SuSE 10.1 Multimedia How-To's


Objective.
This page lists some general how-to's for anyone new to Linux trying to install various multimedia options.

Tasks.
Install Adobe Flash Player.
Install RealPlayer Gold 10.
Install Java.
Install Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Install Gxine/fix choppy DVD playback.
Restore DVD playback functionality for Kaffeine.

Recommendations.
As with any installation on any computing platform, it is good practice to ensure important data is backed up in case unforeseen difficulties arise.
Review all instructions on this page before you begin.

Page dependencies (ensure you have access to everything you need before you begin).
Commands issued at the command prompt in this section are done so as superuser or root unless otherwise specified.
Adobe Flash Player and Acrobat Reader require downloads from www.adobe.com/downloads
RealPlayer requires a download from www.real.com/linux
Java requires a download from www.java.com
Gxine requires downloads from www.xinehq.de , http://atrpms.net/dist/fc6/libjs/ and http://download.videolan.org/pub/libdvdcss/1.2.9/rpm/
Kaffeine requires access to the packman.iu-bremen.de software repository.
YaST2 installations will require access to installation sources (CD, DVD, network or Internet archives).

Text file editing from the command line.
If these instructions require the editing of text based files then a handful of vi commands are listed below for reference. For a full command list go to http://www.chem.brown.edu/instructions/vi.html or search Google.
---
vi [filename] Opens the vi text editor. [filename] creates or opens a particular file to edit.
i or INSERT key Enters 'insert' mode allowing editing of text within a file.
ESCape key Exits insert mode.
: (colon)  Shows command input line.
u  Undo last change (when not in Insert mode)
q!  When entered on the input line this command will quit without saving changes.
wq  When entered on the input line this command will write changes and quit.

Page format.
Text in this format indicates command line entry by the user.
Text in this format indicates an error returned by the system.
Text in this format indicates a normal return from the system.
Beware of similar characters such as 1(one), l(lowercase L), 0(zero), O(uppercase 'o'), | (pipe – Shift ' ' usually).
Text enclosed in [square brackets] indicates a build-specific variable such as a version number or user name.

Conditions.
This page was written for SuSE 10.1 and may contain content or instructions that are not relevant to other distributions.
This information is provided for guidance only. Use of these instructions is deemed to be at your own risk.
R3UK Limited welcomes comment on this information but cannot guarantee a reply and provides no technical support. Please use one of the many dedicated Linux forums or IRC channels if you require assistance.
Text colours and fonts used in the formatting of this page relating to command input and output are used for illustration purposes. Actual command line colours and fonts will vary according to individual system preferences.
GUI instructions were written for the KDE desktop environment and may differ for other desktop environments.

Procedure.
This page lists some general how-to's for anyone new to Linux trying to install various multimedia options.

How to install Flash Player.
Lets start with Macromedia Flash Player. It doesn't take much browsing in Firefox before you come across a web page that has a Flash advert. Seems easy enough to get around, there's a logo where the ad should be which reads 'Click here to download plugin'. Click it and it tells you the Flash Plugin is available. Agree to the licence agreement and... it says the installation has failed.

Never mind. Click the manual install button and you'll be taken to the Adobe download page for Flash Player (Adobe acquired Macromedia in 2005). Save the downloaded archive to your desktop, right-click and choose to 'Extract Here'. Now open a terminal window, enter superuser mode, navigate to the new Flash Installer directory and install:

cd /home/[username]/Desktop/
cd install_flash_player_7_linux
. flashplayer-installer

Follow the prompts as it installs. You will be asked to ensure all browser windows are closed and you'll be asked for the installation path (use /home/]username]/.mozilla). The installer says to remove xpti.dat from the Components directory of the Mozilla browser. If you don't have a components directory then perform a search for xpti.dat - you'll probably find it in a hidden directory at:

home/[username]/.mozilla/firefox/[randompath*]/

and you can remove it with...
rm home/[username]/.mozilla/firefox/[randompath*]/xpti.dat

*Mozilla adds a random string to the profile path as a security measure to keep the nasties out!

Relaunch FireFox and navigate to www.adobe.com/flash where, if installation is correct, you should see some flash testimonials. If something went wrong however you'll see a notice telling you Flash isn't installed.

---------

How to install RealPlayer.
Moving swiftly on to RealPlayer then. I don't use this much but I do like to catch the odd show off Radio 1 via the Internet (Annie Mac, Judge Jules, Pete Tong - nothing but the best!) There is a Linux version of RealPlayer available from www.real.com/Linux so that's where to start. Download the .bin file to your desktop and make it executable (using chmod a+x RealPlayer10GOLD.bin from the command line). The ls -l command will confirm if the changes have taken effect.

Run the installer with ./RealPlayer10GOLD.bin and follow the prompts (although change the installation path to /usr/bin to avoid any errors later stating "Could not find an appropriate hxplay or realplay in the system path to use as an embedded player)".

Restart Firefox. From the FireFox address bar type in about:plugins and the RealPlayer plugin should be listed as enabled. It should now be ready for use.

---------

How to install Java.
On to Java then. Download the Linux Installer from www.java.com onto your desktop. As with RealPlayer above, you'll need to switch to superuser and use the chmod command to take ownership of the downloaded file.  Run the installer with ./jre-[version] and agree to the licence agreement (use the space bar to flip through the pages).

To enable it we need to create a 'symbolic link' to it. Use the ln command to create the link with the -s switch (to specify a Symbolic link), giving the source file and the destination directory....
ln -s /usr/java/jre[version]/plugin/i386/ns7/libjavaplugin_oji.so /usr/lib/firefox/plugins

Restart Firefox. According to the instructions on the Java website, you should have an option under Preferences/Advanced to 'enable Java' however there was no such option in my case. Never mind though, I tested the installation both with the 'verify installation' button on the Java site and with the active content on their homepage and all was fine.

---------

How to install Acrobat Reader.
On with the show, and it's the turn of Adobe Acrobat Reader. I know you can view .PDF files with other apps but if you want to stick to something that looks familiar then you'll be pleased to hear this is an easy one. You can download a compressed archive or an RPM. For speed and ease, use RPM. Once downloaded you can either right-click it and select Open with Software Install or, for a more exciting life, from the command prompt you can amend the permissions and install with the RPM command as below.
cd /home/[username]/Desktop/
chmod a+x AdobeReader_enu-[version].rpm
rpm -i AdobeReader_enu[version]


Installation will be to /usr/local/Adobe/Acrobat[version]/Reader and the application can be started by entering 'acroread' from the Run Command on the KDE start menu.

---------

How to play DVD movies.
Here's the problematic bit with free open source software - DVD playback is intentionally crippled out-of-the-box for legal reasons. This means I can't watch a DVD movie I have bought legally even though the Kafferine player is installed. There are two ways around it....

1. Reinstall Xine along with a non-crippled front-end.
2. Download a 'fixed' version of the crippled Kaffeine player to enable it to work.

Both solutions are listed here.

Installing a new Xine front end.
You don't have to use Kaffeine, several front-ends exist for Xine (the back-end media player installed by SuSE). For the sake of this exercise I'm going to use Gxine but others are available from www.xinehq.de . Before we can install the new front end, we will have to download the latest xine-lib backend from the above website. Download and extract the xine-lib archive to your desktop. Before continuing, use YaST2 Software Management to install the zlib and GTK2 packages (including the '-devel' packages).

From a superuser or root command prompt, change to the extracted directory and install xine-lib.
cd /home/[username]/Desktop/xine-lib-[version]
./configure
make install
ldconfig


Before we can install the gxine front end, we need to install the libjs JavaScript engine from http://atrpms.net/dist/fc6/libjs/ . Download both the libjs and libjs-devel packages and install libjs BEFORE the devel package or it will fail the dependency check. As these are RPM packages they can either be installed in the GUI or from the command prompt as below.
cd /home/[username]/Desktop/
chmod a+x libjs*
rpm -i libjs-[version]
rpm -i libjs-devel-[version]


Next we need to download the gxine package and extract it to a directory on the desktop. Again, from a superuser or root command prompt, change to the extracted directory and install.
cd /home/[username]/Desktop/gxine-[version]
./configure

make install

Finally, download the three RPM files from http://download.videolan.org/pub/libdvdcss/1.2.9/rpm/ and install from the GUI or, if preferred from the command line with:
cd /home/[username]/Desktop/
chmod a+x lib*
rpm -i libdvdcss-[version].src.rpm
rpm -i libdvdcss2-[version].i386.rpm
rpm -i libdvdcss2-devel-[version].i386.rpm


And there we have it. Run gxine from it's installed directory or the Run prompt. When it first starts up gxine will configure itself but if you find playback is choppy it may be down to DMA being off on the DVD drive. Here's a handy command: hdparm -d /dev/hdc (assuming your DVD drive is hdc - use mount to check). This'll tell you if DMA is enabled. If not, use hdparm -d 1 /dev/hdc to enable it.

To enable DMA to always be forced on at startup, use the following command:
hdparm -d1 -k1 /dev/hdc Note - this isn't the best font - the line reads -d1 -k1. The -d switch sets the DMA flag to 1 (on) while the -k switch keeps the setting over those imposed by the reset flag. At least, that's what it's SUPPOSED to do - I've found the sneaky bugger turned back off on occasions.

Repairing the cripped Kaffeine.
To 'fix' Kaffeine isn't too difficult so long as you have an internet connection. There is a German repository that holds fully working versions of these applications and they're just a few clicks away.

First, use YaST2 Software Management to remove the default installations of Kaffeine, Amarok (audio player) and Xine-lib. Next open YaST2 Installation Source and Add a new http source as follows:

Server: packman.iu-bremen.de
Directory: suse/10.0

Once the repository has been added as an installation source, go back to YaST2 Software Management and search for 'Kaffeine', 'amarok' and 'xine-lib'. Select all the search results you're presented with and hit Accept. Off it goes installing the packages from the repository (although it does still ask for a couple of the installation CD's).

When done, launch Kaffeine and you'll be presented with a slightly different user interface. Drop in a DVD and you should find it plays just fine. If playback is choppy, review the information on DMA settings in the gxine installation above.

Did the information on this page help you? If so, please help to fund this site by clicking one of our sponsored ads...