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Old 12-04-2014, 03:27 PM   #1
Registered: Sep 2008
Posts: 546

Rep: Reputation: 37
remote control over ssh

I'm trying to control vlc media player over ssh on another machine with a bash script. I'm a newbie with scripts and I'm using two machines, A and B
On machine B I can start a video playing with these commands:
[user@machine-B ~]$ screen -S vlc
then in the screen....
[user@machine-B ~]$ vlc -I rc video.ogg
video starts playing and if I type certain commands into machine-B (like play, stop seek etc) I can control the video.
then from machine A I can log in to the screen using remote ssh thus:
[root@machine-A ~]# sshpass -p <password> ssh -t user@machine-B screen -r vlc
but I need to create a bash script that sends commands into this screen from machine A, commands like stop, play seek etc. I've tried script entries like 'ech0 this-and-that' but it doesn't work. I've also tried xdotool commands but they don't work either. Can a bash script send commands into this screen from machine A? thanks for any help.

Last edited by tonj; 12-04-2014 at 03:33 PM.
Old 12-04-2014, 06:14 PM   #2
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Washington
Distribution: Raspbian, Ubuntu, Chrome/Crouton
Posts: 374

Rep: Reputation: 50
Why do you want to use screen? It seems unnecessary and adds complexity.

if you use mplayer instead of vlc, you could use the -input file=<named_pipe> argument to spawn an mplayer that reads pause|play etc from the named_pipe file.

# create the named FIFO. Only need to do this once
ssh user@machine-B "mkfifo named_pipe"
# spawn mplayer listening on pipe
ssh user@machine-B "mplayer -input file=named_pipe <video_file>" &
ssh user@machine-B "echo p >named_pipe"
Old 12-05-2014, 01:00 AM   #3
Registered: Sep 2008
Posts: 546

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 37
thankyou for your response, it's taken me three days of hair pulling just top get vlc working by remote control (lol), I'm not sure if I can face a whole new project with mplayer. You're correct I perhaps don't need to do screen, I can make vlc play without it however once it's started playing I'm still stumped regarding a bash script that can send commands like play, pause, seek etc. If I get a brick wall with vlc I will try your mplayer suggestion.


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