MPlayer - Fedora Guide

Mauriat Miranda (

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Published: 17 December 2003 (updated: 8 October 2007)

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This is a simple guide to installing MPlayer (movie player for linux ... on Redhat Fedora from source. The current release of Fedora is 7 (F7). Most information also applies to Redhat 7.3, 8.0 and 9.0, Fedora Core 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 - although there are some differences. Required skills are basic command line knowledge.

MPlayer and most of the below applications are provided as easy to install binary RPM files (and accompanying SRC.RPM files). Please use them if they suit your needs. However compiling software on your own will provide greater customization and often a performance increase. Primarily this guide should provide valuable learning experience and instruction in the standard Linux and GNU software installation process.

Note: Please report any inaccuracies or errors in these instructions.

Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. Basic Dependencies
2.1. DivX
2.2. Lame
2.3. XviD
2.4. RealPlayer
2.5. LIVE555 Streaming Support
3. MPlayer
3.1. MPlayer Files
3.2. Binary (Win32) Codecs
3.3. Setup MPlayer
3.3.1. Configuring
3.3.2. Configuring (Again)
3.3.3. Installing
3.3.4. OSD / Fonts
3.3.5. GUI
3.4. Uninstalling
3.5. Upgrading
4. Using MPlayer
5. More Information
6. Known Issues

1. Introduction

This document is intended for new linux users. Hence most command line input and output has been presented. Recommended experience is basic command line file management, decompression with bzip2, gzip and tar, and basic familiarity with compiling with make and gcc.

This is for a basic install of Fedora. If you custom installed you may not have some basic libraries that MPlayer requires or utilizes. If necessary examine your configure output below.

Note: To safegaurd against potential mistakes as the root user, all steps utilize root access via the su command. The directory /mm is a temporary work directory.

2. Basic Dependencies

MPlayer handles many file formats internally, however the following applications will add to the file formats that MPlayer can both decode and encode.

2.1. DivX

DivX is the MPEG-4 codec provided by DivXNetworks, Inc.

Note: MPlayer can properly decode and encode DivX files, hence this is NOT necessary.

2.2. Lame

Lame is an open source MP3 encoder. MPlayer uses lame for compressing audio into MP3 audio when encoding files from MPEG or other sources. Lame is not required to decode MP3 audio.

Current Version: 3.97
Release Date: 2006-09-24

Installation: Decompress the source, configure it, compile it and install.

[mirandam@charon mm]# gunzip -c lame-3.97.tar.gz | tar xvf -
[mirandam@charon mm]# cd lame-3.97
[mirandam@charon lame-3.97]# ./configure --prefix=/usr
[mirandam@charon lame-3.97]# make

[root@charon lame-3.97]# su -c 'make install'

Note: If you install Lame without --prefix=/usr MPlayer may not properly link to the Lame libraries.

Note: 64-bit Users: It is recommended you compile Lame with --libdir=/usr/lib64.

2.3. XviD

XviD is an ISO MPEG-4 compliant video codec. MPlayer can encode movie files formats into the XviD format.

Current Stable Version: 1.1.3
Release Date: June 28, 2007

Installation: Decompress the source, configure it, compile it and install.

[mirandam@charon mm]# bzip2 -cd xvidcore-1.1.3.tar.bz2 | tar xvf -
[mirandam@charon mm]# cd xvidcore-1.1.3/build/generic/
[mirandam@charon generic]# ./configure
[mirandam@charon generic]# make

[mirandam@charon generic]# su -c 'make install'

Note: If for whatever reason you choose to use binary RPM(s) to install XviD, you must also install the devel RPM included with it.

2.4. RealPlayer

RealPlayer is a streaming audio/video/flash/pix/text player with protocols to watch/listen to content on the internet. Provided by RealNetworks, Inc.

Note: You do NOT need RealPlayer installed to use MPlayer or to watch RealMedia in MPlayer. MPlayer will play older and new Real formats and media if you have the codecs properly set up below.

RealPlayer 10 will play all newer Real media including 10.0 formats perfectly. It should work on Fedora however I do not know about older RH releases.

Instructions to install RealPlayer 10.0 can be found on my Fedora 7 page. While the older instructions for RealPlayer 8.0 + 9.0 codecs are still available on my Fedora Core 1 page.

2.5. LIVE555 Streaming Support

LIVE555 provides additional support for RTP/RTCP/RTSP/SIP multimedia streaming in MPlayer. This is useful if you plan to use the MPlayer-plugin for Mozilla/FireFox. (Note: Prior to Nov 2005, LIVE555 was known as LIVE.COM)

Latest Release: 2007.08.03 (updated frequently)

Installation: LIVE555 libraries DO NOT use the standard installation method. Further information on Unix/Linux installation.

