How to Install VLC Media Player on Linux Mint 20

The VLC media player is an open-source, free portable, cross-platform media player software and streaming media server developed by the VideoLAN project. VLC can play nearly all known multimedia files and DVDs, Audio CDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols and can be extended and customized with multiple plugins.

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install VLC Media Player on your Linux Mint system.

Prerequisites

Update Operating System

Update your Linux Mint operating system to make sure all existing packages are up to date:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

The tutorial will be using the sudo command and assuming you have sudo status. To verify sudo status on your account:

sudo whoami

Example output showing sudo status:

[joshua@linuxmint ~]$ sudo whoami
root

If you have not set up a sudo user account and would like to, visit our tutorial on How to Add a User to Sudoers on Linux Mint.

To use the root account, use the following command with the root password to log in.

su

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Install Option 1. Install VLC with APT Manager

The first option is to use the default apt repository provided by Linux Mint. This is a stable and secure version, however it may be a little dated it will serve the purpose well if you are just after a player.

First, execute the following apt install command:

sudo apt install vlc

Example output:

How to Install VLC Media Player on Linux Mint 20

Type “Y”, then press the “ENTER KEY” to proceed with the installation.

Once installed, confirm the build version which will also confirm the installation was successful.

vlc --version

Example output:

How to Install VLC Media Player on Linux Mint 20

Updates are handled by using the standard apt update & upgrade command that you would of done at the start of the tutorial.

If you no longer wish to have VLC installed using APT, use the following command to remove the package.

sudo apt autoremove vlc --purge

Example output:

How to Install VLC Media Player on Linux Mint 20

This will automatically remove any unused dependecies that were installed originally with VLC.

Install Option 2. Install VLC with Snap

The second option is to use the Snap package manager. Linux Mint users may be familar with Snap as it is created and maintained by Ubuntu however it does not come natively installed on your system. However, this can be installed realtively quickly.

To install Snap, use the following command:

sudo apt install snapd -y

Next, you need to install the “snap core files” in order for everything to work correctly. Failure to do this may result in issues down the track.

sudo snap install core

Example output:

2021-10-12T16:32:51+08:00 INFO Waiting for automatic snapd restart...
core 16-2.51.7 from Canonical✓ installed

Once the core files have been installed successfully, restart your snap service.

sudo systemctl restart snapd

Next, install the VLC package using snap:

sudo snap install vlc

Example output:

vlc 3.0.16 from VideoLAN✓ installed

As above, this informs you the VLC was successfully installed and the version number.

Snap packages are more significant in size than traditional repositories through the APT package manager for several reasons. However, the trade-off is more straightforward maintained packages that are often updated to the latest available version.

For the future, to update along with and any other packages installed by Snap, run the following command:

sudo snap refresh

If you no longer need to have VLC Media Player installed, remove it using the Snap remove command.

sudo snap remove vlc

Example output:

vlc removed

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Install Option 3. Install VLC with Flatpak

The third option is to use the Flatpak package manager. Linux Mint do not need to install Flatpak as it comes natively installed by default on your system. This is another popular option similar to Snap.

First, you need to enable Flatpack for Linux Mint using the following command in your terminal:

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

Next, install VLC using the following flatpak command:

flatpak install flathub org.videolan.VLC

Example output:

How to Install VLC Media Player on Linux Mint 20

Type “Y”, then press the “ENTER KEY” to proceed with the installation.

Updates are handled by Flatpack automatically every time you log into your system. However, if you need to remove the Flatpack version of VLC Media Player, run the following command:

sudo flatpak uninstall --delete-data org.videolan.VLC

Example output:

How to Install VLC Media Player on Linux Mint 20

Type “Y”, then press the “ENTER KEY” to proceed with the removal of VLC using Flatpack.

How to Launch VLC Media Player

Now that you have the VLC player installed launching VLC can be done in two ways.

In your terminal type:

vlc

If you would like to launch VLC and use the terminal, send it to the background:

vlc &

However, this isn’t practical, and you would use the following path on your desktop to open with the path: Taskbar > Sound & Audio > VLC media player. If you cannot find it, use the search function in the Show Applications menu if you have many applications installed.

Example:

How to Install VLC Media Player on Linux Mint 20

The time you open the VLC media player, you will be greeted with the Privacy and Network Access Policy pop-up as below.

How to Install VLC Media Player on Linux Mint 20

Choose to allow metadata network access or untick the option to disable and click on the Continue button.

How to Install VLC Media Player on Linux Mint 20

Congratulations, you have installed the VLC media player.


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Comments and Conclusion

In the tutorial, you have learned how to add the official VLC media player repository, install VLC and launch and remove it from your Linux Mint operating system.

Overall, VLC Media Player is one of the best-known media players amongst all operating systems. For a good reason, with it being free, it supports nearly all known file formats without installing additional codecs and optimizing video and audio playback for your device. Whatever VLC cannot do can easily be extended with plugins.

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