Video, MP3 Plug-ins for Fedora

If you’ve chosen Fedora as your desktop, rejoice! By adding a few pieces software, you can turn your Penguin into a complete audio and video extravaganza.

The October 2004 issue of Linux Magazine (available online at showed how to keep Fedora up-to-date using the yum, up2date, and apt-get tools. It also highlighted some additional plug-ins and applications that you could download from third-party repositories to add crucial multimedia functions otherwise missing in the distribution.

This month, let’s revisit those software packages in more detail. With a little tweaking, you’ll have a complete audio and video extravaganza. And if you’re a Red Hat Enterprise Workstation 4 (RH4) user, you’ll find (for the most part) that what works for Fedora Core 3 (FC3) also works for RH4 as well.
We’ve got a lot of software to install, so let’s get cracking.

Getting APT

If you don’t yet have APT installed, get it now, because it’s going to make your life a lot easier. If you’re using RH4 or FC3, you can download it from the DAG website at (Read more about DAG in the sidebar “Dig DAG.”)
At the time of this writing, the latest version of APT was apt-0.5.15cnc6-4.1.fc3.rf.i386.rpm, but grab whatever is the latest one available for FC3.
If you’re using Firefox as your web browser, click on “Tools, Downloads, Open” and click on the APT RPM file. Follow the prompts to install the package on your system. If you aren’t signed in as the root user, the Fedora package manager prompts for the root password.
If you’re using RH4, make sure to download the file made specifically for that distribution. There are some other gotchas for RH4; for more information, see the sidebar “Configuring APT for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.”

I Want My MP3!

Now that APT is installed, open a terminal window, become root, and issue the following (rather long) command:
# apt-get install xmms xmms-mp3 \
xmms-wma xmms-flac xmms-aac \
xmms-skins mpg321 lame grip \
This installs the X Multimedia System, the MP3, Flac, AAC, and WMA extensions for XMMS, a command-line MP3 decoder, the lame MP3 encoder engine, Grip, a GTK+- based CD ripper and MP3 encoder program, and Rhythmbox, an MP3/CD jukebox program with iPod connectivity. All of these should show up in your respective KDE and GNOME menus under “Sound and Video.”
XMMS in and of itself has a lot of extra add-ons available, so if you want all of those as well, run apt-get install synaptic. Synaptic is a GUI-based front end to APT, and allows you to do visual searches on names of packages. If you do a search on xmms, you’ll see all the extra stuff you can add in.

Gimme My Video!

For video/movie file support, the procedure is slightly more complicated.
First, install the base support files for the players:
# apt-get install mplayer \
mplayer-fonts faad2 \
mozilla-flash mplayer-skins \
xine xine-lib gxine \
divx4linux HelixPlayer kaffeine
This gives you the Mplayer application, the Xine DVD/video player, and the Xine multimedia libraries, the gxine player for GNOME, the Kaffeine media player for KDE, the DIVX MPEG4 video codec, the Quicktime audio codec, RealVideo support, and browser plugins for Internet videos (such as for the movie trailers at

That’s a lot of software, but you need more. You need a ton of codecs from Windows that are needed to support a whole bunch of video and audio file formats. But, don’t fret — you’re almost done.
Fire up the web browser and skeedaddle over to Click on the RPM link for Fedora Core 3 and follow the prompts to install the file. (You can also use apt-get install mplayerplug-in to install the one on RPMforge, but some brief testing yielded some problems.)
Next, fire up Firefox, go to, and download the “all” codecs package. At the time of this writing, the filename was all-20050115.tar.bz2. Save the file to your home directory, cd to your home directory, and then unpack the file as follows:
$ bzip2 –d  all-20050115.tar.bz2
$ tar xvf all-20050115.tar
This creates a subdirectory called all-20050115/. With your favorite file manager, change the name of that directory to codecs. Next, copy or move that directory to /usr/local/lib/. Next, issue the following commands from your terminal window:
% cd /usr/lib
% ln –s /usr/local/lib/codecs win32
This last step provides codec support for certain applications that expect the codecs to be in the older /usr/lib/win32/ directory standard location as opposed to /usr/local/lib/codecs/.
Congratulations, you’ve now got enough multimedia capability to run your own state of the art digital movie theatre, a Tokyo nightclub, and U2’s next world tour.

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