Introduction What is the VideoLAN project ? Overview VideoLAN is a complete software solution for video streaming, developed by students of the Ecole Centrale Paris and developers from all over the world, under the GNU General Public License (GPL). VideoLAN is designed to stream MPEG videos on high bandwidth networks. The VideoLAN solution includes : the VideoLAN Server (VLS), which can stream MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 files, DVDs, digital satellite channels, digital terrestial television channels and live videos on the network in unicast or multicast, the VideoLAN Client (VLC), which can be used as a server to stream MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 files and DVDs on the network in unicast or multicast ; or used as a client to receive, decode and display MPEG streams under multiple operating systems. Here is an illustration of the complete VideoLAN solution :
Global VideoLAN solution
More details about the project can be found on the VideoLAN Web site. VideoLAN software VideoLAN Client The VideoLAN Client (VLC) works on many platforms : Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, BeOS, *BSD, Solaris, Familiar Linux, Yopy/Linupy and QNX. It can read : MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 / DivX files from a hard disk or a CD-ROM drive, DVDs and VCDs, from a satellite card, MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 streams from the network sent by VLS or VLC's stream output. VLC can also be used as a server to stream : MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 / DivX files, and DVDs, to : one machine (i.e. to one IP address) : this is called unicast ; a dynamic group of machines that the clients can join or leave (i.e. to a multicast IP address) : this is called multicast. VLC doesn't work on Mac OS 9, and will probably never do. VideoLAN Server The VideoLAN Server (VLS) can stream : an MPEG-1, MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 files stored on a hard drive or on a CD, a DVD located in a local DVD drive or copied on a hard disk, a satellite card or a digital terrestial television card, an MPEG encoding card ; to : one machine (i.e. to one IP address) : this is called unicast ; a dynamic group of machines that the clients can join or leave (i.e. to a multicast IP address) : this is called multicast. A Pentium 100 MHz with 32 MB of memory should be enough to send one stream on the network. When streaming a lot of videos stored on a hard drive, the actual limitation is not the processor but the hard drive and the network connection. VLS works under Linux and Mac OS X. How can I use VideoLAN ? The documentation The user documentation of the VideoLAN project is composed of four documents : the VideoLAN Quickstart. This document will give you a quick overview of of VLC, VLC's stream output, the Video On Demand solution and the channel information service system. the VideoLAN HOWTO. This document is the complete guide of the VideoLAN streaming solution. the VLC user guide. This document is the complete guide for VLC. the VLC FAQ. This document contains Frequently Asked Questions of VLC users. The latest version of these documents can be found on the documentation page. User support If you have problems using VideoLAN, and if you don't find the answer to your problems in the documentation, please look at the online archive of the mailing-lists. There are two English-speaking mailing-lists for the users : vlc@videolan.org for the questions on VLC, streaming@videolan.org for the questions on VLS, mini-SAP-server and the network. If you want to subscribe or unsubscribe to the mailing-lists, please go to the mailing-list page. You can also talk with VideoLAN users and developers on IRC : server irc.freenode.net, channel #videolan. If you find a bug, please follow the instructions on the bug reporting page. Command line vs. graphical interfaces VLC has many different graphical interfaces, that are organized quite differently in order to be in harmony with the guidelines of each Operating System supported. Documenting the use of each graphical interface is too long, and some features are only available via the command line interface. Therefore we decided to document only the command line interface, but in many cases it shouldn't be difficult to guess how to use the graphical interface for the same use ! Open a command tool under Windows Click on Start, Run and type : cmd and Enter under Windows 2000 / XP, command and Enter under Windows 95 / 98 / ME. The command tool appears :
Windows command tool
Then go to directory where you installed VLC : # cd C:\Program Files\VLC\ under Linux or Unix Under X, open a terminal :
Windows command tool
In the documentation, we adopt the following conventions for the Unix commands : commands that should be typed as root have a # prompt : # command_to_be_typed_as_root commands that should be typed as a regular user have a % prompt : % command_to_be_typed_as_regular_user under Mac OS X [TODO] under BeOS [TODO]