VLC media player

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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 the vlc package.

Notable variants are:


VLC does not offer an option to change language in its Preferences menu. But you can use the LANGUAGE= prefix. For instance, modify the vlc.desktop desktop entry to change:

Exec=/usr/bin/vlc %U


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

to switch VLC interface to French.


VLC can be "skinned" for a different look and feel. You can get skins at the skins website.

To install a skin download it and move it to ~/.local/share/vlc/skins2/.

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 select the downloaded skin.

Restart VLC for the change to take effect.

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 bind 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-port 8080 --http-password yourpasswordhere

To enable the web interface from the graphical interface, navigate to View > Add Interface > Web Interface. Set the password via Tools > Preferences > Show settings: All > Interface > Main interfaces > Lua > Lua HTTP > Password.

VLC defaults to port 8080: http://localhost: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

Twitch.tv streaming over VLC

See Streamlink#Twitch.

Playing streamed content from a local DLNA server

If you find that trying to play uPNP/DLNA content (by going to View > Playlist > Local Network > Universal Plug'n'Play), that vlc fails to see the DLNA server on the local network, then make sure that the firewall is not blocking port 1900 UDP. It is essential that this port is open in order to play local uPNP/DLNA content.

Control using hotkeys or cli

Install openbsd-netcat.

Get script at: https://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.

Alternatively, you can use MPRIS to interact with VLC.

It is also possible to start vlc with an ncurses interface:

$ vlc -I ncurses

see the documentation for more information

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. You can disable this in Tools > Preferences > Interface > Instances > Allow only one instance. Optionally, tick Enqueue files when in one instance mode which keeps current file playing and adds any newly opened files to the current playlist.

Hardware video acceleration

See Hardware video acceleration.

VLC automatically tries to use an available API, but you can override it by going to Tools > Preferences > Input & Codecs and choosing the suitable option under Hardware-accelerated decoding, e.g. Video Acceleration (VA) API for VA-API or Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix (VDPAU) for VDPAU.

systemd service

VLC's web interface can be started from systemd. First, you need to create a default user:

# useradd -c "VLC daemon" -d / -G audio -M -p \! -r -s /usr/bin/nologin -U vlcd

Now create the systemd service file:

Description=VideoOnLAN Service

ExecStart=/usr/bin/vlc --daemon --syslog -I http --http-port 8090 --http-password password


Start and enable vlc.service. Log in to http://yourmachine:8090/ with no username and with the password you put in the service file.

Chromecast support

Starting with 3.0 release (Vetinari branch), VLC can stream to Chromecast devices on the same network.

Install packages:

  • libmicrodns - VLC can find the Chromecast device and it shows up in Playback > Renderer menu
  • protobuf - enables streaming to the selected device in Playback > Renderer menu

Then, edit the file /etc/nsswitch.conf and change the hosts line to include mdns_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] before resolve and dns:

hosts: ... mdns_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] resolve [!UNAVAIL=return] dns ...
  • If you experience slowdowns in resolving .local hosts try to use mdns4_minimal instead of mdns_minimal.
  • Look towards avahi for more information.

Pause click plugin

Install vlc-pause-click-pluginAUR, which allows you to click on the video inside VLC's window, and it will be paused or resumed. It is a commonly expected behavior.

It is not activated after installation, you need to manually enable it in settings as described in https://github.com/nurupo/vlc-pause-click-plugin#usage.


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.

If using a ffmpeg variant from the AUR, be sure that you have upgraded it as well. Pacman will not upgrade it when necessary and a mismatch will break VLC.

Segmentation fault

Fault when initiating VLC

When starting VLC you can get a segfault, and ruling out general factors such as Microcode, a possible workaround to this is running the following:

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

Then reinstall VLC.

Fault when playing a video

If VLC can open and play audio files, but closes when you play a video with a segfault. Then Hardware video acceleration was wrongly configured, making VLC unable to refer to graphic devices. It occurs especially when you are using different graphic cards on one computer. You can install the following dependencies to solve the problem.

For Nvidia graphic card users: install libva-vdpau-driver.

For Intel graphic card users: install libva-intel-driver.

Missing icons in dropdown menus

This can happen under XFCE, there will be no more icons in dropdown menus, like 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

Failed to open VDPAU backend

See Hardware video acceleration#Failed to open VDPAU backend.

Since your system probably does not support VDPAU you should tell VLC to use VA-API instead, see #Hardware video acceleration.

VLC fails to open a second time after closing

Manually set VLC to use the VA-API acceleration backend in Settings -> Input/Codecs. VLC seems to select VDPAU by default, which is broken for many people.

No playback via SFTP of media files names containing spaces

If VLC does not play any videos or audio files over SFTP make sure you have sshfs installed.

If it refuses to play any media files containing spaces via SFTP and always asks for authentication change the Exec line in the vlc.desktop file to:

Exec=/usr/bin/vlc --started-from-file %F

See [1].

Cannot open DVD

To be able to play DVDs via Media > Open Disc, VLC optional dependency libdvdread needs to be installed.

Cannot navigate DVD menus

To navigate DVD menus and play episode by episode, VLC optional dependency libdvdnav needs to be installed.

Media does not load

If some RTP, RTSP, DVB-T streams or Blu-rays look like they are endlessly buffering or silently do not load, without giving an error message in the logs (e.g. IPTV from French FAI Free) install aribb24.

Wayland support

vlc-gitAUR builds with Wayland support by default. Set the QT_QPA_PLATFORM=wayland environment variable to enable Wayland. See Wayland#Qt for more info.

Note that although the --enable-wayland build flag is used in the vlc PKGBUILD (which currently uses VLC version 3.0), Xwayland is used anyway, as Wayland support on VLC 3 is broken. Video output in VLC may be cropped or otherwise malformed unless xorg-xwayland is installed.

Failed to connect to RTSP stream

When connection to RTSP stream ends up with the failed to setup rtsp session error, install live-media.

Random colors when playing streams with Streamlink

Install the optional dependency aribb24.

Unresponsive system when playing HEVC video with AMDGPU

When playing a video encoded with HEVC (H265), users may encounter a total system freeze and are unable to do anything or shutdown.

This can be fixed by changing the settings for Open GL/GLES hardware converter to something other than Automatic (e.g. VDPAU OpenGL surface converter or VA-API OpenGL surface converter for Wayland).

See https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/drm/amd/-/issues/2113#note_1602599

Sound disappears briefly after changing playback progress

Change Tools > Preferences > Audio > Output module to ALSA audio output.

See also