Finally a solid Pandora app for Linux

Jack Wallen
Dec 30, 2010
Updated • Dec 3, 2012
Linux, Music

If you are a fan of Pandora Music and a user of Linux you know that Linux is a bit behind in the app space for this service. There are only a few possible clients and, until now, those clients simply were not options. The official Pandora client, due to flash issues, could bring your Linux machine to a screeching halt. Many of the other clients either will not install or will install but will not run. Fortunately a new-ish Pandora client is available for Linux - Pithos.

Pithos is a native Pandora client for the GNOME desktop. It is easy to install, has a user-friendly GUI, and won't drag your machine into the murky waters. Let's take a look at how to install and use this client so you can start your new year out rockin'.

Before you begin, you will need to have a Pandora account. Once you have a Pandora account you will be able to manage your stations from within Pithos (so need to bother adding/removing stations from within the Pandora site.)  In fact, it's actually easier to manager your stations from within Pithos than it is from within the site.


Pithos is not found in the standard repositories, so you have to add the Pithos repository. Adding the repository is simple. Open up a terminal window and issue the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kevin-mehall/pithos-daily
sudo apt-get update

Once you have the repository in place, you can then install the application. This is done with the following command:

sudo apt-get install pithos

Once the application is installed you will find it located in Applications > Sound and Video.


Figure 1

When you first start up Pithos you will be required to authenticate to your Pandora account. Once you do this Pithos will download your current list (or the default list) of stations associated with your account and open up the main window (see Figure 1). You can change the channel you want to listen to simply by clicking the channel drop-down and selecting the desired channel.

Figure 2

To create new channels to enjoy click on the Preferences button (the gear with the drop-down arrow) and select Manage Stations. In this new window (see Figure 2) click the Add Station button and then enter the name of an artist. You will then be presented by a number of choices to select from. Choose the correct artist and click OK. That artist will be added to your station list.

You can also include each station in your QuickMix list. The QuickMix list is like a shuffle for Pandora. Select which stations you want to include in your QuickMix and then, from the Station drop-down (in the main window), select QuickMix to get a mix of music from all of your stations.

Other features

One of the nicer features of Pithos is the inclusion of a notification icon. From this icon you can left-click and quickly "Love", skip, play, pause, "Ban", or "Tired" a currently playing song and you can quickly quit Pithos.

Pithos also includes:

  • Cover Art.
  • Notification popup with song info.
  • Launching song info/station page.
  • Reconnecting when pandora session times out
  • Media Key support
  • Proxy support
  • scrobbling

Final thoughts

At last Linux has a worthy client for the enormously popular Pandora Music service. Make this your go-to application for Music listening in Linux and you won't be sorry.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. G. said on December 21, 2015 at 7:12 am

    PERFECT! Thank you!

  2. Michael said on May 14, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Excellent. Also seems to give everyone premium for free :o

  3. FedeleP said on January 7, 2011 at 5:40 am

    Thanks for the article, Jack. Pithos can now be installed using BleedingEdge.

  4. Stephen Shaw said on January 4, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    This is not a pandora app for linux. It is a pandora app for ubuntu only.

    ERROR: Python module LaunchpadIntegration not found
    ERROR: Python module appindicator not found

    1. phil_s_stein said on May 24, 2011 at 5:10 pm

      To run on Fedora/Centos:
      sudo yum install bzr
      bzr branch lp:pithos pithos

      If you want to build it, it looks like running running in the top level dir will get you started.

  5. Jake said on January 4, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    This is a debian based repository then? Since it uses apt… hmm that isn’t as convenient for someone using RPM and/or YUM managers.

  6. Paul(us) said on December 31, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Thanks Gary, I am going to give it a try. Any other (useful)Pandora tools would be ferry appreciate by me.

  7. Gary Katsevman said on December 31, 2010 at 7:48 am

    Another cool linux app for pandora is pianobar. It is a console based app.

  8. Paul(us) said on December 31, 2010 at 12:43 am

    Jack, Your absoluty saved the year or with other words your main super hero. Superman Jack i see. Just what i needed this because main ferry insignificant music taste thinks that Pandora is the greatest music station, on the (planet) internet. But like i wrote who am I but personally your did me a (ferry) great fever.

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