Playing media files in Fedora-based Qubes

Fedora-based templates out of the box cannot play some common video formats such as mp4. This tutorial installs the VLC Media Player in Fedora. Installing VLC in debian-based qubes is also an alternative (and may be easier).

note: this post has been edited by @deeplow for clarity

note: If you’re unfamiliar with how to install software on qubes, please first read “Installing software in TemplateVMs”.

:warning: This guide enables third party repositories (RPM Fusion) to your Fedora installation. Read more on some of the implications here.

1. (option a) Installing VLC in Fedora

This guide was tested in QubesOS v4.0.3 with the fedora-30 template. If it worked for you in newer versions, please mention that bellow so.

dnf --enablerepo=rpmfusion-free --enablerepo=rpmfusion-free-updates --enablerepo=rpmfusion-nonfree --enablerepo=rpmfusion-nonfree-updates install vlc

VLC should now be installed successfully in the TemplateVM.

1. (option b) Installing other media players

just repeat the above command but replacing vlc at the end by the packages ffmpeg mpv

You should now be able to start the MPV player.

2. Shut down TemplateVM and associated VMs

Then shut down the TemplateVM and any AppVMs based on that TemplateVM for changes to take effect.

3. See if it worked

The you start the Fedora AppVM and you should be able to play video files (they’ll open in VLC). If it didn’t work, comment down bellow.

(optional) add a VLC or MPV to your list of applications

Optionally you can also add VLC Media Player to your list of applications.


No package vlc available. Error: Unable to find a match.

If you get the error No package vlc available. Error: Unable to find a match. while running dnf install vlc, then you should do:

sudo gedit /etc/yum.repos.d/rpmfusion-free.repo # or any other text editor

The line which will need editing will be near the beginning probably 7 lines down:


Change the 0 to a 1 and then save and exit.

Now re-enter the following lines in the terminal.

sudo dnf -y update
sudo dnf install vlc

And then go to the next step.

1 Like

The detailed solution comes in the continuation of the thread “No success at playing mp4's in VMs”.

@Qubesquark I’ve polished your guide a bit and made some shortcuts.

My only doubt is removing the part about vim. I suggested people run gedit instead (as root in a TemplateVM - thoughts?). I did this as I feel vim is too big of step for people who might be just starting to use the terminal. I would have put there nano but fedora doesn’t come with it by default :confused:

I’m absolutely fine with whatever changes you deem fit deeplow :slight_smile: My first linux OS back in the early 80’s was a Suse variety. But since then I’ve been strictly Ubuntu based, with Mint for the last number of years. So I have had zero exposure to anything fedora-wise. Vim is just my personal preference, although if you would prefer to use gedit for the Qubes forum, go for it. I don’t pretend to know the userbase. I am just very happy, that what I’ve submitted, might contribute towards a finished product to help others out. I will check back with interest in a few days to see, what the finished how-to has ended up. cheers

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Wow. That’s a lot of *Nix :slight_smile:


I’m happy as well! No need to wait. You can take a look now. It’s finished already :slight_smile:


The finished product looks great! Thanks. By the way, I said my first linux was Suse back in the early 80’s. That should have been early 90’s. The 70 year old brain isn’t what it used to be

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Fedora template already has rpmfusion repos you just need to enable them temporarily or permanently via terminal or via the graphical package manager (dnfdragora).

For example, to temporarily enable rpmfusion repos in Fedora Template and install vlc, ffmpeg and mpv:

sudo dnf --enablerepo=rpmfusion-free --enablerepo=rpmfusion-free-updates --enablerepo=rpmfusion-nonfree --enablerepo=rpmfusion-nonfree-updates install vlc ffmpeg mpv -y

Or to install the graphical package manager dnfdragora in Fedora Template:

sudo dnf install dnfdragora -y

Then you can open dnfdragora and enable the rpmfusion repos in the check boxes, refresh, and add your third party software.

Another option is to use snaps in your appvms. Install the qubes-snapd-helper first, and then you can install snap apps in your individual appvms and they will still be there after reboot.

For example:

sudo snap install vlc


Thanks. I have updated the guide to reflect this

Good to know!