VLC Player not playing nice with Radeon?

If you are on Ubuntu 16.04 using radeon open source driver for your graphics card and having issues with playing mp4 or mkv files with VLC media player then read on. If you are not sure what graphics driver is in use in your system, paste the below line in Terminal.

lspci -v -s lspci | awk '/VGA/{print $1}'

And check for the below line in the output:

Kernel driver in use: radeon

The issue occurs as soon as you open a media file of type mkv or mp4 with VLC media player. Immediately after opening, it crashes silently. But if you check the /var/log/syslog, you should be able to see segmentation fault messages.

The issue probably occurs because VLC by default uses VDAPU (a shared API between a number of graphics driver for Linux) for video decoding. To turn it off, go to VLC Player > Tools > Preferences > Input / Codecs and select Disable from the dropdown.

Also, I changed the Output value at VLC Player > Tools > Preferences > Video to XVideo output (XCB).

And after that, VLC started working fine on my friend’s computer. I hope it helps.

Helpful link:


I am a software engineer, an open-source enthusiast and a hobbyist blogger.

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Posted in Ubuntu
2 comments on “VLC Player not playing nice with Radeon?
  1. Thanks for this. Updated my graphics drivers and had VLC segfaulting. Yours is the first article that offers both an explanation and a solution!

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