Introduction to MPlayer

The MPlayer package contains an audio/video player controlled via the command line or a graphical interface which is able to play almost every popular audio and video file format and CODEC (COder/DECoder, also COmpressor/DECompressor). With supported video hardware and additional drivers, MPlayer can play video files without an X window system installed.

For MPlayer general information and available features, including a full list of file formats, CODECs and output devices supported by MPlayer, visit the MPlayer web site.

Package information

Additional downloads







The CODECs, skins and fonts are not required to build and use MPlayer.

Installation of MPlayer

CODEC installation (optional)

If you downloaded any proprietary CODECs (which can provide support for additional audio and video formats such as Real, Indeo and QuickTime), extract them to /usr/lib/mplayer/codecs using the following commands as the root user (substitute and/or add different CODEC filenames, if necessary):

install -d -m755 /usr/lib/mplayer/codecs &&
tar -jxf ../essential-20050115.tar.bz2 \
    -C /usr/lib/mplayer/codecs --strip-path=1 &&
chown -R root:root /usr/lib/mplayer/codecs

If you installed any CODECs, ensure you add --with-codecsdir=/usr/lib/mplayer/codecs to the configure script.

GUI installation (optional)

To enable building the GUI version of MPlayer (requires GTK+-1.2.10), add --enable-gui to the configure script. You'll also need to extract at least one skin. Extract the desired skin and create the default location (as the root user):

install -v -d -m755 /usr/share/mplayer/Skin &&
tar -jxf ../Blue-1.4.tar.bz2 \
    -C /usr/share/mplayer/Skin &&
chown -v -R root:root /usr/share/mplayer/Skin/Blue &&
chmod -v 0755 /usr/share/mplayer/Skin/Blue{,/icons} &&
ln -sfv Blue /usr/share/mplayer/Skin/default

Installing OSD and subtitles support (optional)

To enable OSD (On Screen Display) and subtitles support, add --enable-menu to the configure script. You'll also need to set up at least one font (see font installation instructions a little later).

Main MPlayer installation



The package maintainers recommend building without any optimizations.

Install MPlayer by running the following commands:

patch -Np1 -i ../MPlayer-1.0pre6a-kernel_2.6-1.patch &&
./configure --prefix=/usr --confdir=/etc/mplayer \
    --enable-largefiles &&

Now, as the root user:

make install &&
install -d -m755 /usr/share/doc/mplayer &&
cp -R DOCS/* /usr/share/doc/mplayer

MPlayer can build a shared post-processing library which other packages can link to. Doing this means that MPlayer must also link dynamically to this library instead of the default statically linked method. If you desire to build the shared library, add --enable-shared-pp to the configure script, then execute the following command after the commands above:

make -C libavcodec/libpostproc install

You will need codecs.conf only if you want to change its properties, as the main binary contains an internal copy of it. Ensure any changes you make to codecs.conf achieve the desired results, as incorrect entries in this file have been known to cause errors and render the player unusable. If necessary, create the file using the following command.

install -m644 etc/codecs.conf /etc/mplayer

You may also want to copy all the default configuration files to /etc/mplayer for future reference or more customization ability.

install -m644 etc/*.conf /etc/mplayer

OSD and subtitles font installation (required if --enable-menu was passed to configure)

The recommended method to set up a font for MPlayer is to link a TTF file to your ~/.mplayer directory. A link should be created in each user's home directory who may use MPlayer. For example:

mkdir ~/.mplayer &&
ln -sf /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/TTF/luxisri.ttf \

There are several other ways to set up a font package. To use a prerendered MPlayer font package, extract and link one of the font tarballs using the following commands:

tar -jxf ../font-arial-iso-8859-1.tar.bz2 \
    -C /usr/share/mplayer/font &&
chown -R root:root /usr/share/mplayer/font &&
cd /usr/share/mplayer/font &&
ln -sf font-arial-iso-8859-1/font-arial-[font size]-iso-8859-1/* .

Available font sizes are 14, 18, 24 or 28.

Additional information as well as additional methods to set up an MPlayer font package can be found at

Installation for DVD playback (optional)

If you want DVD playback with MPlayer, you need to ensure a link exists from your DVD drive to /dev/dvd. If necessary, create the link using the following commands:

cat >> /etc/udev/rules.d/24-dvd.rules << "EOF"
# Create a /dev/dvd symlink 
KERNEL="[dvd drive]", SYMLINK="dvd"

Replace [dvd drive] with whatever device is appropriate, for example hdc. If you don't know which device to choose, type:

dmesg | grep DVD

It should result in an output like:

hdc: Pioneer DVD-ROM ATAPIModel DVD-114 0110,

Configuring MPlayer

Config files

/etc/mplayer/*, ~/.mplayer/*

Configuration information

Typically, there's no configuration required for the system-wide files in /etc/mplayer (in fact, this directory is empty unless you copied the default files as mentioned above). Configuration can be accomplished by choosing the configuration button located on the MPlayer GUI. Any configuration changes made here will be copied to the user's ~/.mplayer directory.


Installed Programs: gmplayer, mplayer and mencoder
Installed Libraries: and optionally,
Installed Directories: /etc/mplayer, /usr/lib/mplayer, /usr/share/mplayer and /usr/share/doc/mplayer

Short Descriptions


is a symlink to mplayer which brings up the graphical user interface component of MPlayer.


manages the input formats, the CODECs and the output formats to play video files, DVDs, (S)VCDs or network streams containing audio and/or video information on your system.


mplayer -fs blfs.avi
mplayer -vo fbdev -fb /dev/fb0 dvd://1 -aid 128 -sub en -framedrop
mplayer -fs vcd://1    # works both for VCDs and SVCDs

For further information, look at the very good documentation included with the package in the source tree subdirectory DOCS (also installed at /usr/share/doc/mplayer).


is used to encode any MPlayer playable movie to DivX4, XviD or any CODEC in libavcodec with PCM/MP3/VBRMP3 audio.


rm frameno.avi
mencoder -dvd 1 -aid 128 -ovc frameno -oac mp3lame \
-lameopts vbr=3 -o frameno.avi

# mencoder should output bitrates for average encodings
# now, choose one you like best! In the following lines,
# replace <bitrate> and <name.avi> with statements of your
# personal liking.

mencoder -dvd 1 -aid 128 -oac copy -ovc lavc \
-lavcopts vcodec=mpeg4:vpass=1:vhq:vbitrate=<bitrate> -o <name.avi>
mencoder -dvd 1 -aid 128 -oac copy -ovc lavc \
-lavcopts vcodec=mpeg4:vpass=2:vhq:vbitrate=<bitrate> -o <name.avi>
mencoder -forceidx <name.avi>

contains functions used by the MPlayer programs.

is a post-processing filter library used by the MPlayer programs and other packages.

Last updated on 2005-02-14 13:13:29 -0700