My sound menu integration of VLC seems to be broken (see screenshot), also the multimedia keys do not work any more. Is there a package I am missing?! The back forward buttons in the sound menu do not work either. I'm running VLC version 2.1.4

  • Other players work as expected (such as gnome-mplayer)

  • I'm running 14.04, before everything worked fine...

enter image description here

Edit:Output of dpkg -l vlc*

ii  vlc            2.1.4-0ubunt amd64        multimedia player and streamer
ii  vlc-data       2.1.4-0ubunt all          Common data for VLC
ii  vlc-nox        2.1.4-0ubunt amd64        multimedia player and streamer (w
ii  vlc-plugin-not 2.1.4-0ubunt amd64        LibNotify plugin for VLC
ii  vlc-plugin-pul 2.1.4-0ubunt amd64        PulseAudio plugin for VLC


Since there seems to be no obvious solution to that problem, I submitted a bug report: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/indicator-sound/+bug/1331460

  • Try logging in with the guest account, and see if it works there. If it does, then something is wrong with your configuration.
    – lenooh
    Jun 11, 2014 at 13:48
  • I am facing exactly the same problem. Did you manage to find a solution?
    – orschiro
    Dec 21, 2016 at 8:13

2 Answers 2

  • Reinstall VLC:

    sudo apt-get remove --purge vlc vlc-data vlc-nox
    sudo apt-get install vlc vlc-data vlc-nox
  • Verify DBus plugin for VLC:

    $ ls -l /usr/lib/vlc/plugins/control/libdbus_plugin.so
    -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 72760 May 17 15:56 /usr/lib/vlc/plugins/control/libdbus_plugin.so

    VLC → Tools → Plugins & Extensions → Plugins tab → Is there D-Bus control interface?

  • Run VLC and check if it creates an MPRIS DBus service, example:

    $ gdbus call --session --dest org.freedesktop.DBus \
    --object-path / --method org.freedesktop.DBus.ListNames | \
    awk 'BEGIN { RS=","; } /org.mpris.MediaPlayer2./ { gsub(/[\[\]()\x27]/, ""); print $1; }'

    (Try also with other working player, to confirm that you run the command correctly)

    Other way, you may use qdbusviewer → session bus tab → search for vlc

  • If DBus interface listed, check if VLC respond correctly:

    gdbus call --session \
        --dest org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.vlc \
        --object-path /org/mpris/MediaPlayer2 \
        --method org.freedesktop.DBus.Properties.Get \
        "org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.Player" \

    Output may be: (<'Playing'>,), (<'Paused'>,) or (<'Stopped'>,)

    or using qdbus

    qdbus org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.vlc \
        /org/mpris/MediaPlayer2 \
        org.freedesktop.DBus.Properties.Get \
        org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.Player PlaybackStatus

    It should output: Playing , Paused or Stopped

At this point, VLC player works as it should. So it is out of circle.

  • Reinstall indicator-sound and reset its config:

    sudo apt-get remove --purge indicator-sound
    sudo apt-get install indicator-sound unity-control-center unity-control-center-signon webaccounts-extension-common xul-ext-webaccounts
    dconf reset -f /com/canonical/indicator/sound/
    rm -rf ~/.cache/indicators/sound

    pkill -f indicator-sound-service or Logout/login

  • No success, run it in terminal & watch for errors

    Locate its executable:

    $ sudo updatedb
    $ locate -br indicator-sound-service$

    Rename it, to stop respawn, then kill its running process:

    sudo mv /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/indicator-sound/indicator-sound-service /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/indicator-sound/indicator-sound-service0
    pkill -f indicator-sound-service

    Run it again:


    Run VLC, try use its control on sound menu, any error messages?

  • Try build new indicator-sound from source:

    sudo apt-get build-dep indicator-sound
    apt-get source indicator-sound
    cd indicator-sound-12.10.2+14.04.20140313/
    mkdir build
    cd build/
    cmake ..

    Stop running one as previous step, then run without installing it:

  • The weirdest thing is, that all the other players work as expected... If I want to file a bug report, for which package should i file it? What do you suggest? Thanks for the help, if there's no better answer coming I'm going to accept yours...
    – wa4557
    Jun 16, 2014 at 21:33
  • @wa4557, indicator-sound as VLC is stand alone foreign app, and the bug effects appear on sound menu. I suggest leaving it open (unaccepted). no other idea
    – user.dz
    Jun 16, 2014 at 21:53
  • @wa4557, I saw the bug report be orphan (both packages set a invalid :/) . What's output of gdbus call --session --dest org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.vlc --object-path /org/mpris/MediaPlayer2 --method org.freedesktop.DBus.Properties.Get 'org.mpris.MediaPlayer2.Player' 'CanControl'
    – user.dz
    Jun 23, 2014 at 19:11

Inside VLC go to :

Tools > Preferences, select "All" under "Show settings" (bottom left), then navigate to Interface > Control Interface and check the box next to "D-Bus control interface"

  • there is no such setting for vlc 2.1.
    – wa4557
    Jun 14, 2014 at 14:34

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