Since VLC 2.0 supports the library MPRIS and then D-Bus for Desktop process intercommunication, now we can add vlc playback control to Unity launcher’s quicklist.

After some search on google I found out D-Bus commands control VLC Play/Pause Track, Next Track and Previous Track. But unfortunately the commands didn’t work for me (don’t know why).

Finally I’ve done this work by set global keybindings, then use xdotool to simulate keyboard input and add to quicklist using Ubuntu Tweak.

Follow the steps:

  • 1. Enable D-Bus control:
      In VLC navigate to Tools ->Preferences, at bottom click show settins All, then navigate to Interface -> Control interfaces, tick on “D-Bus control interface”.

    You need to Log out and back in to make this work!

  • 2. Set global hotkeys for playback control: Play/Pause, Next, Previous, Stop. Head to Tools -> Preferences -> Hotkeys, here I set:
    • Play/Pause: Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Space
    • Next: Ctrl+Alt+Shift+n
    • Previous: Ctrl+Alt+Shift+p
    • Stop: Ctrl+Alt+Shift+s

  • 3. Install xdotool by executing this command in terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T):
    sudo apt-get install xdotool
  • 4. Install Ubuntu-Tweak:
    • Download and Install the deb from:
    • or:

    • Install Ubuntu-Tweak from PPA:
      sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tualatrix/ppa
      sudo apt-get update
      sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak
  • 5. Launch Ubuntu-Tweak, navigate to Admins -> Quicklists Editor, choose VLC Media Player and add following entries:
    • Play/Pause: xdotool key ctrl+alt+shift+space
    • Next: xdotool key ctrl+alt+shift+n
    • Previous: xdotool key ctrl+alt+shift+p

    Save the changes and exit ubuntu-tweak.

    NOTE: In command area use lowercase