Infinite Wishes 🏳️‍⚧️🚀

Is a weblog by Emma Humphries

22 Nov 2020 » Running cmus on Mac OS

cmus running in a terminal window on Mac OS
Credit: Photo by the author

On Linux I use cmus as my music player. This post isn’t about why to use cmus, others have written about that. I started a new job recently where I was issued a MacBook Pro and wanted to access my music collection (on a USB drive, soon to be on NAS) the same way I do on my Ubuntu laptop. This post is how to set up cmus on your Mac.

Installing cmus

I used Homebrew to install cmus. If you’re using Homebrew to install other packages, you might as well take advantage of it.


The media controls on the Mac’s keyboard will start if it’s not running. This will be an annoyance if you’re trying to control the volume of your music or connecting headphones over Bluetooth. To avoid this, install and run the NoTunes app.

Install the menubar version if you want to toggle NoTunes’ behavior, and make sure it’s a startup item.


Mac OS notification from cmus

The cmus-osx app on pypy adds media key and notifications support for cmus. You’ll need pip3 or pipx to install. I recommend using pipx, which adds npx-like functionality. The first time you play music with cmus, you’ll get a notification asking if Python has permission to create notifications.

These steps and programs will get you up and running with cmus on your Mac.

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