Importing music

From music directory on the server

You can import music files in funkwhale assuming they are located on the server and readable by the funkwhale application. Your music files should contain at least an artist, album and title tags, but we recommend you tag it extensively using a proper tool, such as Beets or Musicbrainz Picard.

You can import those tracks as follows, assuming they are located in /srv/funkwhale/data/music:

python api/ import_files "/srv/funkwhale/data/music/**/*.ogg" --recursive --noinput

When you use docker, the /srv/funkwhale/data/music is mounted from the host to the /music directory on the container:

docker-compose run --rm api python import_files "/music/**/*.ogg" --recursive --noinput

The import command supports several options, and you can check the help to get details:

docker-compose run --rm api python import_files --help


For the best results, we recommand tagging your music collection through Picard in order to have the best quality metadata.


This command is idempotent, meaning you can run it multiple times on the same files and already imported files will simply be skipped.


At the moment, only Flac, OGG/Vorbis and MP3 files with ID3 tags are supported

In-place import

By default, the CLI-importer will copy imported files to Funkwhale’s internal storage. This means importing a 1Gb library will result in the same amount of space being used by Funkwhale.

While this behaviour has some benefits (easier backups and configuration), it’s not always the best choice, especially if you have a huge library to import and don’t want to double your disk usage.

The CLI importer supports an additional --in-place option that triggers the following behaviour during import:

  1. Imported files are not store in funkwhale anymore
  2. Instead, Funkwhale will store the file path and use it to serve the music

Because those files are not managed by Funkwhale, we offer additional configuration options to ensure the webserver can serve them properly:


While in-place import is faster and less disk-space-hungry, it’s also more fragile: if, for some reason, you move or rename the source files, Funkwhale will not be able to serve those files anymore.

Thus, be especially careful when you manipulate the source files.

Getting demo tracks

If you do not have any music on your server but still want to test the import process, you can call the following methods do download a few albums licenced under creative commons (courtesy of Jamendo):

curl -L -o ""
curl -L -o music.txt ""
chmod +x
./ music.txt

This will download a bunch of zip archives (one per album) under the data/music directory and unzip their content.

From other instances

Funkwhale also supports importing music from other instances. Please refer to Federation for more details.