How to Install VLC-Shares In Ubuntu And Stream Videos to Android

VLC, without a doubt, is the best media player around. Not only is it able to play almost any file format, it is also able to stream audio/video from the Web and transcode on the fly. VLC-share is a web implementation of VLC streaming and transcoding that allows you to stream (and transcode) your videos to your WII Media Center (WIIMC) or Android phone. Just think of airplay for Android and you get VLC-Shares.

In this tutorial, we will show you how to get VLC-shares up and running in your Ubuntu machine. VLC-shares is available for Windows as well and the installation and configuration instruction is pretty easy and straightforward, so we will not touch on that.

Installing VLC-shares in Ubuntu

First of all, go to the VLC-shares website and download the “vlc-shares_0.5.*.zip” file. The latest version (as of this post) is version 0.5.3.

Extract the zip file to your Home folder. You should see a folder “vlc-shares”.

Open a terminal. We are going to install the necessary software.

sudo apt-get install apache2 libapache2-mod-php5 php5 zend-framework zend-framework-bin vlc php5-sqlite php5-cli vlc ffmpeg libavcodec-extra-52 libavcodec-unstripped-52

Next, we are going to enable apache mod_rewrite

sudo a2enmod rewrite

It will prompt you to restart apache. Ignore that for a moment. We will do that later.

Open Zend Framework config file:

sudo gedit /etc/php5/apache2/conf.d/zend-framework.ini

Remove the “;” in front of the second sentence.

vlc-shares-edit-zend-framework

Save and close the file.

Back to your terminal, we are going to change the apache config file.

sudo gedit /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default

Scroll down the file until you see the part “<Directory /var/www/>“. Underneath that line of code, change AllowOverride None to AllowOverride All.

vlc-shares-edit-apache-config

Save and close the file.

(Assuming you have earlier unpacked the vlc-shares.zip file to your Home folder) We are going to move the VLC-shares folder to the apache folder.

sudo cp -R ~/vlc-shares /var/www
sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/vlc-shares
sudo chmod a+rwx -R /var/www/vlc-shares/data

Lastly, we are going to restart the apache.

sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

We are almost there. Now, open up a browser and navigate to “http://localhost/vlc-shares/public” (without the quote). You should see the installation dashboard. Go ahead to select all the plugins and click the “Start Installation” button.

vlc-shares-installation

The installation shouldn’t take more than a minute. Once it is done, you will see the configuration page. Ignore that (the default configuration should work fine). At the top, click the first Home icon. This will bring you to the Home page.

vlc-shares-dashboard

We are done with your Ubuntu installation. The next step is to configure your Android phone.

Accessing VLC-shares from Android

Before we start the streaming, we need to install a media player app capable of playing stream video. I have tried out RockPlayer and MVideo Player and they failed. VPlayer is the one that works.

Install VPlayer from the market.

Note: If you have firewall installed, remember to configure it to allow incoming connection before proceeding.

If your Android phone is connected to the same WIFI network as your Ubuntu computer

Open the browser and enter the URL: http://your-ubuntu-lan-address/vlc-share/public. Replace “your-ubuntu-lan-address” with the physical LAN address of your computer. In this case, my computer has the address 192.168.0.131, so on my Android browser, I enter “http://192.168.0.131/vlc-shares/public”

Note: On Ubuntu machine, you can find out the IP address of your computer by right-clicking the network manager applet and select Connection Information

If your Android phone is connected via remote network

You have to enable the port forwarding feature in your router. We won’t touch on that in this tutorial. Refer to your router’s user manual for the instruction (or get more detail here).

On your Android browser, you should see the same dashboard interface.

vlc-shares-android-interface

Tap on the “Browse” button.

vlc-shares-android-browse

If you want to stream video from the Ubuntu computer, select the “Shared Folder” option and navigate to the folder where you store your videos. Select the video you want to stream and tap “Start VLC Stream”.

vlc-shares-android-start-stream

Select “Go to Stream”. When prompted, select “VPlayer”.

vlc-shares-android-go-to-stream

That’s it. Enjoy your video.

vlc-shares-android-streaming