Google Music Manager Fix for Linux

October 30, 2013 by Noah
There seems to be a problem with the Google Play Music Manager on Linux, where once you set up the Music Manager for the first time, it's impossible to get its main window to appear after that. The tray icon is there, and it can be right-clicked on to bring up a menu, but clicking "Options" in the menu does nothing, and double-clicking the icon (which should bring up the Options window) also doesn't do anything.

I ran into this problem a couple different times on different machines running Fedora over the span of about the last 6 months. I had to Google it both times to find a solution (which wasn't easy to find), so here's the solution that ended up working for me each time.

  1. Stop the Music Manager by right-clicking the tray icon and clicking "Quit."
  2. Delete the folder ~/.config/google-musicmanager
  3. Optional step: the Music Manager is horrible at detecting duplicates, so I recommend you completely clear out your ~/Music folder (if you already downloaded songs from Google, move them to some other place). You'll see why in step #8.
  4. Open the Music Manager again from your applications menu.
  5. Log in to your Google account, etc.
  6. Choose "Upload music", not Download.
  7. Don't use the default "Music Folder" option, but explicitly browse to your Music folder and add it manually.
  8. Ignore any warnings about "less than 10 songs in the folder" etc. Also, if you already have music in your Music folder, the Music Manager will upload them anyway, and it sucks at detecting duplicates so you'll end up with a ton of duplicates on your Play Account in the cloud. This is why I recommend to clear out your Music folder in step 3.
For some reason, choosing to upload rather than download during the initial setup fixes the problem of the Options window not appearing from then on. Hopefully Google will fix the Music Manager soon, but it's been broken for ~6 months already so in the mean time this is the work-around. I eventually found this solution both times from a thread on the Ubuntu forums. Uninstalling and reinstalling the app is unnecessary, simply deleting the config folder does the same job.

Also, if you can't get the Music Manager to start at all in the first place, try running it from a terminal window with the google-musicmanager command and see what it says. On Fedora, it told me "error while loading shared libraries:", and I just had to yum install qtwebkit to fix it (the MusicManager RPM didn't correctly list this dependency). When you see this or similar errors in Fedora, you can use a command similar to yum provides '*/' and see what packages provide the missing file, and know what to install from there.



There are 41 comments on this page. Add yours.

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Dave posted on December 21, 2013 @ 03:37 UTC

Nice article, I tried uploading an empty folder and made my way through the prompts, now I'm able to see the status of the music downloads. Thanks!

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Gareth posted on February 11, 2014 @ 10:04 UTC

Thanks for this. Sorted the problems I was having!

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alexs77 posted on February 12, 2014 @ 06:46 UTC

Thanks dude, this helped me as well on Ubuntu Gnome 14.04!

Now, if only Google would acknowledge, that there even is an issue… Google knows about this defect and knows about this blog post, but… Well, I know where I will NOT be spending money, that's for sure.

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Daniel posted on March 9, 2014 @ 22:17 UTC

thanks man.. your solution worked for me.

so weird that google doesn't fix this!

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Matt posted on March 15, 2014 @ 16:04 UTC

Helped me as well, thanks a lot!

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Peter Marczis posted on May 5, 2014 @ 16:51 UTC

I luv you ! I love google, but this music manager so far is not so good on linux... but at least this time they provide linux version, I'm still mad not having "native" linux program for drive...

Anyway, thanks to you now options working... :) Great achievements... wondering if I made a mistake by buying albums on play... Let's see in the future. Thanks again !

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Jamison Lofthouse posted on June 27, 2014 @ 01:29 UTC

It seems that this won't be fixed since Google is trying their new "packaged app" technology to directly interface with the machine.

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Almirante posted on July 27, 2014 @ 00:23 UTC

Thank you very very much!!! :D

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bushiko posted on August 16, 2014 @ 05:18 UTC

Thanks, worked for me on Elementary OS!

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Mordalo posted on September 17, 2014 @ 13:56 UTC

THANK YOU! This was driving me crazy trying to figure out.

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Un1XX388 posted on October 13, 2014 @ 19:59 UTC

Thanks! That worked on elementary OS as well! (just fyi)

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Søren posted on November 27, 2014 @ 06:16 UTC

Thanks for the tip, works great. Sad though, that this is still an issue a year after the original post. Google sure doesnt give Linux support priority.

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Michael DeBusk posted on December 9, 2014 @ 18:28 UTC

This seems to have done the job for me under Ubuntu Gnome 14.04. Thank you.

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awfulness posted on December 13, 2014 @ 17:31 UTC

You know how I download songs on 7digital? I buy them, then I click 'donwload'. Then I can put them on my mp3 player and listen to them.

