is there any way to stream audio from my Mac to my Linux computer (my av receiver is connected to that)?

6 Answers 6


I think VLC can stream the audio over the network - take a look at http://www.videolan.org/doc/streaming-howto/en/


If you don't want to pay money for AirFoil, you can use SoundFlower on the Mac and ESounD or PulseAudio's ESounD-compatible module on the Linux machine. This article explains how to do that.

  • Nice, but not too easy to set up.
    – user3028
    Commented Feb 4, 2011 at 0:00
  • 1
    The easy setup isn't free. The free setup isn't easy. Pick your poison :)
    – clee
    Commented Feb 4, 2011 at 0:27
  • 2
    The linked site is long gone, but it's saved here: web.archive.org/web/20130709082126/http://blog.haynberg.de/…
    – emc
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 18:23

You can use AirFoil ($25) for Mac to stream the sound to AirFoil Speakers for Linux (free).

This software works great.


This guide worked for me http://tdotc.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/sound-matters/


Install Soundflower in your Mac.

# open network port 16002 to receive raw data for PulseAudio (in your receiver)
while true; do nc -l 16002 | pacat --latency-msec=1; done

# connect the audio input on OS X to a remote raw sound sink via esdrec and netcat (in your Mac)
esd -tcp -bind ::1 & sleep 2 && esdrec -s ::1 | nc <SERVER> 16002
  • works for me too. After trying some hours to connect with esd to pulseaudio (without success) this worked. Thanks!
    – lhlmgr
    Commented Feb 23, 2013 at 16:44

With XBMC installed on a Linux machine and without any other software on my Mac, I can stream anything I want.

To do this:

  1. Configure XBMC as an Airplay receiver : go to System > Services > Airplay and enable Airplay (I do not use password)
  2. On your Mac, Open Audio Midi Setup
  3. Right click on the Airplay item on the left side and choose “Use this device for sound output” from the Action pop-up menu.

Now, anything you play on your Mac should output to your Airplay device.

To reverse back to normal output (e.g. on a MacBook), right-click on another output (e.g. the standard speaker or integrated output) and choose “Use this device for sound output” from the Action pop-up menu.

See also : Audio Midi Setup: Set up your audio devices


Use ShairPort on the Linux box.

Everything can be setup within minutes with zero software installed on the Mac, which is what I wanted.

Install from PPA

This should work pretty straightforwardly on any Debian-based distro.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:dantheperson/shairplay-sync
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install shairplay-sync

Install from source

These instructions are valid for Debian, and worked on my raspberry pi within minutes. Other distros/OS may need to adapt the packages to be installed.

  1. Install Alsa:

     apt-get install alsa-utils alsa-oss libasound2 libasound2-plugins alsamixer
  2. Install PulseAudio:

     apt-get install pulseaudio pulseaudio-utils
  3. Install perl SDP. Follow instructions on the perl-net-sdp repo

  4. Clone & install ShairPort:

     git clone https://github.com/hendrikw82/shairport.git
     cd shairport
     sudo make install
     sudo cp shairport.init.sample /etc/init.d/shairport
     sudo chmod a+x /etc/init.d/shairport
     sudo update-rc.d shairport defaults
  5. (optional) Rename your receiver (like the room name):

     vim /etc/init.d/shairport

    Change/add the following:

     DAEMON_ARGS="-w $PIDFILE -a AirPlayName"
  6. Start all the services (PulseAudio, ShairPort, etc)

  7. You can now redirect your audio output to your new ShairPort device by alt-clicking the sound icon on your Mac.

All of these instructions were found on this blog post and copied here briefly in case the link goes down.

  • Shairport works great. For me the installation from the repository worked out of the box: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:dantheperson/shairplay-sync sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install shairplay-sync. After this I found my server pressing alt+volume icon on my mac.
    – PeMa
    Commented Dec 2, 2016 at 17:19
  • Oh, I didn't know there was a PPA for this. I'll update my answer with your information. Thanks! Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 8:16
  • This is also packaged for OpenWrt, so you can use your OpenWrt router together with a USB sound card as an AirPort station.
    – bk138
    Commented May 6, 2023 at 11:02

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