Difference between revisions of "Command-line interface"

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Revision as of 00:45, 6 April 2014

See also VLC command-line help, Console interfaces

This page describes how to access the terminal and start VLC in it.

A terminal is a text-based way to run programs. It is normally pre-installed on your computer. The command prompt may also be called:

  • Command Prompt
  • Console
  • MS-DOS Prompt
  • Terminal

Running VLC from the terminal gives you access to many commands and features in VideoLAN which you would not otherwise have: see the VLC command-line help page to find out more about options from the command line.

Note that % is used on many of the examples in VLC Wiki to represent the prompt, so you don't need to type that in. Depending on your operating system, the prompt could be a >, %, $ or #. Read on for a detailed explanation.


In windows, this is called the command prompt. To open the command prompt,

  • Click on the Start Menu and select Run.
  • In the Run box, type cmd (or command for older versions of windows) and press enter.

The command prompt will look something like this


To run VLC, you will need to know where you installed VLC: the default is C:\Program Files\VideoLAN\VLC. So to start vlc, type

"C:\Program Files\VideoLAN\VLC\VLC.exe" options

replacing options with the name of the file to play and it's options.


You can run VLC on Mac OS X using a terminal application, such as Terminal.app in /Applications/Utilities. In the terminal window type

../VLC.app/Contents/MacOS/VLC options

replacing options with vlc options, commands, the name of the file to play and so on.

To suppress the launch of any Mac-like interface, you have to add the Option '-I' or '--intf' followed by the interface you want use instead. Available interfaces are rc (remote control) ncurses (command-line-gui) http (webinterface, usually on port 8080). VLC won't even appear in the Dock then.

In older versions you could replace the "VLC" at the end of the path with "clivlc" to suppress the launch of any Mac-like interface.


To get a linux terminal, you should probably run Konsole or Xterm. The terminal normally looks like a $ or a %. If you are logged in as root (generally a bad idea) it will probably be a #. To run vlc, you can normally type

vlc options

replacing options with the name of the file to play and it's options.