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mpv is a simple and lightweight media player for video and audio. As a fork of mplayer2, it shares some features while introducing others. To learn more about the differences take a look at their docs.

Due to it's high flexibility and configurability, mpv is great for media center usage, lightweight systems or just users who know what they want in a media player. For a more out-of-the-box solution, several alternatives like media-video/vlc or media-video/totem are recommended.


root # emerge media-video/mpv


mpv does not ship with a graphical user interface (besides the video display). The easiest way to play a video is:

root # mpv /path/to/video/file

Since this is not very comfortable, you can of course set mpv as the default application for video playback. Depending on your environment you can use either the configuration tools provided by your desktop environment/file manager; for more info, see [1].


Because there are no gui elements, keyboard shortcuts are used to control mpv. The following table provides the most important one; check the manpage (man mpv) for more.

Play/PauseSpace or p
Increase/Decrease volume/ and * or 9 and 0
Cycle through the available audio tracks#
Show OSDo

You may change all of these bindings (and more) to your custom using the config file.


Even though mpv works fine without a config file, the configuration options allow to adjust a lot of settings. A short example is provided below:

# Save the video position on quit

# Use the vdpau driver for hardware decoding (for nvidia cards)

# Video output driver. A list can be displayed via: mpv -vo=help

All possible options are listed in the man page:

root #  man mpv


You may create a separate file called input.conf for customizing the shortcuts for mpv. The example below binds the key "n" to skip to the next video in the current playlist and the key "p" to skip to the previous video:

n playlist_next
p playlist_prev

The man page provides information about all possible bindings.

Twitch/Youtube playback

mpv is capable of playing streams and videos. To enable this, install net-misc/youtube-dl and enable the lua useflag on media-video/mpv.

root # echo "media-video/mpv lua" >> /etc/portage/package.use
root # emerge -a net-misc/youtube-dl media-video/mpv

After everything is set up, use the --ytdl parameter for youtube and twitch playback:

root # mpv --ytdl [url]