kaffeine  2.0.18
About: Kaffeine is a full featured Multimedia-Player for KDE (default backend is xine).
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kaffeine Documentation

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Installing Kaffeine

Installing Prerequisites

The following tools are needed to build Kaffeine:

  • GNU c++
  • GNU make
  • cmake >= 2.8
  • cmake ECM (extra-cmake-modules)

The following development headers are needed (recommended versions):

  • Qt >= 5.4
  • KF5 >= 5.11
  • libX11
  • libXss
  • libqt-sql-sqlite
  • libvlc
  • libdvbv5

If you also want language translations you also need:

  • gettext

If you also want the Kaffeine Handbook, you also need:

  • KF5DocTools

For runtime translations of the ISO 639 language codes, you also need:

  • iso-codes

Debian and Ubuntu

The needed packages for Debian/Ubuntu should be installed with:

apt-get install kdelibs5-dev libvlc-dev libxss-dev vlc \
       libkf5coreaddons-dev libkf5i18n-dev libqt5x11extras5-dev \
       libkf5windowsystem-dev \
       libkf5solid-dev libkf5widgetsaddons-dev kio-dev \
       qt5-default libdvbv5-dev \
       cmake extra-cmake-modules make g++ gettext

And, to build the optional Kaffeine Handbook documentation:

apt-get install kdoctools-dev

PS.: The above was tested with Debian SID and Ubuntu Xenial (16.04). Other versions may have different requirements.


On Fedora, you need a repository that provides VLC.

For stable fedora releases, you could use the rpmfusion repository. For Fedora 22 and later, it can be installed with:

sudo dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm https://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm

See http://rpmfusion.org/Configuration/ for more details.

For Fedora rawhide and beta releases, you could use, instead the Unitedrpms repository: https://unitedrpms.github.io/. Please read at https://github.com/UnitedRPMs/unitedrpms.github.io/blob/master/README.md for instructions about how to set up.

Once the repository with VLC is set, install the needed packages with:

dnf install  kf5-kcoreaddons-devel libXScrnSaver-devel \
     qt5-qtx11extras-devel libdvbv5 \
     kf5-kwindowsystem-devel kf5-solid-devel kf5-kio-devel \
     kf5-kdbusaddons-devel kf5-ki18n-devel vlc-devel gettext-devel \
     cmake extra-cmake-modules make gcc-c++ gettext

And, to build the Kaffeine Handbook documentation:

dnf install kf5-kdoctools-devel


If you run openSUSE Tumbleweed, you can find an up-to-date package with the latest state of git in the KDE:Unstable:Extra repository.

zypper ar obs://KDE:Unstable:Extra KDE_Unstable_Extra # add repository
zypper in -r KDE_Unstable_Extra kaffeine

If you are using openSUSE Leap or openSUSE 13.2, you will need to compile from sources instead. You need to be using at least OpenSUSE version 13.2, in order to have KF5 and Qt 5.5 at their repositories.

The first step is to install the needed dependencies:

zypper install extra-cmake-modules vlc-devel make gcc gcc-g++ cmake \
   libqt5-qtbase-devel libqt5-qtx11extras-devel \
   kdbusaddons-devel solid-devel kio-devel ki18n-devel

If you're running OpenSUSE version 13.2, you'll need to compile the libdvbv5 by hand, as it is not provided there. OpenSUSE Leap (version 42.1) seem to have it already packaged as libdvbv5-devel.

Before compiling libdvbv5, some packages are needed:

zypper install autoconf automake libjpeg-devel

Compiling libdvbv5 (as normal user):

wget https://linuxtv.org/downloads/v4l-utils/v4l-utils-1.10.0.tar.bz2
tar xvf v4l-utils-1.10.0.tar.bz2
cd v4l-utils
./bootstrap.sh && ./configure && make

Installing the library (as root):

make install

And, to build the optional Kaffeine Handbook documentation:

zypper install kdoctools-devel

PS.: The above was tested with openSUSE 13.2. Other versions may have different requirements.


Kaffeine is already packaged on Gentoo. Installing it is as simple as:

emerge kaffeine

Arch Linux

Kaffeine is already packaged on Arch Linux. Installing it is as simple as:

pacman -S kaffeine

Installing translations

This step is optional, and should be done only if you want to use Kaffeine on non-English setups.

The Kaffeine tarballs should already have the translations on it, but, if you're installing from the git tree, you'll need to run a script to get them:

(cd .. && kaffeine/tools/update_l10n.sh)

How to build Kaffeine

Create an empty build directory and do the following steps:

$ cmake <path/to/kaffeine> <options>
$ make

Where path/to/kaffeine is usually the current dir, e. g., the following command is usually enough:

$ cmake . && make

Useful options include:

  • -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE= (Debug or Release)
  • -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX= (installation prefix for Kaffeine, e.g. /usr)
  • -DBUILD_TOOLS=1 (also compile some tools needed by developers)

You may also use ccmake if you want to see all Kaffeine's build options, and set them using an interactive interface.

