How to Enable Video Thumbnails in Arch Linux with GNOME

A step-by-step and easy to follow tutorial for GNOME users

The following tutorial will teach Arch Linux users who use the GNOME desktop environment how to enable thumbnails for video files.

Now that you've installed the Arch Linux distribution, and you also know how to install third-party applications in Arch Linux, activate wireless network and transfer files from and to an Android device to Arch, we will teach you how to enable video thumbnails on your Arch Linux powered computer.

This tutorial was made for the GNOME desktop environment with the Nautilus file manager, but it should work with other desktop environments and/or file managers. It is designed for those of you who want to see a video thumbnail for video files, instead of a generic icon. By default, this feature is not enabled in GNOME or Arch Linux.

To get started, you need a healthy Arch Linux installation with the GNOME 3 desktop environment installed (the base packages are enough). Open a Terminal and type the following command to install some packages required for this tutorial:

sudo pacman -S vlc ffmpegthumbnailer gstreamer0.10-{{bad,good,ugly,base}{,-plugins},ffmpeg}

As you can see from the command above, we are also installing VLC Media Player as the default video player for your Arch Linux installation. If you don't like VLC and you already have another video player application installed, such as Totem or MPlayer (with a GUI of your choice), you can remove "vlc" from the above command.

When the installation is finished, execute the following command to remove the failed thumbnails generated automatically by GNOME for the video files you have on your computer:

rm -rf ~/.thumbnails/fail

Now, log out and log back in or hit ALT+F2, type r and hit Enter. Wait for GNOME Shell to be refreshed and see if your video files have thumbnails.

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That’s it! Do not hesitate to comment below if you run into problems during this tutorial.

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