Linux Commands Examples

A great documentation place for Linux commands


Play back audio files on a PulseAudio sound server

see also : pulseaudio - pacat


paplay [options] FILE

paplay --help

paplay --version

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if [[ `which paplay` ]]
paplay "$@"
elif [[ `which aplay` ]]
aplay "$@"


paplay is a simple tool for playing back audio files on a PulseAudio sound server. It understands all audio file formats supported by libsndfile.


-h | --help

Show help.


Show version information.

-v | --verbose

Enable verbose operation. Dumps the current playback time to STDERR during playback.

-s | --server=SERVER

Choose the server to connect to.

-d | --device=SINK

Specify the symbolic name of the sink to play this file on.

-n | --client-name=NAME

Specify the client name paplay shall pass to the server when connecting.


Specify the stream name paplay shall pass to the server when creating the stream.


Specify the initial playback volume to use. Choose a value between 0 (silent) and 65536 (100% volume).


Explicitly choose a channel map when playing back this stream. The argument should be a comma separated list of channel names: front-left, front-right, mono, front-center, rear-left, rear-right, rear-center, lfe, front-left-of-center, front-right-of-center, side-left, side-right, top-center, top-front-center, top-front-left, top-front-right, top-rear-left, top-rear-right, top-rear-center, or any of the 32 auxiliary channel names aux0 to aux31.


Due to a limitation in libsndfile paplay currently does not always set the correct channel mapping for playback of multichannel (i.e. surround) audio files, even if the channel mapping information is available in the audio file.

see also

pulseaudio , pacat


The PulseAudio Developers <pulseaudio-discuss (at) lists (dot) freedesktop (dot) org>; PulseAudio is available from

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