5 best video players for Ubuntu

Thanks to advances in GUI OS design, most operating systems now have a default media player. These media players can provide good quality audio and video playback and support a wide variety of video file formats.

Despite their reliability, you may want to consider switching to a third-party media player due to the wide variety of features they have to offer. These media players are designed to give users maximum control.

If you are looking for another multimedia player for Ubuntu , then you’ve come to the right place! We’ve compiled a list of the best video players that provide extensive support for various file types and many features that will make your video player look dull by default.

Without further ado, here is a list of the 5 best video players for Ubuntu:

1. VLC Media Player

Released back in 2001, VLC media player is one of the oldest and most popular video players available on the Internet. There are many reasons for its popularity. It is available not only for Ubuntu, but for many other operating systems, including Windows, Android, iOS, etc.

This open source media player can support just about any media you add to it without any additional plugins. Besides the flexibility to play most types of audio and video files on VLC, viewing subtitles is also a breeze.

What also makes it stand out is its support for DVDs and videos on external storage devices like USB drives. This feature is not very common in media players available for Linux.

The list of features is endless, from streaming and downloading videos to add-ons for browsers like Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, support for high definition videos such as MPEG and HEVC, the ability to download subtitles without the use of additional plugins and soon.

Installing VLC on Ubuntu is easy. Just enter the following in the command terminal:

                      sudo apt-get install vlc

2. SMPlayer

Another favorite of Ubuntu users, SMPlayer is an updated version of the old Mplayer with a user-friendly interface.

Released in 2006 under the GNU GPLv2 license, this media player is also capable of playing most audio and video files without any additional plugins.


Without any additional codec, you can use the software to play and download videos, search and download subtitles from the Internet, and download them to videos through the player.

SMplayer keeps track of timestamps, which means you can continue watching your videos from where you left them.

Other features include countless skins that can be easily downloaded from the web, the ability to adjust playback speed, effective audio and video equalizers, and a customizable toolbar.

Aside from all the attractive features, a good media player should provide excellent playback performance, and SMPlayer maintains a reputation for doing just that. Download SMPlayer by simply running the following commands:

                      sudo add-apt-repository ppa:rvm/smplayer
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install smplayer smplayer-themes smplayer-skins

3. MPV Player

MPV Player is another free media player available for Ubuntu. Released in October 2016 under the GPLv2 license, it is similar to SMPlayer in terms of features. MPV Player was designed to make the media player easier to use by including a graphical interface.

Another design improvement that deserves mentioning to the original MPlayer is the improved quality of the client API as it can be used by other programs with a library interface called libmpv.

MPV Player

What sets the player apart is its ability to decode 4K video, which is better than what you find in most other video players. With youtube-dl, you can play high definition videos from Youtube and hundreds of other websites.

In addition to supporting almost all different video and audio file extensions, MPV also offers media encoding, smooth transitions between two frames, color management, and more.

Here are the commands you can use to install MPV Player on your system:

                      sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mc3man/mpv-tests
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y mpv

4. XBMC – Kodi Media Center

Originally known as Xbox Media Center or XBMC, Kodi is a cross-platform media player licensed under the GNU license. It is a well-known software for playing audio and video files in Ubuntu.

XBMC - Kodi Media Center

Kodi offers support for most of the audio and video file formats available on the Internet. With add-ons, it offers many attractive features including splash screens and themes for a custom interface, subtitle sync and download, video streaming and rendering.

Since Kodi was originally developed for the Xbox game console, it also supports joysticks and other game controllers.

Downloading Kodi on Ubuntu is easy. Just enter the following commands:

                      sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y kodi

5. Miro

Miro, formerly known as Democracy Player or DTV, is a free audio and video player. It also serves as an online streaming application. It has been released under the GNU General Public License and offers support for almost all media formats, including high definition MPEG and HEVC.


Miro also has a handy FFmpeg based video converter that can convert almost any video / audio file format to mp4 or h264. The media player is easy to use and allows you to download and watch videos from various websites on the Internet using RSS.

Enter the following commands in Terminal to get Miro on Ubuntu:

                      sudo add-apt-repository ppa:joyard-nicolas/ffmpeg
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ffmpeg miro

So, now that you have the 5 best video players for Ubuntu at your fingertips, it’s not hard to pick the one that best suits your needs. Download your selection now and start enjoying your favorite movies and songs without a hitch.


That concludes our list of the 5 best video players available for Ubuntu. While the basic functionality of each media player is the same, the differences are in file support, streaming, and GUI. We hope you can choose the video player that works best for you based on this data. Enjoy!

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