wtfplay project - high quality sound from Linux

Wtfplay project is an initiative to create a quality music player for Linux. Ultimately the project has just one objective - deliver the best sound quality possible - with no compromises.

Initially the player has been created: wtfplay. Soon the project evolved and wtfplay-live Linux distribution was born.

wtfplay-live is a minimalist Linux distribution purely dedicated to audio playback. It does not have many features, but offers exceptional sound quality as a reward. Simply put: it is created to play music and it plays music well.

The main features of wtfplay-live are:

  • Memory based, bit perfect playback of WAV and FLAC files with PCM data (16 and 24 bit, up to 384kHz), and DSF files with DSD data.
  • Fully command line driven. No graphical mode. No network either. The whole system is optimised for sound playback from local disks.
  • A small text mode user interface: wtfcui - for more convenient usage.
  • Precisely tailored Linux kernel for best sound performance.
  • Distributed as Live CD: does not require installation on a hard disk, does not make any changes to your computer configuration.
  • Very small system size: the distribution ISO image is less than 50MB.
  • Good documentation - to give you all information that you need to comfortably listen to music.

The philosophy of wtfplay project is simple: provide the minimum set of features for easy use and focus 100% efforts on sound quality.


The latest version of wtfplay-live is 0.8.2. You can find the ISO images in the download directory. For more information about the release please see the release notes.

Which image to choose?

The download directory contains ISO images that are optimised for certain processor families. The images are labeled as follows:

  • corei7 - use this image if you have Intel Core i3/i5/i7 CPU or newer.
  • core2 - use this image if you have Intel Core2 Duo CPU or newer.
  • amda8 - use this image if you have AMD family 10 CPUs (including AMD A4/A6/A8 APUs) or newer.
  • amdbd1 - use this image if you have AMD Bulldozer v.1 or newer.
  • corei7-avx - use this image if you have Intel Core i3/i5/i7 CPU with AVX instruction set. This image will also run OK on AMD Bulldozer CPUs.

If you have a CPU different than listed above, try all images. There is a quite good chance that they will work correctly.

Licensing information

wtfplay audio player is released under the WTFPLAY licence.

The player and wtfplay-live distibution are made possible thanks to this open source software.


Good documentation is important. Below you can find all that you need to start using wtfplay-live:

  • Installation Guide - Start here. This document will show you how create a boot disk with the wtfplay-live ISO image. Step by step and under various operating systems.
  • Quick Start Guide - follow this guide and you will get wtfplay-live up and running within five minutes or less. And you do not require any special Linux skills for that.
  • Wtfplay Manual - this is the full manual for wtfplay-live. It covers all aspects of using the distribution with plenty of examples.

If you find something in the documentation that is is not clear or if you have suggestions how to extend it or make it better - please let me know.


If you want to report a bug, suggest an improvement or simply share your impressions of using wtfplay-live, you can use the followng email address:

The project has also a dedicated thread on

Please note that wtfplay is not a full time project for me, therefore prompt responses are not guaranteed.