Introduction to GStreamer

The GStreamer package contains a streaming media framework that enables applications to share a common set of plugins for things like video decoding and encoding, audio encoding and decoding, audio and video filters, audio visualisation, Web streaming and anything else that streams in real-time or otherwise. It is modelled after research software worked on at the Oregon Graduate Institute. After installing GStreamer, you'll likely need to install one or more of the GStreamer Good Plug-ins-0.10.4, GStreamer Ugly Plug-ins-0.10.4, GStreamer Bad Plug-ins and GStreamer FFmpeg plug-in packages.

Package Information

GStreamer Dependencies


GLib-2.10.3 and libxml2-2.6.26


Check (required to run the unit regression tests), and Valgrind (optionally used during the unit regression tests)

Optional (Required to Rebuild the API Documentation)

GTK-Doc-1.6 and PyXML-0.8.4

Optional (Required to Build Manuals)

libxslt-1.1.17, teTeX-3.0, AFPL Ghostscript-8.53 or ESP Ghostscript-8.15.2, DocBook-utils-0.6.14, Transfig, and Netpbm

User Notes:

Installation of GStreamer

Install GStreamer by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr &&

To test the results, issue: make check. There are many other Makefile targets you can specify for running the tests, issue make -C tests/check help to see the complete list.

Now, as the root user:

make install &&
install -v -m755 -d /usr/share/doc/gstreamer-0.10/design &&
install -v -m644 docs/design/*.txt \
                    /usr/share/doc/gstreamer-0.10/design &&
if [ -d /usr/share/doc/gstreamer-0.10/faq/html ]; then
    chown -v -R root:root \

If you did not rebuild the API documentation by passing --enable-gtk-doc to the configure script and you wish to install the pre-built documentation, issue the following command as the root user:

for DOCS in gst libs plugins; do make -C docs/$DOCS install-data; done

Testing the Installation

To test the functionality of the GStreamer installation, you can run a simple test as an unprivileged user (you may have to run ldconfig as the root user before attempting the test).

gst-launch -v fakesrc num_buffers=5 ! fakesink

If the command outputs a series of messages from fakesrc and fakesink, everything is okay.

Command Explanations

--enable-gtk-doc: This parameter is used to rebuild and install the API documentation.

--enable-docbook: This parameter is used to build HTML, PDF and PostScript versions of the GStreamer User's Manual, FAQ and Writer's Guide. Note that you must have all the listed dependencies installed.

chown -v -R root:root ...: The documentation is installed with ownerships of the user who untarred and built the package. This command changes the ownerships of the installed documentation files to root:root and is only executed if the documentation files were built and installed.


Installed Programs: gst-feedback{,-0.10}, gst-inspect{,-0.10}, gst-launch{,-0.10}, gst-typefind{,-0.10}, gst-xmllaunch{,-0.10} and gst-xmlinspect{,-0.10}
Installed Libraries: libgstbase-0.10.{so,a}, libgstcheck-0.10.{so,a}, libgstcontroller-0.10.{so,a}, libgstdataprotocol-0.10.{so,a}, libgstnet-0.10.{so,a}, libgstreamer-0.10.{so,a}, and libgst*.{so,a} plugin modules
Installed Directories: /usr/include/gstreamer-0.10, /usr/lib/gstreamer-0.10, /usr/share/doc/gstreamer-0.10, /usr/share/gtk-doc/html/gstreamer{,-libs,-plugins}-0.10

Short Descriptions


generates debug info for GStreamer bug reports.


prints information about a GStreamer plugin or element.


is a tool that builds and runs basic GStreamer pipelines.


uses the GStreamer type finding system to determine the relevant GStreamer plugin to parse or decode a file, and determine the corresponding MIME type.


prints information about a GStreamer plugin or element in XML document format.


is used to build and run a basic GStreamer pipeline, loading it from an XML description.

Last updated on 2007-01-18 13:38:19 -0600