Top 10 open source video players for Linux


Choosing the right video player can help ensure that you get the optimum viewing experience, and give you the tools to create a video website. You can even allow you to customize the videos you are watching to your personal preferences too.

So to help enable you to pick the best player for your needs, we’ve curated a list of the top open source video players for Linux.

Let’s take a look:

1. XBMC – Kodi Media Center

This is a flexible cross-platform player, written with C++ as core and with Python Scripts as add ons are available. The benefits of using Kodi include:

  • Available in over 69 languages
  • Users can play audio and video files and media player files from the network and local storage
  • Can be used alongside JeOS in devices such as Smart TV and set-top boxes as an application suite
  • There’s loads of impressive add ons such as video and audio streaming plugins, themes, screensaver and more
  • It supports multiple formats such as MPEG-1,2,4, RealVideo, HVC, HEVC and so on

2. VLC Media Player

This player was a no brainer for this list due to its impressive power and availability on a range of operating systems. It is written in C, C++ and Objective C and users can eliminate the need for figuring out plugins thanks to its extensive support of decoding libraries. The benefits of VLC Media Player include:

  • Provides support for DVD players on Linux
  • Ability to play .iso files
  • Enables high definition recordings of D-VHS tapes to be played
  • Can be run from a USB flash drive or external drive directly
  • API support and browser support (via plugin)

3. Bomi (CMPlayer)

This flexible and highly powered player ticks most of the boxes of a general user, and it’s positives are:

  • Simple to use graphical user interface (GUI)
  • Impressive playback ability
  • Option to resume playback
  • Supports subtitles and can render multiple subtitle files

4. Miro Music and Video Player

Previously called Democracy Player (DTV), Miro was redeveloped by Participatory Culture Foundation and is a good cross-platform player for both video and audio. It’s impressive because:

  • Supportive of some HD Audio and Video
  • Available in over 40 languages
  • Can play numerous file formats, e.g., QuickTime, WMV, MPEG files, Audio Video Interface (AVI), XVID
  • Can notify the user and download a video automatically once available

5. SMPlayer

This cross-platform media player, written only using Qt library in C++ is a powerful, multi-functional player. We like it because:

  • It has multi-language options
  • Supportive of all default formats
  • Supportive of EDL files, and you can configure subtitles fetched from the Internet
  • A variety of Skins that can be downloaded from the Internet
  • Multiple speed playback

6. MPV Player

Written in C, Objective-C, Lua, and Python, it’s free, easy to use and has lots of new features which make it enjoyable to use. The main plus points are:

  • Can be compiled as a library which uncovers client API’s which leads to increased control
  • Functionality that allows Media Encoding
  • Smooth-motion

7. Deepin Movie

This player is an excellent example of an open source media player which has lots of positives, including:

  • The ability to complete all play operations by keyboard
  • Video files in various formats can be played through this player with ease
  • The streaming function allows users to enjoy many online video resources

8. Gnome Videos

Previously called Totem, for those with Gnome desktop environments, this is the player of choice.
Written purely in C this was built by using GStreamer multimedia framework for playback, and the other version (> 2.7.1) was then configured using xine libraries as a backend. It’s great because:

It has an impressive ability to support numerous formats including:

  • SHOUTcast, SMIL, M3U, Windows Media Player format and more
  • You can adjust light settings such as brightness and contrast during playback
  • Loads SubRip subtitles
  • Supports for direct video playback from Internet channels such as Apple

9. Xine Multimedia Player

An additional cross-platform multimedia player in our list written in C. It’s a good all-round player because:

  • It supports physical media as well as Video Devices. Think 3gp, Matroska, MOV, Mp4, Audio formats,
  • Network Protocols, V4L, DVB, and PVR to name but a few
  • It can correct the synchronization of audio and video streams manually

10. ExMPlayer

Last but not least, ExMPlayer is a stunning, powerfully built GUI front-end for MPlayer. Its benefits include:

  • Can play any media format
  • Supports network streaming and subtitles
  • Easy to use an audio converter
  • High-quality audio extraction without compromising on sound quality

The abovementioned video players work well on Linux. We would recommend you to try them out and choose the most suitable for you.


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