Karaoke Software for Linux

Asians, especially Filipinos, really love to sing. I can easily say this because in our country, it’s normal to see karaoke machines at the malls, restaurants, bus stations, prisons, mental institutions, and even on the streets. Also, a lot of people here have their own karaoke players at home.

I’m not really a hardcore karaoke singer, but before, I have karaoke software installed on my PC just in case I can’t hold my urge to sing.

Lately, I’ve been looking for a karaoke program that I can use on my Linux box. That’s why I bumped into this open source Python-powered karaoke software appropriately called PyKaraoke.

PyKaraoke is written in Python programming language with features such as:

* CDG (MP3+G, OGG+G, WAV+G), MIDI (.MID/.KAR), MPEG playback
* Ability to Queue up songs
* Searchable song database
* Search inside ZIP files - Play MP3+G/MIDI files wrapped in ZIP files
* Mini Frontend - Additional mini-frontend for low-resolution displays and handhelds
* Export to MPEG - Convert CDG and KAR files to MPG files (command line only)

PyKaraoke, originally made for Linux, is also available on other operating systems like Windows and Mac OS X. If you are using Ubuntu, you can install it (minus the hassles) via Synaptic Package Manager.

And so I installed PyKaraoke on Ubuntu and tested playing a CDG file. Here are a few screenshots:

Not really my kind-of-song, but I can sing it if you want me to (hehe).

PyKaraoke still lacks the features particularly when you compare it to great karaoke software like KaraFun. However, it's really easy to use, and I think it’s capable enough to get you singing in no time. All you need is some good selection of karaoke song files, decent desktop speakers, and a microphone.

By the way, if you know of other karaoke software for Linux, please share it with us via comment.


  1. Thanks for this! I will definitely investigate PyKaraoke.

    To date I have been using KMid for karaoke but it cannot display foreign language characters and diacritics (accents), which is annoying for me as I want to play Brazilian songs. It's particularly strange that KMid cannot display diacritics since the author of KMid is Spanish, and Spanish is a language full of diacritics.

  2. You could also checkout ultrastar, a singstar clone. It's available in the ubuntu repositries.

  3. I call bull.
    >it’s normal to see karaoke machines >at the malls,
    ok, i buyy that
    > restaurants,
    the best place
    >bus stations, out on the street corner next to the pole there is like a vending machine?
    Im sure that's teh place you want to belt that Celine Dion song really loud and proud. some might call it foreplay tehre.
    >mental institutions,
    Ive seen people karaoke, half of the qualify as insane.
    >and even on the streets.
    again, how does that work?
    youre walking down the street and all of a sudden you see a karaoke machine on the street and you decide to sing right then and there? could you not sing ANYWHERE without the music or is acapella considered a crime?

    Oh yeah... karaoke on Linux is great news.

    Im always looking for better karaoke, chess and synthesizer programs on Gnu-Linux.

  4. I'm also looking for a "Great" karoke software for linux. I currently dual boot mainly to run Virtual DJ5 by atomix. I'm experimenting trying to run it with wine, but I really would prefer something native.


  5. Plarpebu
    It's Winamp clone written in JAVA with karaoke plugin.

  6. I finally managed to get PyKaraoke to work on Sabayon Linux (a derivative of Gentoo Linux), and it does indeed work weel and handle diacritics. At last something better than KMid.

    If anyone is interested, the procedure I used to install it is given in the following Sabayon Linux Forum thread:

  7. EmptyOrchestra:

    Is a lot faster and a bit easier to use than pykaraoke.

  8. Last post was in October 2009... anything new on the Karaoke Software for Linux.

    I really like kJams for my Mac but would like to have a solid backup linux laptop with Karaoke & DJ software.

  9. AnonymousJune 25, 2010

    Actually Matt, EmptyOrchestra was twice as slow on my system as pykaraoke. Pykaraoke was rather fast by comparison on the windows version, and performed at about the same speed equally using pclinux 2007. (Tested both on ASUS netbook 1.6ghz cpu with 2gb of ram and 533mhz fsb, and toshiba laptop with 3gb of ram and 1066mhz fsb). I found the interface only slightly easier to use. Pykaraoke wins for me. But if there are other programs, would definitely like to try them out.

  10. The best of the best? PERFORMOUS!

  11. AnonymousMay 29, 2011

    Try pykaraoke with 10000+ songs and you won't be saying the interface is fast.

  12. I cannot get pykaraoke or emptyorch to work on Slackware 13.37/64bit. I did get VirtualDJ to work via wine (crossover), but it kept crashing. I'm using winamp for windows with a cdg plugin under crossover/wine and it isn't that bad. Not good enough for a professional show, but good enough for home use.