When I play a .webm file using the VP9 codec in VLC, I get the following error message (and the audio is played):

VLC does not support the audio or video format "VP90". Unfortunately there is no way for you to fix this.

I can play these files in totem, but how can I play them in VLC?

I'm on Ubuntu 14.04 and VLC is 2.1.6. The package ubuntu-restricted-extras is installed.

  • What version of Ubuntu are you using?
    – Oli
    Oct 10, 2014 at 9:39
  • 1
    possible duplicate of askubuntu.com/questions/34372/how-to-play-a-webm-video-file Oct 10, 2014 at 11:07
  • @KasiyA In the question you linked webm doesn't work in any player, but for me it works in totem. This is about VLC not playing it.
    – Joschua
    Oct 14, 2014 at 9:46
  • @Oli I added the version I'm using to the question.
    – Joschua
    Nov 4, 2014 at 11:46
  • The possible reason could be that, webm file contain an audio stream which is using a proprietary format. In that case, it will fail to produce audio. otherwise, vlc plays webm file fine
    – Anwar
    Nov 12, 2014 at 14:46

4 Answers 4


VP9 requires VLC 2.2.

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

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install vlc vlc-plugin-*


I had this problem in ubuntu 14.04 and it got solved by installing VLC 2.2.


There is no need to install ubuntu-restricted-extras to be able to play WebM with VLC. VLC 2.1.2 supports VP9 by default (see http://www.webmproject.org/vp9/ and http://www.videolan.org/vlc/releases/2.1.2.html). You might try upgrading VLC or installing the latest stable by downloading it from the VLC site directly.

  • I already have VLC 2.1.4.
    – Joschua
    Jan 25, 2015 at 19:30
  • Then I would suspect that it is an issue with the file itself. However, in my experience, VLC will play just about you give it. Jan 26, 2015 at 3:39
  • 1
    Hmm, but totem can play these files without a problem. The videos are downloaded from YouTube with JDownloader.
    – Joschua
    Jan 26, 2015 at 11:52
  • 4
    I am getting this also on Ubuntu 14.04 with VLC 2.1.6. Weird, this was a straight VP9 download from YouTube. May 4, 2015 at 17:14
  • “With the capabilities of "RinceWind", 2.1.2 allows experimental decoding of HEVC and Webm/VP9 (depending on the platform).”
    – Ken Sharp
    Mar 5, 2017 at 13:50

I've had to apt remove vlc-? before I found out that something from that package was playing havoc with HTML5 video ('vp9' codec)/DASH accelerated video rendering/streaming in Firefox.


You may need to install restricted extras:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

That should work. But if it doesn't work after installing ubuntu-restricted-extras

Open Ubuntu Software center and search for "gstreamer" and install it.

Or open the terminal and type the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gstreamer-developers/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gstreamer1.0*

I hope that helps.

  • Do you know which gstreamer packages need to be installed? I'd rather not install all of these if possible.
    – Joschua
    Oct 14, 2014 at 10:23

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