Most current video multimedia players play many video formats (as well as audio), including the Flash video .flv format.
VLC Multimedia Player
VLC is a cross-platform multimedia player that supports many formats without need for additional codecs. It can not only receive video streams (also see here to convert it to mp4), but can act as a server for video streams, as well. It is one of the only players that can view and backup almost any DVD format, no matter which copy protection is used. See these tips for using VLC to backup/rip encrypted DVDs.
sudo apt-get install vlc vlc-plugin-pulse
There are many VLC plugins. You will likely only need to install a few of them, however, depending on your hardware and input/output configuration:
sudo apt-get install vlc-plugin-ggi vlc-plugin-jack vlc-plugin-pulse vlc-plugin-sdl vlc-plugin-svgalib mozilla-plugin-vlc vlc-plugin-esd
MPlayer Multimedia Player
Mplayer (and now Mplayer2) is a video player with a wide range of formats supported (including RealMedia and Windows-codecs) and a wide variety of outputs.
sudo apt-get install mplayer
sudo apt-get install mplayer2
- There are several frontends for MPlayer. See this complete list.
Dump a video stream to disc
You can dump a video stream to disc using Mplayer:
mplayer -dumpstream streamurl
If you don't know the exact URL of the stream you wish to save, you can discover it from the webpage it is embedded in by using the Firefox add-on UnPlug. Do not save streams that are illegal to download.
Dragonplayer is the default KDE media player included in Kubuntu. It does not have as many options or play as many formats as other video players, but is integrated into the KDE framework.
Kaffeine Video Player
Kaffeine is a video player for Kubuntu/KDE. It does not play as many formats as other video players. Install:
sudo apt-get install kaffeine
Xine-UI Multimedia Player
Xine UI is a multimedia player based, of course, on the xine platform. It can also play streamed video from the Internet and supports most formats, including some uncommon ones.
sudo apt-get install xine-ui
RealPlayer 11 Multimedia Player
The Linux Realplayer is actually based on the open-source Helix player. Helix itself can be installed as a package easily (read Helix plug-in) and used instead of Realplayer. These instructions are to install the proprietary version of RealPlayer only.
Download Real Player official linux player
Open a terminal and cd to the directory you have downloaded realplayer's .bin file. Then issue the following commands
chmod +x RealPlayer11GOLD.bin sudo ./RealPlayer11GOLD.bin
When it asks for installation path enter /usr/local/RealPlayer
For all other questions just choose default by pressing enter.
If you have installed mozilla-mplayer package you will need to delete the mplayer firefox plugin for real player videos. Other wise all real player files will open with mplayer. For that please do this
cd /usr/lib/firefox/plugins sudo rm mplayerplug-in-rm.*
Please remember to restart firefox and when ever you click on a real player video choose the option open with and use /usr/bin/realplay
Miro Player (formerly Democracy TV Player) is an open-source Internet TV and video player that allows you to watch Internet TV and videos. Unlike other video players, it contains a structured guide that includes more than 2500 channels, has built-in BitTorrent, and has features that can automatically save videos, such as from YouTube.
sudo apt-get install miro
Sopcast Internet TV
Sopcast is an interface to play live P2P video streams through the VLC media player. Install VLC first. This is a Chinese program and most content is hosted in China and may not be legal in your area. Please consult local regulations.
You can install the SopCast Player PPA using the following commands:
echo "deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/jason-scheunemann/ppa/ubuntu `lsb_release -cs` main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys CD30EE56
If you are using Karmic or later:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jason-scheunemann/ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install sopcast-player
- Applications->Sound & Video->SopCast Player
Zattoo is a free Internet TV player that allows you to watch terrestrial television from various countries in Europe. See the Zattoo Download page for further instructions on installation. For screenshots and an alternate installation guide, see this UbuntuGeek guide.
- Install dependencies first:
sudo apt-get install libgtkglext1 adobe-flashplugin
- Download the latest .deb package from Zattoo Download page.
- Install the downloaded .deb package:
sudo dpkg -i *.deb
- Run Zattoo:
- K -> Application -> Multimedia -> Zattoo Player
- Note: you have to register for a free account when the player starts.
