VLC media player

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Revision as of 12:35, 6 March 2014 by Flu (talk | contribs) (Added VDPAU decoding option.)
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From the project home page:

VLC is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework that plays most multimedia files as well as DVD, Audio CD, VCD, and various streaming protocols.


Install vlc from the official repositories.

Notable variants are:

If you want to play audio CDs, you should also install libcddb.


It seems VLC does not offer an option to change language in its Preferences menu. But you can use the LANGUAGE= prefix. For instance, modify the /usr/share/applications/vlc.desktop line:

Exec=/usr/bin/vlc %U


Exec=LANGUAGE=fr /usr/bin/vlc %U

to switch VLC interface to French.


VLC can be "skinned" for a different look and feel. You can obtain new skins for VLC from http://www.videolan.org/vlc/skins.php.

Installation of skins is simple just download the skin you wish to use and copy it to:


Open up VLC, click Tools > Preferences. When the preferences window opens up you should be in the "Interface" tab

Choose the "Use custom skin" radio button, and browse to the location of the downloaded skin.

Restart VLC for the change to take effect.

Note: You need to install libtar from the official repositories to use the skinnable interface module.

Web interface

Run VLC with the parameter --extraintf=http to use both the desktop and web interface. The --http-host parameter specifies the address to, which is localhost by default. To set a password, use --http-password, otherwise VLC will not allow you to log in.

# vlc --extraintf=http --http-host --http-password 'yourpasswordhere'

Or you can enable this feature in the UI by navigating to View > Add Interface > Web Interface.

VLC defaults to port 8080:

Edit /usr/share/vlc/lua/http/.hosts to allow remote connections. You will need to restart VLC in order for changes to take effect.

Tips and tricks

File association in GNOME

Copy the system desktop file to the local one (local .desktop files supersede the global ones):

$ cp /usr/share/applications/vlc.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/

Define its mime types (known playback file type abilities) by doing:

sed -i 's|^Mimetype.*$|MimeType=video/dv;video/mpeg;video/x-mpeg;video/msvideo;video/quicktime;video/x-anim;video/x-avi;video/x-ms-asf;video/x-ms-wmv;video/x-msvideo;video/x-nsv;video/x-flc;video/x-fli;application/ogg;application/x-ogg;application/x-matroska;audio/x-mp3;audio/x-mpeg;audio/mpeg;audio/x-wav;audio/x-mpegurl;audio/x-scpls;audio/x-m4a;audio/x-ms-asf;audio/x-ms-asx;audio/x-ms-wax;application/vnd.rn-realmedia;audio/x-real-audio;audio/x-pn-realaudio;application/x-flac;audio/x-flac;application/x-shockwave-flash;misc/ultravox;audio/vnd.rn-realaudio;audio/x-pn-aiff;audio/x-pn-au;audio/x-pn-wav;audio/x-pn-windows-acm;image/vnd.rn-realpix;video/vnd.rn-realvideo;audio/x-pn-realaudio-plugin;application/x-extension-mp4;audio/mp4;video/mp4;video/mp4v-es;x-content/video-vcd;x-content/video-svcd;x-content/video-dvd;x-content/audio-cdda;x-content/audio-player;|' ~/.local/share/applications/vlc.desktop

Then in System Settings > Details > Default Applications and on the Video drop-down menu, select Open VLC media player.}}

Control using hotkeys or cli

Install netcat-openbsd.

Get script at: http://crunchbang.org/forums/viewtopic.php?pid=112035%23p112035#p112035

Follow instructions in script to setup a socket for VLC.

Either run the script from the command line or register the script with keyboard shortcuts through your desktop.

Preventing multiple instances

The default settings for VLC is to open a new instance of the program for each file that is opened. This can be annoying if you are using VLC for something like playing your music collection. To remedy the problem you can do the following:

  1. Open VLC.
  2. Go to Tools > Preferences (Ctrl+P).
  3. Go to the Interface tab and find the "Instances" section.
  4. Tick "Allow only one instance".
  5. Optionally tick "Enqueue files when in one instance mode". This will keep the current file playing and add any newly opened files to the current playlist.

Harware accelleration support

To enable hardware acceleration since version 2.1.x: Tools > Preferences > Input & Codecs, then choose under Hardware-accelerated decoding the suitable item, e.g. Video Acceleration (VA) API or Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix (VDPAU).

To enable hardware acceleration in previous versions: Tools > Preferences > Input & Codecs, then check Use GPU accelerated decoding.


PulseAudio lag

When using PulseAudio as the audio output module, you might encounter audio/video sync problems. These problems can usually be fixed by editing /etc/pulse/default.pa or ~/.pulse/default.pa to reflect the following changes. However, this can cause a new audio stuttering problem in some applications such as flash.

.ifexists module-udev-detect.so
load-module module-udev-detect tsched=0

Video broken or other issue after upgrade

Now and then VLC will have some issues with configuration even in minor releases. Before making bug reports, remove or rename your configuration located at ~/.config/vlc and confirm whether the issue is still there.

Segmentation fault

When starting VLC you can get a segfault, a possible workaround to this is running the following:

 # /usr/lib/vlc/vlc-cache-gen -f usr/lib/vlc/plugins

Then reinstall VLC.

Missing icons in dropdown menus

This can happen under XFCE, there will be no more icons in dropdown menus, like the or the PCI card icon.

Execute these commands to reactivate these icons:

$ gconftool-2 --type boolean --set /desktop/gnome/interface/buttons_have_icons true
$ gconftool-2 --type boolean --set /desktop/gnome/interface/menus_have_icons true

See also