5. To avoid a couple of potential problems with Mopidy, turn on IPv6 support:

    • Load the IPv6 kernel module now:

      sudo modprobe ipv6
    • Add ipv6 to /etc/modules to ensure the IPv6 kernel module is loaded on boot:

      echo ipv6 | sudo tee -a /etc/modules
  6. Since I have a HDMI cable connected, but want the sound on the analog sound connector, I have to run:

    sudo amixer cset numid=3 1

    to force it to use analog output. 1 means analog, 0 means auto, and is the default, while 2 means HDMI. You can test sound output independent of Mopidy by running:

    aplay /usr/share/sounds/alsa/Front_Center.wav

    If you hear a voice saying “Front Center”, then your sound is working.

    To make the change to analog output stick, you can add the amixer command to e.g. /etc/rc.local, which will be executed when the system is booting.

  7. Install Mopidy and its dependencies as described in Debian/Ubuntu: Install from apt.mopidy.com.

  8. Finally, you need to set a couple of config values, and then you’re ready to run Mopidy. Alternatively you may want to have Mopidy run as a system service, automatically starting at boot.

Appendix A: Fixing audio quality issues

As of about April 2013 the following steps should resolve any audio issues for HDMI and analog without the use of an external USB sound card.

  1. Ensure your system is up to date. On Debian based systems run:

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
  2. Ensure you have a new enough firmware. On Debian based systems rpi-update can be used.

  3. Update either ~/.asoundrc or /etc/asound.conf to the following:

    pcm.!default {
            type hw
            card 0
    ctl.!default {
            type hw
            card 0

    Note that if you have an ~/.asoundrc it will overide any global settings from /etc/asound.conf.

  4. For Mopidy to output audio directly to ALSA, instead of Jack which GStreamer usually defaults to on Raspberry Pi, install the gstreamer0.10-alsa package:

    sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-alsa

    Then update your ~/.config/mopidy/mopidy.conf to contain:

    output = alsasink

Following these steps you should be able to get crackle free sound on either HDMI or analog. Note that you might need to ensure that PulseAudio is no longer running to get this working nicely.

This recipe has been confirmed as working by a number of users on our issue tracker and IRC. As a reference, the following versions where used for testing this, however all newer and some older version are likely to work as we have not determined the exact revision that fixed this:

$ uname -a
Linux raspberrypi 3.6.11+ #408 PREEMPT Wed Apr 10 20:33:39 BST 2013 armv6l GNU/Linux

$ /opt/vc/bin/vcgencmd version
Apr 25 2013 01:07:36
Copyright (c) 2012 Broadcom
version 386589 (release)

The only remaining known issue is a slight gap in playback at track changes this is likely due to gapless playback not being implemented and is being worked on irrespective of Raspberry Pi related work.

Appendix B: Raspbmc not booting

Due to a dependency version problem where XBMC uses another version of libtag than what Debian originally ships with, you might have to make some minor changes for Raspbmc to start properly after installing Mopidy.

If you notice that XBMC is not starting but gets stuck in a loop, you need to make the following changes:

sudo ln -sf /home/pi/.xbmc-current/xbmc-bin/lib/xbmc/system/libtag.so.1 \

However, this will not persist the changes. To persist the changes edit /etc/ld.so.conf.d/arm-linux-gnueabihf.conf and add the following at the top:


It’s very important to add it at the top of the file as this indicates the priority of the folder in which to look for shared libraries.

XBMC doesn’t play nicely with the system wide installed version of libtag that got installed together with Mopidy, but rather vendors in its own version.

More info about this issue can be found in this post.

Please note that if you’re running Xbian or another XBMC distribution these instructions might vary for your system.