Ubuntu Howto: Install projectM Audio Visualizer

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projectM is an audio visualizer that is pretty spiffy. Just have it running while playing audio on your system and you will get some pretty cool effects to go with your music's beats and rhythms. It's by far my favorite addition to my Ubuntu 9.04 64bit HTPC.

These instructions cover how to build this from source using Subversion. All italicized instuctions are commands that you can copy and paste (one line at a time), otherwise they are just that -- only instructions.

1. First, lets get a few packages:

sudo apt-get install libglew1.5 libglew1.5-dev
ftgl-dev libpulse-dev subversion 
sudo apt-get install cmake libvisual-0.4-dev
libsdl-dev libqt4-dev build-essential
(Note: It's likely you may already have some of these packages, if so that's cool.)

2.  Next, add the trunk (the files you will need) to a directory in our home folder:

cd projectM-Trunk/src
mkdir projectm
cd projectm
svn co https://projectm.svn.sf.net/svnroot/projectm/trunk projectM-Trunk

3. Now we can  start the steps to configure before we install:

ccmake .
(Note: There's a "space" then "dot" after ccmake.)
Press "c" to enter the cmake configure screen.
Change the "CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX" value from "/usr/local" to "/usr".
Change the "CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE" to "Release".
Press "g" to generate your changes, which will create your makefile needed for compiling.
Press "q" after that has been generated.

4. Now we are ready to compile and install:

sudo make install

5. You should now see ProjectM-pulseaudio in your Sound menu under the Applications menu. Just start this up before or after launching your music player (I prefer Songbird). You can also start it from the CLI (command line) by typing:


6. You can enter/exit fullscreen mode by pressing "f" when the projectM window is selected. Pressing "m" will bring up projectM's menus where you can select different presets and play with settings. Pressing "l" will stop the cycling of presets, and only display the one currently being used. Have fun!

projectM Homepage:


Articles that helped me with my first projectM install:



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34 Responses

  1. Elder Geek says:

    To see what has been installed you can open a terminal and run the following command:

    cat /var/lib/dpk/info/projectM-pulseaudio to get a list of what is installed and where it went.

    In my case I could only find a projectM-pulseaudio in Maverick. When I installed it in a VM it shows that the program is found at /usr/bin/projectM-pulseaudio

    Whan a program does not run or run correctly, you should always run the program from a terminal to see what error messages may be generated.

  2. Daryl Tucker says:

    sudo apt-get install cmake-curses-gui

    ccmake is required by this tutorial, as well as cmake.

  3. Al Pagan says:

    Just like to add that, following these instructions, I’ve successfully managed to build and compile projectm on Ubuntu Natty.

    This was surprising, as it’s refused to compile successfully on the previous 2 versions of Ubuntu due to a pulseaudio problem. Looks like it’s been fixed for Natty! Hurrah!

  4. alex says:

    this worked on natty only when the svn address was projectM-Trun (minus the k) otherwise reported an invalid certificate.

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