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How to watch internet TV stations on Linux with SMPlayer

One of the best features of the SMPlayer video player for Linux is its ability to catalog internet TV channels in its “TV” section. This feature comes in handy, especially if you want to watch internet TV stations on Linux.

In this guide, we’ll cover how to watch internet TV stations in the SMPlayer application. We’ll also walk through the process of saving and adding channels into the “TV” section of the app.

Install SMPlayer

The SMPlayer video application needs to be installed before continuing with this tutorial. To install SMPlayer, launch a terminal window and follow along with the instructions that correspond with the operating system you use.

Note: to use SMPlayer on Linux, you must be using Ubuntu, Debian, Arch Linux, Fedora, OpenSUSE or have the ability to build the program from the source code.


Ubuntu has long had the SMPlayer in its software sources. Users can install it by executing the following Apt command.

sudo apt install smplayer


Need SMPlayer and use Debian? Launch a terminal and enter the Apt-get command below.

Note: Debian often is slow to update the programs in its software sources, so the version of SMPlayer you install will likely be out of date. For most users, this isn’t a huge deal. However, if you absolutely have to have the latest and greatest version of this application, check out our guide on how to install newer software on Debian Linux!

sudo apt-get install smplayer

Arch Linux

Arch Linux has the absolute latest version of SMPlayer in their software sources, and it can be installed via the Pacman package manager.

sudo pacman -S smplayer


Fedora Linux users rejoice! SMPlayer is available on your operating system! To install it, use the Dnf package manager.

sudo dnf install smplayer


The SMPlayer media player is available to all OpenSUSE users via the main software repository. To install it, use the following Zypper command.

sudo zypper install smplayer

Generic Linux

The SMPlayer media player has been around for a very long time. As a result, many Linux distributions, big and small, have chosen to ship it in their software repositories. If you’re using a lesser-known Linux distribution, you’ll be able to install it if you launch a terminal and search “smplayer” in the package manager.

Alternatively, the source code for the program is available here.

Finding Channels

The way to watch television in SMPlayer is IPTV (Internet Protocol television). It should be noted that not all IP TV is legal, and could get you into trouble, so it’s best to avoid non-legal ones. In this guide, we will only be focusing on adding 100% legal IP TV channels to the SMplayer app. All channels come from the My-Legalstream playlist on GitHub. It has a wide variety of internet channels, and you’re sure to find something fun to watch!

Getting your hands on the My-Legalstream list of channels for SMplayer is done in the terminal via the Git command.

Note: don’t have the Git package set up on your Linux PC? Check out Pkgs.org and learn how to install it on your OS.

git clone https://github.com/notanewbie/LegalStream.git

Once Git is done downloading the LegalStream files from GitHub, use the CD command and enter the “LegalStream” directory.

cd LegalStream

Using the cat command, view the LegalStream.m3u playlist file.

cat LegalStream.m3u | more

Highlight the channel address you’d like to add to SMPlayer and copy it to your clipboard.

More channels

The My-Legalstream GitHub repository is updated continuously. Therefore, changes are regularly made to the playlist file. If you’re not satisfied with the number of channels available, use the wget command to download more:

wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/notanewbie/My-Legalstream/master/notanewbie-legalstream.m3u8 -O more-channels.m3u8

View the playlist with the cat command and copy the channel you’d like to add to your clipboard.

cat more-channels.m3u8 | more

Adding Channels to Smplayer

To add a TV channel to SMPlayer, open the app. Then, click the “File” button and look for the “TV” option. In “TV,” click the “Edit” button to open up the TV/Radio list.

In the TV/Radio list window, click the “New Item” button to create a new blank entry. Then, double-click on the new entry, under the “Name” section and enter the name of the new channel.

With the name entered, double-click on the blank section under “Media” and paste the channel URL saved to your clipboard into the box.

Click “OK” to save the channel to SMPlayer.

Watching TV

Now that you’ve saved your Internet channel to SMPlayer, it’s super easy to start watching. Just click “File,” then select “TV.” Click on the name of the channel in the menu and SMPlayer will start playing it instantly!

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