How to Install the VLC Media Player in Ubuntu

This short but detailed guide will explain how to install the amazing media player VLC on your computer running Ubuntu.


VLC is widely consider the best-in-class multimedia player across all popular operating systems – including Linux. Here’s how you can install it in Ubuntu –

Install VLC in Ubuntu

There are a few ways to accomplish this, but we’ll go with the “snap” method, as it’s the best way to ensure VLC stays up to date when new versions are released. Here goes –

  1. Click the Show Applications button in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  2. the Ubuntu Show Applications button

  3. In the Type to search box enter the word terminal and then click the Terminal app when it’s displayed.
  4. a search for the word Terminal in the Ubuntu App launcher

  5. Enter the command:

    sudo snap install vlc

  6. a Terminal with a snap command to install VLC

  7. Ubuntu will prompt you to enter your password and after you do it will download and install VLC. Once that has successfully completed, exit out of the Terminal
  8. VLC successfully installed message in an Ubuntu Terminal

  9. Click the Show Applications button again and scroll down to the bottom – there’s VLC! Launch it by clicking on it once.
  10. a list of Apps in Ubuntu with an arrow pointed at VLC

  11. The first time it runs you’ll need to grant it permission to use the Internet to find info about the files you’re playing (cover art etc) – click the Continue button.
  12. the access permission window for VLC

  13. There’s the VLC we all know and love :)
  14. VLC in Ubuntu

Set VLC as the Default Media Player in Ubuntu

  1. To set VLC as your default media player, click one of the buttons at the end of your menu bar (see screenshot below) and then select Settings from the list of options.
  2. the Settings option in Ubuntu

  3. Scroll down the list of settings in the column on the left side of the window and select Default Applications. Now in the main part of that same window select the pull-down menu next to Video and choose VLC media player. If you want VLC to handle your audio files too, make sure to select VLC media player from the Music pull-down menu.
  4. the Ubuntu Settings window with the Defaults section displayed

  5. Now when you double-click a video file it will open up in VLC instead of the default “Videos” App.
  6. an Ubuntu desktop with VLC playing a video file

  7. That’s it!

While you’re here, did you know you can use an iPhone to control VLC? It’s true :)

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