How to Install SMPlayer on Debian 12, 11 or 10

SMPlayer offers a compelling audio and video playback solution for multimedia enthusiasts using Debian. This guide will walk you through how to install SMPlayer on Debian 12 Bookworm, Debian 11 Bullseye, or Debian 10 Buster, providing a seamless, high-quality multimedia experience. SMPlayer is versatile, supporting various file formats, customizable, and packed with advanced features.

Key Features of SMPlayer:

  • Versatility: With native support for a wide array of file formats, SMPlayer eliminates the need for external codecs, offering a hassle-free installation and usage experience.
  • Customizability: Users can tailor the player’s appearance and functionality to their preferences, thanks to a wide selection of skins and icon themes.
  • Advanced Features: SMPlayer boasts advanced features like video and audio filters, subtitle search, and an integrated YouTube browser, enhancing multimedia interaction.

Installation Options:

  • Flatpak with Flathub Repository: This modern package management system enables the installation of applications on any Linux distribution, providing flexibility and ease of use.
  • APT Package Manager: As Debian’s default method for software installation, the APT Package Manager is a reliable and trusted option for installing SMPlayer.
  • DEB-Multimedia PPA: With a history spanning over a decade, the DEB-Multimedia PPA is a treasure trove of multimedia software, serving as a valuable resource for the Debian community.

With its versatility, customizability, and advanced features, SMPlayer is a prime choice for Debian users seeking a robust multimedia player. Follow this guide to effortlessly install SMPlayer on Debian 12 Bookworm, Debian 11 Bullseye, or Debian 10 Buster, and enjoy a superior multimedia playback experience.

Install SMPlayer on Debian 12, 11, or 10 via APT

Method 1: Install SMPlayer with Debian’s APT Repository

Installing SMPlayer using Debian’s APT repository is straightforward and recommended for those prioritizing stability. Begin by updating and upgrading your system to ensure compatibility:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

After ensuring your system is up-to-date, you can proceed with the installation of SMPlayer:

sudo apt install smplayer smplayer-l10n

This method, while efficient, might not always provide the latest features of SMPlayer. For those who desire cutting-edge updates while maintaining a stable environment, Flatpak with Flathub is an excellent alternative. Conversely, the DEB-Multimedia PPA offers a blend of the latest features and stability for tech-savvy users or those with a relatively untouched Debian setup.

Method 2: Install SMPlayer on Debian via DEB-Multimedia PPA

The DEB-Multimedia PPA is a beacon in third-party repositories, offering many applications tailored for all active Debian Linux distributions. Since SMPlayer isn’t part of Debian’s default repository, DEB-Multimedia becomes our go-to source for this installation.

Step 1: Update Debian

Initiate the process by updating your system:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Step 2: Import Deb-Multimedia GPG Key on Debian

Security is paramount, especially when dealing with third-party repositories. Hence, it’s essential to import the GPG (GNU Privacy Guard) key, a cornerstone in ensuring data and communication integrity:

sudo gpg --no-default-keyring --keyring /usr/share/keyrings/deb-multimedia.gpg --keyserver --recv-keys 5C808C2B65558117

A successful execution will yield an output indicating the key’s successful importation:

gpg: keybox '/usr/share/keyrings/deb-multimedia.gpg' created
gpg: key 5C808C2B65558117: public key "Christian Marillat <>" imported
gpg: Total number processed: 1
gpg:               imported: 1

If you are having trouble importing a GPG key from the Ubuntu keyserver, creating the required directories can help. Use the following command to do so:

sudo gpg --list-keys

Step 3: Import Deb-Multimedia APT Repository on Debian

echo "deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/deb-multimedia.gpg] \ $(lsb_release -sc) main non-free" \
| sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/deb-multimedia.list

If the import command doesn’t execute smoothly, you might lack some required packages. Address this by running:

sudo apt install dirmngr software-properties-common apt-transport-https curl lsb-release ca-certificates -y

Post-installation, attempt the import command anew.

Step 3: Configure APT Pinning for SMPlayer

Create a Configuration File for Pinning

To guarantee that Debian gives precedence to SMPlayer packages from the repository, you need to establish APT pinning. Initiate this process by opening your terminal and generating a new pinning configuration file:

sudo nano /etc/apt/preferences.d/deb-multimedia-pin

Maintain this pin for future packages from this source to prevent potential issues when working with additional upstream packages from

Insert Pinning Rules

Within the file, input the following details:

Package: smplayer smplayer-l10n
Pin: origin
Pin-Priority: 900

Package: *
Pin: origin
Pin-Priority: 1

This setup ensures:

  • SMPlayer packages, including smplayer and smplayer-l10n, receive a high priority (900) from the repository.
  • All other packages from the repository are assigned a low priority (1).

Conclude by saving and exiting the text editor using CTRL+O and CTRL+X. Your Debian system is now adeptly configured to prioritize SMPlayer packages.

Step 5: Refresh the APT Package Index

With the GPG key securely in place and the repository imported, it’s time to refresh your Apt packages list:

sudo apt update

Step 6: Install SMPlayer via APT Command From DEB-Multimedia

Once you meet all the prerequisites, you can easily install SMPlayer on your Debian system with the following command:

sudo apt install smplayer smplayer-l10n

Install SMPlayer on Debian 12, 11, or 10 via Flatpak and Flathub

Flatpak offers an alternative yet efficient method for installing SMPlayer on Debian Linux. Notably, Debian distributions don’t come pre-equipped with Flatpak. However, it’s readily available in Debian repositories. For an in-depth guide on setting up Flatpak on Debian, you can refer here.

Step 1: Enable Flathub For SMPlayer on Debian

The journey begins with enabling Flathub, the primary hub for Flatpak applications:

sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub

This command adds Flathub as a remote repository for Flatpak, avoiding potential duplicates if Flathub already exists.

Step 2: Install SMPlayer via Flatpak Command on Debian

With Flathub at your disposal, you can now easily install SMPlayer:

flatpak install flathub info.smplayer.SMPlayer -y

This command sets in motion the installation of SMPlayer from the Flathub repository, leveraging its unique identifier within the repository.

Launch SMPlayer on Debian 12, 11, or 10

After successfully installing SMPlayer on your Debian system, several methods to launch the application cater to both command-line enthusiasts and those who prefer a graphical interface.

CLI Methods to Launch SMPlayer on Debian

Users comfortable with the terminal can swiftly launch SMPlayer using a simple command:


However, if you’ve installed SMPlayer using Flatpak, the command differs slightly:

flatpak run info.smplayer.SMPlayer

This command runs the Flatpak containerized version of SMPlayer, delivering the same rich multimedia experience.

GUI Method to Launch SMPlayer on Debian

For those who favor a visual approach, access SMPlayer easily through the system’s application menu by following these navigation steps:

Activities > Show Applications > SMPlayer.
Clicking on the SMPlayer application icon in Debian Linux.
Initiating SMPlayer from its icon on a Debian Linux desktop.

Tips on Getting Started with SMPlayer on Debian 12, 11 or 10

SMPlayer is a versatile multimedia player that offers many features and customizations for Linux users. To help you harness its full potential, here are some expert tips and tricks tailored for Debian Linux and Linux in general:

Customizing SMPlayer’s Appearance on Debian

  • Themes and Skins: SMPlayer comes with a variety of themes and skins. Navigate to Options > Preferences > Interface to explore and select your preferred look.
  • Icon Sets: Customize the icons used in the player’s interface by heading to Options > Preferences > Interface > Icon Set.

Enhancing Playback Experience on Debian

  • Adjust Playback Speed: If you wish to speed up or slow down a video, you can easily do so by going to Play > Speed and select your desired speed.
  • Audio and Subtitle Synchronization: Sometimes, the audio or subtitles might be out of sync. Adjust them in real time by heading to Audio > Synchronization or Subtitles > Synchronization.
  • Video Equalizer: Enhance your video’s brightness, contrast, hue, and saturation through the video equalizer found under Video > Equalizer.

Advanced SMPlayer Features on Debian

  • MPlayer Configuration: SMPlayer uses MPlayer as its playback engine. Advanced users can tweak MPlayer’s settings by navigating to Options > Preferences > Advanced.
  • Streaming: SMPlayer isn’t just for local files. You can stream online content by going to Open > URL and pasting the desired link.
  • Keyboard Shortcuts: Boost your productivity by familiarizing yourself with SMPlayer’s keyboard shortcuts. Access the complete list under Help > Keyboard Shortcuts.

Optimizing SMPlayer’s Performance with Debian

  • Hardware Acceleration: To ensure smoother playback of high-definition content, enable hardware acceleration. This can be found under Options > Preferences > Performance.
  • Cache Settings: For those streaming content, adjusting the cache can lead to smoother playback. Navigate to Options > Preferences > Network to tweak cache settings.

Additional SMPlayer Tips with Debian

  • Regular Updates: To benefit from the latest features and security patches, ensure SMPlayer is regularly updated. On Debian, this can be done using the sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade command.
  • Plugins and Extensions: Explore the plugins and extensions available for SMPlayer to enhance its capabilities further.
SMPlayer's user interface displayed on a Debian Linux desktop.
SMPlayer is fully operational on Debian Linux.

Additional SMPlayer Commands on Debian 12, 11 or 10

Update SMPlayer on Debian

APT Update Method For SMPlayer

Ensuring that your software remains up-to-date is crucial for both security and functionality. If you’ve installed SMPlayer using the APT package manager, you can easily update it to the latest version. To do so, open your terminal and execute the following commands:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade smplayer

This sequence first refreshes the list of available packages and then upgrades SMPlayer to its latest version in the repositories.

Flatpak Update Method For SMPlayer

For those who’ve chosen the Flatpak route for installation, updating SMPlayer requires a different command. Flatpak allows for updating all installed applications or specific ones. To update SMPlayer, use:

flatpak update info.smplayer.SMPlayer

Or to check for all updates available for Flatpak applications use:

flatpak update

This command updates SMPlayer, installed via Flatpak, to its latest version available on Flathub or the respective repository.

Remove SMPlayer From Debian

There might be instances where you no longer need SMPlayer on your system. Depending on your installation method, the uninstallation process varies.

APT Remove Method For SMPlayer

If you’ve installed SMPlayer using the APT package manager, you can remove it by executing:

sudo apt remove smplayer 

Flatpak Remove Method For SMPlayer

For installations done via Flatpak, the removal command is slightly different:

flatpak uninstall info.smplayer.SMPlayer

This command completely removes SMPlayer and its associated data from your system.


To cap this guide off, we’ve walked through installing SMPlayer on various Debian versions, from Debian 10 to 12. We’ve explored multiple installation methods, including the traditional APT package manager, the DEB-Multimedia PPA, and the increasingly popular Flatpak. Each method has its merits, and the choice largely depends on user preference and system requirements. Keeping SMPlayer updated is essential to benefit from the latest features and security patches. Official sources and community discussions are invaluable for those who wish to delve deeper or seek further assistance.

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