SMPlayer – Linux Video Player

I have used a lot of video players on Linux – and over the time my favorite video player have changed. When I wrote the post Top 5 Video Players in Linux, it was VLC. After that, the position was held by Xine for a long time. But that was before I discovered SMPlayer.

SMPlayer is a front-end for MPlayer, from basic features like playing videos, DVDs, and VCDs to more advanced features like support for MPlayer filters and more.


Remembers the settings of all files you play
So you start to watch a movie but you have to leave… don’t worry, when you open that movie again it will resume at the same point you left it, and with the same settings: audio track, subtitles, volume…
Extremely Configurable
This is one feature I absolutely must have in a video player – I want to use very specific settings. And SMPlayer is one of the few players that lets me do that.
Configurable subtitles
You can choose font and size, and even colors for the subtitles. Or you can drag and drop a subtitle file into the player when you are playing a video – the video will use that subtitle file from then on. Or you can automatically get the subtitle of the currently playing film from OpenSubtitles with the click of a button(you need the latest version for this).
Audio track switching.
You can choose the audio track you want to listen. Works with avi and mkv. And of course with DVDs.
Seeking by mouse wheel.
You can use your mouse wheel to go forward or backward in the video.
Video equalizer
Allows you to adjust the brightness, contrast, hue, saturation and gamma of the video image. I have never used this feature – but it might come in handy for a bad quality video.
Multiple speed playback
You can play at 2X, 4X… and even in slow motion. SMPlayer speeds up the audio as well – which is kinda distracting – I wish they would mute it in fast mode.
Several filters are available: deinterlace, postprocessing, denoise… and even a karaoke filter (voice removal).
Audio and subtitles delay adjustment
Allows you to sync audio and subtitles.
Advanced options
Such as selecting a demuxer or video & audio codecs, providing mplayer command line options and more. Seriously, take a look at the Preferences dialog of this app.
Allows you to enqueue several files to be played one after each other. Autorepeat and shuffle supported too.
Binaries available for Windows and Linux.
Free Software
SMPlayer is under the GPL license.

Installing SMPlayer

In Fedora/Red Hat system, you can install SMPlayer using yum…

yum install smplayer

The package name is the same for Ubuntu/Debian systems…

apt-get install smplayer

Or you can download the app from their site and install it manually.

Related Links


  1. Mmmm… it sounds like BSplayer for Windows. BSPlayer is almost the only application that i need but not have in Linux. And this SMPlayer seems to be at the same level of power and customizatibility than BSPlayer 😉

  2. My favourite player is MPlayer and I’m able to do almost all the things that can be done with a video player. It supports all types of codecs and subtitles. From my point of view Mplayer is the only player capable of handling/loading all the subtitle formats available. There are some problems with Totem/vlc not loading certain subtitles (I know this because I see a lot of movies on my Linux Box). The only problem so far I know about MPlayer is that when you change the aspect ratio during playing videos the play restarts from begining. I don’t know why this happens. Is this a problem with SMPlayer also ? And I bet Mplayer is the only player that starts faster than any other players of its kind. I’ve never tried the SMplayer front-end for Mplayer, still using default Mplayer GUI. i’ll make a try

    Nice to have such a post Binny………

  3. I have some issues with movie playback in totem, then I installed vlc, and when I tried to start it, vlc can not be started as root because of security reasons, but i really don’t care about any security reason while playing movie, what i am trying to say is >>> don’t use idiotic players <<>> WOW GREAT PERFORMANCE <<< its starts so f…..g fast, faster then anything, no image flickering, just …. NOTHING BUT PERFORMANCE !!!
    I recommend SMPlayer to everyone, Its just great !!!

  4. @Sreejith K: a few good reasons to use SMPlayer instead of MPlayer would be:
    – When MPlayer crashes, you don’t lose your interface. SMPlayer just lets you know MPlayer crashed, and then you can press ‘Play’ to actually resume from where you left off.
    – It’s a nicer interface that integrates better with your desktop, and the interface isn’t as buggy/crashy as I have always experience.

    Next to this stability, you don’t lose speed, and you don’t lose features. SMPlayer is the perfect layer on top of MPlayer.

  5. epi: why the hell are you running a media player as root? You should never have to do this, not even for performance improvement (there is pretty much none and you could just root your way to improving its priority while not actually running the app as root)!

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