You know how I download songs on google play? I buy them, then I visit a web page, Then I click three gray butons that drop downa menu, then I click download, then it warns me that I can only download songs twice from the web, but that i should get the gogle play manager program if i want to download them more often. So I download them from the web, once, and it decides to download the whole album - but it dies at 1.5 gigabytes (13 podcasts, 11 hours of audio, why?) I am afraid I have 'used up' one of my two web downloads, so i better try the manager program.

I install it. Of course, it doesnt work. As this blog post notes it silently fails to open a window. Its main widow. I try right clicking on the new icon in my doc, and try 'go to music player', it takes me to a web page. Where I can't download songs. It's the same web page I was at before.

For the last 10 minutes I have been "preparing to upload" ... dont know what that means, but i dont want to upload anything.

I want to downlad the podcasts. That I bought. With my Money.

Ok. Now it has finished preparing. I try to 'open music player' again, again it goes to the web page.

Maybe if i right click and choose 'options'... oh guess what? you cant stop uploading in favor of downloading.. you can only upload and download at the same time.

Google - i am fed up with this company. This has prompted me to finally pull the trigger on gmail and get rid of evry last trace of Google in my life.

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Eloy Lusancarez posted on February 13, 2015 @ 02:00 UTC

Thank you for this information! I was going crazy trying to figure out what was wrong with the Music Manager. I did everything that you said, and it worked (I have Opensuse).

Thanks again!

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Brody posted on March 1, 2015 @ 07:29 UTC


Keywords for future searchers: Ubuntu Linux Google Music Manager Options does nothing

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Lucas Dantas Gueiros posted on March 18, 2015 @ 22:06 UTC

Thanks! It's now working. But I still have problems in my Android and I'm trying to fix it...

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Jake posted on May 16, 2015 @ 21:37 UTC

I went into the opt/google directory and there was a run file labeled google-musicmanger that I clicked on... I was prompted with a window that informed me that the sftware was not trusted. I checked trust this software and ran it, upon doing so, the icon changed from a text file Icon to the google play Icon. I no longer have problems witht he application whatsoever. Hope this helps.

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KS posted on July 24, 2015 @ 19:31 UTC

Thanks so much! Don't know what I would have done without you and this post.

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tony posted on August 4, 2015 @ 13:17 UTC

Well, the interesting thing is that linux and windosoft started doing the same thing at nearly the same time.

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someone posted on October 15, 2015 @ 18:40 UTC

for me, it somehow uploaded 23 files that didn't exist. but at least it's working now.

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anon posted on December 19, 2015 @ 01:47 UTC

Thanks for this, if only they would fix it.

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random_user posted on March 9, 2016 @ 20:23 UTC

It's 2016 and this fix is still relevant.

Thank you!

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Nico posted on April 26, 2016 @ 14:58 UTC

Thank you very much for your help! 2.5 years since your post and it's still very useful.

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Chad Longstaff posted on May 11, 2016 @ 00:14 UTC

This is one of the most useful pages on the internet, keep up the good work!

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Jerry posted on May 20, 2016 @ 01:30 UTC

Thanks! Still works on Fedora 23.

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JD posted on August 1, 2016 @ 15:00 UTC

Hi, thanks for the hints.

Working on: Linux Mint 18 Sarah Google Music Manager

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Chris from Edmonton posted on September 26, 2016 @ 01:00 UTC

Brilliant, worked like a charm! Thanks for sharing this!

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Brett posted on December 18, 2016 @ 10:15 UTC

Hahaha, this still hasn't been fixed after 3 years.

Thanks for keeping this post up.

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Satho posted on December 26, 2016 @ 15:58 UTC

Dude, thank you so much. I can believe Google haven't fix this issue. You were the only one with a proper solution! Thanks!

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Anthony posted on February 14, 2017 @ 08:41 UTC

Awesome - thanks. Worked like a charm.

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Joe posted on May 4, 2017 @ 11:15 UTC

Thank you for the detailed instructions, soooo helpful! solved my problem!

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Anonymous posted on September 28, 2017 @ 17:41 UTC

Thanks for the fix!

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Anonymous posted on January 7, 2018 @ 02:17 UTC

still working.. thanks

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Craig posted on March 13, 2018 @ 12:33 UTC

Thank you from the future :D

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Dan posted on March 14, 2018 @ 21:47 UTC

Thanks a lot! Problem solved

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mansourdidehban posted on July 24, 2018 @ 05:10 UTC


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Anonymous posted on October 30, 2018 @ 19:41 UTC

It still works on Ubuntu 18.10, thank you :-)

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goth1856 posted on November 5, 2018 @ 23:58 UTC

need a fix for chromebooks.

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warjoy posted on March 25, 2019 @ 19:39 UTC

thanks a lot.! It works all well after droping the config files. What a mess :-(

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anon posted on May 16, 2019 @ 02:41 UTC

thanks. your solution still work a1. shame on google for not fixing that trouble

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