i am new in Linux. Generally i install software by internet, but i think it is not a good approach to depend on internet all the times. Then i downloaded a vlc .tar.xz file. then searched Internet how to install .tar.xz. But unable to install. The command i written and result got given below..

ubuntu@ubuntu-HP:~/programs$ tar -zxvf vlc-2.0.6.tar.xz

gzip: stdin: not in gzip format
tar: Child returned status 1
tar: Error is not recoverable: exiting now

ubuntu@ubuntu-HP:~/programs$ tar -zxf vlc-2.0.6.tar.xz

gzip: stdin: not in gzip format
tar: Child returned status 1
tar: Error is not recoverable: exiting now
  • 2
    If you are new to linux, you may not be aware that you will generally want to install applications from the repositories, which are packaged and ready to install. Go to the Software Center in the menu, search and install it from there. If you don't then please edit the question to explain why, as there are often better options than trying to install an app in the way you describe.
    – Paul
    Apr 21, 2015 at 0:28
  • 3
    @paul, i installed software form there many times, but now i think i should know the way how to install without software center
    – Black Swan
    Apr 21, 2015 at 0:32
  • @BlackSwan Well, you maybe should be able to do so but one cannot recommend to do that. Always prefer repo-packages. Anyway, how to "install"?: Just extract the files, compile them if needed (instructions should be in README or similar files) and copy them somewhere handy. For a system-wide installation to /usr/bin the binaries etc., but you might need to reconfigure the program to use /usr/lib as library-path etc. Instead of copying, make install might just work fine.
    – ljrk
    Sep 25, 2015 at 7:02

5 Answers 5


This is not good practice unless you know the implications of installing software this way, and trust the source of the file.


tar xf [filename]

This will expand the contents of the file to a folder. Then the commands are, from the folder:

sudo make install

This will compile the VLC source code, and then install it into your system. Because you are installing as root, this is why you must know that the source of the file is trustworthy.

To compile vlc, you need at least the following libraries installed:

  • libdvbpsi (compulsory) ,
  • mpeg2dec (compulsory) ,
  • libdvdcss if you want to be able to read encrypted DVDs ,
  • libdvdplay if you want to have DVD menu navigation ,
  • a52dec if you want to be able to decode the AC3 (i.e. A52) sound format often used in DVDs ,
  • ffmpeg, libmad, faad2 if you want to read MPEG 4 / DivX files ,
  • libogg & libvorbis if you want to read Ogg Vorbis files .

You will probably also need to install the build-essential package to get a compiler and associated commands.

More details here

  • Link broken @Paul
    – mteam88
    May 3 at 10:58

First, you should have xz installed on your system. If not:

# apt-get install xz-utils

Then, instead of "z" option in tar command (which is for zip), you must use "J" (which is for xz):

$ tar xvfJ fich.tar.xz

I dug up an answer with a bit of searching.


tl;dr, use tar xf [filename]

  • thanks for ur answer i extracted it.please tell me how to install..
    – Black Swan
    Apr 21, 2015 at 0:17

You can use tar xvf [filename] if you also want to see the files being extracted. The z in your original code is used for gzip files.


Install this pakage

sudo apt-get install xz-utils

Go to the file direction and run this command to extract the package

tar -xvf {file name}

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