How to Create and Export Music Playlists on Linux

There are plenty of applications that you can use to create a playlist on Linux, but Clementine is a longstanding favourite media player that plenty of Linux users already rely on to play their music libraries.

Clementine makes constructing a new playlist very simple and exporting it for use on another device even easier.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to Install Clementine
  • How to Import Your Music Library
  • How to Create a Playlist
  • How to Export a Playlist

Clementine Playing

Clementine Playing.

Software Requirements and Conventions Used

Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, OpenSUSE, and Arch Linux
Software Clementine
Other Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the sudo command.
Conventions # – requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
$ – requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

How to Install Clementine

To start, you’re going to need to install Clementine. It’s open source, and you can find it in nearly any distribution’s repositories. Go ahead and install it however you’re most comfortable.


$ sudo apt install clementine


For one reason or another, the Fedora developers have chosen not to package Clementine. It was also left out of the RPMFusion repository. That leaves only the Snap package. Begin by installing the Snap system.

$ sudo dnf install snapd

Then, link the new Smap directory to the traditional location to use it normally.

$ sudo ln -s /var/lib/snapd/snap /snap

Finally, install the Clementine Snap.

$ sudo snap install clementine


$ sudo zypper install clementine-qt5

Arch Linux

# pacman -S clementine

How to Import Your Music Library

Open up Clementine. When you first start you may or may not see it importing your music library. That will be largely dependent on where you actually store your music. In case Clementine isn’t loading your music automatically, select Tools. Then, choose Preferences from the menu.

Clementine Music Library

Clementine Music Library.

A new window will pop open. Select Music Library from the menu on the left. The body of the window will shift to show the available options for your music library. Near the top, you’ll see the folders of your library listed out. Press Add new folder…. Navigate to the folder with your music library, and open it.

You can press OK at the bottom of the window to apply the change. Then, wait for Clementine to import your music library.

How to Create a Playlist

Now that your library is imported, locate a song or album that you’d like to add to your playlist in the library listing to the left of the Clementine window. Right click the item you want to add to your playlist. A long menu will open up. Choose Append to current playlist.

Clementine Add Songs to Playlist

Clementine Add Songs to Playlist.

Notice that the song or album is now listed in the main body of the window to the right. Keep going that way to build out your playlist.

How to Export a Playlist

When you have your playlist set up, press the floppy disk save icon just above your playlist.

Clementine Export Playlist

Clementine Export Playlist.

A new browse window will open up, letting you choose a place to save your playlist. Give you playlist a name at the top of the window. Then, locate the drop-down menu in the lower right. By default, it’s set to XSPF playlists. The most common playlist format is M3U. So, for best portability, use the menu to select M3U playlists. You also may want to append the m3u extension on your file name. When you’re ready press Save.


You now have a portable playlist that you can load on nearly any device. As long as the songs included in the playlist are available on that device, your playlist will work just as you’d expect.

You can always make changes to your playlist in Clementine later on and save it again to keep it updated.

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