ncmpc is a command-line client for the Music Player Daemon (MPD).
By default, ncmpc connects to the local MPD instance. A different MPD
instance can be selected using the command line options
--port, or by setting the environment
ncmpc --host=musicserver --port=44000
You can connect to a “local” socket by setting the host to a file path
/run/mpd/socket”). Abstract sockets can be used with a “
prefix (e.g. “
To use a password with MPD, set
password@host or use the command line option
--password. Values from the command line override values
from the environment.
- -?, --help¶
- -V, --version¶
Display version information and build-time configuration.
- -c, --colors¶
- -C, --no-colors¶
- -m, --mouse¶
The MPD host to connect to.
- --port=PORT, -p PORT¶
The port to connect to.
- -P, --password=PASSWORD¶
Use password when connecting.
- -f, --config=FILE¶
Read configuration from file.
- -k, --key-file=FILE¶
Read key bindings from file.
When ncmpc starts it tries to read the user’s configuration file,
~/.config/ncmpc/config). If no user configuration file is
found then ncmpc tries to load the global settings from
$SYSCONFDIR/ncmpc/config (the actual path is displayed in the
output of the
--version option). An example configuration
config.sample) is shipped with ncmpc.
host = HOST - The MPD host to connect to.
port = PORT - The port to connect to.
password = PASSWORD - Use password when connecting.
timeout = TIMEOUT - Attempt to reconnect to mpd if a
response to a command is not received within TIMEOUT
seconds. Specifying a value in the configuration file overrides the
MPD_TIMEOUT” environment variable. If no timeout is
specified in the configuration file or in the environment, the default
is 5 seconds.
enable-mouse = yes|no - Enable mouse support (if enabled at compile time).
screen-list = SCREEN1 SCREEN2... - A list of screens to cycle through when using the commands screen-next (bound to “Tab” by default) and screen-prev (“Shift+Tab”). Valid choices, if enabled at compile time, are:
The default is
playlist browser, i.e. the “Tab” key cycles only
between those two pages.
library-page-tags = TAG1 TAG2 ... - A list of tags to group
the library page. The default is
search-mode = MODE - Default search mode for the search screen. MODE must be one of title, artist, album, filename, and artist+title, or an integer index (0 for title, 1 for artist etc.).
auto-center = yes|no - Enable/disable auto center mode. When auto center mode is enabled ncmpc centers the current track in the playlist window.
scroll-offset = NUM - Keep at least NUM lines above and below the cursor on list windows, if possible.
find-show-last = yes|no - Show the most recent query instead of a blank line for a find.
find-wrap = yes|no - Wrapped find mode.
wrap-around = yes|no - Wrapped cursor movement.
bell-on-wrap = yes|no - Ring bell when find wraps around.
audible-bell = yes|no - Sound audible bell on alerts.
visible-bell = yes|no - Visible bell on alerts.
crossfade-time = CROSSFADE TIME - Default crossfade time in seconds.
seek-time = NUM - Seek forward/backward by NUM seconds.
lyrics-timeout = NUM - Quits downloading lyrics of a song after the timeout of NUM seconds is reached, if NUM is greater than zero.
jump-prefix-only = yes|no - When using the jump command, search for the prefix of an entry. That means typing “m” will start to the first entry which begins with “m”.
lyrics-autosave = yes|no - Automatically save lyrics after receiving them.
lyrics-show-plugin = yes|no - Show the name of the plugin used to receive lyrics on the lyrics screen.
text-editor = EDITOR - The text editor used for editing lyrics.
text-editor-ask = yes|no - Ask before starting an editor.
chat-prefix = PREFIX - Prefix messages send with the chat
screen with PREFIX. By default they are prefixed with the current
user name enclosed by
> and a space (i.e. “<name> “).
second-column = yes|no - Display song length in a second column.
welcome-screen-list = yes|no - Show a list of the screens in the top line.
wide-cursor = yes|no - Make the cursor as wide as the screen.
hardware-cursor = yes|no - Use the terminal’s hardware cursor instead of inverse colors.
hide-cursor = NUM - Hide the playlist cursor after NUM seconds of inactivity.
scroll = yes|no - Scroll the title if it is too long for the screen.
scroll-sep = STRING - the separator to show at the end of the scrolling title.
list-format = SONG FORMAT - The format used to display songs in the main window.
search-format = SONG FORMAT - The format used to display songs in the search window. Default is to use list-format.
