Ubuntu’s latest release is here, version 9.10 “Karmic Koala”, and with it a batch of new users. It seems like each new release brings a pool of new adopters, and with it a pool of new questions. With this post I thought I would outline the simple process of adding all of the “extra” goodies to your installation.
Ubuntu Restricted Extras
Ubuntu has simplified the method for installing codecs and other plugins by capturing the most popular within a single meta-package. This package, ubuntu-restricted-extras, provides a list of packages that will complete most of your multimedia requirements. From the package description:
Installing this package will pull in support for MP3 playback and decoding, support for various other audio formats (GStreamer plugins), Microsoft fonts, Java runtime environment, Flash plugin, LAME (to create compressed audio files), and DVD playback.
To install this package, enter the following command in the Terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal) or simply click on the link below:
sudo aptitude install ubuntu-restricted-extras
If you want more codecs and additional support for encrypted DVD playback you’ll need to go one step further. You’ll need to take advantage of the Medibuntu repository, which is a fully functional, community maintained repository specializing in Multimedia, Entertainment and Distractions in Ubuntu.
The following few commands will simplify the process of adding the Medibuntu repository and importing its signing key:
sudo wget http://www.medibuntu.org/sources.list.d/$(lsb_release -cs).list
sudo apt-get -q update
sudo apt-get --yes -q --allow-unauthenticated install medibuntu-keyring
sudo apt-get -q update
Installing Medibuntu Packages
After this is finished you’ll be able to install additional packages. The most popular packages from Medibuntu are the w32codecs (w64codecs for 64bit installations) and libdvdcss2 for encrypted DVD playback support. To install these simply use the commands below in your terminal, or click the link.
sudo aptitude install libdvdcss2
Windows Media Codecs – 32bit
sudo aptitude install w32codecs
Windows Media Codecs – 64bit
sudo aptitude install w64codecs
I hope these packages are able to provide the multimedia functionality that you’re looking for. You might also want to check out the VLC package for additional media playback support. Enjoy!