1WHAT IT IS
4This is GStreamer, a framework for streaming media.
6WHERE TO START
9We have a website at
12You should start by going through our FAQ at
15There is more documentation; go to
18You can subscribe to our mailing lists; see the website for details.
20We track bugs in GNOME's bugzilla; see the website for details.
22You can join us on IRC - #gstreamer on irc.freenode.org
24GStreamer 0.10 series
31The core around which all other modules revolve. Base functionality and
32libraries, some essential elements, documentation, and testing.
36A well-groomed and well-maintained collection of GStreamer plug-ins and
37elements, spanning the range of possible types of elements one would want
38to write for GStreamer.
40And introducing, for the first time ever, on the development screen ...
42 THE GOOD
44 --- "Such ingratitude. After all the times I've saved your life."
46A collection of plug-ins you'd want to have right next to you on the
47battlefield. Shooting sharp and making no mistakes, these plug-ins have it
48all: good looks, good code, and good licensing. Documented and dressed up
49in tests. If you're looking for a role model to base your own plug-in on,
50here it is.
52If you find a plot hole or a badly lip-synced line of code in them,
53let us know - it is a matter of honour for us to ensure Blondie doesn't look
54like he's been walking 100 miles through the desert without water.
56 THE UGLY
58 --- "When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk."
60There are times when the world needs a color between black and white.
61Quality code to match the good's, but two-timing, backstabbing and ready to
62sell your freedom down the river. These plug-ins might have a patent noose
63around their neck, or a lock-up license, or any other problem that makes you
64think twice about shipping them.
66We don't call them ugly because we like them less. Does a mother love her
67son less because he's not as pretty as the other ones ? No - she commends
68him on his great personality. These plug-ins are the life of the party.
69And we'll still step in and set them straight if you report any unacceptable
70behaviour - because there are two kinds of people in the world, my friend:
71those with a rope around their neck and the people who do the cutting.
73 THE BAD
75 --- "That an accusation?"
77No perfectly groomed moustache or any amount of fine clothing is going to
78cover up the truth - these plug-ins are Bad with a capital B.
79They look fine on the outside, and might even appear to get the job done, but
80at the end of the day they're a black sheep. Without a golden-haired angel
81to watch over them, they'll probably land in an unmarked grave at the final
84Don't bug us about their quality - exercise your Free Software rights,
85patch up the offender and send us the patch on the fastest steed you can
86steal from the Confederates. Because you see, in this world, there's two
87kinds of people, my friend: those with loaded guns and those who dig.
93 --- "I've never seen so many plug-ins wasted so badly."
95GStreamer Plug-ins has grown so big that it's hard to separate the wheat from
96the chaff. Also, distributors have brought up issues about the legal status
97of some of the plug-ins we ship. To remedy this, we've divided the previous
98set of available plug-ins into four modules:
100- gst-plugins-base: a small and fixed set of plug-ins, covering a wide range
101 of possible types of elements; these are continuously kept up-to-date
102 with any core changes during the development series.
104 - We believe distributors can safely ship these plug-ins.
105 - People writing elements should base their code on these elements.
106 - These elements come with examples, documentation, and regression tests.
108- gst-plugins-good: a set of plug-ins that we consider to have good quality
109 code, correct functionality, our preferred license (LGPL for the plug-in
110 code, LGPL or LGPL-compatible for the supporting library).
112 - We believe distributors can safely ship these plug-ins.
113 - People writing elements should base their code on these elements.
115- gst-plugins-ugly: a set of plug-ins that have good quality and correct
116 functionality, but distributing them might pose problems. The license
117 on either the plug-ins or the supporting libraries might not be how we'd
118 like. The code might be widely known to present patent problems.
120 - Distributors should check if they want/can ship these plug-ins.
121 - People writing elements should base their code on these elements.
