Building VLC for iOS

How I built VLC for iOS today. If you like, you can read my rant about the politics of Mobile VLC.

YMMV – this is a very active project it seems. The steps are probably the same, but your error resolution may be different. If you don’t care about getting the latest and greatest, I *could* zip up my build directory and throw it online, in case that would help.

1. git clone git://
2. ./

In doing this, I got the error (YMMV, this may be fixed):

[info] Building MobileVLCKit (MobileVLCKit)

The following build commands failed:
	Libtool /Users/will/iphone/OSS/MobileVLC/ImportedSources/vlc/projects/macosx/framework/build/Release-iphoneos/libMobileVLCKit.a normal armv7
(1 failure)

Running in verbose mode reveals the actual line – it can’t find the xtag.a library.

Developer/Platforms/iPhoneSimulator.platform/Developer/usr/bin/libtool: can't open file: MobileVLC/ImportedSources/vlc/projects/macosx/framework/../../../install-ios-Simulator/lib/vlc/plugins/misc/libxtag_plugin.a

[edited for brevity]

Don’t bother trying to open the library xcode projects – if that shell script doesn’t finish, it won’t work.

This failure was due to it trying to link in the “xtag” library, which apparently is no longer needed.

To fix, edit the file:


and remove the line:

plugins+="misc/xtag "

3. Finally, from the MobileVLC project, build the project and run

This blog details a previous successful attempt at getting this compiled, I didn’t actually use these steps since it seems the source is now different from then – but there it is anyway.

Good luck with VLC – if you’re an iOS developer, why not provision a few friends and give them a private copy of VLC.

After all, VLC really *makes* iOS devices…

14 comments on “Building VLC for iOS

  1. Pingback: GPL Stupidity – MobileVLC removed from App Store « OmegaDelta

  2. Hey,

    I’m having a heck of a time getting this to build on my box. Any chance I could take you up on your offer to ‘zip up my build directory and throw it online?’ :)

  3. Oops – never mind! No sooner did I ask than I got it to build just fine.

  4. Hi,

    This looks very interesting. Could you zip up your build directory and share it online for download? If not, may I know where else I can find the latest copy of the project for download?

    Thank you!


  5. Hi Kohsli,

    If git is installed on your system, you just run:
    git clone git://

    As per step #1 above. Then run step #2 which will download the rest of the code.

    It’s better to do it this way, as then you have a way to stay up to date with any new features they add.


  6. Hi Will,

    Thanks alot for your response.

    However, I’m facing some problems after Step 2.

    [info] Building
    ./ line 23: pushd: vlc/extras/package/ios: No such file or directory

    Does anyone know what am I missing?

    I was hoping to get this project compiled to see what this application is basically about. Could you help by sharing your compiled copy? I don’t mind if its not the most up to date.

    Thanks very much.


  7. Hi,

    I’ve got the project compiled. The reason is that the download wasn’t complete. I repeated Step 1 and 2 to get that done.


  8. Hello,

    Man, i killed so much time trying, to compile MobileVLC, without any result, so i don’t know what to do..

    Please.. Could you give me your compiled copy..You’re my last chance!

    Many thanks

  9. Hi Will,

    I am not able to build it too. My env is 10.6 Snow Leopard and xcode 3.2.6. What’s your building env?


  10. Hi,

    my building env is 10.7.2 and xcode 4.2 with iOS sdk5.0.

    I modified some target and sdk related variables in some sh(s). although i find every these variables, there are errors occurred while i run detail info can be viewed as below
    emote: Counting objects: 185250, done.
    remote: Compressing objects: 100% (44916/44916), done.
    remote: Total 185250 (delta 145005), reused 179068 (delta 140064)
    Receiving objects: 100% (185250/185250), 48.13 MiB | 177 KiB/s, done.
    Resolving deltas: 100% (145005/145005), done.
    make[1]: *** [.ffmpeg] Error 1
    make: *** [using-src] Error 2

    by hint messages, i found extra/contrib/contrib.mak, and looked up it carefully. i can’t find any problem in it… could you do me a favor and tell me how should i finish it..

  11. I am trying to compile and I am getting stuck at

    checking whether the C compiler works… no
    configure: error: in `/Users/rp90/Desktop/vlc/MobileVLC/ImportedSources/vlc/contrib/iPhoneOS/a52dec’:
    configure: error: C compiler cannot create executables
    See `config.log’ for more details
    make: *** [.a52] Error 77

    Any ideas?

  12. @Peter
    I had same problem, and solution was to edit
    and make it point to

    instead of

    I’m still waiting to see if it will build completely, so far I passed a52dec and “C compiler cannot create executables”

  13. I have the same problem of building VLC code. Can you please zip your compiled version?