MPlayer On Debian

Media Player Par Excellence

If you've used MPlayer you'll know it needs to be configured before using. If you haven't used it, you're missing out on the best media player for Linux/Unix.

Config takes a few tweaks to get it going, but its worth the effort. Other movie players don't come close to mplayer. Its image rendering and stability are amazing. Mplayer can play almost every media file available. It tolerates broken mp4, wmv, avi, flv, and most others you throw at it, where most other media players choke.

First, if you're using the command line version, you need to pass mplayer the video output to use, if its not setup by default. You can do this by passing an argument:

mplayer -vo xv anyfilm.avi

or try:

mplayer -vo x11 anyfilm.avi

You can add the following to mplayer's config file:




The config file is located at $Home/.mplayer/config

Its dependent on the graphics card and driver installed on your system.

If you want to enable zoom, add:


Start mplayer fullscreen:

mplayer -fs -vo x11 anyfilm.avi

One error message I got when I installed and first used it, mplayer complained about not finding subfont.ttf. MPlayer is looking for a subtitle font and for its on screen display. It prefers a sans serif something like Arial font. To fix this you need to create a symbolic link in your .mplayer directory.

Locate your MS TrueType font ttf folder, its probably somewhere round /usr/share/fonts/truetype/mscorefonts/. In an XTerm do:

ls /usr/share/fonts/truetype/mscorefonts/arial.ttf

This should display arial.ttf Once you have the path, create the following symlink.

ln -s /usr/share/fonts/truetype/mscorefonts/arial.ttf ~/.mplayer/subfont.ttf

One time this did not work for me. I copied arial.ttf to ~/.mplayer/ and renamed it subfont.ttf. That fixed the problem.

To toggle full screen and regular, press 'f'.

To pause, press 'p'. Press any key to restart.

You can control mplayer's size/resolution onscreen:

mplayer -geometry 600x480

Or add it to your config file.

You can set resolution using -x and -y for display on the command line:

mplayer -vo x11 -fs -zoom -x1600 -y1200 somefile.avi

Dependent on your screen size and resolution.

Want mplayer to loop media file 4 times, do:

mplayer -loop 4

Want mplayer to loop media file infinitely, do:

mplayer -loop 0 (zero not O)

Want subtitles with that movie? Not a problem. Make sure the file is in the same directory as the media file and has exactly same name as the movie file (apart from the .avi /.srt) or mplayer will not recognise it as belonging to the movie. Having the same name, will prompt mplayer to automatically load the subtitle file for use.

Press 'v' to show/hide subtitles

Press x / z adjust delay +/- 0.1 seconds

Press b / j to cycle through available subtitles

Press y /g to step forward/back in the subtitle list

Press 'F' to toggle displaying "forced subtitles".

Press 'a' toggle subtitle alignment: top / middle / bottom.

Press r /t to move subtitles up/down.

List of help commands:

mplayer -vo help

Play a media file on DVD, try:

mplayer dvd://


mplayer dvd://1

Seek forward / back 10 seconds <- / ->

Seek forward / back 1 minute up / dn arrow

Seek forward / back 10 minutes PgUp / PgDn

Increase / decrease playback speed 10% [ / ]

Half / double current playback speed { / }

Reset normal playback speed <- Backspace

Pause playback p / spacebar

Quit / Stop q / esc

Adjust audio delay + / - 0.1 seconds

Increase / decrease volume / or *

Increase / decrease volume 9 / 0

Mute sound 'm'

Toggle On Screen Display 'o'

That should do it.