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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 of world domination[1] since its initial release in February of 2001.


USE flags

USE flags for media-video/vlc Media player and framework with support for most multimedia files and streaming

X Enable support for e.g. fullscreen mode via X and the X C-language binding. It does not build a graphical interface
a52 Enable support for decoding ATSC A/52 streams used in DVD
alsa Add support for media-libs/alsa-lib (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture)
aom Enable AV1 encoding/decoding support using media-libs/libaom
archive Enable support for libarchive stream extractor
aribsub Enable support for decoding ARIB STD-B24 subtitles
bidi Enable bidirectional language support
bluray Enable libbluray for Blu-ray disc support
cddb Access cddb servers to retrieve and submit information about compact disks
chromaprint Enable libchromaprint for Chromaprint based audio fingerprinter support
chromecast Enable experimental support for Google Chromecast
dav1d Enable support for media-libs/dav1d AV1 decoder
dbus Enable dbus support for anything that needs it (gpsd, gnomemeeting, etc)
dc1394 Enable IIDC cameras support
debug Enable extra debug codepaths, like asserts and extra output. If you want to get meaningful backtraces see https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Project:Quality_Assurance/Backtraces
directx Enable Win32 DirectX, D3D11va and DxVA2 support
dts Enable DTS Coherent Acoustics decoder support
dvbpsi Enable support for Mpeg-TS files (.ts, .m2ts, .mts) via media-libs/libdvbpsi
dvd Add support for DVDs
encode Enable streaming-output support and videolan manager to control multiple streams from within one instance
faad Enable AAC audio decoding library support via media-libs/faad2
fdk Enable the Fraunhofer AAC codec library
ffmpeg Enable ffmpeg/libav-based audio/video codec support
flac Add support for FLAC: Free Lossless Audio Codec
fluidsynth Enable Fluidsynth MIDI software synthesis (with external sound fonts)
fontconfig Support for configuring and customizing font access via media-libs/fontconfig
gcrypt Enable cryptography support via libgcrypt
gme Enable support for media-libs/game-music-emu for playing various video game music formats
gstreamer Enable GStreamer based decoding support (currently supports only video decoding)
gui Enable support for a graphical user interface
ieee1394 Enable FireWire/iLink IEEE1394 support (dv, camera, ...)
jack Add support for the JACK Audio Connection Kit
jpeg Add JPEG image support
kate Adds support for Ogg Kate subtitles via libkate
keyring Enable support for freedesktop.org Secret Service API password store
kms Enable kernel mode setting video output plugin via x11-libs/libdrm
libass SRT/SSA/ASS (SubRip / SubStation Alpha) subtitle support
libcaca Add support for colored ASCII-art graphics
libnotify Enable desktop notification support
libplacebo Enable support for GPU accelerated video rendering with media-libs/libplacebo
libsamplerate Build with support for converting sample rates using libsamplerate
libtar Uses libtar instead of the built-in tar reader for reading custom skins
libtiger Enable Ogg Kate subtitles rendering using libtiger
linsys Enable support for Linux Linear Systems Ltd. SDI and HD-SDI input cards
lirc Add support for lirc (Linux's Infra-Red Remote Control)
live Enable live555 streaming media support (client support for rtsp)
loudness Enable loudness normalisation according to the EBU R128 standard using media-libs/libebur128
lua Enable Lua scripting support, needed for including support for Jamendo (online music platform) and similar things
macosx-notifications Enable Mac OS X notifications module (formerly growl)
mad Add support for mad (high-quality mp3 decoder library and cli frontend)
matroska Enable matroska support using reference libraries (fallback on other existing matroska support if disabled, i.e., matroska enabled FFmpeg)
modplug Add libmodplug support for playing SoundTracker-style music files
mp3 Add support for reading mp3 files
mpeg Add libmpeg2 support for mpeg-1 and mpeg-2 video streams
mtp Enable support for Media Transfer Protocol
musepack Enable support for the musepack audio codec
ncurses Add ncurses support (console display library)
nfs Enable support for nfs protocol via net-fs/libnfs
ogg Add support for the Ogg container format (commonly used by Vorbis, Theora and flac)
omxil Enable OpenMAX Integration Layer codec module
optimisememory Enable optimisation for memory rather than performance
opus Enable Opus audio codec support
png Add support for libpng (PNG images)
projectm Enable the projectM visualization plugin
pulseaudio Add sound server support via media-libs/libpulse (may be PulseAudio or PipeWire)
rdp Enables RDP/Remote Desktop support
run-as-root Allows vlc to start for root. Don't enable this unless you have a very specific (e.g. embedded) need for it!
samba Add support for SAMBA (Windows File and Printer sharing)
sdl-image Enable sdl image video decoder (depends on sdl)
sftp Enable libssh2 to support SFTP file transfer
shout Enable libshout output
sid Enable SID (Commodore 64 audio) file support
skins Enable support for the skins2 interface
soxr Enable SoX Resampler support via media-libs/soxr
speex Add support for the speex audio codec (used for speech)
srt Enable support for Secure Reliable Transport (SRT) via net-libs/srt
ssl Add support for SSL/TLS connections (Secure Socket Layer / Transport Layer Security)
svg Add support for SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics)
taglib Enable tagging support with taglib
test Enable dependencies and/or preparations necessary to run tests (usually controlled by FEATURES=test but can be toggled independently)
theora Add support for the Theora Video Compression Codec
tremor Enable tremor, a fixed-point version of the Ogg Vorbis decoder
truetype Add support for FreeType and/or FreeType2 fonts
twolame Enable twolame support (MPEG Audio Layer 2 encoder)
udev Enable virtual/udev integration (device discovery, power and storage device support, etc)
upnp Enable support for the Intel SDK stack based UPnP discovery module instead of CyberLink
v4l Enable support for video4linux (using linux-headers or userspace libv4l libraries)
vaapi Enable Video Acceleration API for hardware decoding
vdpau Enable the Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix acceleration interface
vnc Enable VNC (remote desktop viewer) support
vpx Enable the decoder(s) from the WebM VP8 / VP9 Codec SDK
wayland Enable dev-libs/wayland backend
x264 Enable h264 encoding using x264
x265 Support X265 Encoder
xml Add support for XML files
zeroconf Enable support for zero-configuration networking via avahi
zvbi Enable support for teletext subtitles via the zvbi library

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.

Streaming online multimedia

VLC provides users with the option to stream multimedia objects (YouTube, Vimeo, music, and more). To enable this functionality, simply enable the lua USE flag. If app-portage/gentoolkit is installed (it is a highly recommended package to have), simply issue:

root #euse -E lua -p media-video/vlc

After proper configuration and installation, streams can be opened via Media --> Open Network Stream.... Enter URLs to popular multimedia websites, such as YouTube or other websites.

Webm support

Webm is a popular video format. To have it work the vorbis, vpx, and matroska USE flags must be enabled.


VLSub is an optional lua extension to automatically download subtitles from www.opensubtitles.org. To use it the lua and archive flags must be enabled.


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

root #emerge --ask media-video/vlc


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.


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.


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 — a powerful command-line media player
  • Mpv — a free and open source command-line media player.

External resources