Introduction to MPlayer

The MPlayer package contains an audio/video player controlled via the command line or graphical interface which is able to play almost every popular audio and video file format and CODEC (COder/DECoder, also COmpressor/DECompressor). With supported video hardware and additional drivers, MPlayer can play video files without an X Window System installed.

For MPlayer general information and available features, including a full list of file formats, CODECs and output devices supported by MPlayer, visit the MPlayer web site.

Package Information

Additional Downloads




The CODECs, skins and fonts are not required to build and use MPlayer.

MPlayer Dependencies

Optional Input Drivers and Libraries

CDParanoia-III-9.8, DVB, DVB drivers, libcdio, libdv-1.0.0, libdvdread-0.9.7, LIVE555 Streaming Media, Samba-3.0.30, and TiVo vstream client

Optional Audio Output Drivers and Libraries

ALSA-1.0.13, aRts-1.5.9, EsounD-0.2.37, JACK, LADSPA, NAS-1.9, OpenAL, PulseAudio, SDL-1.2.11 (also used for video output), and XMMS-1.2.10

Optional Video Output Drivers and Libraries

AAlib-1.4rc5, DirectFB, Enca, Fontconfig-2.4.2, FreeType-2.3.7, FriBidi-0.10.8, GGI, giflib-4.1.4, GTK+-2.10.13 or GTK+-1.2.10, libcaca, libjpeg-6b, libpng-1.2.29, maemo, VIDIX, and X Window System

Optional CODECs

AMR narrowband (floating point) or AMR naarrowband (fixed point), AMR wideband, FAAC-1.26, FAAD2-2.6.1 (must disable the internal version), FFmpeg-svn_20070606, LAME-3.97, libdca, libFAME-0.9.1, libmad-0.15.1b, libmpcdec, libnut (SVN checkout), libvorbis-1.2.0, LIRC, lirccd, LZO-2.02 (requires Version 1), SVGAlib, Theora, tooLAME, TwoLAME, Tremor (requires libvorbis-1.2.0 and you must disable the internal version), x264, and XviD-1.1.3

Optional Hardware Specific Options

There is hardware specific packages (or vendor supplied software) you can install to improve the performance of your video card when using MPlayer. Some of the packages and/or vendor supplied software and the MPlayer specific driver created if it is found is shown here.

  • mga: Matrox G200/G400/G450/G550 hardware YUV overlay via the mga_vid device

  • xmga: Matrox G200/G400/G450/G550 overlay (mga_vid) in X11 window

  • syncfb: Matrox G400 YUV support on framebuffer

  • 3dfx: Voodoo 3/Banshee hardware YUV support (/dev/3dfx)

  • tdfxfb: Voodoo 3/Banshee hardware YUV support on tdfx framebuffer

  • mpegpes: support for Siemens DVB hardware MPEG-1/2 decoder boards (or MPEG-PES file output)

  • dxr2: support for DXR2 hardware MPEG-1/2 decoder boards Dxr2

  • dxr3: support for DXR3/Hollywood+ hardware MPEG-1/2 decoder boards libdxr3

  • zr: support for Zoran360[56]7 based hardware MJPEG cards

User Notes:

Installation of MPlayer

CODEC Installation (Optional)

If you downloaded any proprietary CODECs (which can provide support for additional audio and video formats such as Real, Indeo and QuickTime), extract them to /usr/lib/mplayer/codecs using the following commands as the root user (substitute and/or add different CODEC filenames, if necessary):

install -v -d -m755 /usr/lib/mplayer/codecs &&
tar -xvf ../essential-20061022.tar.bz2 \
    -C /usr/lib/mplayer/codecs --strip-components=1 &&
chown -v -R root:root /usr/lib/mplayer/codecs

If you installed any CODECs, ensure you add --with-codecsdir=/usr/lib/mplayer/codecs to the configure script.

GUI Installation (Optional)

To enable building the GUI version of MPlayer (requires GTK+-2.10.13 or GTK+-1.2.10), add --enable-gui to the configure script. You'll also need to extract at least one skin. Extract the desired skin and create the default location (as the root user):

install -v -d -m755 /usr/share/mplayer/Skin &&
tar -xvf ../Blue-1.7.tar.bz2 \
    -C /usr/share/mplayer/Skin &&
chown -v -R root:root /usr/share/mplayer/Skin/Blue &&
chmod -v 755 /usr/share/mplayer/Skin/Blue{,/icons} &&
ln -sfv Blue /usr/share/mplayer/Skin/default

Installing OSD and Subtitles Support (Optional)

To enable OSD (On Screen Display) and subtitles support, add --enable-menu to the configure script. You'll also need to set up at least one font (see font installation instructions a little later).

Main MPlayer Installation



The package maintainers recommend building without any optimizations.

This package (unfortunately) expects the X Window system to be installed in the /usr/X11R6 directory. If you're using a recent version of Xorg and it is installed in any other location, ensure you have followed the instructions in the Creating an X11R6 Compatibility Symlink section.

MPlayer can build a shared post-processing library from the internal FFmpeg package which other packages can link to. This requires MPlayer to link dynamically to this library instead of the default statically linked method. If you desire to build the shared library, add --enable-shared-pp to the configure script. Note that the FFmpeg package can also build this library (which MPlayer can link to instead of building it), ensure you don't overwrite an existing one.

