Ubuntu VLC Media Player

There are many open-source media players available to Linux users. A preference for the selection comes from features, the ease of installation, and the availability of a stable version. The stable version of VLC 3.0 is out and ready to use. In this article we will show you several ways to install the VLC media player, depending on whether you choose the graphical interface or the command line of your Ubuntu system.

We have run the commands and procedures mentioned in this article on an Ubuntu 20.04 LTS system.

VLC Player Installation Through the UI

The popular VLC multimedia player is available in the list of reliable Ubuntu Software for you to install. It provides an easy way to install the player, using the graphical interface.

Click the Ubuntu Software icon from the Activities toolbar on your Ubuntu desktop. The Ubuntu Software utility will open, from where you can search for VLC by clicking the search button and then entering VLC in the search bar.

The following result will be displayed according to your search keyword:

Search for VLC Player

When you click on the VLC search entry, the following window will open:

VLC Multimedia Player

You can install the latest version of the VLC media player through this window by clicking the Install button. After that, you will be asked to provide authentication through the following dialog, as only an authorized user can add/remove software on Ubuntu.

Authenticate yourself as admin user

Enter the password for a privileged user and then click the Authenticate button, after which the installation process will begin as follows:

Installing VLC Player

The following window indicates the successful installation of the player. You can directly Launch it through this Window and also Remove it immediately for any reason you want.

Installation complete

Exit the Ubuntu Software after the installation is complete.

Launching the VLC Player

In order to launch the VLC player, enter the relevant keyword in Ubuntu Dash and click the VLC media player icon, as displayed here:

Launching VLC Player

When you open the VLC player for the first time, you will be displayed the following Privacy and Network Access Policy. VLC requires network access from time to time, therefore you need to allow it the metadata network access by checking the checkbox here and clicking the Continue button.

Network Access Policy

The media player will launch as follows for you to play media files:

VLC Player started

Making VLC Your Default Media Player

By default RhythmBox utility is used by Ubuntu to play media files. However, you can configure your system to play audio and video files through the VLC player by making the following changes:

Access the system Settings either through the Dash or by clicking the down-wars arrow located at the top-right corner of the screen. You can then click the settings icon located in the bottom-right corner of the following view:

Make VLC Player the default Media Player on Ubuntu

The Settings Utility will open, with the Wi-Fi tab activated by default. Click the Details tab from the left panel and then the Default Applications tab from the Details view. The right side will show the default applications sued for respective purposes.

Click the Music drow-down, which by default is set to Rhythmbox. Select the CLV media player from the list after which all your music files will be opened in the VLC media player by default. Default Applications

Also, select VLC media player from the Video drop-down list to open all your videos in the VLC player by default.

Changed default Media Player

Please close the Settings utility.

Uninstalling VLC

Uninstalling the VLC player through the graphical interface is pretty simple. Open the Ubuntu Software from the Activities list and then search for VLC. Click the VLC entry and then click the Remove button from the following window:

Uninstalling VLC

The following dialog will open, re-confirming if you want to remove the player.

Confirm window

Click the Remove button to confirm your choice. Please note that only an authorized user can install/uninstall a package in Ubuntu, therefore you will be displayed the following authentication dialog:

Get sudo permissions

Provide the password for the authorized user and click the Authenticate button. The removal process will start and your software will be uninstalled from the system.

VLC Player Installation Through the Command Line

If you, like me prefer installing software through the command line, here are two ways for you to install the VLC media player:

  • Through the Snap Package
  • Via PPA

Installing the Snap Package

Open the Ubuntu command line, the Terminal, either through the Dash or through the Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut.

In order to install a snap package, you first need to have snap facility enabled on your system. Mostly snap is available on the latest releases of Ubuntu, however, for older versions, you could use the following command to install snap:

$ sudo apt install snapd

Installing Ubuntu snap package

Then you can install the snap package for VLC through the following command:

$ sudo snap install vlc

Installing VNC snap

The following output will confirm the successful installation of the VLC player and the latest version that has been installed on your system

VLC Installed

You can use the following commands to launch VLC through the terminal:

In order to run the graphical version of the software, use the following command:

$ vlc

In order to launch VLC in the command line without the interface, use the following version:

$ cvlc


Uninstalling a software package through the command line is also fairly simple. Use the following command, as root, in order to remove the vlc snap from your system:

$ sudo snap remove vlc

Remove VLC snap

Although the snap is a great software packaging utility, you can remove it because of space issues through the following command:

$ sudo apt-get remove snapd

Remove snapd

VLC Player Installation via PPA

For Ubuntu-based distributions, installing a software through PPA is also a good way of installing a stable package.

Use the following command to add/update the latest stable version of the VLC to the repository:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:videolan/stable-daily

Installing VLC from PPA

You will be given a choice to proceed with the repository adding process; please hit Enter in order to continue. Enter the following command to upgrade the system with the above changes:

$ sudo apt-get update

Update package lists

Now you can use the following command to install VLC through PPA:

$ sudo apt-get install vlc

Install VLC ppa package

Check the VLC version by using this command:

$ vlc -- version

Show VLC version


Use the following command to remove VLC through the command line:

$ sudo apt-get remove vlc


This article has shown you several ways to install/ uninstall and configure the VLC media player. Whether you are a command-line savvy person or prefer to use the graphical interface, you can now install and launch the VLC player and also make it your default player for running multimedia.

To further customize VLC, have look at installing themes for VLC and how to use VLC dark mode.

How to Install the Latest VLC Player in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS