I've recently acquired a raspberry pi and plan to use it as a home-computer and web/file-server.

The setup

I have a pretty big (3TB) HD hooked up to it that has all my music on it. I also have a laptop that I take everywhere.

The requirements

I would like to set up the mpd so that I can do the following thins. First of all I would like to be able to play music from the R-Pi over ssh on my laptop when I'm away (the files that are stored on the 3TB HD). Secondly, I would like to hook up the R-Pi to a soundsystem at home and be able to control it's playback from my laptop.

These two things are pretty similar in the following aspects: all the music is stored on the home HD. All the control actions I do will be trough the ncmpcpp client on my laptop.

These are the differences between the two requirements: the first one plays music trough my laptop speakers, the second one plays them trough the R-Pi output.

The approach

I'm not quite sure how to handle this. Do I keep one mpd instance running (on R-Pi) or do I also have one running on my laptop too (which uses the data on R-Pi)? The setup I have in my mind is the following:

First req:

  • put mpd on laptop, that uses data on HD in some way (over ssh/http if that is possible)
  • use ncmpcpp to use mpd on laptop like usual

Second req:

  • put mpd on R-Pi, that uses data on HD
  • put ncmpcpp on R-Pi that connects to the R-Pi mpd
  • to control the R-Pi home soundsystem, connect to R-Pi via ssh and use ncmpcpp (pro

1 Answer 1


I think you can solve your problem with only one mpd instance running on your raspberry pi. If you forward the sound from the raspberry pi to your notebook all your requirements would be solved in my opinion.

One possible solution is to use PulseAudios network setup which allows you to redirect audio streams over the network. Your laptop would have to load the module-rtp-recv module to be able to receive the audio stream.

Another setup is to use Bluetooth and A2DP (i am not sure if the raspberry pi has integrated bluetooth support). You basically configure your bluetooth stack to act as an A2DP source.

If you don't want to relay your audio stream just mount the 3TB HD via sshfs on your laptop and install mpd. As mpd allows you to control a server via network you just have to use ncmpcpp on your laptop to control both instances. You may have to configure mpd on your raspberry pi to listen on the network interface.

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