multiple instances of VLC when "allow only one instance"

Bug #333572 reported by Wouter de Groot on 2009-02-23
This bug affects 7 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
VLC media player
Fix Released
Rémi Denis-Courmont
vlc (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: vlc

Opening multiple files by right-clicking in nautilus and selecting "Open with VLC media player" causes several vlc processes to run. There is no one-to-one relationship between files and processes: one process might end up with one file in its playlist, while a second has thirteen. Opening the same set of files the same way twice will not necessarily result in the same amount of processes.

So far I've seen this on groups of mp3, ogg vorbis or AAC files and a group of mixed video formats.

The option "allow only one instance" is active, the D-Bus control interface checkbox is ticked, and dbus-daemon appears to be running.

When VLC is playing and I open one or more files, behavior is as expected.

Ubuntu 8.10 i386
vlc 0.9.4-1ubuntu3

Revision history for this message
Pekka Vuorela (pvuorela-iki) wrote :

This is caused by patch introduced in bug #275043. Vanilla VLC .desktop file has "Exec=vlc %U" which passes URLs as parameters, patched version "Exec=vlc %f" which passes only one file. The 'Allow only one instance' option doesn't help much because all of them are started at the same time.

Revision history for this message
Saivann Carignan (oxmosys) wrote :

This bug should be fixed by vlc 1.0.0 in karmic. Can you try it and report if this bug is fixed?

You can download all 1.0.0 vlc deb directly from ubuntu repositories right here :

Revision history for this message
Rumpeltux (rumpeltux) wrote :

The allow only one instance setting should also be set by default, otherwise any opening of a bunch of video/audio files with vlc from nautilus will result in an absolutely unusable system. And I did not find out about the existance of such a settings until reading this bug report.

Revision history for this message
Pekka Vuorela (pvuorela-iki) wrote :

While "allow only one instance" could be a sane default value, the lack of it doesn't result in unusable system provided that the .desktop file is fixed (as it should be in karmic). In that case opening all files in a directory two times will just launch two instances having all the files in their playlists.

Changed in vlc (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in vlc:
status: Unknown → New
Revision history for this message
rusivi2 (rusivi2-deactivatedaccount) wrote :

Thank you for posting this bug.

Does this still happen in Lucid?

Changed in vlc (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
Revision history for this message
Rémi Denis-Courmont (rdenis) wrote :

Known problem, not fixed upstream

Changed in vlc (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Micah Gersten (micahg) wrote :

Marking this triaged since we have an upstream bug.

Changed in vlc (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Medium
status: Confirmed → Triaged
Revision history for this message
Regular User ( wrote :

I still have this problem on ubuntu 12.10 but the fix from comment #1 seems to fix it. VLC version 2.0.4 "Twoflower"

Revision history for this message
Rémi Denis-Courmont (rdenis) wrote :

This is fixed in VLC 3.0.

Revision history for this message
Rémi Denis-Courmont (rdenis) wrote :

Fixed in 3.0

Changed in vlc:
importance: Unknown → Undecided
assignee: nobody → Rémi Denis-Courmont (rdenis)
status: New → Fix Released
Changed in vlc (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → Fix Released
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