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Official Documentation

This page is part of the official Ubuntu system documentation.


Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon)

Ubuntu strives to make all software that meets the licensing terms in the Ubuntu License Policy available. However patent and copyright restrictions complicate free operating systems distributing software to support proprietary formats.

Ubuntu's commitment to only include completely free software by default means that proprietary media formats are not configured 'out of the box'.

Ubuntu can play the most popular non-free media formats, including DVD, MP3, Quicktime, Windows Media, and more by following the instructions below. If this seems like unnecessary work, remember that Ubuntu is a distribution of free software and these packages are (at least arguably) affected by patents and license restrictions in some countries. Avoid formats suppressed by DRM (Digital Rights Management, or Digital Restrictions Management), as they are often unplayable.

See Ubuntu's Free Software Philosophy and the Free Formats page for a more comprehensive discussion of these issues.

  • Legal Notice Patent and copyright laws operate differently depending on which country you are in. Please obtain legal advice if you are unsure whether a particular patent or restriction applies to a media format you wish to use in your country.

Playing Restricted Formats

Follow these steps to play most common multimedia formats, including MP3, DVD, Flash, Quicktime, WMA and WMV, including both standalone files and content embedded in web pages.

Ubuntu 7.04

  • Click Applications → Add/Remove. In the top right, change the setting to All available applications. Then select Other in the left panel and then select the Ubuntu restricted extras package. Click OK.

  • To play most DVDs you'll need the libdvdcss2 package. This package is available using Medibuntu. This is a third party package, and not supported by Canonical.

Note: If DVD playback fails, and you've never played any DVD before on your system, you may need the regionset package to initially set the drive's region.

  • Some external codecs may be needed in order to play certain proprietary formats such as Apple Quicktime or RealVideo. These external codecs are available in the third-party repository of Medibuntu.

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Philbull/Test (last edited 2008-08-06 16:30:41 by localhost)