You may wish to examine the output from ./configure --help to find out what additional parameters to configure are needed to include the dependencies you have installed on your system. To link in existing FFmpeg libraries (and MPlayer won't have to build them), you must pass a total of nine additional options to the configure script. Four to disable building the static FFmpeg libraries, four to enable using the system-installed shared libraries and --with-extraincdir=/usr/include/ffmpeg so the build can locate the FFmpeg interface headers.

Install MPlayer by running the following commands:

patch -Np0 -i ../asmrules_fix_20061231.diff &&
patch -Np0 -i ../cddb_fix_20070605.diff &&
patch -Np1 -i ../MPlayer-1.0rc1-ext_ffmpeg-1.patch &&

./configure --prefix=/usr \
            --confdir=/etc/mplayer \
            --enable-largefiles \
            --enable-dynamic-plugins &&

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

make install &&

install -v -m755 -d /usr/share/doc/mplayer-1.0rc1 &&
cp -v -R DOCS/*     /usr/share/doc/mplayer-1.0rc1

Passing certain parameters to configure may result in the creation of If so, you may wish to create a symlink to this library in case other packages link to Use the following command as the root user to create the symbolic link:

ln -v -s /usr/lib/

You will need codecs.conf only if you want to change its properties, as the main binary contains an internal copy of it. Ensure any changes you make to codecs.conf achieve the desired results, as incorrect entries in this file have been known to cause errors and render the player unusable. If necessary, create the file using the following command.

install -m644 etc/codecs.conf /etc/mplayer

You may also want to copy all the default configuration files to /etc/mplayer for future reference or more customization ability.

install -m644 etc/*.conf /etc/mplayer

MPlayer requires that the RTC run at a frequency of 1024 Hz. Make this setting change at boot-time by adding a line to /etc/sysctl.conf:

echo "dev.rtc.max-user-freq=1024" >> /etc/sysctl.conf

OSD and Subtitles Font Installation (Required if '--enable-menu' Was Passed to 'configure')

The recommended method to set up a font for MPlayer is to link a TTF file to your ~/.mplayer directory. A link should be created in each user's home directory who may use MPlayer. For example:

install -v -m750 -d ~/.mplayer &&
ln -v -sf /usr/share/fonts/X11-TTF/luxisri.ttf \

There are several other ways to set up a font package. To use a prerendered MPlayer font package, extract and link one of the font tarballs using the following commands:

tar -xvf ../font-arial-iso-8859-1.tar.bz2 \
    -C /usr/share/mplayer/font &&
chown -v -R root:root /usr/share/mplayer/font &&
cd /usr/share/mplayer/font &&
ln -v -sf font-arial-iso-8859-1/font-arial-<font size>-iso-8859-1/* .

Available font sizes are 14, 18, 24 or 28.

Additional information as well as additional methods to set up an MPlayer font package can be found at

Configuring MPlayer

Config Files

/etc/mplayer/* and ~/.mplayer/*

Configuration Information

Typically, there's no configuration required for the system-wide files in /etc/mplayer (in fact, this directory is empty unless you copied the default files as mentioned above). Configuration can be accomplished by choosing the configuration button located on the MPlayer GUI. Any configuration changes made here will be copied to the user's ~/.mplayer directory.


Installed Programs: gmplayer, mplayer, and mencoder
Installed Libraries: and optionally,
Installed Directories: ~/.mplayer, /etc/mplayer, /usr/include/postproc, /usr/lib/mplayer, /usr/share/mplayer, and /usr/share/doc/mplayer-1.0rc1

Short Descriptions


is a symlink to mplayer which brings up the graphical user interface component of MPlayer.


manages the input formats, the CODECs and the output formats to play video files, DVDs, (S)VCDs or network streams containing audio and/or video information on your system.


mplayer -fs blfs.avi
mplayer -vo fbdev -fb /dev/fb0 dvd://1 \
    -aid 128 -sub en -framedrop
mplayer -fs vcd://1    # works both for VCDs and SVCDs

For further information, look at the very good documentation included with the package in the source tree subdirectory DOCS (also installed at /usr/share/doc/mplayer-1.0rc1).


is used to encode any MPlayer playable movie to DivX4, XviD or any CODEC in libavcodec with PCM/MP3/VBRMP3 audio.


rm frameno.avi
mencoder -dvd 1 -aid 128 -ovc frameno -oac mp3lame \
-lameopts vbr=3 -o frameno.avi

# mencoder should output bitrates for average encodings
# now, choose one you like best! In the following lines,
# replace <bitrate> and <name.avi> with statements of your
# personal liking.

mencoder -dvd 1 -aid 128 -oac copy -ovc lavc \
    -lavcopts vcodec=mpeg4:vpass=1:vhq:vbitrate=<bitrate> \
    -o <name.avi>
mencoder -dvd 1 -aid 128 -oac copy -ovc lavc \
    -lavcopts vcodec=mpeg4:vpass=2:vhq:vbitrate=<bitrate> \
    -o <name.avi>
mencoder -forceidx <name.avi>

contains functions used by the MPlayer programs.

is a post-processing filter library used by the MPlayer programs and other packages.

Last updated on 2008-05-10 18:53:20 -0500