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 Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa using three installations method of APT, Flatpak, and Snap.
Table of Contents
The first step is to make sure your system is up-to-date to avoid issues during the installation and for good practice. This is done by opening your terminal and using the following command.
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y
Install VLC Media Player – APT Method with Ubuntu Repository
By default, VLC is available on the Ubuntu 20.04 repository, which is the advised version for users who are happy with the stable version for minor use and do not require the latest advancements of constant updates to see newer features as Ubuntu LTS is slower to release these builds.
In your terminal, use the following command to begin the installation.
sudo apt install vlc -y
Install VLC Media Player – APT Method with PPA
The second option is to install VLC using the PPA from the launchpad. This is probably the most desired for Ubuntu users to keep the installation using the APT package manager while having the latest up-to-date version.
Currently, two PPA branches exist by the “Videolan” team, the stable and the development version of the bleeding-edge beta. I would recommend the stable PPA for most users as it will still be ahead of Ubuntu’s version as time progresses.
Note, you can only import one PPA at a time; switch, remove VLC, remove the PPA, and import the desired one.
Option 1 – Import VLC Media Player Stable
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:videolan/stable-daily -y
Option 2 – Import VLC Media Player Development
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:videolan/master-daily -y
Once you have imported the option you prefer, run a quick APT update to reflect the newly imported PPAs.
sudo apt-get update
Now, install VLC Media Player.
sudo apt install vlc -y
Install VLC Media Player – Flatpak Method
The third option is to use the Flatpak package manager, which is not installed on Ubuntu distributions, given Snap, which is Flatpak’s rival, is owned by Canonical and Ubuntu. However, Flatpak is still available to install from Ubuntu’s default repository.
The extra benefit of using Flatpak installations is that you will always have the most up-to-date version compared to Ubuntu which focuses on stability with older versions that only see updates for security issues or serve bugs.
First, install the Flatpak manager; this can be skipped if you already have it installed.
sudo apt install flatpak -y
For users installing Flatpak for the first time, it is often recommended to reboot your system. Failure to do this can occur with odd issues arising, such as paths not being generated for icons.
SKIP THE REBOOT IF FLATPAK IS INSTALLED.
Next, you need to enable Flatpack using the following command in your terminal:
sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo
Now install the media player software using the following flatpak command.
flatpak install flathub org.videolan.VLC
Install VLC Media Player – Snap Method
The fourth method will be installing the media player software with snapd. The Snapcraft package manager should be installed on Ubuntu-installed systems unless removed previously.
Currently, all three methods are up-to-date and are separated by a matter of a day or so when it comes to updates, so it is a choice of which package manager you prefer to use.
First, re-install Snapd if you have removed it previously.
sudo snap install snapd -y
Ideally, it is worth rebooting when installing third-party managers; if you experience issues, please do this.
Next, install the snap core to avoid any conflicts.
sudo snap install core
Next, some packages come in classic, so you need to create a symlink to enable classic snap support.
sudo ln -s /var/lib/snapd/snap /snap
Now install the media client snap package with the following command.
sudo snap install vlc
How to Launch VLC Media Player
Now that you have the application installed, launching can be done in a few ways.
First, to launch from your terminal, use the following command.
Alternatively, Flatpak users will need to launch using the command below from a terminal instance:
flatpak run org.videolan.VLC
Lastly, snap users can launch from the terminal using the following command.
sudo snap run vlc
However, this isn’t practical, and you would use the following path on your desktop to open the course.
Activities > Show Applications > VLC media player.
The first time you open VLC, you will see a privacy statement regarding metadata. By default, this option is ticked for users that are privacy conscious, untick the option on the bottom left-hander corner of the screen.
Next, you will arrive at the VLC Media Play.
How to Update VLC Media Player
Depending on the method of installation used, the following commands can be used to update.
APT Update Method
sudo apt upgrade && sudo apt upgrade
Flatpak Update Method
Snap Update Method
sudo snap update
How to Remove (Uninstall) VLC Media Player
Use one of the following commands to suit the original installation method for users who no longer require the application.
APT Remove Method
sudo apt autoremove vlc -y
Users that installed VLC Media Player using the LaunchPad PPAs use the following command that matches your installation version.
Remove VLC Media Player Stable:
sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:videolan/stable-daily -y
Remove VLC Media Player Development:
sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:videolan/master-daily -y
Flatpak Remove Method
flatpak uninstall --delete-data org.videolan.VLC
Next, run the following command for any leftover clean-up.
flatpak remove --unused
Snap Remove Method
sudo snap remove vlc
Comments and Conclusion
Overall, VLC Media Player is an excellent program with many features that can be used for free if you are willing to miss out on a few things. If you are looking for a media player with all the bells and whistles, you must pay for the license. However, if you are looking for something basic that gets the job done, VLC Media Player should be your go-to choice.
You can further investigate VLC Media Player by visiting the documentation page for more information.