Multimedia support in Ubuntu 16.04: how to complete it


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By default, Ubuntu doesn't have full multimedia support. Because of patents and copyrights that apply in some countries. However, it's easy to plug in the missing codecs and players yourself. This simple how-to will provide you quickly with nearly 100 % audio and video support.

You'll need several players, because sometimes you'll need to switch players for certain file types. Don't worry: none of the players is bloatware....

This is how you do it:

First step: install ubuntu-restricted-extras

1. You've probably already installed most multimedia support earlier on. Namely, when you've ticked that option when preparing to install Ubuntu (click on the picture below to enlarge it):

https://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxtipsproject/multimedia/Screenshot-mm.png?attredirects=0


But even so, it's still necessary to install ubuntu-restricted-extras as well. Because that contains some extra software that you need, too: a lot of various software, among which Microsoft fonts, Adobe Flash Player and mp3 playback support.

Also it contains a series of gstreamer plugins, which are supporting files for mediaplayer Totem.


Note: the installation of ubuntu-restricted-extras will necessitate the removal of some previously installed software. That's OK.

It's very easy to use the terminal for installing ubuntu-restricted-extras:

a. Establish internet connection.

b. Open a terminal window:
Click on the grey Ubuntu logo (Dash home). Query: terminal.
Click on Terminal.

Avoid errors: use your mouse to "copy and paste" this blue text into the terminal:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

Press Enter. When asked, type your password and press Enter again. Your password will remain entirely invisible, not even dots, this is normal.

Now you'll be presented with a dialog in the terminal from Microsoft(!), requiring you to accept the license agreement for the Microsoft fonts.

Activate the OK button with the Tab key, press Enter and use the Tab key again to activate the Yes button in the next dialog. Press Enter again.


Note: on some old computers, you won't be able to install Adobe Flash Player (item 14, right column).

Note: don't install any more gstreamer plugins! Now you've got all the gstreamer plugins you need (you already installed a bunch of them as part of the package "Ubuntu restricted extras"). When you install even more gstreamer plugins, they may cause malfunctions.

Second step: install support for playing encrypted DVD's

2. If you want to be able to play encrypted DVD's, you'll have to install support for it. As follows:

a. Establish internet connection.

b. Open a terminal window:
Click on the grey Ubuntu logo (Dash home). Query: terminal.
Click on Terminal.

Avoid errors: use your mouse to "copy and paste" this blue text into the terminal:

sudo apt-get install libdvd-pkg

Press Enter. When asked, type your password and press Enter again. Your password will remain entirely invisible, not even dots, this is normal.

Now you'll be presented a couple of times with confirmation requests. Accept all requests.

c. Then copy and paste this blue text into the terminal:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure libdvd-pkg

Press Enter. When asked, type your password and press Enter again. Your password will remain entirely invisible, not even dots, this is normal.

Again, you'll be presented a couple of times with confirmation requests. Accept them all. Note: this may take a while, especially on weak hardware. Wait patiently until it has finished.

(continued in the column on the right)



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Third step: install some applications

3. Launch the application Software (the paper shopping bag icon in the desktop bar) and use the query VLC (don't press Enter, just wait). Then install VLC media player.

Repeat this for the following applications:

* SMPlayer

* Audacious

Note: do not install the Mozilla plugins (Firefox plugins) for VLC or Mplayer! The default Totem plugins perform much better in rendering video's on websites.

When it's finished, close Software.

Fourth step: install Java (optional)

4. Java is no longer such an important part of the web as it used to be. Should you need it: an easy how-to for the installation of Java can be found here.

That takes care of 99 % of multimedia support.

And now...

You're done. Have fun with Ubuntu!

Want more tips?

Do you want more tips and tweaks for Ubuntu? There's a lot more of them on this website!


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