[mirandam@charon mm]# gunzip -c live555-latest.tar.gz | tar xvf -
[mirandam@charon mm]# cd live
[mirandam@charon live]# ./genMakefiles linux
[mirandam@charon live]# make
[mirandam@charon live]# cd ..

[mirandam@charon mm]# su -c 'cp -a live /usr/local/lib/live'

3. MPlayer

Current Version: 1.0rc2
Current Date: 2007.10.07

3.1. MPlayer Files

Obtain the following files for installation. Please use an appropriate mirror location to download the files. You need the MPlayer source and some additional codecs. you can either grab all codecs (note MPlayer decodes many natively) or you can grab just the required files. The skins are required only if you want to have a GUI for MPlayer. You should have at least one skin.

src: MPlayer-1.0rc2.tar.bz2

skin: Blue-1.7.tar.bz2 (pick ANY)

codecs: essential-20071007.tar.bz2

3.2. Installing Additional Binary (Win32) Codecs

These additional codecs are to read formats that do not have an Open Source decoder available. These include Windows win32 codecs such as Windows Media, Quicktime, Real and multiple others. The binary codecs come in 2 packages: all and essential. Some codecs were previously only supported using binary, however many are now natively supported by MPlayer (native support is typically faster). The essential package is recommended, however using the all package should not cause any problems.

Installation: All of MPlayer's codecs must be installed in /usr/local/lib/codecs/.

[mirandam@charon mm]# bzip2 -cd essential-20071007.tar.bz2 | tar xvf -

Only needed if the directory: /usr/local/lib/codecs/ does NOT exist.
[mirandam@charon mm]# su -c 'mkdir /usr/local/lib/codecs/'

[mirandam@charon mm]# su -c 'mv -f essential-20071007/* /usr/local/lib/codecs/'
[mirandam@charon mm]# rmdir essential-20071007

Note: Previously win32 codecs were placed in /usr/lib/win32. Applications like Xine use that directory for the same purpose. If you would like you can either keep both directories or make one linked to the other. If both directories exist you cannot link them.

All files are in /usr/local/lib/codecs and /usr/lib/win32 is a link:
[mirandam@charon mm]# su -c 'ln -s /usr/local/lib/codecs /usr/lib/win32'


All files are in /usr/lib/win32 and /usr/local/lib/codecs is a link:
[mirandam@charon mm]# su -c 'ln -s /usr/lib/win32 /usr/local/lib/codecs'

Note: 64-bit Users: Win32 codec DLLs are not supported and there may be a warning similar to the following:

NOTE: Win32 codec DLLs are not supported on your CPU (x86_64) or your
operating system (Linux). You may encounter a few files that cannot
be played due to missing open source video/audio codec support.

3.3. Setup MPlayer

MPlayer follows standard Linux application procedure of installing dependencies, configuring, compiling and installing. The above steps were to eliminate most common dependency problems.

First decompress the source files.

[mirandam@charon mm]# bzip2 -cd MPlayer-1.0rc2.tar.bz2 | tar xvf -
[mirandam@charon mm]# cd MPlayer-1.0rc2/

3.3.1. Configuring

Configuring allows to customize certain parameters before compiling.

To see all of MPlayer's configuring options run:

[mirandam@charon MPlayer-1.0rc2]# ./configure --help

Most users will find the default configuration options adequate. However I recommend the following options. The first option is required to install the GUI. The second option is to allow access to large files over 2GB. Useful to rip DVD's or record Digital Video. The third option is for menus in the OSD (On Screen Display). The last 2 options are to better match other MPlayer installations.

[mirandam@charon MPlayer-1.0rc2]# ./configure --enable-gui --enable-largefiles \
--enable-menu --prefix=/usr --confdir=/etc/mplayer

Note: 64-bit Users: It is recommended you compile MPlayer with --libdir=/usr/lib64.

GUI Requirements:
The old MPlayer GUI used GTK1.2. With version 1.0pre8 and newer the (preferred) GUI uses GTK 2. The GUI requires both gtk2 and glib2 installed as well as their devel libraries. Make sure you have the following RPMs (or newer): gtk2-2.10, gtk2-devel-2.10, glib2-2.12, glib2-devel-2.12. You can obtain these from any Fedora mirror (ex: F7, FC6) or from your Fedora CD's/DVD.

