I am trying to play a movie but this is what I get (after downloading VLC) : video error message

So I presses "Find in Software" and I got these options

I tried installing the first 3 of that list but I am getting another error

I am unable to fix this. Help me please.

  • VLC has nothing to do with it - you're image shows the native Ubuntu video app, not VLC - so why even mention it? Amusingly, if you actually used VLC to play the file it probably would have worked (VLC uses its own set of codecs, doesn't depend on system-wide installed codecs). As usual, the set of codecs (and extras) for 99,9% of your needs can be easily installed with sudo apt install ubuntu-restricted-extras, ignoring the individual installation suggestions. The error message you allude to is normal if there's another package manage running, like unattended updates. Jul 16, 2021 at 18:49
  • Oh lol. I get my mistake. I am able to play the video now. Also I learnt something new today.Thanks!
    – gugu
    Jul 16, 2021 at 18:53
  • 1
    @ChanganAuto Please do post an answer :) Jul 17, 2021 at 17:45

1 Answer 1


A default Ubuntu installation does not include many proprietary codecs that are needed to reproduce certain video formats and others. There's an option to add some of those during the installation by selecting the option to install third-party drivers, firmware, codecs, etc.

Typically users install a meta-package - ubuntu-restricted-extras (replace "Ubuntu" with "Xubuntu" or "Lubuntu" for a tailored package for those flavors - to add codecs for 99,9% of the users' needs (rough estimate):

sudo apt install ubuntu-restricted-extras

Do this instead instead of the individual installations suggested in your error message.

Finally, VLC is irrelevant here and yet mentioned in the question. VLC is different from most similar players because it doesn't depend on system-wide installed codecs, it uses its own set of codecs. VLC would likely succeed where the native Ubuntu Video app without the required codec failed.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .