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1 GStreamer @SERIES_VERSION@
3 WHAT IT IS
6 This is GStreamer, a framework for streaming media.
8 WHERE TO START
11 We have a website at
14 You should start by going through our FAQ at
17 There is more documentation; go to
20 You can subscribe to our mailing lists; see the website for details.
22 We track bugs in GNOME's bugzilla; see the website for details.
24 You can join us on IRC - #gstreamer on irc.freenode.org
26 GStreamer 1.0 series
33 The core around which all other modules revolve. Base functionality and
34 libraries, some essential elements, documentation, and testing.
38 A well-groomed and well-maintained collection of GStreamer plug-ins and
39 elements, spanning the range of possible types of elements one would want
40 to write for GStreamer.
42 And introducing, for the first time ever, on the development screen ...
44 THE GOOD
46 --- "Such ingratitude. After all the times I've saved your life."
48 A collection of plug-ins you'd want to have right next to you on the
49 battlefield. Shooting sharp and making no mistakes, these plug-ins have it
50 all: good looks, good code, and good licensing. Documented and dressed up
51 in tests. If you're looking for a role model to base your own plug-in on,
52 here it is.
54 If you find a plot hole or a badly lip-synced line of code in them,
55 let us know - it is a matter of honour for us to ensure Blondie doesn't look
56 like he's been walking 100 miles through the desert without water.
58 THE UGLY
60 --- "When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk."
62 There are times when the world needs a color between black and white.
63 Quality code to match the good's, but two-timing, backstabbing and ready to
64 sell your freedom down the river. These plug-ins might have a patent noose
65 around their neck, or a lock-up license, or any other problem that makes you
66 think twice about shipping them.
68 We don't call them ugly because we like them less. Does a mother love her
69 son less because he's not as pretty as the other ones ? No - she commends
70 him on his great personality. These plug-ins are the life of the party.
71 And we'll still step in and set them straight if you report any unacceptable
72 behaviour - because there are two kinds of people in the world, my friend:
73 those with a rope around their neck and the people who do the cutting.
75 THE BAD
77 --- "That an accusation?"
79 No perfectly groomed moustache or any amount of fine clothing is going to
80 cover up the truth - these plug-ins are Bad with a capital B.
81 They look fine on the outside, and might even appear to get the job done, but
82 at the end of the day they're a black sheep. Without a golden-haired angel
83 to watch over them, they'll probably land in an unmarked grave at the final
86 Don't bug us about their quality - exercise your Free Software rights,
87 patch up the offender and send us the patch on the fastest steed you can
88 steal from the Confederates. Because you see, in this world, there's two
89 kinds of people, my friend: those with loaded guns and those who dig.
90 You dig.
92 The Lowdown
95 --- "I've never seen so many plug-ins wasted so badly."
97 GStreamer Plug-ins has grown so big that it's hard to separate the wheat from
98 the chaff. Also, distributors have brought up issues about the legal status
99 of some of the plug-ins we ship. To remedy this, we've divided the previous
100 set of available plug-ins into four modules:
102 - gst-plugins-base: a small and fixed set of plug-ins, covering a wide range
103 of possible types of elements; these are continuously kept up-to-date
104 with any core changes during the development series.
106 - We believe distributors can safely ship these plug-ins.
107 - People writing elements should base their code on these elements.
108 - These elements come with examples, documentation, and regression tests.
110 - gst-plugins-good: a set of plug-ins that we consider to have good quality
111 code, correct functionality, our preferred license (LGPL for the plug-in
112 code, LGPL or LGPL-compatible for the supporting library).
114 - We believe distributors can safely ship these plug-ins.
115 - People writing elements should base their code on these elements.
117 - gst-plugins-ugly: a set of plug-ins that have good quality and correct
118 functionality, but distributing them might pose problems. The license
119 on either the plug-ins or the supporting libraries might not be how we'd
120 like. The code might be widely known to present patent problems.
122 - Distributors should check if they want/can ship these plug-ins.
123 - People writing elements should base their code on these elements.
125 - gst-plugins-bad: a set of plug-ins that aren't up to par compared to the
126 rest. They might be close to being good quality, but they're missing
127 something - be it a good code review, some documentation, a set of tests,
128 a real live maintainer, or some actual wide use.
129 If the blanks are filled in they might be upgraded to become part of
130 either gst-plugins-good or gst-plugins-ugly, depending on the other factors.
132 - If the plug-ins break, you can't complain - instead, you can fix the
133 problem and send us a patch, or bribe someone into fixing them for you.
134 - New contributors can start here for things to work on.
139 - Linux is of course fully supported
140 - FreeBSD is reported to work; other BSDs should work too
141 - Solaris is reported to work; a specific sunaudiosink plugin has been written
142 - MacOSX works, binary 1.x packages can be built using the cerbero build tool
143 - Windows works; binary 1.x packages can be built using the cerbero build tool
144 - MSys/MinGW builds
145 - Microsoft Visual Studio builds are not yet available or supported
146 - Android works, binary 1.x packages can be built using the cerbero build tool
147 - iOS works
149 INSTALLING FROM PACKAGES
152 You should always prefer installing from packages first. GStreamer is
153 well-maintained for a number of distributions, including Fedora, Debian,
154 Ubuntu, Mandrake, Gentoo, ...
156 Only in cases where you:
157 - want to hack on GStreamer
158 - want to verify that a bug has been fixed
159 - do not have a sane distribution
160 should you choose to build from source tarballs or git.
162 Find more information about the various packages at
165 COMPILING FROM SOURCE TARBALLS
168 - again, make sure that you really need to install from source !
169 If GStreamer is one of your first projects ever that you build from source,
170 consider taking on an easier project.
172 - check output of ./configure --help to see if any options apply to you
173 - run
177 to build GStreamer.
178 - if you want to install it (not required, but what you usually want to do), run
179 make install
181 - try out a simple test:
182 gst-launch -v fakesrc num_buffers=5 ! fakesink
183 (If you didn't install GStreamer, prefix gst-launch with tools/)
185 If it outputs a bunch of messages from fakesrc and fakesink, everything is
188 If it did not work, keep in mind that you might need to adjust the
189 PATH and/or LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variables to make the system
190 find GStreamer in the prefix where you installed (by default that is /usr/local).
192 - After this, you're ready to install gst-plugins, which will provide the
193 functionality you're probably looking for by now, so go on and read
194 that README.
196 COMPILING FROM GIT
199 When building from git sources, you will need to run autogen.sh to generate
200 the build system files.
202 You will need a set of additional tools typical for building from git,
204 - autoconf
205 - automake
206 - libtool
208 autogen.sh will check for recent enough versions and complain if you don't have
209 them. You can also specify specific versions of automake and autoconf with
210 --with-automake and --with-autoconf
212 Check autogen.sh options by running autogen.sh --help
214 autogen.sh can pass on arguments to configure
216 When you have done this once, you can use autoregen.sh to re-autogen with
217 the last passed options as a handy shortcut. Use it.
219 After the autogen.sh stage, you can follow the directions listed in
220 "COMPILING FROM SOURCE"
222 You can also run your whole git stack uninstalled in your home directory,
223 so that you can quickly test changes without affecting your system setup or
224 interfering with GStreamer installed from packages. Many GStreamer developers
225 use an uninstalled setup for their work.
227 There is a 'create-uninstalled-setup.sh' script in
231 to easily create an uninstalled setup from scratch.
234 PLUG-IN DEPENDENCIES AND LICENSES
237 GStreamer is developed under the terms of the LGPL (see LICENSE file for
238 details). Some of our plug-ins however rely on libraries which are available
239 under other licenses. This means that if you are distributing an application
240 which has a non-GPL compatible license (for instance a closed-source
241 application) with GStreamer, you have to make sure not to distribute GPL-linked
244 When using GPL-linked plug-ins, GStreamer is for all practical reasons
245 under the GPL itself.
250 The fundamental design comes from the video pipeline at Oregon Graduate
251 Institute, as well as some ideas from DirectMedia. It's based on plug-ins that
252 will provide the various codec and other functionality. The interface
253 hopefully is generic enough for various companies (ahem, Apple) to release
254 binary codecs for Linux, until such time as they get a clue and release the