How to Play FLV Files on Linux

by Cassandra Tribe

FLV (flash video) files require that you download and install a stand-alone program or compile binary codecs in order to view them. VLC is the best and easiest program available to play FLV files on Linux without having to learn the intricacies of codecs.

Step 1

Boot up your computer and log onto the Internet.

Step 2

Go to the VLC home site (see Resources).

Step 3

On the left side of the page, under the heading "GNU/Linux" select your version of Linux by right clicking your mouse on the version name. VLC is currently offered for the following versions of Linux: Debian GNU/Linux,Ubuntu, Mandriva Linux, Fedora, openSUSE, Familiar Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Slackware Linux, ALT Linux, Arch Linux, YOPY/Linupy and Zaurus.

Step 4

Select "OK" when your download manager prompts you to install the program and the VLC installer will then launch. Follow the menu screens to select where on your system you want the program to install.

Step 5

Run VLC by opening the program Start Menu on your computer and select "VideoLan" and then "VLC Media Player."

Select "Open File" under "Menu" and double-click on the FLV file you want to play in the browser window. VLC will automatically begin playing your FLV files.


  • The VLC media player will also export your FLV files into a variety of formats that are compatible with other Linux programs so you can share your Flash videos easily.


  • If you are running Debian (stable or unstable), Mandrake or Redhat go to the VLC home site for the most recent additional instructions that need to be used to run VLC successfully on these versions.

Items you will need

  • Computer with Linux OS
  • Internet connection

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