8 Best Free and Open Source Linux Music Servers

A home computer makes an ideal appliance to store and stream music. The purpose of a music server is to deliver tracks when requested by a client. The server can deliver music to machines over a local area network as well as computers connected over the internet.

Linux is widely recognized as an ideal operating system to serve web pages. But the server capabilities of Linux extend far beyond merely providing HTTP servers.

There is a wide range of multimedia software available for Linux which turns your machine into a jukebox. There are even dedicated Linux distributions that turn your computer into a music server. This article identifies the best free software which enables your Linux machine to act as a music server, distributing digital tracks over a network. Such software supports popular audio formats such as FLAC, OGG Vorbis, and MP3.

We have focused on software which is simple to set up and has an easy to use interface.

Music server software can be put to a number of different uses. For example, it provides an excellent way to listen to your music collection at home, or to listen from a remote location. Alternatively, users can share their music with friends over the internet. However, it is important to remember that if you stream music to others on the internet, you should only use tracks that are available under a free license, or where permission has been obtained from the copyright owner.

Here are our recommendations. They are all free and open source software.

Ratings chart for the best free and open source music servers

Let’s explore the 8 music servers at hand. For each application we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, screenshots (where relevant), together with links to relevant resources.

Music Servers
Music Player DaemonFlexible, powerful, server-side application for playing music
JellyfinMedia system to manage and stream media
IcecastOgg Vorbis and MP3 streaming media server
AmpachePHP web based audio/video streaming application and file manager
FunkwhaleShare music and audio within a decentralized, open network
owntone-serverDAAP (iTunes), MPD (Music Player Daemon) and RSP (Roku) server
GerberaUPnP media server
AirsonicWeb-based media streamer
Best Free and Open Source SoftwareRead our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. Our curated compilation covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk.

There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.
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6 years ago

You said that VortexBox is dedicated music server. so , why it is not on the best list. I mean If some one wants to create a music server should he go for a dedicated one or third party software like you mentioned above…