Spotify is one of the only mainstream music services to pay attention to Linux users and give OSes like Ubuntu, etc first-class support. Unfortunately, the Spotify Linux client isn’t for everyone. If you’re not a fan of the official app but like the Spotify service, you’ll be happy to know there are alternative ways to listen to Spotify on the Linux platform.
SPOILER ALERT: Scroll down and watch the video tutorial at the end of this article.
The two best alternatives to the official Spotify client on Linux are Clementine and Nuvola Player. In this tutorial, we’ll go over how to set each of them up with Spotify, play music through them and more!
Note: you may need a Spotify Premium account to use Spotify in Clementine.
Spotify On Clementine
The Clementine media player is very popular on Linux for a lot of reasons. Perhaps the number one reason is its great to support for online music services. It is for this reason that it is the number one choice for those looking to listen to Spotify without the official client.
Clementine doesn’t come with any Linux distributions by default, so you’ll need to install it before setting anything up. To install the player, open a terminal and enter the following commands:
sudo apt install clementine
sudo apt-get install clementine
sudo pacman -S clementine
sudo dnf install clementine
sudo zypper install clementine
Clementine is quite popular, and many Linux distributions support it by making it installable through their software sources. However, not every Linux OS does this so if you can’t find it, you’ll need to install it a different way. The best way to install the app on a Linux distribution that doesn’t have a package available is to grab the AppImage version. It works fine and will still give users access to cloud services like Spotify. Warning: the Clementine AppImage is 2 years old, so use at your own risk. To install the AppImage, visit this link and download it. Then open up a terminal and do the following commands to set it up.
cd ~/Downloads mkdir -p ~/AppImages
mv Clementine-1.2.3.glibc2.14-x86_64.AppImage ~/AppImages sudo chmod +x Clementine-1.2.3.glibc2.14-x86_64.AppImage
Run Clementine with:
cd ~/AppImages ./Clementine-1.2.3.glibc2.14-x86_64.AppImage
Set Up Spotify On Clementine
Now that the Clementine app is working, let’s set up Spotify. Launch Clementine, and look to the right-hand side. Click on the “Internet” button.Under the “Internet” section of the Clementine music player, you’ll notice many different music services that it works with. Scan through the list till you see the Spotify icon and click the arrow next to it.
By selecting the “Spotify” option in Clementine, a prompt will appear that says “an additional plugin is required”. Click the “yes” button and allow the player to download the necessary files. When it’s complete, right-click on the Spotify icon and select the “configure spotify” option.
In the Spotify configuration area of Clementine, you’ll see an area with “username” and “password”. Enter both your username and password to log Clementine into Spotify.
After logging in, check the box next to “use volume normalization,” and select the “apply” button to set all changes.
To play music through Spotify on Clementine, click the Spotify icon and select the search option to find a song to play.
Spotify On Nuvola Player
Accessing Spotify with Nuvola Player is much different from the Clementine app. There are no integrations or anything like that. Instead, users that choose to load up Nuvola are getting the Spotify web player in desktop form, complete with tweaks like desktop notifications, and a system tray icon.
Though it may seem pointless to install Nuvola, seeing as how there isn’t much difference from the official app, it isn’t. Installing the Nuvola Spotify client on your Linux desktop is a great way to still get access to Spotify, the way the service intends while saving precious RAM and CPU usage.
There are many ways to install the Nuvola Player on Linux, but the best, most universal way is by using Flatpak. The beauty of going the Flatpak route is that no matter what version of Linux you use, it’ll work.
Head over to our guide on how to set up Flatpak. Then, open up a terminal and install the latest version of Nuvola with the following commands.
flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://dl.flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists nuvola https://dl.tiliado.eu/flatpak/nuvola.flatpakrepo
Run an update on the Flatpak repository by running the flatpak update command. This will also allow the Flatpak runtime to install any necessary updates you may have.
sudo flatpak update
Finally, install the Nuvola Spotify app.
flatpak install nuvola eu.tiliado.NuvolaAppSpotify
To run the Nuvola Spotify app, open up your app menu, search for “Nuvola Spotify” and run it.
After the app opens, log into your Spotify account. When logged in, you’ll be presented with the familiar Spotify interface you see on the official app.