I want to upgrade VLC to 2.2.1 on my Debian machine, but the standard commands below are not doing it.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

If I do vlc --version, I see I'm running 2.2.0-rc2 Weatherwax.

1 Answer 1


Debian doesn't update software in already-released versions of Debian (such as Wheezy and Jessie) just because there's a newer version of that software; if there is a critical bug fix (such as a regression fix for a CVE fix), then that bug fix might become available in all versions of Debian.

That being said, newer versions of software might be added to a separate -backports repository. This repository is mainly for having newer versions of programs in older releases of Debian. However, note that this isn't an automatic process; someone has to request that a newer version of some package (vlc, in this case) be backported to Jessie. Then, someone must build the backport and test it in Jessie to make sure that everything works. You can see more info about using backports here.

If you want to have the latest version of VLC, you'll either have to download it manually from their website or see if it is in the Debian backports (which it isn't, currently).

  • I'm kinda new to Debian so I don't understand what backports is or what I'm trying to do.
    – john smith
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 18:31
  • That's pretty accurate; if a security issue turns up in VLC, the fix for that would be added to the package in Jessie, rather than a new version of VLC altogether. Since 2.2.1 is in testing it is eligible for backports and you can request it (reportbug wnpp I think). Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 18:40
  • gtk-message failed to load module canberra-gtk-module
    – john smith
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 18:53
  • Oh I re-read what you put. I just checked on the vlc website and it says "vlc is in testing, but due to the way testing works, we can't guarantee if the latest version is available. Install vlc browser-plugin-vlc the usual way you do it". Whats the usuall way? apt-get?
    – john smith
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 19:26
  • You may also use pinning to handle multiple version of debian in a single installation. Depending on your config, you could get latest vlc from testing-9 or unstable-10.
    – j-p
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 19:35

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