Running as a service

If you want to run Mopidy as a service using either an init script or a systemd service, there’s a few differences from running Mopidy as your own user you’ll want to know about. The following applies to Debian, Ubuntu, Raspbian, and Arch. Hopefully, other distributions packaging Mopidy will make sure this works the same way on their distribution.


All configuration is in /etc/mopidy/mopidy.conf, not in your user’s home directory.

mopidy user

The Mopidy service runs as the mopidy user, which is automatically created when you install the Mopidy package. The mopidy user will need read access to any local music you want Mopidy to play.


To run Mopidy subcommands with the same user and config files as the service uses, you can use sudo mopidyctl <subcommand>. In other words, where you’ll usually run:

mopidy config

You should instead run the following to inspect the service’s configuration:

sudo mopidyctl config

The same applies to scanning your local music collection. Where you’ll normally run:

mopidy local scan

You should instead run:

sudo mopidyctl local scan

Service management with systemd

On modern systems using systemd you can enable the Mopidy service by running:

sudo systemctl enable mopidy

This will make Mopidy start when the system boots.

Mopidy is started, stopped, and restarted just like any other systemd service:

sudo systemctl start mopidy
sudo systemctl stop mopidy
sudo systemctl restart mopidy

You can check if Mopidy is currently running as a service by running:

sudo systemctl status mopidy

Service management on Debian

On Debian systems (both those using systemd and not) you can enable the Mopidy service by running:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure mopidy

Mopidy can be started, stopped, and restarted using the service command:

sudo service mopidy start
sudo service mopidy stop
sudo service mopidy restart

You can check if Mopidy is currently running as a service by running:

sudo service mopidy status

Service on OS X

If you’re installing Mopidy on OS X, see Running Mopidy automatically on login.

Configure PulseAudio

When using PulseAudio, you will typically have a PulseAudio server run by your main user. Since Mopidy is running as its own user, it can’t access this server directly. Running PulseAudio as a system-wide daemon is discouraged by upstream (see here for details). Rather you can configure PulseAudio and Mopidy so Mopidy sends the sound to the PulseAudio server already running as your main user.

First, configure PulseAudio to accept sound over TCP from localhost by uncommenting or adding the TCP module to /etc/pulse/ or $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/pulse/ (typically ~/.config/pulse/

### Network access (may be configured with paprefs, so leave this commented
### here if you plan to use paprefs)
#load-module module-esound-protocol-tcp
load-module module-native-protocol-tcp auth-ip-acl=
#load-module module-zeroconf-publish

Next, configure Mopidy to use this PulseAudio server:

output = pulsesink server=

After this, restart both PulseAudio and Mopidy:

pulseaudio --kill
sudo systemctl restart mopidy

If you are not running any X server, run pulseaudio --start instead of start-pulseaudio-x11.

If you don’t want to hard code the output in your Mopidy config, you can instead of adding any config to Mopidy add this to ~mopidy/.pulse/client.conf: