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VLC media player is a wildly popular, cross platform video player and streamer. VLC media player has been quickly achieving its goal[1] of world domination since its initial release in February of 2001.


USE flags

Cannot load package information. Is the atom media-video/vlc correct?

According to VideoLAN some certain USE flags need to be set in order to not get a very bare bones version of VLC.[2] Many of them might be obsolete or be set by the selected profile. For the standard desktop profile one might add to /etc/portage/package.use like

media-video/vlc gnutls live lua matroska rtsp theora upnp vcdx


After setting desired USE flags for the initial installation, emerge VLC:

root #emerge --ask media-video/vlc


VLC is an extremely powerful program capable of playing almost any media file. It can even "play" binary files, although it is really not worth trying since there is really no point in "playing" most binaries.


Alternate interfaces

VLC provides multiple interfaces in addition to the default GUI interface. There is an ncurses-based interface, and a HTTP interface that can be used for streaming or as a remote control. The VLC wiki has a section dedicated to explaining the alternative interfaces.

Users may become confused when using VLC via Portage because, by default, the ebuild does not include the USE flags needed in order to include the dependencies needed for the alternative interfaces. Search the USE flag section above for interface related flags.

Once the flags have been set recompile VLC by using the following command:

root #emerge --changed-use media-video/vlc


When connecting to the HTTP interface, make sure a password is set.

Leave the user name field blank when entering credentials on the web page leave the user name blank.


VLC supports a host of hotkeys[3] for more efficient operation. There is an article on the VLC wiki detailing all available hotkeys for the Qt interface.

See also

  • MPlayer - An older, once powerful command-line media player.
  • Mpv - A much improved fork of MPlayer.

External resources