status-format = SONG FORMAT - The format used to display songs on the status line.
status-message-time = TIME - The time, in seconds, for which status messages will be displayed.
display-time = yes|no - Display the time in the status bar when idle.
timedisplay-type = elapsed|remaining|none - Sets whether to
display remaining or elapsed time in the status window. Default is
none doesn’t show the time at all.
visible-bitrate = yes|no - Show the bitrate in the status bar when playing a stream.
set-xterm-title = yes|no - Change the XTerm title (ncmpc will not restore the title).
xterm-title-format = SONG FORMAT - The format used to for the xterm title when ncmpc is playing.
enable-colors = yes|no - Enable/disable colors. Defaults
The colors used by ncmpc can be customized. The
can be used to change how a certain style looks. It can contain a
text color and attributes. The following standard colors can be
specified by name (official reference):
color list = cyan
Modern terminals support up to 256 colors, but they are not standardized. You can select them by specifying the number. Example:
color title = 42
The background color can be specified after the text color separated by a slash. You can omit the text color if you want to change only the background color:
color title = white/blue color title = /blue
none uses the terminal’s default color.
Attributes can be used to modify the font appearance. The following attributes can be specified (official reference), though many of them are not supported by prevalent terminals:
color alert = red blink
color background = COLOR - Set the default background color.
color title = COLOR[,ATTRIBUTE]... - Set the text color and attributes for the title row, which displays the page names.
color title-bold = COLOR[,ATTRIBUTE]... - Like
but refers to emphasized parts of the title row, i.e. the hot keys for
switching to a specific page.
color line = COLOR - Set the color of the line on the second row.
color line-flags = COLOR[,ATTRIBUTE]... - Set the text color used to indicate mpd flags on the second row.
color list = COLOR[,ATTRIBUTE]... - Set the text color in the main area of ncmpc.
color list-bold = COLOR[,ATTRIBUTE]... - Set the bold text color in the main area of ncmpc.
color browser-directory = COLOR[,ATTRIBUTE]... - Set the text color used to display directories in the browser window.
color browser-playlist = COLOR[,ATTRIBUTE]... - Set the text color used to display playlists in the browser window.
color progressbar = COLOR[,ATTRIBUTE]... - Set the color of the progress indicator.
color progressbar-background = COLOR[,ATTRIBUTE]... - Set the color of the progress indicator background.
color status-state = COLOR[,ATTRIBUTE]... - Set the text color used to display mpd status in the status window.
color status-song = COLOR[,ATTRIBUTE]... - Set the text color used to display song names in the status window.
color status-time = COLOR[,ATTRIBUTE]... - Set the text color used to display time the status window.
color alert = COLOR[,ATTRIBUTE]... - Set the text color used to display alerts in the status window.
colordef COLOR = R, G, B - Redefine any of the base colors. The RGB values must be integer values between 0 and 1000. Note: Only some terminals allow redefinitions of colors!
When ncmpc starts it tries to read user-defined key bindings from the
~/.config/ncmpc/keys) file. If no user-defined key bindings
are found then ncmpc tries to load the global key bindings from
$SYSCONFDIR/ncmpc/keys (the actual path is displayed on the
You can view ncmpc’s key bindings by pressing ‘1’ (help) when ncmpc is running. To edit key bindings press ‘K’ and use the key editor in ncmpc.
Format of song display for status and the list window. The metadata
 operators are used to group output such that if none of the
metadata delimiters between
] are matched, then none of
the characters between
] are output; literal text is
| are logical operators for and and
# is used to escape characters.
Some useful examples for format are:
"[[%artist% - ]%title%]|%file%"
Another one is:
"[%artist%|(artist n/a)] - [%title%|(title n/a)]"
If ncmpc has been compiled with “chat” support, it uses the client-to-client protocol available in MPD 0.17 or higher to communicate with other clients. In order to receive messages it subscribes to the channel with the name “chat”, and displays any message sent there as-is. When the user enters a message, it is first with the prefix specified by the chat-prefix option (or the default prefix), and then sent to the “chat” channel for others to read.
Report bugs on https://github.com/MusicPlayerDaemon/ncmpc/issues
Since MPD uses UTF-8, ncmpc needs to convert characters to the charset
used by the local system. If you get character conversion errors when
your running ncmpc you probably need to set up your locale. This is
done by setting any of the
LC_ALL environment variables (
affects character handling).
mpd(1), mpc(1), locale(5), locale(7)