How To Integrate Google Music Into Ubuntu [Linux]

Justin Pot 09-11-2011

Use Google Music in Ubuntu without keeping a browser tab open. Google Music Frame lets you run your favorite web-based music software in the background, showing notifications when a new song plays and allowing you to change tracks the way you’re used to.


Google Music puts all of your music in the cloud, so you can listen to it on any computer. This is great, but leaving a browser tab open for your music isn’t without its problems. You might accidentally close your browser, shutting down your music with it. It’s also a pain to switch browser tabs to change the track, particularly if you’re used to using keyboard shortcuts for that.

Using Google Music Frame

Google Music Frame is, at first site, and aptly named program–it doesn’t look like much more than a frame for Google Music.

google music ubuntu

The nice thing, though, is you can start playing music and close the window. Your music will keep playing! Hit the “volume” button in Ubuntu, though, and you will see both the album art and buttons to quickly changing the track:

google music on ubuntu


That’s right: you can change the track in two clicks, from anywhere. This makes Google Music feel that much more like a native Ubuntu application. Another nice perk: when the track changes, you’ll see a popup:

google music on ubuntu

Again: this is how native Ubuntu music players behave, and is a very nice touch if you regularly make use of shuffle mode.

Need another way to change tracks? Well, you can do so from Google Music Frame’s dock icon, if you like:


google music ubuntu

I won’t be using this much myself, but many people see to love using the dock to accomplish things. This empowers them.

Finally, and this may be the ultimate perk: your multimedia keys will work with Google Music Frame. This means that, if you set up system-wide keyboard shortcuts for music playback, you can use these to control Google Music. Beautiful!

Want to see this all in action? Check out this video.


Note: I did not make this video, so it does not necessarily represent the musical tastes of me of myself, or any of its affiliates.

Setup Google Music Frame

Ready to see up Google Music Frame on your system? You’ll need to add the Ubuntu Music Frame PPA, then:


. The easiest way to accomplish this is to open the terminal and run these commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:janousek.jiri/google-music-frame-releases
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install google-music-frame

That should install Music Frame for you.


Not sure what a PPA is? Read this article explaining what a PPA is and why you’d want to add one What Is An Ubuntu PPA & Why Would I Want To Use One? [Technology Explained] Read More .

Are you not using Ubuntu? Check out Google Music Frame’s website, but don’t expect miracles. This software was designed for Ubuntu’s Unity, and as such works best with Ubuntu.


Google Music gives me access to my entire music collection from my netbook, so I love it. Google Music Frame means I can enjoy that music on my netbook but still use a music player well-integrated with my operating system. The only thing it can’t do, it seems, is download podcasts and send them to my MP3 player!

How do you like Google Music Frame? Let us know in the comments below; I’ll be joining the conversation.

Related topics: Google Music, Ubuntu.

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  1. Drew Miller
    December 14, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Since the article was written, the Google Music player has been updated to the Nuvola Player, so named because it will also include Grooveshark. I found this when I started the application for the first time.
    PPA can be found on Launchpad: [Broken Link Removed]

    • jhpot
      December 15, 2011 at 6:21 am

      You're right: there's been a name change and more services added. It's a quickly-growing system!

  2. Anonymous
    November 11, 2011 at 5:00 am

    Thanks for writing about this. It looks awesome. It works great.

    • jhpot
      November 11, 2011 at 5:51 pm

      I'm glad you like it, and thanks for reading the article.