I have a Rapberry Pi running Arch Linux ARM without any graphical environment. I want it to play a song every morning.

I have pulseaudio installed.

But when I use paplay, I get an error:

paplay test.mp3
Failed to open audio file.

The test file is:

file test.mp3
test.mp3: MPEG ADTS, layer III, v1, 128 kbps, 44.1 kHz, JntStereo

I have the following entries in /boot/config.txt:

# See /boot/overlays/README for all available options

initramfs initramfs-linux.img followkernel



Can I play audio without having any graphical environment?


paplay has no mp3 support, use ffplay instead. (or convert to flac first)

...I will not be adding support for MPEG Layer 3 (commonly known as MP3) ...


paplay ... understands all audio file formats supported by libsndfile


  • I am not getting the point of installing graphical stuffs (ffmpeg has installed wayland, gpu-drivers and those stuffs). Same goes for omxplayer! Do you know any player that can work without installing a graphical environment? I don't want to waste RAM and CPU power rendering graphical environment. – S.Goswami Mar 9 at 8:21
  • 1
    Either you did something wrong or arch has packaged ffmpeg wrong; no gui is required(, but libraries from gui's are required for things such as subtitles). If you want a lighter solution convert to FLAC as I mentioned. archlinux.org/packages/extra/x86_64/ffmpeg – user1133275 Mar 9 at 13:56

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