Is there any parameter to run cvlc from a terminal command line in a way that the dummy interface returns control after an mp3 file is played?

Currently I run this: me@ubuntu:~/Documents$ cvlc 732533130.mp3 and I can't type again after the file has been played, to take control I have to type ^C.

Running on Ubuntu 12.04.5 LTS (Precise Pangolin).

2 Answers 2


There are two ways you can instruct VLC to quit playback after the playlist is played fully:

  1. By supplying the --play-and-exit CLI option, e.g.:

    cvlc --play-and-exit audio1.mp3 audio2.mp3


    vlc --play-and-exit audio1.mp3 audio2.mp3

    or creating a bash alias (in ~/.bashrc):

    alias cvlc='cvlc --play-and-exit'
  2. By adding the dummy item vlc://quit to your playlist, e.g.:

    cvlc audio1.mp3 audio2.mp3 vlc://quit


    vlc audio1.mp3 audio2.mp3 vlc://quit

Source: https://stackoverflow.com/q/10249261/1708932

  • This just worked out. thx
    – nightcod3r
    Nov 16, 2014 at 3:38
  • 1
    1st does not seem to work anymore.
    – phil294
    Jun 27, 2017 at 12:30

you can always take control by suffixing an & at the end of the command. the command will launch and you will also have control on the terminal.


cvlc 732533130.mp3 &

  • Sure, but then the process does not stop, how to kill it? (not manually, I mean).
    – nightcod3r
    Nov 12, 2014 at 22:00
  • whenever you end a command with &, there is a process id (<pid>) visible on the terminal in the immediate following line. you can kill the process by typing in kill <pid>
    – astrob0t
    Nov 12, 2014 at 22:09
  • The thing is that I have to play a bulk of mp3 files from an octave script, and killing them all manually afterwards will be tough. Any other solution?
    – nightcod3r
    Nov 12, 2014 at 22:26
  • i am sorry, i dont have an answer for this case , but someone else would have one. Please ask a new question and mention your exact issue. and meanwhile if my answer helped, you can mark it as an answer.
    – astrob0t
    Nov 12, 2014 at 22:33

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