How to Listen to Online Radio Stations on Ubuntu

Most Millenials would remember the stand-alone radio device from the old times that was dedicated to one purpose; fetching and playing radio signals from radio stations. Times have changed now and there are multiple applications that let you listen to your favorite radio on your smartphones. Listening to radio on your computer system is a little different though. You are not relying on the antennas to fetch radio waves but on the Internet for streaming radio on your system. As a Ubuntu user, you may find many applications that serve the purpose. However, we have collected a list of reliable applications that help you in listening to radio on Ubuntu through the Graphical UI.

In this article, we will describe how you can install some famous tools for online Radio streaming on your Ubuntu. These applications can be installed from the Ubuntu Software Manager and the command line; but for educational purposes, we will explain a different method of installation for each of these tools.

We have run the commands and procedures mentioned in this article on a Ubuntu 18.04 LTS system.


odio is a free radio streaming software for Windows, macOS and Linux. For a person who does not want to open the Command Line much, installing software through the Ubuntu UI is very simple. Please follow these steps in order to install the Odio player, available on the Snap store.

On your Ubuntu desktop Activities toolbar/dock, click the Ubuntu Software icon.

Ubuntu Software Center

Click the search icon and enter ‘odio’ in the search bar. The search results will list the relevant entries as follows:

Search for Odio

The odio entry listed here is the one maintained by the Snap store. Click on this search entry to open the following view:

Odio in app list

Click the Install button to begin the installation process. The following authentication dialog will appear for you to provide your authentication details as only an authorized user can install software on Ubuntu.

Authenticate as admin

Please note that only an authorized user can add/remove and configure software on Ubuntu. Enter your password and click the Authenticate button. After that, the installation process will begin, displaying a progress bar as follows:

Installing Odio online radio player

Odio will then be installed on your system and you will get the following message after a successful install:

Launch Odio

Through the above dialog, you can launch the tool directly and also Remove it immediately for whatever reason.

If you want to use the command line to install the same application, use the following command in your Terminal.

$ sudo snap install odio

Launch odio

You can access Odio from the Ubuntu application launcher bar as follows, or directly access it from the applications listing:

Odio Icon

Alternatively, you can use the following command in your Terminal to launch Odio through the command line:

$ odio

This is how the odio UI looks like:

Odio online radio player on Ubuntu

You can now literally choose from over 20,000 radio stations from around the world.

Radio Tray

Radio Tray is an online radio streaming player that runs on a Linux system tray. Its goal is to have the minimum interface possible, making it very straightforward to use.

Radio Tray is not a full-featured music player, there are plenty of excellent music players already. However, there was a need for a simple application with a minimal interface just to listen to online radios. And that’s the sole purpose of Radio Tray. Radio Tray is Free Software, licensed under the GPL.

Radio Tray is easily available on the official Ubuntu repositories and can easily be installed through the command line using the apt-get command. Please follow these steps to install Radio Tray via the command line.

Open your Terminal application either through the system Application Launcher Search or through the Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut.

The next step is to update your system’s repository index through the following command:

$ sudo apt-get update

Update package list

This helps you in installing the latest available version of a software from the Internet. Please note that only an authorized user can add, remove and configure software on Ubuntu.

Now you are ready to install Radio Tray; you can do so by running the following command as sudo:

$ sudo apt-get install radiotray

Install Radiotray

The system might ask you the password for sudo and also provide you with a Y/n option to continue the installation. Enter Y and then hit Enter; the software will be installed on your system. The process may, however, take some time depending on your Internet speed.

Launch Radio Tray

Radio Tray, as the name suggests, can be found in your Ubuntu’s system tray. This is how the Radio Tray menu looks like:

Launch Radio Tray

You can listen to a number of radios based on their genre and also configure radios for yourself using the Preferences menu.

VLC Player

You can install the VLC player through many ways including the Software Manager, and through the apt-get command from the Terminal. However, using the official PPA repository will help you in installing the latest version of the music player. Please use this following method to install the VLC player from the VideoLAN PPA.

Use the following command in order to add the repository:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:videolan/stable-daily

Add VLC Player PPA repo

You will be given a choice to proceed with the repository adding process; please hit Enter in order to continue. Enter the following command in order to upgrade the system with the above changes:

$ sudo apt-get update

Update package lists

Now you can use the following command in order to install VLC through PPA:

$ sudo apt-get install vlc

Install VLC

When the package is successfully installed, you can check its version through the following command:

$ vlc --version

VLC Version

How to use VLC Player to listen to Radio?

You can access the VLC player from the Ubuntu application launcher bar as follows, or directly access it from the applications listing:

VLC Icon

Alternatively, you can use the following command in your Terminal to launch VLC through the command line:

$ vlc

This is how the VLC Player UI looks like:

VLC Media Player

From the Media menu, select the ‘Open Network Stream’ option. This will open the following ‘Open Media’ view:

Network configuration

In the Network tab’s Network Protocol view, enter the URL of the radio station you want to listen to and then click the Play button. This will instantly start playing your specified radio station.

So, these were three reliable options through which you can listen to radio from your Ubuntu desktop.