How to Install Multimedia Codecs in Linux

Like any other operating system, e.g. Windows, most of the Linux systems come with no multimedia codecs, so you'll not be able to play AVI/DivX/XviD videos or MOV movie trailers. Luckily, someone is taking care of these codecs and they update them regularly. The MPlayer team are the ones that created this Linux codec pack and they are doing a very good job.

In this quick guide I will teach you how to install a codec pack into your Linux system. Let's begin by downloading this codec pack from here. After you have finished downloading, open a console and extract the archive with the following command:

tar -xvf all-20061022.tar.bz2

Now you need to create the directories to store the codecs in, because some players may look in different directories. For the first directory, type the following command:

mkdir /usr/local/lib/codecs/

Now for the second directory, type the following command:

mkdir /usr/lib/win32

NOTE: You might already have this last directory, if you have installed a multimedia player like xine or kaffeine. The only thing is that this directory is empty, so you still need to fill it up with codecs.

You need now to copy all the codecs to the first directory with the following command:

cp all-20061022/* /usr/local/lib/codecs/

After you have copied the codecs, you must change their permissions to 755, typing the following command:

chmod 755 /usr/local/lib/codecs/*

And finally, copy again all the codecs from the first directory to the second directory with the following command:

cp /usr/local/lib/codecs/* /usr/lib/win32/

That's all! Now you can test them by playing your favorite movie, with your preferred multimedia player.

Let�s have a look now at the most important video and audio codecs that this package provides.

Video Codecs:

� MPEG-1 (VCD) and MPEG-2 (DVD) video

� native decoders for all DivX variants, 3ivX, M$ MPEG-4 v1, v2 and other MPEG-4 variants

� native decoder for Windows Media Video 7/8 (WMV1/WMV2), and Win32 DLL decoder for Windows Media Video 9 (WMV3), both used in .wmv files

� native Sorenson 1 (SVQ1) decoder

� native Sorenson 3 (SVQ3) decoder

� 3ivx v1, v2 decoder

� Cinepak and Intel Indeo codecs (3.1,3.2,4.1,5.0)

� MJPEG, AVID, VCR2, ASV2 and other hardware formats

� VIVO 1.0, 2.0, I263 and other H.263(+) variants


� RealVideo 1.0 & 2.0 from libavcodec, and RealVideo 3.0 & 4.0 codecs using RealPlayer libraries

� native decoder for HuffYUV

� Various old simple RLE-like formats

Audio Codecs:

� MPEG layer 1/2/3 (MP1/2/3) audio (native code, with MMX/SSE/3DNow! optimization)

� Windows Media Audio 7 and 8 (AKA WMAv1 and WMAv2) (native code, with libavcodec)

� Windows Media Audio 9 (WMAv3) (using DMO DLL)

� AC3 Dolby audio (native code, with MMX/SSE/3DNow! optimization)

� AC3 passing through sound card hardware


� Ogg Vorbis audio codec (native library)

� RealAudio: DNET (low bitrate AC3), Cook, Sipro and ATRAC3

� QuickTime: Qualcomm and QDesign audio codecs

� VIVO audio (g723, Vivo Siren)

� Voxware audio (using DirectShow DLL)

� alaw and ulaw, various gsm, adpcm and pcm formats and other simple old audio codecs

� Adaptive Multi-Rate (AMR) speech codecs

In conclusion, after installing this package, you'll be able to play most of the video materials out there, with sound of course!

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