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Installing Audacious on OS X

03 Mar 2014

iTunes: love it or hate it, you gotta admit: a lot of people hate it. It's not so much a music player as it is a way of life, keeping you in the bubble of its library. Recently I gave Ubuntu a whirl, and was impressed by the Audacious music player, evoking fond memories of Winamp back in the days. Unfortunately, the Audacious project does not produce OS X builds, but it's easy to build it yourself.

It is very refreshing to live without the Library and re-discover some forgotten, mistagged music stashed far away. So, without further ado, let's try to build Audacious on OS X.

Update: The MacPorts package repository now includes Audacious. This makes installing it even easier!

Install XQuartz

The Audacious interface requires an X server. I personally use XQuartz for this, although you might also install Xorg through MacPorts using the xorg port. But let's use XQuartz for now.

  • Download and install XQuartz.
  • After the XQuartz installation is finished, log out and log in again, to make XQuartz the default X server.

Install Xcode

To compile software, you need a compiler toolchain. Apple provides one as part of Xcode.

  • Install Xcode from the App Store.
  • Open Terminal, and agree to the Xcode license:

    sudo xcodebuild -license

  • Still in Terminal, install the Xcode command line tools:

    xcode-select --install

Install MacPorts

MacPorts is a repository of free software, with an easy packaging and installation system.

  • Download and install the MacPorts package for your OS X version.

  • If you already had MacPorts installed, update your ports to the latest version:

    sudo port selfupdate && sudo port upgrade outdated

Install Audacious

  • From the Terminal, install Audacious:

    sudo port install audacious audacious-plugins

  • To get the icons working in Audacious, use this command once:

    sudo -s 'gdk-pixbuf-query-loaders > /opt/local/lib/gdk-pixbuf-2.0/2.10.0/loaders.cache'

  • Audacious uses dbus. To have dbus start automatically, use:

    launchctl load -w /Library/LaunchAgents/org.freedesktop.dbus-session.plist


Now you are ready to run Audacious! Initially, XQuartz must be started manually, but if you have logged out once, XQuartz should autostart when you run Audacious.

  • From the Terminal:

    audacious &

  • To control your Audacious instance, you can use Audtool. For help, try:

    audtool help

Don't forget to choose the Winamp classic interface (under View - Interface), and party like it's 1999!

Audacious GUI