How To - GMusicBrowser and Custom Layouts


As most of you no doubt know, I am a fan of GMusicBrowser, which is a powerful music application written in Perl by Quentin Sculo and has been around the Linux community for 6 years. Most have also seen my How To - Conky/Lua, Music and Cover Art - 2 Methods for 18 Apps and know of my passion for music apps and displaying the info on the desktop.

GMusicBrowser has allowed me to stop using Conky for information displaying on the Desktop because it allows for custom code known as layouts to be written and used by the user.  This may sound daunting, just keep in mind the first time you ever saw a Conky script.  Have no fear, included within this will be a collection of layouts from several different authors for several different looks.

This How To will detail installing GMB, installing the git version of GMB so that you can stay up to date with new releases and how to setup and run these layouts.  This will not go into much detail on how to create layouts, although that can certainly be discussed.

The GMB Forums are also full of help and information on customizing layouts and the GMB Freenode IRC at #gmusicbrowser is very active with the developer squentin always available to help.

Step One Install GMusicBrowser from terminal.

sudo apt-get install gmusicbrowser

This should install everything needed to run GMusicBrowser. 

Go ahead and start it and play a song from terminal with


If there are issues terminal will tell you the problem, report those back here.

Step Two Download and setup the Layouts collection

VastOne Layouts and Collections

Get this file and extract it's contents to

/home/your user name/.config/gmusicbrowser/

Verify that there is now a layouts folder that has 107 items in it.

/home/your user name/.config/gmusicbrowser/layouts

Also download this plugin file for fetching song covers form any menu and save it in /home/your user name/gmusicbrowser/plugins/ directory. This little plugin will come in handy later.

Step Three Install git the git version of GMusicBrowser from terminal.

Install git first

sudo apt-get install git

git clone

This will create a /home/your user name/gmusicbrowser folder with the latest version of gmusicbrowser and you would run GMB from there with



/home/your user name/gmusicbrowser/

You are now set to run GMusicBroswer from that directory and you should setup any menus or launch files to run it from there.

For updates, I would make it a once a week practice to do this in terminal

cd gmusicbrowser

git pull

Step Four Starting GMB, Enabling the Plug Ins and Choosing the different layouts.

There are several different types of layouts.  One is for the overall application which you can find in Main / Settings / Layout Tab

This one is called VastOne GLC II found in the gmb-art section of the dropdown menu.

There are 40 different layouts within Main / Settings / Layout Tab.  I would try them all until you find what you want to use.

You also see in that first image within the Main / Settings / Layout Tab several other types of layout controls including the tray tip window layout.  I use the VastOne Thin Layout Black which is an option from the dropdown menu next to the tray tip window layout. This is what it looks like

The next type is a widget type layout and this is what drew me to GMB and to stop using Conky for desktop CoverArt and Song Information.  You find these in Main / Settings / Plugins Tab seen here.  Make sure you everything that is selected on the left in this image the same on your setup.

Now click on Desktop widgets on the left and on the right menu you will then have options.  In the dropdown menu between Layout: and +Add you will find several layouts you can use and experiment with on the desktop.  This one is nowplaying_screenlet2 VastOne Now, you select it and then click Add from this menu. Below that,  it will now show you options below where you can change the Text color, the font used and font size and where to position your widget on the desktop and the size you want it to be.  This is what mine looks like:


One is a closeup and the second is the same layout.  When you hover the mouse over the widget, then the menu control items show up which is in the image on the right.

That is all for now on this How To.  Please do not hesitate to ask anything, and If I cannot answer it, I will track down the answer.
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I've been playing around with this today.
Nice  :)
Great How To.
The view's not that bad you just have to punch the knothole out.


Just so you know jst_joe, all of this is installed in VSIDO and there is no need to do anything but start GMusicBrowser and play with the settings to get what you want.
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I just tried to dl the configs from dropbox and got an error
Nothing Here
The file you are looking for has been deleted or moved.

did you move the files?
Visit my DeviantArt page and My Blog


Let me check on those... My dropbox lately has been a mess

I will be moving it to the hosted site when I get a minute

These configs are already installed by the way...
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Quote from: VastOne on January 14, 2013, 05:31:32 PM
Just so you know jst_joe, all of this is installed in VSIDO and there is no need to do anything but start GMusicBrowser and play with the settings to get what you want.
Didn't take me long to find that out.  ;)
Question, I put it in and when I reboot or logout the plug-in stays the same (location and all) except the and icon theme goes back to default.
Any work around thoughts on that?

[edit] to add around  :-[
The view's not that bad you just have to punch the knothole out.


Thanks to this How To, I've been using GMB for several months now and especially/specifically some of your layouts VO.  This is awesome and I'm glad it's part of VSIDO!!!!
Forum Netiquette

"No matter how smart you are you can never convince someone stupid that they are stupid."  Anonymous


I gotta get me a nice set of speakers, and a USB stick, and a widescreen monitor and ... and ... and ...
Stay Home


VastOne I am having trouble hunting GMB cli options.

It seems that the GMB site is down.


I used
gmusicbrowser -listcmd
But what I am looking for is a way to start GMB without opening the gui.
Or maybe opening directly to the task bar.


WOW.. I am on the short bus today!

gmusicbrowser -hide
Will open GMB without the gui, but will open plugins.


Hey falldown... You can set it to start in tray from Main/Settings/Layout/tick Start in Tray

There is also a widget I created that is included that is just the play/pause/stop/skip buttons and nothing else

Enable that by going to Settings/Plugins/Desktop Widgets/Layout (on the right) Add Buttons

Let me know if you need more...

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And while I am replying, you come up with another solution

Not too bad for a person so far behind the bus!
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Thanks Sir for the help.  :)
One more question.. how do I add album art?
I have the art.


You just save the image you have to the directory the track or album is in and it auto loads it
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