The old GUI is still usable if you run configure with: --enable-old-gtk (not recommended). The old GUI requires both gtk+ 1.2 and glib 1.2 installed as well as their devel libraries. The RPMs are: gtk+-1.2.10, gtk+-1.2.10-devel, glib-1.2.10, glib-1.2.10-devel. You can either obtain these from any Fedora mirror or your Fedora CD's/DVD.

Once the configure script has been run a great deal of output is displayed on the console. The following is a sample output from the end of the configure on my machine. Your output can and will differ based on what additional hardware or software you have installed.

  Install prefix: /usr
  Data directory: /usr/share/mplayer
  Config direct.: /etc/mplayer

  Byte order: little-endian
  Optimizing for: k8

    Messages/GUI: en
    Manual pages: en  

  Enabled optional drivers:
    Input: ftp pvr tv-teletext tv-v4l2 tv-v4l tv live555 libdvdcss(internal) dvdread(internal) vcd dvb network 
    Codecs: xvid libavcodec qtx real xanim win32 faad2 libmpeg2 libdca liba52 mp3lib tremor(internal) gif 
    Audio output: alsa esd arts oss sdl mpegpes(dvb) 
    Video output: sdl gif89a pnm jpeg png mpegpes(dvb) fbdev xvidix cvidix opengl dga xv x11 xover md5sum tga 
    Audio filters: 
  Disabled optional drivers:
    Input: dvdnav vstream radio nemesi cddb cdda smb 
    Codecs: x264 libdv libamr_wb libamr_nb faac musepack libtheora speex toolame twolame libmad liblzo 
    Audio output: sun openal jack polyp v4l2 ivtv dxr2 nas 
    Video output: v4l2 ivtv dxr3 dxr2 vesa zr zr2 svga caca aa ggi xmga mga winvidix 3dfx xvmc dfbmga directfb bl xvr100 tdfx_vid s3fb tdfxfb 
    Audio filters: ladspa

3.3.2. Configuring (Again)

This step is optional. If everything worked correctly the first time you configured then continue to compiling. However there is a chance you do not have something correctly installed on your computer.

During configure there are tests done to check which software is already installed. Read over it carefully to see if there are any mistakes or if some library is not detected. For example: if the Lame libraries were detected, you would see:

Checking for libmp3lame (for mencoder) ... yes

If you add any additional codecs or wish to modify the configure settings you MUST RE-RUN the configure script.

Not all the codecs should be detected. In fact most will not. However the many that you have should be an adequate starting point for using MPlayer to decode and encode. Read over the MPlayer documention to find out how to enable additional codecs or input/output drivers.

The following explains some of the configure output.

Note: RPM's - Whenever installing RPM's for detection by MPlayer or any program make sure to install any lib RPM's and devel RPM's only if necessary.

*** FINALLY *** - If you modified ANY of the above or install ANY new RPM's or programs. Then you MUST RE-RUN the configure script as stated above.

3.3.3. Installing

Once carefully completing the configure step, you can compile MPlayer. This step usually takes the longest.

[mirandam@charon MPlayer-1.0rc2]# make

If there is an error at this point you may have used an improper library or version of a dependency. Try to determine at which file the compile fails and post to help forums, newsgroups or mailing lists for assistance. Reading MPlayer documentions usually helps. Sometimes trying a different library version helps. Another solution maybe to entirely disable that plugin. Running ./configure --help will list how to disable most plugins or detections that MPlayer uses.

If you need to fix something, you will have to re-do the Configure step from above. Otherwise continue:

[mirandam@charon MPlayer-1.0rc2]# su -c 'make install'

MPlayer will be installed and the last few lines of output indicate where we should install the skins:

*** Download skin(s) at
*** for GUI, and extract to /usr/share/mplayer/skins/

3.3.4. OSD / Fonts

The OSD (On Screen Display) and Subtitles you need fonts properly installed. You should set this up regardless of whether or not you use the GUI.

If you use FreeType (all recent RH/Fedora releases have it by default). You should have the XFree86-truetype-fonts RPM in FC1, or xorg-x11-truetype-fonts RPM if FC2, or fonts-xorg-truetype RPM if FC3/FC4. In FC5 and newer: xorg-x11-fonts-truetype. You need msttcorefonts package for the last option below. (F7 Liberation fonts are located in: /usr/share/fonts/liberation)

[mirandam@charon mm]# mkdir ~/.mplayer/
FC5, newer:
[mirandam@charon mm]# ln -s /usr/share/X11/fonts/TTF/luxisri.ttf ~/.mplayer/subfont.ttf
-OR- (FC1,2,3,4):
[mirandam@charon mm]# ln -s /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/TTF/luxisri.ttf ~/.mplayer/subfont.ttf
[mirandam@charon mm]# ln -s /usr/share/fonts/msttcorefonts/arial.ttf ~/.mplayer/subfont.ttf

3.3.5. GUI

The GUI for MPlayer is optional and does not install by default. You must select this option at the 'Configure' step explained above.

