Install Amarok 1.4 on a current Linux Desktop

Posted: December 19th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: computing | Tags: , , | 5 Comments »


As any long time Linux user knows, Amarok 1.4 was the best music player of all time.. and now thanks to the Trinity Desktop Environment folks, it still is! Using the Trinity Desktop packages it’s possible to get Amarok 1.4 back

Why? Because Amarok 2 is a travesty and needs to be taken out behind the barn. I’ve tried to tweak it and love it, but I just can’t. In my opinion, if the developers ever want to get back to Amarok dominance, they best thing they could do is focus every effort into getting 2 to look and function exactly as 1.4 did. Completely implement *all* the previous 1.4 feature set with the new engine, then, and only then, work on other enhancements.

Clementine on the other hand is a good fork effort, and if you want 95% of what Amarok 1.4 was, without any extra effort, then it should be just an apt-get away on Ubuntu, Mint, etc. (Though you must be able to learn to live with an orange wedge icon.)

Anyway, if you’re a troglodyte like me, and just want things to go back to how they were, then here it is. I’ve tested this on Kubuntu 11.x, 12.x, 14.04 and am currently using it 14.10 Plasma4 (see updates for 15.04 at the bottom of this post). These instructions should work for any of the Ubuntu derivatives, and a similar process should work for all the platforms that Trinity supports (Ubuntu, Debian, RedHat and Fedora).

* Add the Trinity repositories per the instructions here. For Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic) that means add:
$ sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list.d/trinity-desktop.list

deb utopic main
deb-src utopic main
deb utopic main
deb-src utopic main

Save the file.

* Add the Trinity GPG signing key:
$ sudo apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-keys F5CFC95C

* Now install the amarok-trinity package. The Trinity folks highly recommend using aptitude instead of apt-get for dependency conflict reasons.
$ sudo apt-get install aptitude
$ sudo aptitude update
$ sudo aptitude install amarok-trinity

The last one should drag in all the necessary Trinity Desktop dependency packages with it. Assuming everything went as it should, you now have Trinity installed under “/opt/trinity”. The Amarok 1.4 executable is at “/opt/trinity/bin/amarok”.

* Now at this point you should be able to start Amarok by specifying the full path from the terminal, but you may get errors as the supporting Trinity files are not in your PATH. To add the Trinity Desktop to your user $PATH so that you can easily execute it in the future, add the following lines to the bottom of your user .profile (do this as your regular user, not root):
$ nano ~/.profile

# added for trinity/amarok14
# set PATH so it includes trinity desktop
if [ -d "/opt/trinity/bin" ] ; then

* Now refresh your user PATH:
$ source ~/.profile

* Running the command below should now show “/opt/trinity/bin” at the end.
$ echo $PATH

* Now fire up Amarok 1.4 for a test drive (note that just “amarok” should still fire up Amarok 2.x if it’s installed):
$ amarokapp



(Optional) Adding a desktop icon for Amarok 1.4:

* Create and save a user desktop file with the following entries:
$ nano ~/Desktop/amarok14.desktop

#!/usr/bin/env xdg-open
[Desktop Entry]
Name=Amarok 1.4
Name[en_US]=Amarok 1.4
GenericName=Audio Player
GenericName[en_US]=Audio Player
Comment=Amarok 1.4 from Trinity Desktop
Comment[en_US]=Amarok 1.4 from Trinity Desktop
Exec=PATH=/opt/trinity/bin:$PATH KDEDIRS=/opt/trinity/ KDEHOME=$HOME/.trinity XDG_DATA_DIRS=/opt/trinity/share/:/usr/share/ MANPATH=/opt/trinity/share/man amarok %U

If you have a plasma widget that displays your Desktop contents then right-click and select “Refresh View” to see your new icon.


(Optional) Create a menu entry for Amarok 1.4:

* Copy the desktop file to your user menu:
$ cp ~/Desktop/amarok14.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/
The menu entry should now show up under Applications > Multimedia.

Note: If you decide to set Amarok 1.4 as your default audio player for some file types then you may want to edit the end of the Exec line in “~/.local/share/applications/amarok14.desktop” to “amarok --append %U” or “amarok --append %U --play” so that your existing playlist gets appended to instead of replaced when you open a music file straight from the file browser.

And the world is now as it should be.


UPDATE (6/2015): Kubutnu 15.04 (Vivid) changes:

* As of this writing, Trinity is not fully supported in 15.04), but their Preliminary Stable Builds are working fine. Install in the same manner as above.

* I had to remove the “/usr/:” portion from “KDEDIRS=” path of the EXEC line for the desktop icon (above example has been amended).

* The system tray icon no longer works. This is a common issue for numerous KDE legacy apps with 15.04. If you previously had Amarok 1.4 installed and set to minimize to the system tray when you closed it then it may appear not to start now because you simply can’t see it. The fix is to first kill any running instances:
$ killall amarokapp

Then modify/add the entries below into the Amarok config file:
$ nano ~/.trinity/share/config/amarokrc


[General Options]
Show Tray Icon=false

Until this is resolved, make sure you do not use the “Show tray icon” setting.