VLC is distributed on most Linux distributions. Unfortunately, that version is most likely version 2.x, and not the new 3.0 version. One of the major new features added to VLC 3.0 is support for Chromecast. If you want to use VLC with Chromecast, and watch videos, you will need to upgrade to version 3.0. There are several ways to do this.
Upgrade To VLC 3.0
To start off, refresh the update manager tool on your Linux PC and install any updates. It’s very likely that there is a new VLC update waiting. If you’ve installed all updates and you’re still not on VLC 3.0, follow the instructions below next to your Linux distribution.
Remove Old Version
For some reason, many Linux distributions — despite the fact that VLC 3.0 is stable, do not package it. Additionally, the “stable” software repositories out there are very iffy. To solve this problem, we’ll mainly be focusing on upgrading VLC with Snap and Flatpak. If you’re not interested in using Snaps or Flatpaks, consider downloading the code for VLC to compile it from source.
Before going further in this tutorial, please open up a terminal and uninstall VLC from your Linux distribution. Then, follow the instructions to use version 3.0 in Snap or Flatpak format.
Note: Arch Linux should already have version 3.0 in the software repositories, so if you’re on Arch just update your PC and follow the rest of the tutorial.
Remove From Ubuntu/Debian
sudo apt remove vlc --purge
sudo apt-get remove vlc --purge
Remove From Fedora
sudo dnf remove vlc
Remove From OpenSUSE
sudo zypper remove vlc
Installing VLC 3.0
Now that the older version of VLC has now been removed from the system, it’s safe to use Snap and Flatpak to upgrade to a newer version of the software. Follow the instructions below to install.
Installing VLC 3 via Snap
Snap has version 3.0 of VLC available for use. Follow our guide to set up your Linux PC to install Snaps. Once you can install Snaps, use the command below to install the latest version of VLC.
sudo snap install vlc
Remove the VLC video player at any time from Snap with:
sudo snap remove vlc
Installing VLC 3 Via FlatPak
Thanks to the folks at Flathub, VLC 3.0 is downloadable. To install the Flatpak version of VLC 3, you’ll first need to follow our tutorial on how to enable Flatpak support on your Linux PC. Enable it, then open up a terminal and use the following command to install the software.
flatpak install flathub org.videolan.VLC
Need to uninstall VLC from Flatpak? Try:
sudo flatpak uninstall org.videolan.VLC
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
While it is considerably difficult to get the latest stable version of VLC (3.0) on current versions of Ubuntu, the new LTS will have it available. Ubuntu 18.04 releases on April 17th. Don’t want to wait that long? Check out our guide on how to use Ubuntu 18.04 early.
To install VLC 3 in Ubuntu 18.04, do:
sudo apt install vlc
Use VLC With Chromecast
Playing video files from VLC to a Chromecast device on Linux is easy. Start off by opening up the VLC player. Select the “Media” button, look for “Open File” and select it. Using the file browser that opens up, browse to add your favorite video file. Alternatively, hold Shift down on the keyboard as you click with the mouse. Pressing this keyboard combination allows VLC to open multiple video files at once and add it to the playback playlist.
Next, click the play button to start the VLC playback, and let it go as normal. It’s important you test the playback to see if everything is working normally. If the playback fails, you may not want to try to cast.
If the video file plays normally, click the “Playback” button, and look for “Renderer”. By default, VLC will have “local” selected. Local just means that the program is rendering out the video. Underneath “local”, VLC should list various Google Chromecast (and Google Cast-enabled devices like Smart TVs, Android TVs and etc).
Select your Chromecast in the menu to swap the rendering playback from your PC to Google Chromecast. From here, you’ll be able to use the VLC playback window as a remote control.
Need to stop playback? Simply close the window. To disconnect playback from Chromecast without ending the playback, go back to “Playback”, click “Renderer” and change it from a Chromecast back to “local”.
Chromecast On Linux
The new VLC 3.0 allows users to easily play local media from Linux to Google Cast devices. However, problems can arise sometimes. If you’ve had trouble casting your media with VLC on Linux, consider checking out our guide on the Castnow tool. It’s a terminal application that allows users to “cast” local media to Google devices via the Linux terminal.
In addition to Castnow, Google Chrome for Linux has built-in Google Cast support. If VLC and Castnow don’t work to your liking, a third option would be to install Chrome. The Chrome browser along with the DriveCast extension allows anyone to play files from Google Drive to Chromecast.