It took the VideoLAN developers several years of development to leave the ageing v2 releases of their VLC player behind and release a shiny new version ‘3’. This is also the first version which unifies the releases for all platforms the player can run on.
Lots of changes went under the hood and I encourage you to read the release notes. The new release contains working ChromeCast support using a software stack the developers wrote from scratch, where the video’s you cast are transcoded on the fly if necessary. The UPnP support which was broken for many years, has been re-written and finally works again, so that you can watch the movies you make available on your LAN using for instance Plex or Universal Media Server.
When I compile the VLC package I try to follow the VideoLAN guidelines for its supporting libraries, so that the user experience and functionality matches that of the official binaries as closely as possible. That resulted in several changes to the libraries used by VLC:
- Updated internal libraries: libass, libdvdcss, libdvdnav, libdvdread, libbluray, ffmpeg, live555, libssh2, x262, x264.
- New internal libraries: microdns, sdm, srt.
- Removed libraries (no longer used internally): aacenc, daap, faad, faac, vcdimager.
A note about dependencies for the new package:
My Slackware packages for VLC are mostly self-contained with all of the supporting libraries compiled into the package. This makes for a minimal dependency on external libraries/packages. But there are some caveats with the new release: most importantly, its interface has switched from Qt4 to Qt5. While Slackware contains a ‘qt4’ package, it does not contain ‘qt5’ and therefore, the vlc-3.0.0 package introduces three new dependencies, all related to the Qt5 GUI: libxkbcommon, qt5 and qt5-webkit. On Slackware 14.2, two more packages are needed which are already incorporated into slackware-current: libinput and libwacom (the latter one only for 64bit).
A warning to users who built a ‘qt5’ package themselves, using the SlackBuild script at slackbuilds.org:
Un-install that ‘qt5’ package please and install mine. The ‘qt5’ package built with the SBo script will make VLC crash with a segmentation fault.
A note on compiling:
When you want to compile VLC 3 yourself, be sure to install java8 and apache-ant or your build will fail.
Where to find the new VLC packages:
- http://slackware.com/~alien/slackbuilds/vlc/ (only containing the versions that do not violate US patents).
This repository is mirrored at https://slackware.nl/people/alien/slackbuilds/vlc/ .
If you want to play encrypted DVD’s please install the libdvdccss package separately.
(alternative repository containing packages capable of AAC encoding and encrypted DVD playback).
Rsync access is offered by the mirror server: rsync://slackware.nl/mirrors/people/alien/restricted_slackbuilds/vlc/ .
For BluRay support, read a previous article for hints about the aacs keys that you’ll need.
Note that I only built packages for Slackware 14.2 & -current. I stopped creating packages for Slackware 14.1 and earlier because of the effort it takes to build 4 packages for every Slackware release.
My usual warning about patents: versions that can not only DEcode but also ENcode AAC audio can be found in my alternative repository where I keep the packages containing code that might violate stupid US software patents.