RuneAudio on Raspberry Pi

Some notes on setting up RuneAudio on a Raspberry Pi. It's really easy to get running if you are adding it to an existing network with ethernet. Just plug it in, go to runeaudio.local in a browser on your LAN and you can play your music and adjust settings via the web interface. Maybe you want to do something different. RuneAudio runs on Arch Linux rather than Raspbian - which most people start with on the Raspi.

changing the keyboard layout

By default the key map in the RuneAudio img for the Raspberry Pi is set to German. Bit of der PITA. It can be frustrating to fix without typing any dashes (they turn into a ß). You'll find slashes and a few other characters are different as well.

If you can SSH into the Pi, then you can easily fix it, but here's a quick way out in the local terminal.

Get the current keymap by running # localectl status. This will tell you what the current setting is. There are a number of ways to change the keymap, but we'll do it by editing the etc/vconsole.conf file.

# nano /etc/vconsole.conf would be great, but you'll see why that won't work. So...

# cd ..
# cd etc
# nano vconsole.conf

Edit the keymap line so it reads KEYMAP=us.

Then save the file and reboot the Pi.

connecting to wifi

You can set up the network config in the web interface, but this can be problematic when setting up the device if you can't connect via ethernet.

Presuming wlan0 is the name of your interface,
# wifi-menu -o wlan0 will search for SSIDs and give you a menu to set up the connection.

ifconfig wlan0 to confirm you have an IP.

touch screen

A quick look in the forums and you can find a RuneAudio disk image ready for the Raspberry Pi 7" touch screen. Build the sd card, plug it in the Pi and away you go. Not perfect, but brilliant nonetheless and it's open source, so feel free to improve it.

Pictured is the official Raspberry Pi 7" touch screen on a Pi 2 running RuneAudio, powered by a RAVPower 16750mAh battery.

RuneAudio alternatives

I haven't had a lot of time to test RuneAudio yet, but so far it seems to be a very nice alternative to Pi MusicBox. I've used MusicBox on the Pi quite a bit, and I am finding RuneAudio to be very similar in functionality, but with a much more visually pleasing and user-friendly interface out of the box.

I haven't yet checked out Volumio or moOde, but will report back later with my findings. Anyways there's a lot of options for playing music from your Raspi, and each has their benefits.


Playing music from the Pi is only half the fun. Building the computer into a case of some sort is where you can really be creative. Using the GPIO pins on the Pi, or a micro-controller via serial, you can make physical controls and feedback (buttons, sliders, dials, lights, etc) into a retro-vintage-cool radio.

Using RuneAudio or one of the other distros, you can (and by default will) build a system with no physical controls at all. Controlling a headless system via a web interface makes it possible to build the media system into basically anything.

Stay tuned, and I'll provide details on building these into an old stereo cabinet, a flashlight (that's right), and my Jeep.

Justin Beaulieu

is a computer scientist, software programmer, and unaccredited artist living in the Kootenays and working on projects in his basement and around the world.

Nelson, BC