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.

Package information

Installation of GStreamer

Install GStreamer by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc \
    --localstatedir=/var --disable-docs-build &&
make &&
make install &&
chown -R root:root /usr/share/doc/gstreamer-0.8.7 &&

Command explanations

--localstatedir=/var: This switch puts gst-register's cache in /var/cache/gstreamer-0.8 instead of /usr/cache/gstreamer-0.8.

--sysconfdir=/etc: This switch puts configuration files in /etc instead of /usr/etc.

--disable-docs-build: This switch prevents the rebuilding of documentation during the make command.

chown -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.


The GStreamer package contains gst-complete, gst-compprep, gst-feedback, gst-inspect, gst-launch, gst-md5sum, gst-register, gst-typefind, gst-xmlinspect, gst-xmllaunch, the libgstreamer, libgstcontrol and libgst libraries.



gst-complete is a utility enabling bash to provide context sensitive tab completion for gst-launch command lines.


gst-compprep builds a registry of GStreamer elements and their features that is used by gst-complete.


gst-feedback generates debug info for GStreamer bug reports.


gst-inspect prints information about a GStreamer plugin or element.


gst-launch is a tool that builds and runs basic GStreamer pipelines.


gst-md5sum generates MD5 checksums of the data generated by a GStreamer pipeline.


gst-register is used to register all the GStreamer plugins on the system. It creates a listing of their properties so that when a GStreamer based application is started, it does not need to load plugins until it needs them.


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


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


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

Last updated on 2005-01-10 16:55:51 -0700