There are many open source media players available to Linux users. A preference for the selection arises from features, ease of installation and the availability of a stable version. The stable version of VLC 3.0 is here and ready to use. In this article, we’re going to show you different ways to install VLC Media Player depending on whether you choose the graphical interface or the command line of your Ubuntu system.
We ran the commands and procedures mentioned in this article on an Ubuntu 20.04 LTS system.
VLC Player installation via the user interface
Popular VLC multimedia player is available in the list of reliable Ubuntu software you can install. It provides an easy way to install the player using the graphical user interface.
Click the Ubuntu software icon on the Activities toolbar on your Ubuntu desktop. The Ubuntu Software Utility will open from where you can search for VLC by clicking the search button and then typing VLC in the search bar.
The following result will be displayed according to your search term:
If you click on the VLC search entry, the following window opens:
You can install the latest version of VLC Media Player from this window by clicking the Install button. After that, you will be asked to authenticate yourself via the following dialog, as only an authorized user can add / remove software on Ubuntu.
Enter the password for a privileged user and then click the Authenticate button. After that, the installation process begins as follows:
The following window shows the successful installation of the player. You can launch it right from this window and also remove it immediately for whatever reason.
Quit the Ubuntu software after the installation is complete.
Start the VLC player
To launch the VLC player, enter the appropriate keyword in Ubuntu Dash and click on the VLC media player icon as shown here:
The first time you open VLC player, you will be presented with the following privacy and network access policies. VLC needs network access from time to time, so you need to allow it metadata network access by checking the box here and clicking the Next button.
The media player will start as follows so that you can play media files:
Make VLC your default media player
By default, Ubuntu’s RhythmBox utility is used to play media files. However, you can configure your system to play audio and video files through VLC player by making the following changes:
Either access System Preferences from the Dash or click the down arrow located in the top right corner of the screen. You can then click the settings icon in the lower right corner of the following view:
The Settings Utility will open with the Wi-Fi tab enabled by default. Click the Details tab in the left pane, then click the Standard Applications tab in the details view. The standard applications sued for the respective purposes are displayed on the right-hand side.
Click the Music drop-down menu, which is set to Rhythmbox by default. Select the CLV Media Player from the list, whereupon all your music files will be opened in the VLC Media Player by default.
Also, select VLC Media Player from the Video drop-down list to have all of your videos open in VLC player by default.
Please close the Settings utility.
Uninstalling the VLC player using the graphical user interface is pretty straightforward. Open the Ubuntu software from the list of activities and then search for VLC. Click the VLC-associated entry and then click the Remove button in the window that opens:
The following dialog opens and confirms again whether you want to remove the player.
Click the Remove button to confirm your selection. Please note that only an authorized user can install / uninstall a package in Ubuntu, so you will see the following authentication dialog:
Enter the password for the authorized user and click the Authenticate button. The removal process will start and your software will be uninstalled from the system.
VLC Player installation from the command line
If, like me, you prefer to install software from the command line, you have two options for installing VLC Media Player:
- With the snap package
- About PPA
Install the snap package
Open the Ubuntu command line, Terminal, either from the Dash or using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Alt + T.
To install a snap package, you must first activate the snap function on your system. Most of the time, snap is available on the latest versions of Ubuntu, but for older versions you can use the following command to install snap:
$ sudo apt install snapd
Then you can install the snap package for VLC via the following command:
$ sudo snap install vlc
The following output confirms the successful installation of the VLC player and the latest version installed on your system
You can use the following commands to start VLC from the terminal:
To run the graphical version of the software use the following command:
To start VLC from the command line without the interface, use the following version:
Uninstalling a software package from the command line is also pretty straightforward. Use the following command as root to remove the vlc snap from your system:
$ sudo snap remove vlc
While the Snap is a great utility for packaging software, to save space, you can remove it using the following command:
$ sudo apt-get remove snapd
VLC player installation via PPA
For Ubuntu-based distributions, installing software via PPA is also a great way to install a stable package.
Use the following command to add / update the latest stable version of the VLC to the repository:
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:videolan/stable-daily
You have the option to continue adding the repository. Please press Enter to continue. Enter the following command to update the system with the above changes:
$ sudo apt-get update
Now you can use the following command to install VLC over PPA:
$ sudo apt-get install vlc
Check the VLC version with this command:
$ vlc -- version
Use the following command to remove VLC from the command line:
$ sudo apt-get remove vlc
This article has shown you different ways to install / uninstall and configure VLC media player. Whether you are a command line savvy person or prefer to use the graphical user interface, you can now install and start the VLC player and also make it your default player for running multimedia.
To further customize VLC, check out How to Install Themes for VLC and How to Use VLC Dark Mode.