How to Play an AVI in Linux

by Marty Simmons

Linux has solutions for almost every task common in operating systems like Windows and Mac OS X. This includes media software for watching videos or listening to your music collection. Using VLC player, Linux users can watch their favorite videos. VLC can display most video file types, including AVI. However, every distribution has different instructions for installing VLC.

Install VLC On Ubuntu

Open a terminal window.

Run the command "sudo aptitude install vlc".

Answer yes to the download prompt and let the process complete. VLC is now installed under the Applications:Sound & Video menu if you are running GNOME.

Install VLC on CentOS

Open a terminal and run the command "wget". This is an installer to add the software repository RPMForge to CentOS.

Open the download location and double-click the RPM file. Enter the root password.

Allow the package manager to install the package. RPM Forge is a trusted repository, so you can ignore the warning about the certificate key not being present. However, if you want to have the the key, run the command "rpm --import" prior to opening the RPM.

Run the command "yum check-update" to refresh the repository list.

Run the command "yum install vlc". Answer yes to the prompt and let the process complete. VLC is now installed.

Install VLC on openSUSE

Open a browser and go the download section of the VLC site for openSUSE. (See Resources.)

Choose the 1-click installer for your version of openSUSE and download the installer.

Run the installer. Agree to any terms and be sure to import any keys when the installer asks.

Run VLC from the Applications menu under Multimedia.

Install VLC on Fedora

Open a terminal. Login as root using "su".

Run the command "rpm -ivh". Answer yes to any prompts.

Run the command "yum install vlc" and answer yes to install the packages. When the process is complete, VLC is installed under Applications and Sound & Video in the tool bar.

Install VLC on Gentoo

Open a terminal.

Run the command "sudo emerge vlc". Say yes to the prompts and let the installation complete.

Run VLC by typing "vlc" in a terminal.


  • check Because there are so many different distributions of Linux, having a one-size-fits-all solution is not possible. Check the VLC website or support documentation for your distribution for details on installation if you are having trouble. Some distributions can install VLC using one command, while others require adding repositories and other packages.

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About the Author

Marty Simmons started writing professional reports for the environmental consulting industry in 2008. His online instructional articles specialize in science and education. Simmons has a Bachelor of Arts in geology from Kent State University.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera arctic love image by Aaron Kohr from