123- gst-plugins-bad: a set of plug-ins that aren't up to par compared to the
124 rest. They might be close to being good quality, but they're missing
125 something - be it a good code review, some documentation, a set of tests,
126 a real live maintainer, or some actual wide use.
127 If the blanks are filled in they might be upgraded to become part of
128 either gst-plugins-good or gst-plugins-ugly, depending on the other factors.
130 - If the plug-ins break, you can't complain - instead, you can fix the
131 problem and send us a patch, or bribe someone into fixing them for you.
132 - New contributors can start here for things to work on.
137- Linux is of course fully supported
138- FreeBSD is reported to work; other BSD's should work too
139- Solaris is reported to work; a specific sunaudiosink plugin has been written
140- MacOSX is reported to work; specific audio and video sinks have been written
141- Windows support is experimental but improving. Output sinks have been
142 written but are not yet included in the code. We support
143 - MSys/MingW builds
144 - Microsoft Visual Studio 6 builds (see win32/README.txt)
146INSTALLING FROM PACKAGES
149You should always prefer installing from packages first. GStreamer is
150well-maintained for a number of distributions, including Fedora, Debian,
151Ubuntu, Mandrake, Gentoo, ...
153Only in cases where you:
154- want to hack on GStreamer
155- want to verify that a bug has been fixed
156- do not have a sane distribution
157should you choose to build from source tarballs or CVS.
159Find more information about the various packages at
162COMPILING FROM SOURCE TARBALLS
165- again, make sure that you really need to install from source !
166 If GStreamer is one of your first projects ever that you build from source,
167 consider taking on an easier project.
169- check output of ./configure --help to see if any options apply to you
174 to build GStreamer.
175- if you want to install it (not required, but what you usually want to do), run
176 make install
178- try out a simple test:
179 gst-launch -v fakesrc num_buffers=5 ! fakesink
180 (If you didn't install GStreamer, prefix gst-launch with tools/)
182 If it outputs a bunch of messages from fakesrc and fakesink, everything is
185 If it did not work, keep in mind that you might need to adjust the
186 PATH and/or LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variables to make the system
187 find GStreamer in the prefix where you installed (by default that is /usr/local).
189- After this, you're ready to install gst-plugins, which will provide the
190 functionality you're probably looking for by now, so go on and read
191 that README.
193COMPILING FROM CVS
196When building from CVS sources, you will need to run autogen.sh to generate
197the build system files.
199You will need a set of additional tools typical for building from CVS,
205autogen.sh will check for recent enough versions and complain if you don't have
206them. You can also specify specific versions of automake and autoconf with
207--with-automake and --with-autoconf
209Check autogen.sh options by running autogen.sh --help
211autogen.sh can pass on arguments to configure - you just need to separate them
212from autogen.sh with -- between the two.
213prefix has been added to autogen.sh but will be passed on to configure because
214some build scripts like that.
216When you have done this once, you can use autoregen.sh to re-autogen with
217the last passed options as a handy shortcut. Use it.
219After the autogen.sh stage, you can follow the directions listed in
220"COMPILING FROM SOURCE"
222You can also run your whole cvs stack uninstalled. The script in
223the gstreamer module /docs/faq/gst-uninstalled) is helpful in setting
224up your environment for this.
226PLUG-IN DEPENDENCIES AND LICENSES
229GStreamer is developed under the terms of the LGPL (see LICENSE file for
230details). Some of our plug-ins however rely on libraries which are available
231under other licenses. This means that if you are distributing an application
232which has a non-GPL compatible license (for instance a closed-source
233application) with GStreamer, you have to make sure not to distribute GPL-linked
236When using GPL-linked plug-ins, GStreamer is for all practical reasons
237under the GPL itself.
242The fundamental design comes from the video pipeline at Oregon Graduate
243Institute, as well as some ideas from DirectMedia. It's based on plug-ins that
244will provide the various codec and other functionality. The interface
245hopefully is generic enough for various companies (ahem, Apple) to release
246binary codecs for Linux, until such time as they get a clue and release the