I would like to use VLC to play an Internet radio stream without starting the GUI. Is that possible? I have explored the command line documentation for VLC a bit and I did not came to any solution.

So far I just invoke:

$ vlc <stream>

I am on Linux (Ubuntu 13.10).

  • Which operating system is this on? It may help. – Marshall Conover Oct 24 '13 at 15:10
  • @MarshallConover You are absolutely right, just added it. – Mahoni Oct 24 '13 at 15:21
  • I don't know how VLC is packaged in Ubuntu, but you can try cvlc and nvlc. – FSMaxB Oct 25 '13 at 16:33

For playing vlc in the command line without launching a ui, it looks like this page has what you need.

Specifically, I think you want this command:

vlc --intf dummy vcd://

This specifies a dummy interface that never acually launches anything. I can't test this because I am away from my linux box right now, but here's the full command I think you're looking for:

vlc --intf dummy <stream>
  • 1
    You can add additional parameters to further configure the player. For example, if you'd like to hide the video title when it starts playing, and you want it to start in full screen along with a few other options. You can use something like: vlc -I dummy --fullscreen --qt-minimal-view --no-qt-name-in-title <file> – Tim Visee Jul 8 '16 at 21:46

To use vlc without interface, I just use this command:

cvlc stream

  • Best solution as it needs no extra options or switches. – DBX12 Feb 12 '19 at 19:37

At the VLC-documentation, there is a great chapter about that:

Just choose the type of stream which fits your type of stream and fill in the correct address and serverport.

Receiving a network stream

To receive an unicast UDP stream (sent by VLS or VLC's stream output), start VLC with:

% vlc -vvv udp:[@:server_port]

To receive an multicast UDP stream (sent by VLS or VLC's stream output), start VLC with:

% vlc -vvv udp:@multicast_address[:server_port]

To receive a HTTP stream, start VLC with :

% vlc -vvv http://www.example.org/your_file.mpg

To receive a RTSP stream, start VLC with:

% vlc -vvv rtsp://www.example.org/your_stream

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