Totem is a multimedia player that comes with Ubuntu. By default, Ubuntu will use Totem if you try to play a video file, or a DVD.



There isn't anything to install, by default. Totem comes with Ubuntu. However, you won't be able to play many types of media until you follow the instructions on the Setting Up Audio/Video Codecs page.

Keyboard Shortcuts

If you're getting into Linux, of course you'll want to use the keyboard as much as you can. Following are some keyboard shortcuts I use all the time, with Totem. (And some that I hardly ever use, but you might.)

Key Use
P Play/Pause the video.
M (For DVDs) Go to the DVD menu. Note that this works any time — if you pop in a DVD, and it starts playing some kind of advertising for the movie studio, you can press M right away, and skip over it. I was pleasantly surprised by this feature. (It saves me seconds every time I pop in a DVD…)
F9 Show/hide the sidebar. (Shows the playlist or properties.) Note that this doesn't work on my computer, because I've modified Compiz to use F9 for something else. The following screenshot shows Totem without the sidebar.

H Show/hide the controls. The following screenshot shows Totem without the controls and without the sidebar. (Note that hiding the controls always hides the sidebar.)

F Move into our out of “fullscreen” mode.
Ctrl+s Take a screenshot of whatever you're currently watching.
Up and Down arrows Increase and decrease the volume.
Lef and Right arrows Skip forward or backward through the movie.
0 Resize the movie to half its default size (1:2 ratio).
1 Resize the movie to its default size (1:1 ratio).
2 Resize the movie to twice its default size (2:1 ratio).


I haven't had any problems with Totem, except for one: At one point, probably because it wasn't properly shut down or something, it got stuck in “fullscreen mode”, and wouldn't get out.

After some research on the internet, I found out that there is a file located at ~/.gnome2/Totem/state.ini, which apparently has some settings that Totem uses. I was able to delete that file, and Totem was back to normal. (The next time Totem runs it will recreate all of these settings, and when you shut it down it will recreate the file.)

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.