How To Get Spotify’s Free Version Working On Linux

Listen to Spotify on Linux without paying for a subscription. With PlayOnLinux it only takes a couple of clicks.

After years of being a favorite application in much of Europe, Spotify is finally available in the United States. This means that, in the months to come, millions of people will slowly get access to what is perhaps the best music streaming service out there, athough they will need to request an invite first. Linux users however, will find their excitement to be short-lived. While there is a version of Spotify for Linux, it currently only works for subscribers (developers couldn’t find a good way to show ads in Linux).

While Spotify does offer instructions for using Spotify with Wine, they’re a little complicated.  But there’s an easier way.

Get PlayOnLinux

The first thing you’re going to need to do is install PlayOnLinux, which brings Windows games and Software to Linux. You’ll find downloads for just about every Linux distro out there on the PlayOnLinux download page. Once you’ve got PlayOnLinux installed, fire it up. The software will install the Microsoft fonts and update its software list; give it time to do so.

Run The Spotify Installer

All done? Good. Click the ‘+’ icon in the toolbar to get started installing software. You’ll find Spotify under ‘Multimedia‘:

Double-click Spotify to start the installation process. A wizard will open:

This wizard will download and configure a version of Wine known to work with Spotify, then download and start the Spotify installer. It’s a real time saver, isn’t it?

Once Wine is set up properly for Spotify, you will see the Spotify for Windows installer:

Go through this process as you normally would, although I would perhaps recommend not letting it add an icon to your desktop. PlayOnLinux will give you a less messy way to do so once the installer is done.

Assuming everything went well, you should have Spotify on your computer now. Launch it from PlayOnLinux, or from the menu if you added a shortcut.

You can now explore a staggering amount of music. Enjoy!

Get Local File Playback Working

Streaming music works out of the box, but your local files will not play nicely with Wine and Spotify. There’s a fix for this, but it requires some command line magic.

Local file playback isn’t essential to Spotify; the program’s real appeal is its vast streaming offerings. Still, you might want to get this working. Read Webupd8′s helpful tips for getting Spotify local file playback working in Wine. You’ll find a script to to run in the terminal that will fix everything, and a few other fixes besides.

Alternative Linux Clients For Spotify Subscribers

Please note that only non-subscribers need to go through all of this trouble. Paid Spotify users can use the official Linux client.

That’s not all paid users have access to, however. There are a variety of open source Spotify clients out there, but all of them only work with paid accounts. Despotify, a command line client, may be particularly appealing to Linux users:

For most people, though, the Wine fix we’ve explored will work. It’s all I’m using, and I’m really enjoying Spotify so far.