Difference between revisions of "MPlayer"

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# ao=oss # Use OSS4
# ao=oss # Use OSS4
# multithreaded decoding of H264/MPEG-1/2 (valid: 1-8)
# prefer using six channels audio
# prefer using six channels audio
channels = 6
channels = 6

Revision as of 10:58, 6 January 2012

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MPlayer is a popular movie player for GNU/Linux. It has support for pretty much every video and audio format out there and is hence very versatile, even though most people use it for viewing videos.


The mplayer package is available in [extra]:

# pacman -S mplayer

Alternatively, the latest development version can be install from the AUR (mplayer-svnAUR).

You may also want to try mplayer2, a fork of mplayer:

# pacman -S mplayer2

mplayer2 has several improvements over mplayer. see mplayer2 vs mplayer

Additional installation tips


There are several GUIs for MPlayer.

  • Qt: smplayer is in the extra repository. The smplayer-themes package provides themes for it.
  • Gtk+: pympAUR and gnome-mplayer are in the AUR and community repos, respectively.
  • gmplayer: this gui is no longer included in the mplayer package. There is an alternative mplayer package (mplayer-x) in AUR in which the gmplayer gui is enabled.

Browser integration

If you want to let MPlayer control video viewing in your favorite web browser, install the following:


# pacman -S gecko-mediaplayer
Note: Depends on gnome-mplayer, which provides a complete frontend to MPlayer.


# pacman -S kmplayer
Note: Also provides a complete frontend to MPlayer.



System-wide configuration is located in /etc/mplayer/mplayer.conf, whereas the user-local settings are stored in ~/.mplayer/config. The file /etc/mplayer/example.conf is a good starting point.

An example configuration:

# default configuration that applies to every file
# use X11 for video output
# use also for audio output
# ao=oss # Use OSS4
# multithreaded decoding of H264/MPEG-1/2 (valid: 1-8)
# prefer using six channels audio
channels = 6
# scale the subtitles to the 3% of the screen size
subfont-text-scale = 3
# never use font config
nofontconfig = 1
# add black borders so the movies have the same aspect ratio of the monitor
# for wide screen monitors
# for non wide screen traditional monitors

#profile for up-mixing two channels audio to six channels
# use -profile 2chto6ch to activate
#profile to down-mixing six channels audio to two channels
# use -profile 6chto2ch to activate

# Disable screensaver.
heartbeat-cmd="xscreensaver-command -deactivate &" # stop xscreensaver
stop-xscreensaver="yes" # stop gnome-screensaver


This is a list of the most basic MPlayer keys.
Key Description
p Toggle pause/play.
Space Toggle pause/play.
Backspace Return to menu when using dvdnav.
Left Seek backward ten seconds.
Right Seek forward ten seconds.
Down Seek backward one minute.
Up Seek forward one minute.
< Go back in the playlist.
> Go forward in the playlist.
m Mute the sound.
0 Volume up.
9 Volume down.
f Toggle fullscreen mode.
o Toggle OSD state.
j Toggle subtitle visibility.
I Show filename.
1, 2 Adjust contrast.
3, 4 Adjust brightness.
j Cycle through the available subtitles.
# Cycle through the available audio tracks.

Tips and Tricks

Automatic Resuming Where You Left Off

The AUR contains an elegant perl wrapper-script which will allow autoresuming from the point at which playback was stopped mplayer-resumerAUR.

Usage is trivial: simply call the wrapper-script in place of mplayer. Example:

$ mplayer-resumer [options] [path/]filename

If this script is restarted within $tdiff (default 5 seconds) then it will delete the file used to keep track of the videos resume position.


Watching 90% of a video and stopping causes you to return to the beginning again the next time you watch it. Remembering where you were in the video and resuming at that position is a much nicer behavior for the user. By default, mplayer spits out timecode information that tells you where you are in the video, to the tenth of a second. Mplayer also supports a seek feature on the command-line. We can make use of these features to write an mplayer wrapper that will remember the last position in a video file and resume to it on playback.


If the video file to be played is on a read-only filesystem, or otherwise lives in a location that cannot be written to, resume will fail. This is because the current implementation uses a file parallel to the video file to store the timecode.

Enabling VDPAU (modern nVidia cards only)

For a complete list of VDPAU capable hardware, see [this table]. Ensure the nvidia driver is installed and consider one of the following two methods to automatically enable vdpau for playback.

1. Using a conf file

Append the following to either the system-wide or user-specific config files

Note: The trailing commas are important!
Warning: The ffodivxvdpau is only supported by the most recent series of nVidia hardware. Consider omitting it based on your specific hardware.

2. Using a wrapper script

The AUR contains a trivial bash script called mplayer-vdpau-autoAUR that detects which vc to use and when to use vo=vdpau.

Translucent Video with radeon and Composite enabled

To get translucent video output in X you have to enable textured video in mplayer:

$ mplayer -vo xv:adaptor=1 <File>

Or add the following line to ~/.mplayer/config:


You can use xvinfo to check which video modes your graphic card supports.

Smplayer No Video Issue

Smplayer may have trouble opening mp4 (and probably flv) videos. If it plays only audio without video here is the fix: Open your ~/.mplayer/config file and add


If problem persists after doing so, it is because of smplayer is keeping settings for that specific file. Deleting file settings of smplayer will fix this.

 $ rm -rf ~/.config/smplayer/file_settings

(S)mplayer fails to resume playback after pause

Smplayer might stop playing a video after pausing it if your audio output driver is set wrong. If PulseAudio is used start mplayer with the "-ao pulse" argument or edit your ~/.mplayer/config file and add


In Smplayer you have to change your "Output-driver" under "General" - "Audio" in the options.

Transparent SMPlayer in Gnome with Composite enabled

Have you noticed the transparent screen of smplayer when you are using compiz and maybe cairo-dock? Well it’s ridiculous that when you open your videos using SMplayer you can just hear audio and no video! Here’s how you fix this: [copy paste into terminal]

   sudo bash -c "cat > /usr/bin/smplayer.helper" <<EOF
   exec smplayer.real "$@"
   sudo chmod 755 /usr/bin/smplayer.helper
   sudo mv /usr/bin/smplayer{,.real}
   sudo ln -sf smplayer.helper /usr/bin/smplayer

If you don’t use sudo then just use “su” to login as root and do the above!

Watching streamed video

If you want to play a video stream (e.g *.asx link) use:

$ mplayer -playlist link-to-stream.asx 

To play the stream, as these are playlists of streams and won't be playable by omitting the -playlist option.

Play mplayer with dvdnav support

If you want to use mplayer with dvdnav support to enable the menus of a dvd then use the following syntax:

$ mplayer -nocache dvdnav://

Seek forward/backward in a downloading file

If you want to be able to seek forward and backward in a video file which is still downloading whilst watching it, add the following to your config file.


Increase the total volume

If the maximal volume provided by the sound settings is not loud enough, you can increase the volume by mplayer itself. Activate softvol and set a maximal level which has to range between 10 and 10000.


Stream mplayer audio to jackd

Edit ~/.mplayer/config and add:


Mplayer fails to open files with spaces

If you try to open a file with spaces (The Movie) and mplayer fails. Saying that it could not open the file (file:///The%20Movie), where all spaces are converted to %20.

Then edit /usr/share/applications/mplayer.desktop to change the following line from:

Exec=mplayer %U


Exec=mplayer "%F"

If you got frontend/GUI enter GUI name in Exec=gui_name "%F".

External links