I have seen that the new DivX Player 10 shows off H.265/HEVC playback, the successor of H.264. I wonder how I may get this support in Linux. Is there a need to install a codec specific for this format? How?

3 Answers 3


There is also a PPA for libde265 GStreamer integration. With that installed one can playback H.265 with all GStreamer applications (Browsers, Totem, etc.).

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:strukturag/libde265
sudo apt-get update

Now try playing back a .mkv containing HEVC/H.265 content using any GStreamer-aware player (e.g. "totem"). This should detect the missing codec and prompt to install the libde265 GS plugin (make sure to select the 64bit or 32bit version depending on your architecture).

You can also install the corresponding GStreamer plugin directly:

sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-libde265

Or for GStreamer 1.0 applications:

sudo apt-get install gstreamer1.0-libde265

There is also a VLC plugin available:

sudo apt-get install vlc-plugin-libde265

Details here: GStreamer plugin for 4K H.265/HEVC video streaming

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    When I run the vlc-plugin installation I get the following error: vlc-plugin-libde265 : Depends: libvlccore7 (>= 2.1.0) but it is not going to be installed (Ubuntu 14.04) Commented Aug 31, 2014 at 19:50
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    When I run a HEVC encoded video in VLC on Ubuntu 14.04, I see a green layer on top of the video. Any one know how to solve it? @longsleep
    – soham
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 23:46
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    You can follow ubuntuhandbook.org/index.php/2015/02/… to get VLC with x265 running on 14.04 (it's already in repos 14.10+). The repo there also gives you an x265 package.
    – pd12
    Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 14:50
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    "sudo apt-get install vlc-plugin-libde265" worked for me, after first adding the repository! Commented May 24, 2016 at 19:52
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    This is out of date if you are on ubuntu 17+ Commented Oct 13, 2018 at 20:14

An alternative to @longsleep's great answer is, if using VLC: as noted here you can upgrade to VLC 2.2.x or higher to get HEVC/H.265 support. If on 14.04, you need to add this repo to get 2.2.x+ versions of VLC:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mc3man/trusty-media

sudo apt-get update, and

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade or sudo apt-get install vlc vlc-plugin-libde265

You can also install others if you want: vlc-plugin-*

The repo doesn't have the gstreamer1.0-libde265 package but does have a lot of other "upgraded, advanced or not normally available multimedia packages for Trusty" 14.04 for those who like LTS versions.

  • I am using vlc 2.2.0 on ub15.04 and it seems like I can play my x265 encoded 5xxMB video fine, as long as I shut down all other programs, because I am getting really high cpu usage (70-90%) from vlc, while I only get about 5-10% with x264 videos. Is this high cpu usage normal or is it supposed to be much lower, similar to x264? Commented Aug 2, 2015 at 12:47
  • With a small sample size (2 vids each for 264, 265) I get 17-26% (about 80-100% of 1 core) CPU usage for x265 and 6-12% for x264. It makes sense because 265 encodes at higher compression ratios with similar quality, so requires more processing work. Also, VLC probably hasn't optimised x265 decoding it yet so it's near the 100% end of 1 core, those are my guesses.
    – pd12
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 9:42
  • I see. Then I guess the high load makes sense on my 7 year old dual core laptop :( Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 10:42
  • For bionic or Ubuntu 17+ use following, sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mc3man/bionic-prop sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install x265
    – chaladi
    Commented Jul 24, 2019 at 6:27

Yet another alternative - if you have Google Chrome installed - is to add/install H.265 / HEVC player (in)to your Chrome browser.

After that, you can head straight to "Google Chrome Applications" (at your Ubuntu distro menu) and run the player. Or you can just start Google Chrome, type in the URL chrome://apps and hit Enter. This will cause Google Chrome to show you its installed apps, so you can run H.265 / HEVC player straight from there.

By using this alternative method, there's no need to install any library, codec, player plugin or whatever, because everything you need for H.265/HEVC playback support is already embedded in the H.265 / HEVC player.

I've already used H.265 / HEVC player to watch a couple of two-hour-long H.265/HEVC encoded movies, and I didn't experience any playback issue.

  • It doesn't support sub titles.
    – Venkatesh
    Commented May 12, 2016 at 15:58
  • @Venkatesh If the H.264 video has switchable (embedded) subtitles, the player will detect them and give you the option to select one of them. I have some MKV files with embedded subtitles and on H.265 / HEVC Player I can select any one of these subtitles or disable subtitles. But if you mean loading an external subtitles file (such as a .SRT file), then no: the current version of the player doesn't load external subtitles files. Commented May 14, 2016 at 7:26
  • for some reason the player doesn't work on my mint 17.2.... Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 16:42
  • @codeScriber I haven't played any H.265 video on the last months, but after seeing your comment I tested the player on Google Chrome (both on 64-bit XUbuntu 16.04 and on 64-bit Mint 17.2) and I can confirm that this Chrome app has stopped working. I performed some tests but was unable to find the problem. I've sent a message to the developer, reporting the problem. In the meantime, it's recommended to use another method (e.g. installing VLC Media Player and the gstreamer integration library). Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 2:10
  • Thanks Yuri. I did and it works. Now i need to figure oyt how to make rpi2 plex to decode it while streaming.... Commented Sep 18, 2016 at 3:27

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