How to Install the Deb-Multimedia Repository With VLC, Kodi, and FFmpeg on Debian 10 Buster

The deb-multimedia repository is an excellent way to get the latest multimedia software on any Debian release. As an added bonus, it comes with a lot more programs that aren’t available in the default repositories. In case you were wondering about stability, the repo is owned and maintained by a Debian developer, so everything is stable and compatible.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to Import the Repository Key
  • How to Add and Enable the Repo
  • How to Install VLC
  • How to Install Kodi
  • How to Install FFmpeg
  • How to Install DeaDBeeF
  • How to Install libdvdcss2
  • How to Install Handbrake

Deb-Multimedia Repository

Deb-Multimedia Repository.

Software Requirements and Conventions Used

Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Debian 10 Buster
Software deb-multimedia repository
Other Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the sudo command.
Conventions # – requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
$ – requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

How to Import the Repository Key

Before you can add the repository, you’re going to need to import its GPG key to verify your downloads. The repository owner supplied a convenient .deb package that you can just install. Now, there is a way to pull it through the repository, but that requires that you enable unsigned packages. Instead, just grab it with wget.

$ cd ~/Downloads
$ wget

Deb-Multimedia Repository Listing

Deb-Multimedia Repository Listing.

Now, you can use dpkg to install the package.

# dpkg -i deb-multimedia-keyring_2016.8.1_all.deb

How to Add and Enable the Repo

You can enable the repository by creating a file at /etc/apt/sources.list.d/multimedia.list. Place the following in the file.

deb buster main non-free

Save the file and exit. Now, update Apt to include the repository.

# apt update

You also probably want to run an upgrade now too. Chances are, the versions of some packages are newer on deb-multimedia.

# apt upgrade

How to Install VLC

VLC on Debian 10

VLC on Debian 10.

The latest versions of VLC are available in deb-multimedia. Simply install it with Apt.

# apt install vlc

How to Install Kodi

Kodi on Debian 10

Kodi on Debian 10.

Kodi is available in the default Debian repos, but it usually lags behind. The version available in deb-multimedia is usually the latest. Install it with Apt.

# apt install kodi

Deb-multimedia also contains tons of Kodi plugin packages. Check out the package lists to see if there’s anything else that you’d like to add.

How to Install FFmpeg

At release, FFMpeg in the default repositories is going to be pretty close to the latest, but as time goes on, it’ll definitely fall behind. The version in deb-multimedia will be kept updated. Install it with:

# apt install ffmpeg

Again, deb-multimedia comes with a more complete library of codecs, plugins, and additional support. If you need any FFmpeg related packages, check the package lists to see if there’s anything you need.

How to Install DeaDBeeF

DeaDBeeF is one of the most popular and beloved music players for Linux. Strangely, it’s not available in the default Debian repos. That’s alright. Deb-multimedia has you covered. Install the latest version with Apt.

# apt install deadbeef

How to Install libdvdcss2

Libdvdcss is an interesting case. It’s an open source library required to crack DVD encryption and play most DVDs. However, due to the hazy legal nature of cracking that encryption, it’s not provided by Debian. That’s not a problem, though, because deb-multimedia has an updated version readily available.

# apt install libdvdcss2

How to Install Handbrake

Handbrake on Debian 10

Handbrake on Debian 10.

If you’re planning to edit DVD files or rip your DVD library, Handbrake is an excellent way to do that. Before you get started, remember that you’ll need libdvdcss2 before you can read many DVDs, so install that first. Then, you can install the graphical version of Handbrake simply with your package manager.

# apt install handbrake-gtk


There are so many more fantastic options to explore in the deb-multimedia repository, but you should have a head start by now. Remember that compatibility shouldn’t be an issue here, and this is a great way to run Debian Stable and still have access to the latest multimedia software.