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Interfaces are the way you interact with VLC media player. Like anything else in VLC, they are modules, which allows for their interchangeability (see below).

Main interfaces

VLC has four main graphical interfaces:

Used to be wxWidgets Interface (wx) before.

Full list

Besides the above main interfaces, VLC contains many more:

qt Current (>=0.9.0) default Qt4 interface on Linux and Windows.
wx Previous (<0.9.0) default wxWidgets interface on Linux and Windows.
skins2 Load VLC with a skin. (Linux and Windows only)
macosx Default Mac OS X interface.
minimal_macosx Minimal Mac OS X interface.
beos Default BeOS interface.
http Web Interface, used for controlling VLC from over a network.
gestures Mouse Gestures, where you can control VLC by moving the mouse
rc, ncurses, telnet Console Interfaces, non-graphical interfaces.
showintf Show interfaces module.
hotkeys and joystick Control VLC with the keyboard/joystick (see HotKeys).
dummy Don't use an interface (HotKeys still available).

Listing the available interfaces

To get a list of available interfaces, running VLC with the -l option:

% vlc -l

This also displays the muxers and encoders/decoders and puts it in a file called vlc-help.txt. On Linux, run

% vlc -l | grep -iF interface

to display the interfaces.

Using an interface

To run VLC with a different primary interface, use the following command:

% vlc --intf name

You can also use

% vlc -I name

You can also change the default in the Preferences.

However, you can also launch more than one interface:

% vlc --intf qt --extraintf sap,telnet,http

This will launch VLC with the default Qt interface, but will also launch the SAP, telnet and web interface in addition to the Qt one. The default for this can also be changed in the preferences.

Note that if you only use the dummy interface, you won't be able to tell vlc to quit (except watching a video). You may have to break it manually with Ctrl+C; or use vlc://quit as the last item on the playlist.