For further information look for generic KF5 / cmake instructions.

The install should be done as root user with:

# make install

How to produce a Debian/Ubuntu package

If you want to create a Debian or Ubuntu package from Kaffeine's sources, you need to install the needed tools with:

apt-get install fakeroot dpkg-dev pkg-kde-tools debhelper

And run the following commands:

rm -rf deb-build  # Just in case it were created before

git clone https://salsa.debian.org/qt-kde-team/extras/kaffeine.git deb-build && \
cd deb-build && \
rsync -ua --exclude '.git*' --exclude deb-build .. . && \
rm CMakeCache.txt && \
cat Changelog |grep Version|head -1|perl -ne 'if (m/Version\s*(\S+)/) { print "kaffeine ($1-1) unstable; urgency=medium\n\n  * New upstream release.\n" }' >debian/changelog && \
echo " -- root <root@localhost>  $(date -R)" >>debian/changelog && \
fakeroot debian/rules binary && \
cd ..

This will produce both binary and debug packages, like:

kaffeine_*_amd64.deb  kaffeine-dbgsym_*_amd64.ddeb

Installing it is as simple as:

sudo dpkg -i kaffeine_*_amd64.deb

Known video output issues

There are a few known issues related to video output that may require some special setup for Kaffeine to work on certain environments.

Remote Access and Kaffeine

Accessing Kaffeine remotely via X11/ssh/vnc can be a problem, as Qt5 will try, by default, to use hardware acceleration and DRI3.

There is a known bug, present on Fedora 23 to 25, and likely on other distros, at mesa-libGL/dri-drivers that cause it to wait forever when it is started from a X11 section. Such bug causes Kaffeine windows to not open:

A workaround is to start Kaffeine with:


Another solution is to use a vnc server.

Changing the libVLC output plugin

By default, libVLC will try to use hardware acceleration on the machine with Kaffeine, with obviously with won't work via remote access. It may also not detect properly the best video output plugin for some hardware settings.

For such scenarios, you may try to change the arguments passed to libVLC via the Settings --> Configure Kaffeine --> libVLC, changing the libVLC arguments to:

--no-video-title-show -V xcb_glx


--no-video-title-show -V xcb_xv

and re-start Kaffeine.

Setting VDPAU acceleration

By default, libVlc will try to use vdpau hardware acceleration in order to decode the video stream at GPU. However, sometimes it may not get the right acceleration module, trying to always use NVidia module, even when the hardware is AMD or Intel. That happens, for example on Fedora 25 and 26, as reported at:

For Radeon GPU, the vdpau driver can be forced with:

export VDPAU_DRIVER=r600

The VA-GL driver can be used for Intel GPUs. It can be forced with:

export VDPAU_DRIVER=va_gl

Note: you may need to install mesa-vdpau-drivers and/or libvdpau-va-gl packages for vdpau to work.

Please notice that, depending on your hardware, for example, if your GPU vdpau driver can't decode the compression standard used by the broadcasters, it could be better to disable VDPAU backend. That can be done by passing an invalid driver name, like:

export VDPAU_DRIVER=none

Using xmltv for EPG data

As described at Kaffeine's documentation, xmltv files are now supported.

In order to use it, you need to have a xmltv grabber. For example, you may use the tv_grab_eu_dotmedia grabber, from xmltv project.

Kaffeine's internal logic will map the channels obtained by the grabber into the channel names it has stored internally. The Kaffeine names can be obtained with the following command:

$ echo 'select name from Channels;' | sqlite3 ~/.local/share/kaffeine/sqlite.db

At the xmltv file format, the channel names can be obtained with:

$ grep display-name some_file.xmltv

If the names don't match, you'll need to use an external script to do the map. There's an example about how to do it at:


Please notice that you need to have xmlstarlet installed for it to work.

Assuming that you modified the script for your needs and copied to your ~/bin directory, a typical usage of obtaining the xmltv tables would be to have a script like this running on a shell console:

$ while :; do tv_grab_eu_dotmedia > eu_dotmedia.xmltv; \
~/bin/map_xmltv_channels.sh eu_dotmedia.xmltv eu_dotmedia-new.xmltv; \
sleep 3600; done

And configure Kaffeine to use the eu_dotmedia-new.xmltv file produced by the script (or whatever other name you use), disabling EPG MPEG-TS table reads.

Please also notice that as soon as Kaffeine detects a change on a file, it will re-read. So, even if you don't need to do any map, you should first generate the xmltv file and then move it to the right place, e. g:

$ while :; do tv_grab_eu_dotmedia > eu_dotmedia.xmltv; \
mv eu_dotmedia.xmltv eu_dotmedia-new.xmltv; \
sleep 3600; done

For more details, please read Kaffeine's manual.




Maintainer since KF5/Qt5 port (version 2.x):

Former maintainers:

Thanks to various contributors, translators, testers ...