Parole – lightweight media player for XFCE

If you haven’t been paying attention, or haven’t made the upgrade to XFCE 4.8, you may not have heard of Parole, a light-weight media player for XFCE. I know I hadn’t heard of it, anyway, ’til just a few minutes ago.

Parole uses gstreamer for its back-end, kinda like that Gnome media player whose name I will not mention. However, it is written to have a very small footprint, to be as speedy as possible. And based on my testing, they hit that mark.  Parole also seems to fit in with the XFCE look better. At least to my eye.

Of course, gstreamer gives Parole the ability to play an amazing amount of different types of media. Sound, music, video, it’s all there. And optimized! gstreamer makes user of vdpau, so the HD videos from my flip cam play in all of their glory without taxing the processor cores on my laptop. Who needs SMPlayer now? Nope, not me!

Apparently XFCE 4.8 comes with Parole – or at least it can easily be added via the xfce4-goodies package. I’m still running 4.6, however, so I had to manually build and install it. Which isn’t a huge problem, just really annoying.

First step: grab the tarball from:

Second, install the following packages using apt or aptitude:

xfce4-dev-tools intltool libtool gtk-doc gtk-doc-tools libgtk2.0-dev libgstreamer0.10-dev gstreamer0.10-videosource libgstreamer-plugins-base0.10-dev gstreamer0.10-videosource libdbus-1-dev libdbus-glib-1-dev libxfcegui4-dev

Third, install the packages using the following commands:

./ --prefix=/usr/local
make install (as root)

(note: this installs to /usr/local/bin; I like to keep system-installed stuff separate from stuff I’ve built/installed)

Once autogen and make finish their magic, you’ll now have Parole installed at:


If /usr/local/bin is already in your path (and really, why isn’t it already?), you can launch the player by running “parole”.

Give it a try!


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2 Responses to “Parole – lightweight media player for XFCE”

  • garry says:

    I thought my friend was kidding.
    Parole is a media player?
    Does the word have any significance to music or video?
    From my little french Parole is about words so would make more sense for a word processor.

    Its not like FLOSS have a great track record of these things but at least they could try to keep on topic.

  • Biffster says:

    Parole = releasing someone from prison. Parole releases your media from the prison of dedicated apps? :)

Profile picI am a 40-ish uber-geek, Daoist and family man. Blessed to have one incredible wife and three wonderful kiddos. Dao has been kind to me.

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