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Build instructions for OwnTone

This document contains instructions for building OwnTone from the git tree. If you just want to build from a release tarball, you don't need the build tools (git, autotools, autoconf, automake, gawk, gperf, gettext, bison and flex), and you can skip the autoreconf step.

Quick version for Debian/Ubuntu users

If you are the lucky kind, this should get you all the required tools and libraries:

sudo apt-get install \
  build-essential git autotools-dev autoconf automake libtool gettext gawk \
  gperf bison flex libconfuse-dev libunistring-dev libsqlite3-dev \
  libavcodec-dev libavformat-dev libavfilter-dev libswscale-dev libavutil-dev \
  libasound2-dev libmxml-dev libgcrypt20-dev libavahi-client-dev zlib1g-dev \
  libevent-dev libplist-dev libsodium-dev libjson-c-dev libwebsockets-dev \
  libcurl4-openssl-dev libprotobuf-c-dev

Note that OwnTone will also work with other versions and flavours of libgcrypt and libcurl, so the above are just suggestions.

The following features require extra packages, and that you add a configure argument when you run ./configure:

Feature Configure argument Packages
Chromecast --enable-chromecast libgnutls*-dev
Pulseaudio --with-pulseaudio libpulse-dev

These features can be disabled saving you package dependencies:

Feature Configure argument Packages
Spotify (built-in) --disable-spotify libprotobuf-c-dev
Player web UI --disable-webinterface libwebsockets-dev
Live web UI --without-libwebsockets libwebsockets-dev

Then run the following (adding configure arguments for optional features):

git clone https://github.com/owntone/owntone-server.git
cd owntone-server
autoreconf -i
./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc --localstatedir=/var --enable-install-user
make
sudo make install

Using --enable-install-user means that make install will also add system user and group for owntone.

With the above configure arguments, a systemd service file will be installed to /etc/systemd/system/owntone.service so that the server will start on boot. Use --disable-install-systemd if you don't want that.

Now edit /etc/owntone.conf. Note the guide at the top highlighting which settings that normally require modification.

Start the server with sudo systemctl start owntone and check that it is running with sudo systemctl status owntone.

See the Documentation for usage information.

Quick version for Fedora

If you haven't already enabled the free RPM fusion packages do that, since you will need ffmpeg. You can google how to do that. Then run:

sudo dnf install \
  git automake autoconf gettext-devel gperf gawk libtool bison flex \
  sqlite-devel libconfuse-devel libunistring-devel mxml-devel libevent-devel \
  avahi-devel libgcrypt-devel zlib-devel alsa-lib-devel ffmpeg-devel \
  libplist-devel libsodium-devel json-c-devel libwebsockets-devel \
  libcurl-devel protobuf-c-devel

Clone the OwnTone repo:

git clone https://github.com/owntone/owntone-server.git
cd owntone-server

Then run the following:

autoreconf -i
./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc --localstatedir=/var --enable-install-user
make
sudo make install

Using --enable-install-user means that make install will also add system user and group for owntone.

With the above configure arguments, a systemd service file will be installed to /etc/systemd/system/owntone.service so that the server will start on boot. Use --disable-install-systemd if you don't want that.

Now edit /etc/owntone.conf. Note the guide at the top highlighting which settings that normally require modification.

Start the server with sudo systemctl start owntone and check that it is running with sudo systemctl status owntone.

See the Documentation for usage information.

Quick version for FreeBSD

There is a script in the 'scripts' folder that will at least attempt to do all the work for you. And should the script not work for you, you can still look through it and use it as an installation guide.

Quick version for macOS (using Homebrew)

This workflow file used for building OwnTone via Github actions includes all the steps that you need to execute: .github/workflows/macos.yml

"Quick" version for macOS (using macports)

Caution: 1) this approach may be out of date, consider using the Homebrew method above since it is continuously tested. 2) macports requires many downloads and lots of time to install (and sometimes build) ports... you'll want a decent network connection and some patience!

Install macports (which requires Xcode): https://www.macports.org/install.php

sudo port install \
  autoconf automake libtool pkgconfig git gperf bison flex libgcrypt \
  libunistring libconfuse ffmpeg libevent json-c libwebsockets curl \
  libplist libsodium protobuf-c

Download, configure, build and install the Mini-XML library: http://www.msweet.org/projects.php/Mini-XML

Download, configure, build and install the libinotify library: https://github.com/libinotify-kqueue/libinotify-kqueue

Add the following to .bashrc:

# add /usr/local to pkg-config path
export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/usr/local/lib/pkgconfig:/opt/local/lib/pkgconfig
# libunistring doesn't support pkg-config, set overrides
export LIBUNISTRING_CFLAGS=-I/opt/local/include
export LIBUNISTRING_LIBS="-L/opt/local/lib -lunistring"

Optional features require the following additional ports:

Feature Configure argument Ports
Chromecast --enable-chromecast gnutls
Pulseaudio --with-pulseaudio pulseaudio

Clone the OwnTone repo:

git clone https://github.com/owntone/owntone-server.git
cd owntone-server

Finally, configure, build and install, adding configure arguments for optional features:

autoreconf -i
./configure
make
sudo make install

Note: if for some reason you've installed the avahi port, you need to add --without-avahi to configure above.

