Introduction to Totem

The Totem package contains the official movie player of the GNOME desktop environment based on GStreamer or Xine Libraries. It features a playlist, a full-screen mode, seek and volume controls, as well as keyboard navigation. This is useful for playing any GStreamer or Xine Libraries supported file, DVD, VCD or digital CD.

Package Information

Totem Dependencies


GNOME Icon Theme-2.18.0, GNOME Desktop-2.18.3, ISO Codes-1.2, and GStreamer Good Plug-ins-0.10.6 (default back-end) or xine Libraries-1.1.12 (secondary back-end)

If you anticipate using Totem to play DVDs, you should use the Xine Libraries backend by passing --enable-xine to the configure script as the the GStreamer backend does not work properly. If you elect to use the default GStreamer backend anyway, ensure you built GStreamer Good Plugins with GConf support or the configure script will fail.


intltool-0.35.5, Nautilus-2.18.3, HAL-, SeaMonkey-1.1.9 or Firefox- (to build the browser plug-in), libirman, LIRC, Gromit (required for the telestrator mode), and NvTv Simple

Note: libdvdcss-1.2.9 is a run-time requirement if you wish to play encrypted DVDs

User Notes:

Installation of Totem

Install Totem by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=$(pkg-config --variable=prefix ORBit-2.0) \
            --sysconfdir=/etc/gnome/2.18.3 \
            --localstatedir=/var/lib \
            --libexecdir=$(pkg-config \
                --variable=prefix ORBit-2.0)/lib/totem \
            --mandir=$(pkg-config \
                --variable=prefix ORBit-2.0)/share/man &&

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

make install

Command Explanations

--prefix=$(pkg-config --variable=prefix ORBit-2.0): Setting the prefix using this parameter instead of with $GNOME_PREFIX will ensure that the prefix is consistent with the installation environment and the package will be installed in the correct location.

--sysconfdir=/etc/gnome/2.18.3: This parameter causes the configuration files to be installed in /etc/gnome/2.18.3 instead of $GNOME_PREFIX/etc. Additionally (if applicable), the parameter ensures that the GConf-2 database is correctly updated.

--localstatedir=/var/lib: This parameter is used so that all ScrollKeeper files are installed in, and the ScrollKeeper database is properly updated in /var/lib/scrollkeeper instead of some files being installed in $GNOME_PREFIX/var/scrollkeeper.

--libexecdir=$(pkg-config --variable=prefix ORBit-2.0)/lib/totem: This parameter is used so that the movie player browser plugin is installed in the preferred location of $GNOME_PREFIX/lib/totem instead of $GNOME_PREFIX/libexec.

--mandir=$(pkg-config --variable=prefix ORBit-2.0)/share/man: This parameter causes the man.(X) files to be installed in $GNOME_PREFIX/share/man/man(X) instead of $GNOME_PREFIX/man/man(X).

Configuring Totem

Configuration Information

There are no configuration files that need to be directly edited. Configuration is accomplished by setting the desired values in the various menu options accessed via the totem graphical interface.


Installed Programs: totem, totem-video-thumbnailer and optionally, vanity
Installed Libraries: libtotem-plparser.{so,a}, a Nautilus extension plugin and optionally, a Mozilla video plugin
Installed Directories: The following subdirectories of $GNOME_PREFIX/: include/totem, lib/totem, share/{,gnome/help/ ,omf/}totem

Short Descriptions


is a GNOME-desktop movie player.


is a video thumbnailer for the GNOME desktop used internally by GNOME applications such as Nautilus to generate PNG thumbnails of video files. While it is possible to invoke it manually, it is usually done automatically by Nautilus.

Last updated on 2007-09-11 08:13:41 -0500