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5 ways to watch video streams on the Linux desktop

Do you want to watch video streams on your Linux desktop? Confused and unsure about how to do it? We can help! Follow along with this list as we go over 5 ways you can watch video streams on the Linux desktop!

1. VLC

The number 1 way to watch video streams on the Linux desktop is by making use of the VLC media player. Why? It has impressive compatibility with various types of video streams. It even has a cool plugin API that makes it possible to add in support for video streams that VLC doesn’t support.

To watch a video stream in the VLC media player on Linux, do the following. First, open up a terminal window and install the VLC media player if you don’t already have it installed with the commands below.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install vlc

Debian

sudo apt-get install vlc

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S vlc

Fedora

sudo dnf install vlc

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install vlc

Flatpak

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

flatpak install flathub org.videolan.VLC

Snap

sudo snap install vlc

After installing the VLC app on your computer, open it up. Once the app is open, click on the “Media” button in the top-left corner of the app to open up the “Media” menu. Inside of the “Media” menu, look for the option that says “Open Network Stream” and click on it.

When you click on the “Open Network Stream” button, you will see a pop-up window with “Please enter a network URL”. Paste the URL of the video stream you would like to watch in the box, and click on the “Play” button to watch the stream!

2. SMPlayer

Another great way to watch video streams on the Linux desktop is SMPlayer. It’s a lot like VLC, in that it can handle a multitude of video formats and stream types. It can also handle audio streams and even YouTube!

To watch a video stream with SMPlayer, start by making sure the app is installed on your computer. If you need to install the app, open up a terminal window, and follow the commands below.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install smplayer

Debian

sudo apt-get install smplayer

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S smplayer

Fedora

sudo dnf install smplayer

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install smplayer

Once the SMPlayer app is installed on your computer, launch the app by searching for it in the app menu. Then, when the app is open, find the “Open” menu, and click on it with the mouse.

Inside of the “Open” menu, there are several choices to choose from. Click on the “URL” option with the mouse. After clicking on “URL,” you will see the “Enter URL” window appear. Paste the video stream or YouTube URL to stream it directly to your Linux desktop!

3. MPlayer

If you’re not a huge fan of GUI media players on Linux but still want to be able to have a good video player that can play video streams on the Linux desktop, MPlayer is for you! It’s a terminal-based media player, and it works quite well!

To stream video on the Linux desktop with the MPlayer application, start by installing it on your Linux PC with the commands below.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install mplayer

Debian

sudo apt-get install mplayer

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S mplayer

Fedora

sudo dnf install mplayer

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install mplayer

Once the MPlayer application is installed onto your computer, open up a terminal window on the desktop by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, when the terminal window is open, use the command example below to stream your favorite videos on the Linux desktop!

mplayer url-of-video-stream-here

4. Gnome Videos

Those using the Gnome Shell desktop, or desktop environments built upon the Gnome Shell desktop will find the Gnome Videos app an excellent, beautiful way to stream videos on Linux.

To stream videos with the Gnome Videos app, start by installing it on your computer using the commands below.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install totem

Debian

sudo apt-get install totem

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S totem

Fedora

sudo dnf install totem

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install totem

Flatpak

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

flatpak install flathub org.gnome.Totem

After the Gnome Videos app is installed onto your computer, launch it by searching for “Videos” in the app menu. Then, when the app is open, find the plus sign button (+) and click on it with the mouse.

When you click on the plus sign button (+), a menu will appear. In this menu, locate the “Add web video” option, and select it. Then, paste in the video stream you’d like to watch to load it into Gnome Videos!

5. Celluloid

There are a lot of video players on Linux, and Celluloid is one of the best. Why is it one of the best? Not only can it handle any video you throw at it, but it can stream videos from various formats, but it can deliver you all of these things with an excellent, simple UI.

To stream videos on the Linux desktop with Celluloid, you must first install the app. To get Celluloid installed on Linux, please follow our in-depth guide on the subject. We dig deep and cover how to get the app working on just about every Linux OS possible.

Once the Celluloid app is installed, launch it by searching for it in the app menu. Then, when the app is open, look for the plus sign button (+) in the top-left and click on it with the mouse. After clicking on the plus sign button (+), a menu will appear. Look in the menu for the “Open Location” button.

When you click on the “Open Location” button, a window will appear. In the window, paste the link to the video stream you would like to watch. Then, click on the “Open” button to play the stream in Celluloid.

Conclusion

In this list, we covered 5 ways to watch video streams on the Linux desktop. These apps are some of the most popular video players out there for Linux and will be able to handle any stream you throw at it. Enjoy!

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