TV Time (TV Viewer)
TVTime allows the display of television and other digital inputs (made available to the computer by a video capture card). A plugin for the Remuco remote control (remuco-tvtime) is also available. Install:
sudo apt-get install tvtime
BBC iPlayer provides replays and downloads of BBC programs to UK residents. The BBC, however, has crippled its streams to prevent downloading and legal actions against iPlayer appear to be in progress. (Flvstreamer may be required for rtmp stream recording). To install a Flash 64-bit edition of iPlayer:
sudo aptitude remove flashplugin-installer sudo add-apt-repository ppa:sevenmachines/flash sudo aptitude update sudo aptitude install flashplugin64-installer
get_iplayer (BBC program recording)
- get_iplayer allows BBC streams (through their iplayer service) for UK users, as well as Hulu streams for US users, to be recorded to mp4, wav and mp3 files (depending on content). Install v2.66 (may not work for all users):
sudo apt-get install get-iplayer
- To install a newer version:
sudo apt-get install flvstreamer id3v2 libmp3-info-perl atomicparsley libwww-perl perl wget ftp://ftp.infradead.org/pub/get_iplayer/get_iplayer-2.79.tar.gz tar xvf get_iplayer-2.79.tar.gz sudo ln -s iplayer-2.79/get_iplayer /usr/bin/get_iplayer
Note: When running this version, use get_iplayer instead of get-iplayer.
- Add preferences:
get_iplayer --prefs-add --modes=flashhd,flashvhigh,flashhigh,flashnormal,iphone get_iplayer --prefs-add --flvstreamer "/usr/bin/flvstreamer"
- Delete ~/.swfinfo:
cd ~/.swfinfo sudo rm * cd .. sudo rmdir swfinfo
- See the website for usage or:
- Get a current listing of what's available and save it in the home directory
- Having found some interesting programmes (and noted the numbers found in the left-hand column), download them:
get-iplayer --get 123 537
- iPlayer can be run in Wine using these instructions.
- Some users will need to install rtmpdump for successful streaming.
Netflix Android App
Internet radio streams through different ports, so check your firewall if you are not able to play the streams.
LastFM is a service for sharing music recommendations and individual radio streams. It is included as an option in Amarok, or can be installed separately:
sudo apt-get install lastfm
Shoutcast Internet Radio
Shoutcast is the first and last free mp3 streaming service. Hundreds of radio streams can be played through Amarok, Audacious, or other multimedia player. Simply associate the .pls streams with your favourite player (Audacious or XMMS2 recommended).
StreamTuner Stream Directory Browser
StreamTuner lists streams available on the Internet through a GTK-based interface. It lists Shoutcast and Live365 streams, among others. Install:
sudo apt-get install streamtuner
sudo apt-get install streamripper kstreamripper
- Streamripper is also available within the music player Amarok using the RecordStream plug-in.
Media Centers and PVR (Personal Video Recorder)
There are a number of open-source Media Centers for Linux, some of which include personal video recorder functions. For a full list of open-source media centers, see this guide.
MythTV is a media center with PVR (personal video recorder) for retrieving, recording, and playing broadcast and Internet TV and other multimedia content. It has many options and plugins for expansion. To be useful, you will need a compatible TV tuner card. For setup tips, see this guide. Install:
sudo apt-get install mythtv
Mythbuntu is an integrated Ubuntu (Xubuntu) desktop optimised for MythTV usage. In can be used instead of adding MythTV to a Ubuntu desktop.
XBMC is a free, mature, open-source cross-platform media center. It does not have a PVR capability nor as many functions as MythTV, but has a very nice interface.
- Add these third party repositories:
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/team-xbmc-intrepid/ubuntu intrepid main deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/team-xbmc-intrepid/ubuntu intrepid main
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install xbmc
Boxee is an XBMC-like open source package to allow streaming video over the Internet, including from YouTube and other sites. It is a fork of XBMC, and is still in alpha development and testing stage. It is currently available for 32-bit systems only, and recommended for Hardy. A current version is anticipated soon. (Note: Boxee does not run Netflix on Linux, despite their ads). See these download instructions.
Elisa is a cross-platform media center that uses the Gstreamer multimedia framework. Commercial plugins are available from Fluendo. It supports PVR and Music Jukebox . Install:
sudo apt-get install elisa
MPD Multimedia Playing Server
MPD is a music server meant for LAN usage. It can be controlled from remote clients. It can also stream internet streams.
TiMidity++ MIDI Sound Server
TiMidity is a MIDI software synthesizer required by several games and other MIDI-dependent applications.
sudo apt-get install timidity
uShare UPnP A/V Media Server
uShare is a UPnP media server compatible with the Xbox360 and PS3.
sudo apt-get install ushare
Also see: How-to: Run uShare at Startup.