The (ex-totem?) Video player proposes the installation of gstreamer1.0-plugins-bad, but after installation there is no playback, nothing. When I try to open the .midi file again, the Video player comes up with the installation again and again. So I guess, this is not the right package.

UPDATE: Rythmbox isn't configured to play .midi files either.

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5 Answers 5


Open the terminal and enter:

sudo apt install timidity timidity-interfaces-extra

Enter your password, another prompt may appear type, Y and hit enter.

Go to your menu, you should now have an application called TiMidity++ launch it. In terminal would be timidity mymusic.mid.

In TiMidity++ go to File > load and redirect it the location of your midi file, select the file, then okay then play

  • 8
    Does anyone know how to associate .mid file to play using timidity? Jan 14, 2017 at 16:52
  • 2
    Not necessary to install the timidity-interfaces-extra - it's quite spooky. Can use timidity directly from the terminal. Feb 19, 2019 at 10:45
  • @SoichiHayashi check how to associate any MIME type with a default program. Then you can test from CLI with xdg-open filename.mid. Mar 28, 2019 at 2:55
  • under 18.04, timidity works with errors No instrument mapped to tone bank 0, program 78 - this instrument will not be heard and it plays nothing where numerous other players (e.g. vlc) play tunes, and its ++ gui version crashes on these errors
    – kay27
    May 24, 2022 at 0:27

VLC media player can do that for you given that the plugin for midi is installed.

sudo apt install vlc vlc-plugin-fluidsynth

After that you can play your midi library with VLC without installing timidity.

  • 4
    Note, however, that vlc-plugin-fluidsynth uses more disk space than timidity timidity-interfaces-extra (119 vs. 35.8MB).
    – ebosi
    Oct 2, 2018 at 11:56
  • Worked for me with Ubuntu 20.04 too Aug 23, 2020 at 18:03
  • Works on Ubuntu 23.10 as well 2 days ago

The gstreamer method of playing MIDI is to use the sound card's sequencer to do so. However, many sound cards do not necessarily have an instrument for playing MIDI, these days. Instead, you will need to install a software sequencer, such as timidity to play the files.


I needed proper sound fonts.

sudo apt install fluid-soundfont-gm fluid-soundfont-gs
  • VLC complains about missing sound font file. I installed what you wrote but how to setup sound font file path in VLC? The settings are in Input/Codecs>Audio Codecs>FluidSynth
    – Marecky
    Apr 16, 2021 at 18:00
  • ok found it with dpkg-query -L fluid-soundfont-gm and dpkg-query -L fluid-soundfont-gs!
    – Marecky
    Apr 16, 2021 at 18:05
  • I installed fonts and configured VLC but I still can't play midi files. I get error in the console: fluidsynth decoder error: cannot load sound fonts file /usr/share/sounds/sf2/FluidR3_GS.sf2 or fluidsynth decoder error: cannot load sound fonts file /usr/share/sounds/sf2/FluidR3_GM.sf2
    – Marecky
    Apr 16, 2021 at 18:17

There is also a Firefox plugin now: MIDI Player.

If all you need is playing the occasional MIDI that comes up on web pages like on Wikipedia, this may be the simplest solution.

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