Phonon-qt5-gstreamer or phonon-qt5-vlc

If you install digiKam or ocular, you will be asked:

:: There are 2 providers for phonon-qt5-backend available:
:: Repository extra

  1. phonon-qt5-gstreamer 2) phonon-qt5-vlc

Both seem to be quite old - which one should I choose?

Just go with the default — usually that will be the #1 option.

It’s just a packaging thing. The package you want to install requires phonon-qt5-backend, and both of the listed options contain said module.

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I am running the gstreamer variant. Works, no idea if the other one is better.

Good to know. I’ve done it exactly the same way so far: I used No. 1.

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phonon*gstreamer has been unmaintained for years…

Just a reference from the Arch Wiki with some information about what KDE recommends:

Yes, I was aware that both are quite old and are no longer supported.

But obviously digikam and okular require one of the two to be installed.

What should you do?

What do you mean both?
phonon-gstreamer has been unmaintained … phonon-vlc continues to be maintained and is recommended by kde.

Hello @cscs
If you install digikam or okular the message appears:
:: There are 2 providers available for phonon-qt5-backend:
:: Repository extra

  1. phonon-qt5-gstreamer 2) phonon-qt5-vlc

That’s where my question came from.
Yes, phonon-qt5-vlc is younger, and I will use this one from now on.

Normally that is wise, however in this case the two options are alphabetical so the GStreamer option is first. Arch hasn’t addressed this yet and I’m not sure what the best way to present it to them is. The wiki mentions KDE recommends the VLC option, so at least there’s that.

FYI, future KDE ISOs will ship with the VLC option by default.


I installed both and prioritized vlc from phononsettings as the wiki says.

You installed both what now? :thinking

One can only have one phonon-qt5-backend and phonon-qt6-backend installed–hence the choice.

Oops. :grimacing: See below :point_down:

Oh, I did not know that. I can read, really. :facepalm:


When installing shotcut, a message also appears asking for a selection:

Dependencies are being resolved …
:: There are 2 providers for qt6-multimedia-backend available:
:: Repository extra

  1. qt6-multimedia-ffmpeg 2) qt6-multimedia-gstreamer

Which one is better?

According to the QT documentation qt6-multimedia-ffmpeg should be the default backend (#1 in your output).

But you can have both backends installed and test which is the “better” one for you. The above page explains how to change backends if that’s what you want.

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