Chapter 3.  Installing VLC

Table of Contents

Installing VLC
Uninstalling VLC

Installing VLC

There are VLC binaries available for the many OSes, but not for all supported OSes. If there are no binaries for your OS or if you want to change the default settings, you can compile VLC from sources.


VLC works under Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP. Download the self-extracting file from the VLC Windows download page. Launch the .exe to install VLC.


Download the Zip file from the VLC BeOS download page. Unzip the file in a directory to install VLC.

Mac OS X

Download the Mac OS X package from the VLC MacOS X download page. Double-click on the icon of the package : an icon will appear on your Desktop, right beside your drive(s). Open it and drag the VLC application from the resulting window to the place where you want to install it (it should be /Applications).

Debian GNU/Linux

Debian stable (woody)

Add the following lines to your /etc/apt/sources.list:

     deb woody main
     deb-src woody main

Then, for a normal install, do:

# apt-get update
# apt-get install gnome-vlc libdvdcss2

Debian unstable (sid)

Add the following lines to your /etc/apt/sources.list:

     deb sid main
     deb-src sid main

Then, for a normal install, do:

# apt-get update
# apt-get install wxvlc libdvdcss2

Debian testing (sarge)

You should not be using Debian testing unless you perfectly know what you are doing. It is almost impossible to support Debian testing and there are no plans to do it. For more informations on Debian testing, please look: testing page

Linux Mandrake

There are VLC packages for Mandrake 9.1 and cooker.

To install them, add the following sources for either Mandrake 9.1 or Cooker (you can use Easy urpmi for that): contrib from the core distribution and plf (Penguin Liberation Front) from the external add-ons.

Then install the required packages with urpmi:

# urpmi libdvdcss2 libdvdplay0 wxvlc vlc-plugin-a52 vlc-plugin-ogg vlc-plugin-mad

Linux Redhat

Download the RPM package vlc and the packages listed in the required libraries and codecs section (the other packages are just optional) from the VLC Red Hat download page and put them all into the same directory.

Then install the RPM packages you have downloaded:

# rpm -U *.rpm

If you have not installed all the RPM packages included with your distribution, you may be asked to install a few of them first.

Compile the sources by yourself (for every other OS)

The method below is for any Unix system supported by VLC, for which there is no packages available. It explains how to compile and install VLC and the needed libraries from their source code.

You can also compile VLC under Linux this way if you want to modify the default supported modules.

Install the libraries

Many libraries are needed :

  • libdvbpsi (compulsory) ,

  • mpeg2dec (compulsory) ,

  • libdvdcss if you want to be able to read encrypted DVDs ,

  • libdvdplay if you want to have DVD menu navigation ,

  • a52dec if you want to be able to decode the AC3 (i.e. A52) sound format often used in DVDs ,

  • ffmpeg, libmad, faad2 if you want to read MPEG 4 / DivX files ,

  • libogg & libvorbis if you want to read Ogg Vorbis files .

You can either download the libraries from the VLC sources download page and compile them as described in the next paragraph or get the libraries and the respective development headers from your favorite distributor (via .deb and .rpm packages for example). However only tarballs from our website are officially supported.

For each library :

  • uncompress :

    % tar xvzf library.tar.gz


    % tar xvjf library.tar.bz2
  • configure :

    % cd library
    % ./configure

    Note: ffmpeg needs to be configured with --enable-pp

  • compile and install :

    % make
    # make install

Check that the configuration file /etc/ contains the following line :


If the line is not present, add-it and then run (as root): laufen:

# ldconfig

Install VLC

Download the sources of the lastest release : get the file vlc-version.tar.gz from the VLC sources download page. Uncompress-it :

% tar xvzf vlc-version.tar.gz
% cd vlc-version

If you use sources from SVN, you need to run :

% ./bootstrap

Tarballs are already bootstrapped

To get the list of configuration options, do :

% ./configure --help

Please note that all the modules are described in the Modules section of the VLC User Guide .

Examples of very simple configurations:

  • if you want a basic VLC, do :

    % ./configure
  • if you want the Gnome interface instead of the GTK interface (you will need the development packages of Gnome) :

    % ./configure --enable-gnome

Then, compile and install :

% make
% su
Password:  [Root Password]
# make install

Please note that the installation (make install command) is not mandatory. You can execute VLC from where you compiled it.

Uninstalling VLC


Click on the Uninstall VLC icon that was created during installation


Delete the vlc-version directory. You can also remove the configuration file /boot/home/config/settings/vlcrc.

Mac OS X

Drag the VLC application to your trash can.

Debian GNU/Linux

Remove the packages that you installed:

# apt-get remove --purge vlc-gnome vlc-mad libdvdcss2 libdvbpsi1

GNU/Linux Redhat, Mandrake and SuSE

Uninstall the RPM packages that you installed:

# rpm -e vlc-version vlc-mad-version vlc-gnome-version
libdvdcss2-version libdvdpsi1-version

If you compiled VLC from sources

Go to the directory containing VLC sources and execute

# make uninstall

You can then remove the VLC sources.