Go to the MPlayer homepage and examine some screen shots to find one you like. I recommend: Blue, plastik and proton.

To install a skin decompress it and copy or move it into the skins directory. You can have as many as you like, but one must be default. You only need one skin in a directory named default in the MPlayer Skins directory (/usr/share/mplayer/skins/).

Note: Prior to version 1.0pre8 the skins directory was: Skin. This should also work.

To install a single skin only:

[mirandam@charon mm]# su

[root@charon mm]# bzip2 -cd Blue-1.7.tar.bz2 | tar xvf - -C /usr/share/mplayer/skins/
[root@charon mm]# mv /usr/share/mplayer/skins/Blue/ /usr/share/mplayer/skins/default/

[root@charon mm]# exit
[mirandam@charon mm]#
My preferred method is to install multiple skins and create 'default' as a soft link.

[mirandam@charon mm]# su
[root@charon mm]# bzip2 -cd Blue-1.7.tar.bz2 | tar xvf - -C /usr/share/mplayer/skins/
[root@charon mm]# bzip2 -cd proton-1.2.tar.bz2 | tar xvf - -C /usr/share/mplayer/skins/
[root@charon mm]# bzip2 -cd plastik-2.0.tar.bz2 | tar xvf - -C /usr/share/mplayer/skins/

Set the default skin (I picked 'Blue'):
[root@charon mm]# cd /usr/share/mplayer/skins/
[root@charon Skin]# ln -s Blue default

[root@charon mm]# exit
[mirandam@charon mm]#

Note: Some of these skin names/filenames may have changed. Please look at the MPlayer skins page for the latest versions.

3.4. Uninstalling

Uninstalling MPlayer can be done by:

[mirandam@charon MPlayer-1.0rc2]# su -c 'make uninstall'

To uninstall any other components listed above, the similar procedure works. Change to you source directory where you installed MPlayer and run 'make uninstall'.

If you did not install from source files and used binary rpms, you can use the rpm command or the Redhat Package Manager to uninstall rpms. Run 'man rpm' for more help, look at the '-e' flag. If you created a directory that no other program uses, you can also delete it.

Note: Use caution when uninstalling and deleting, you can do serious damage to your system when you are root.

3.5. Upgrading

You may either upgrade dependencies or upgrade MPlayer itself. Both can potentially break some functionality of MPlayer.

To upgrade a dependency repeat the steps listed above. Of course avoid upgrading a dependency unless completely necessary. By doing so you may break compatibility with other programs. If everything works there is no need to upgrade unless either 1. there are newer required features or 2. there are security issues.

This guide lists the latest dependencies and releases so as to stay up to date. In most cases using previous versions of software will work. Any exceptions are noted.

To upgrade MPlayer, obtain new source code, decompress, configure, compile and install.

4. Using MPlayer

MPlayer can be run by command line using mplayer or gui using gmplayer. You should use your movie file or music file in the line.

[mirandam@charon media]$ mplayer
[mirandam@charon media]$ gmplayer

4.1. Install an Icon to Desktop

In Gnome follow these steps:

Right-Click on the Desktop
Select Create Launcher
Enter: "MPlayer" for Name
Enter: "/usr/bin/gmplayer" for Command
For Icon select /usr/share/pixmaps/mplayer.xpm

Similar instructions for KDE.

5. More Information

All of the information in this guide is available in the MPlayer documentation, man pages or FAQ. I strongly recommend you look there for help first. Use man mplayer for command line help in using mplayer/mencoder.

6. Known Issues

Comments, suggestions, questions or any feedback welcome for this page or any of my Resources. Please use the contact link.

Help Out: If you found this guide or any Resource helpful, please consider supporting this site by recommending this page to others or linking to this page. I appreciate all the support I receive. Thank you in advance.

Disclaimer: The author makes no claim to the accuracy of the information provided. This information is provided in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY. There is no implied support from referencing this guide. Any help that is provided is at will. Use this information at your own risk. Always make proper backups and use caution when modifying critical system files.

PLEASE DO NOT mirror, translate or duplicate this page without contacting me.

Copyright © 2003-2013 by Mauriat Miranda (