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VLC(1) General Commands Manual VLC(1)


vlc, qvlc, svlc, nvlc, rvlc, cvlc - the VLC media player


vlc [OPTIONS] [ITEMS]...


This manual page documents briefly the VLC multimedia player and server.


VLC follows the usual GNU command line syntax, with long options starting with two dashes (`-'). For a precise description of options, please use "vlc --help".

The complete list of VLC options depends on what plugins are installed because they automatically add their own options. Please use "vlc --longhelp --advanced" for a complete list of available options.


VLC recognizes several URL-style items:

*.mpg, *.vob, *.avi, *.mp3, *.ogg, *.opus
Various multimedia file formats
DVD device (for instance dvd:///dev/dvd). The raw device is optional and must have been prepared beforehand.
VCD device (for instance vcd:///dev/cdrom).
UDP stream, such as one sent by VLS or another VLC. Usually "udp://" is enough.
http://<server address>[:<server port>]/[<file>]
HTTP stream
rtsp://<server address>[:<server port>]/<stream name>
RTSP Video On Demand stream
Execute a playlist command. Commands are: pause (pause execution of other items), and quit (close VLC).


The following environment variables may affect VLC:

The X11 display server address.

The HTTP proxy server URL.

The default audio output device, used by the OSSv4 output plugin.

The directory containing VLC run-time data files (e.g. /usr/share/vlc).

An extra directory to load VLC plugins from.

The level of verbosity for log messages (0: silent, 1: error/info, 2: warning, 3: debug).

The directories to store user cached data, user configuration files and user data files respectively.

The directories to fetch or store user text files, downloads, music, pictures (i.e. snapshots), and video respectively.

The unique identifier of the desktop session, used by the PulseAudio output plugin.


Online documentation:


This manual page was written by Sam Hocevar <>, for the Debian GNU/Linux system (but may be used by others).

February 14, 2005