It's close to Christmas and I find myself often displaying a virtual fireplace on my TV used as screen for Ubuntu Gnome.

Is it possible to create a desktop link that will open a new window in, say, Firefox, and start playing the video?

Bonus question: Is it possible to 1) turn annotations off, 2) loop the video, and 3) go full screen?

  • 1
    Just as idea - how about downloading the video once (i.e. using youtube-dl - example: `yoututbe-dl -t youtube.com/watch?v=FCp1_XQbiwc) and then run it locally in a player like mplayer or vlc (both come with fullscreen and repeat functions). Should save bandwidth and work as well if your internet is down. – dufte Dec 20 '16 at 13:55
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    VLC should support both --loop and --fullscreen as commandline parameters which could be handy for a script. – dufte Dec 20 '16 at 14:05
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    If you don't care about data usage, I believe you could just drag the URL icon to the desktop and use that. – TheWanderer Dec 20 '16 at 14:21

Pre: Optional

Download your movie to have an offline solution. youtube-dl is one of several tools which allow downloading videos from Youtube.


youtube -t https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCp1_XQbiwc

Package requirements:


Main Task - Bash-Script

Create a new textfile fire.sh, make it executable via chmod +x fire.sh and insert the following

# offline version:
# online version:
# start video using vlc
/usr/bin/vlc --loop --fullscreen "$MOVIE_PATH"

Package requirements:


Keep in mind:

  • There is no real need in moving this commandline call to a script, while i stilll prefer it as you might want to pimp it overtime (.i.e. picking a random clip from a selection or whatever else).
  • vlc should be replaceable with mplayer for example, while you would need to check the needed parameters for loop and fullscreen.

Post: Optional

In case you really need or want a dash icon to start this script consider checking out the package alacarte - while double-clicking the fire.sh in your fileexplorer (assuming nautilus) should offer an execute dialog as well.

  • Beautiful! Thank you! A small detail: I do prefer this one youtube.com/watch?v=NiqM3lVirkw over the one you chose, but how could you have know? ;) Glædelig Jul! – Rasmus Dec 20 '16 at 23:42
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    @rasmus hehe - mine was a random searchresult. – dufte Dec 21 '16 at 6:50

The idea in the comment from @dufte is the best one for your purpose.

You can then create a desktop entry with the command :

vlc --loop  --fullscreen /path/to/your/video.avi   

You can also search for other options from on the VideoLAN forum to suit your needs

To create such a desktop entry you can go to that page to see how to make one.

I think the method described with alacarte will allow you to easily do that

  • I did not add enough rep to add comment to tell him about creating a desktop entry – Dark Sinus Dec 20 '16 at 14:10
  • @patrick-negus Plus I clearly stated that his answer was good and then added my part. And we're just here to help so there nothing such as 'stealing' – Dark Sinus Dec 20 '16 at 14:14
  • @Patrick as weird as it is, AU allows anyone to take an answer from the comments. Attribution or a "hey, make this an answer" is a nice gesture, but not at all necessary. This is to discourage making answers in the comment section. Please remove your downvote if that was you. – TheWanderer Dec 20 '16 at 14:20
  • no problem from my point of view, its all about offering solutions / help. – dufte Dec 20 '16 at 14:21
  • @PatrickNegus that's fine, but this answer isn't deserving of a downvote for your reason. – TheWanderer Dec 20 '16 at 14:23

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