Edit /usr/local/etc/owntone.conf and change the uid to a nice system daemon (eg: unknown), and run the following:

sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/var/run
sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/var/log # or change logfile in conf
sudo chown unknown /usr/local/var/cache/owntone # or change conf

Run OwnTone:

sudo /usr/local/sbin/owntone

Verify it's running (you need to Ctrl+C to stop dns-sd):

dns-sd -B _daap._tcp

Long version - requirements

Required tools:

  • autotools: autoconf 2.63+, automake 1.10+, libtool 2.2. Run autoreconf -i at the top of the source tree to generate the build system.
  • gettext: libunistring requires iconv and gettext provides the autotools macro definitions for iconv.
  • gperf
  • bison 3.0+ (yacc is not sufficient)
  • flex (lex is not sufficient)

Libraries:

If using binary packages, remember that you need the development packages to build OwnTone (usually named -dev or -devel).

sqlite3 needs to be built with support for the unlock notify API; this isn't always the case in binary packages, so you may need to rebuild sqlite3 to enable the unlock notify API (you can check for the presence of the sqlite3_unlock_notify symbol in the sqlite3 library). Refer to the sqlite3 documentation, look for SQLITE_ENABLE_UNLOCK_NOTIFY.

Long version - building and installing

Start by generating the build system by running autoreconf -i. This will generate the configure script and Makefile.in.

To display the configure options run ./configure --help.

Support for Spotify is optional. Use --disable-spotify to disable this feature.

Support for LastFM scrobbling is optional. Use --enable-lastfm to enable this feature.

Support for the MPD protocol is optional. Use --disable-mpd to disable this feature.

Support for Chromecast devices is optional. Use --enable-chromecast to enable this feature.

The player web interface is optional. Use --disable-webinterface to disable this feature. If enabled, sudo make install will install the prebuild html, js, css files. The prebuild files are:

  • htdocs/index.html
  • htdocs/player/*

The source for the player web interface is located under the web-src folder and requires nodejs >= 6.0 to be built. In the web-src folder run npm install to install all dependencies for the player web interface. After that run npm run build. This will build the web interface and update the htdocs folder. (See Web interface for more informations)

Building with libwebsockets is required if you want the web interface. It will be enabled if the library is present (with headers). Use --without-libwebsockets to disable.

Building with Pulseaudio is optional. It will be enabled if the library is present (with headers). Use --without-pulseaudio to disable.

Recommended build settings:

./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc --localstatedir=/var --enable-install-user

After configure run the usual make, and if that went well, sudo make install.

With the above configure arguments, a systemd service file will be installed to /etc/systemd/system/owntone.service so that the server will start on boot. Use --disable-install-systemd if you don't want that.

Using --enable-install-user means that make install will also add a system user and group for owntone.

After installation:

  • edit the configuration file, /etc/owntone.conf
  • make sure the Avahi daemon is installed and running (Debian: apt install avahi-daemon)

OwnTone will drop privileges to any user you specify in the configuration file if it's started as root.

This user must have read permission to your library and read/write permissions to the database location ($localstatedir/cache/owntone by default).

Non-priviliged user version (for development)

OwnTone is meant to be run as system wide daemon, but for development purposes you may want to run it isolated to your regular user.

The following description assumes that you want all runtime data stored in $HOME/owntone_data and the source in $HOME/projects/owntone-server.

Prepare directories for runtime data:

mkdir -p $HOME/owntone_data/etc
mkdir -p $HOME/owntone_data/media

Copy one or more mp3 file to test with to owntone_data/media.

Checkout OwnTone and configure build:

cd $HOME/projects
git clone https://github.com/owntone/owntone-server.git
cd owntone-server
autoreconf -vi
./configure --prefix=$HOME/owntone_data/usr --sysconfdir=$HOME/owntone_data/etc --localstatedir=$HOME/owntone_data/var

Build and install runtime:

make install

Edit owntone_data/etc/owntone.conf, find the following configuration settings and set them to these values:

    uid = ${USER}
    loglevel = "debug"
    directories = { "${HOME}/owntone_data/media" }

Run the server:

./src/owntone -f
(you can also use the copy of the binary in $HOME/owntone_data/usr/sbin)