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  1. #1

    Ubuntu Multimedia HOWTO

    NOTE: if you read the tutorial and are still experiencing difficulties and would like help, you are asked to start a new topic on the forums.
    Please do NOT reply to this thread to ask a technical question. Replies to THIS thread should be corrections and enhancements on the tutorial/howto only.
    Thanks in advance for your co-operation.


    Ubuntu Multimedia HOWTO

    "Will Warty Warthog / Ubuntu include complete multimedia support?"

    Ubuntu Linux [1] is a Debian-based, desktop Linux distribution whose name
    means "humanity to others." The philosophy behind this GNU/Linux
    distribution and the great selection of packages make you feel good that
    you're using it. The lack of multimedia support, however, leaves your
    digital media desires unsated.

    "We're still working out some of the difficult legal / policy issues
    involved with multimedia support. Warty Warthog will include some
    multimedia support, we just need to find out what we can safely and freely

    This HOWTO details the installation and configuration of applications
    essential to your media enjoyment on Ubuntu.

    Update It
    If you've installed Ubuntu, and you should have a fresh install for this
    HOWTO, then you're already familiar with its default use of sudo. You'll
    be using sudo a lot.

    The first step towards an Ubuntu multimedia powerhouse is to make sure your
    box is up-to-date [2].

    $ sudo apt-get update
    $ sudo apt-get upgrade
    $ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

    It's time to grab all of the packages needed to install MPlayer. MPlayer
    is the most versatile media player available for GNU/Linux - video, audio,
    X, no X - it very well may be the only player you'll need. Let's start with
    gcc/g++ and other dependencies, and then grab the MPlayer source.

    $ sudo apt-get install manpages-dev
    $ sudo apt-get install autoconf
    $ sudo apt-get install automake
    $ sudo apt-get install libtool
    $ sudo apt-get install flex
    $ sudo apt-get install bison
    $ sudo apt-get install gcc-doc
    $ sudo apt-get install g++
    $ sudo apt-get install x-window-system-dev
    $ sudo apt-get install libgtk1.2-dev
    $ sudo apt-get install libpng-dev

    Have your Warty Warthog CD handy and accept any extra packages, e.g. the
    libtool install will also install gcc. We'll use a US mirror for the
    MPlayer packages and assume you're working in your home directory. Download
    MPlayer, codecs, English fonts and the default blue skin.
    Internationalization and slick graphics are up to you.

    $ wget
    $ wget
    $ wget
    $ wget

    Using the README from [3] as a baseline, install the codecs
    with the following commands.

    $ tar -xjf essential-20040922.tar.bz2
    $ sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/lib/codecs
    $ sudo cp essential-20040922/* /usr/local/lib/codecs/

    Time to compile MPlayer. Issue these commands.

    $ tar -xjf MPlayer-1.0pre5.tar.bz2
    $ cd MPlayer-1.0pre5
    $ ./configure --enable-gui
    $ make
    $ sudo make install

    Now install the fonts and skin.

    $ cd
    $ tar -xjf font-arial-iso-8859-1.tar.bz2
    $ sudo cp font-arial-iso-8859-1/font-arial-14-iso-8859-1/* /usr/local/share/mplayer/font/
    $ tar -xjf Blue-1.4.tar.bz2
    $ sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/share/mplayer/Skin/default
    $ sudo cp -r Blue/* /usr/local/share/mplayer/Skin/default/

    Finally, copy over the included conf files.

    $ sudo cp MPlayer-1.0pre5/etc/* /usr/local/etc/mplayer/

    Test your install by launching the graphical version of MPlayer.

    $ gmplayer

    QuickTime, WindowsMedia, MPEG, avi - you should be able to play just about
    anything. Give yourself quick access to MPlayer by adding a launcher to
    the top GNOME panel. Right click on the panel and click Add to Panel...
    Select Custom Application Launcher and click Add. Use the following
    information and click OK.

    Name: MPlayer
    Command: /usr/local/bin/gmplayer
    Icon: /usr/local/share/mplayer/Skin/default/icons/32x32.png

    Playing DVDs
    The Ubuntu Wiki discusses restricted formats [4], which includes CSS and
    DVD playback. To add DVD playback capability to Ubuntu, use the Synaptics
    Howto [5] to add to your sources list
    (unstable, main). Then sync your package index.

    $ sudo apt-get update

    Grab the infamous DeCSS.

    $ sudo apt-get install libdvdcss2

    Add a dvd link and enjoy DVDs with MPlayer and Ubuntu.

    $ sudo ln -s /media/cdrom0 /dev/dvd

    With your video needs taken care of, we can move on the audio portion of
    our show by installing XMMS.

    $ sudo apt-get install libmikmod2
    $ sudo apt-get install xmms

    Logging out and logging back in will find XMMS already in the Applications/
    Multimedia menu. And there it is - instant Ogg/mp3/jukebox/streaming audio


    A Little Perl
    For streaming internet radio, you can of course use XMMS. Set your
    preference in Firefox and you're good to go. I listen to a few stations
    regularly, and I always have a gnome-term open. With those things in mind,
    I've found it much more convenient to write a Perl script that uses MPlayer
    to stream my favorite music.

    #!/usr/bin/perl -w

    # -
    # command line streaming of your fav stations
    # usage: mplay <channel>

    use strict;

    help() unless defined(my $chan = shift);

    if ($chan =~ /bass/) {
    elsif ($chan =~ /cryo/) {
    elsif ($chan =~ /di/) {
    elsif ($chan =~ /ind/) {
    elsif ($chan =~ /talk/) {
    else { help(); }

    sub help {

    print <<EOF;

    Usage: mplay <channel>

    bass - BassDrive
    cryo - Cryosleep
    di - Digitally Imported
    ind - RantRadio Industrial
    talk - RantRadio Talk



    "mplay rant" plays RantRadio's 128-bit industrial stream quickly and
    without a browser. If you need your terminal, "q" stops the stream, do
    your deed, and up arrow gets the stream right back (or of course Ctrl+
    Shift+T for a new tab in gnome-terminal).

    Ubuntu Linux is an impressive distribution. Even more impressive is the
    conviction of the developers. "The most important thing about Ubuntu is
    not that it is available free of charge, but that it confers rights of
    software freedom on the people who install and use it." They put their
    money where their apt is. So as a GNU/Linux user, the tasks detailed
    above are trivial compared to the decisions made not to include such

    Please support free software developers. Continue to use Ubuntu.
    Contribute to the Ubuntu Linux community. And watch Batman: Dead End
    while you're doing it [6].


    [2] I could not intuitively get Rhythmbox to play one simple Ogg file. So
    my first step in setting up multimedia on Ubuntu is to sudo apt-get
    remove rhythmbox.





  2. #2


    I tried the above instructions, but when it comes to installation of the libpng, I get this error:

    Package libpng-dev is a virtual package provided by:
    You should explicitly select one to install.
    E: Package libpng-dev has no installation candidate

    So I can't install this empty package, and everything fails. Is there a place to download a non-virtual package? Set apt sources differently? I googled and found absolutely nothing useful.

  3. #3
    Linux Guru kkubasik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Lat: 39:03:51N Lon: 77:14:37W
    keep in mind, questions are better placed in the quesiton section, its forum policy, but they probably added another libpng to the mirrors, use the complete name of the package, not jist libpng and see if that helps.
    Avoid the Gates of Hell. Use Linux
    A Penny for your Thoughts

    Formerly Known as qub333

  4. $spacer_open

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