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Thread: My experiences to share, Leap as a fully capable multimedia desktop

  1. #1
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    Red face My experiences to share, Leap as a fully capable multimedia desktop

    I have no questions, but wish to share my experiences overcoming some multimedia problems I encountered upgrading to Leap 42.1. Hopefully it answers in advance questions others in the community might have who visit this forum, but I also wish to help the OpenSUSE developers.

    My system was running OpenSUSE 13.2, and unlike prior upgrades I decided it was prudent to format the Root partition (preserving /home) and do a fresh install of Leap 42.1 this time. The install worked fine without issue, and as expected by preserving the /home filesystem I saved a lot of time re-configuring applications because all of their settings were retained. Also as expected, the KDE desktop settings would not be saved because we are switching from version 4 to 5, so really customizing KDE was the only effort involved in the upgrade. It was the change from KDE 4 to 5 that prompted me to do a fresh install this time, all prior upgrades on this system (and future upgrades) use the upgrade option of the OpenSUSE installer.

    I use this system as my home desktop. I do not use Windows, so my system must handle all multimedia codecs and restricted formats in order to be useful. All but one of the issues I ran into with this installation involve add-on multimedia capabilities, and they were all solved, details follow.

    1. DEVICE ACTION OPTIONS

    The one issue not entirely related to multimedia was with inserting USB drives and CD/DVDs. In 13.2, after inserting media I got a nice menu consisting of several choices to play a music CD, play a DVD, or download photos. In 42.1, there are very few choices, mainly Dragon Player for multimedia and Gwenview for photos. Dragon Player is a horrible audio CD player, what happened to KSCD (yes it is installed)? What happened to the K3B option to "rip audio CD", or the option of using Digikam when I plug in my camera? These missing items are due to the change from KDE 4 to 5; these pop-up media options are provided by so-called "solid actions" files, and there were many more of these in KDE 4 than KDE 5.

    SOLUTION. The "solid actions" files from KDE 4 are in the 42.1 installation (because the installation includes KDE 4), however these files won't be seen by KDE 5. You can copy them from the KDE 4 library to a home directory location where they will be seen by KDE 5.

    The KDE 4 library is: /usr/share/kde4/apps/solid/actions. In here you will find all of the options that were available in KDE 4. I chose the following to move to KDE 5: digikam*, k3b*, kscd*, and vlc*. Just copy these files to this directory: ~/.local/share/solid/actions (you may need to create this directory first). Then you need to run this command: kbuildsycoca5 --noincremental.

    The next time you insert a music CD, you can select "play with KSCD" or "rip audio with K3B", and you can resume using VLC for DVDs and Digikam for the camera. Note I already installed VLC from Packman before copying these files, otherwise the VLC files would not be present.

    2. SOME RESTRICTED FORMATS STILL DID NOT WORK AFTER ADDING PACKMAN REPO & TOOLS

    The go-to website for adding restricted formats has always been opensuse-community.org, but their one-click option is not available at present, so they are instructing readers to go to a different website: opensuse-guide.org/codecs.php. [Note to the OpenSUSE developers: we love new users of OpenSUSE and want to help them move from Windows desktops. A full set of multimedia capabilities including restricted formats is a "must have" for most desktop users, but right now we don't seem to have a beginner-level way to make that happen. Even one-click missed the Firefox browser plugin.]

    I followed the command-line zypper instructions in the opensuse-guide.org/codecs.php website, including choosing the "option 1" to install K3B from "alternate vendor" (which shoud have been mentioned in the instructions). This went well, but still some formats like WMA, ASF, and WMV were still missing.

    SOLUTION: Several packages are provided by both OpenSUSE and Packman, for example K3B, and you need to install the Packman version of some package, though that is not true for all packages provided by both vendors. Perhaps I did something wrong along the way, but a few packages were installed from OpenSUSE by mistake and not Packman. This is easy to change in YAST "software management": search for the package in question, go under the Version tab; it shows you which version are available on different repos, which one is installed, and you can switch the version just by selecting it here.

    I think most of the packages that must be from Packman were correctly installed from Packman, but without really knowing what I was doing, I found a few from OpenSUSE that just looked wrong, and I thought they should be from Packman instead. If anyone has actual knowledge of which packages must come from Packman for full capabilities, please share. The once I switched from OpenSUSE to Packman IIRC were as follows, and this change made all formats work:

    libavcodec52, libavcoden56, libavformat52, libavformat56, libavutil52, libavutil56
    libxine2, libxine2-codec, libxine2-pulse

    (I say IIRC because this was a debugging process and I might not have documented this accurately, so I hope there is some extra knowledge out there. I also installed the Packman version of Amarok at one point even though I don't usually use Amarok.)

    NOTE: I recall there used to be a library called w32-codecs, and in previous OpenSUSE releases you needed to install this in order to get the all formats. I don't recall if that was done by opensuse-communito.org's One-click. So it seems w32-coded no longer exists and instead we need to get something else from Packman, maybe it was that libavcodec...?

    3. FIREFOX DOESN'T HAVE AN EMBEDDED MULTIMEDIA PLAYER

    If you like to use VLC multimedia player on the desktop, the new name of the embedded player you need to install is: npapi-vlc, also from Packman. (Don't you just hate package name changes!) I don't know what to suggest if you prefer one of the other players on the desktop. If you are looking for a recommendation, I suggest VLC all around except for Audio CDs (then use KSCD).

    4. NOT FOR EVERYONE READING THIS -
    AUDACITY DOESN'T WORK OR DOESN'T SUPPORT MP3 / WMA FILE FORMATION

    First, if you do an upgrade as I did, the presence of an old ~/.audacity directory prevented it from starting after upgrading to Leap 42.1. Just remove ~/.audacity and this problem is solved. Also, regarding file formats, you must have the Packman version of Audacity installed - I recall having to de-install re-install at one time. Under Audacity's preferences go to Libraries and make sure that the two restricted format libraries (also provided by Packman) are found on your system.

    FINALLY, THANKS TO OPENSUSE DEVELOPERS!!

    I started using OpenSUSE from its first release about ten years ago and never looked back. It is the best desktop distribution, well balanced in various ways (e.g. security vs. convenience, speed vs. capability), works very well as a server, the Forum was great (the ONE or TWO times I actually needed help), and has the best Linux documentation. With the introduction of Leap, OpenSUSE provides what many of us wanted for years and never expected to be able to get: a long-term-support distro with up-to-date applications. Hang on folks, I think you are about to become more popular in the Linux world.
    Last edited by Knurpht; 01-Jan-2016 at 07:24.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: My experiences to share, Leap as a fully capable multimedia desktop

    That's a nice review with a lot of tips.
    Reading your post:
    If you like to use VLC multimedia player on the desktop, the new name of the embedded player you need to install is: npapi-vlc, also from Packman.
    I've search for the npapi-vlc in yast, but I only get npapi-vlc-beta-debuginfo and npapi-vlc-beta-sources
    You got this from Packman ?

    EDIT: Sorry, running a search by vlc , I found the package
    Last edited by mesnitu2; 30-Dec-2015 at 12:51. Reason: I found it

  3. #3
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    Default Re: My experiences to share, Leap as a fully capable multimedia desktop

    Thanks for those useful comments. However, one-click for the restricted formats did work for me with one exception, vlc-codecs, which I had to add later (possibly my use of restricted format is less extensive than other peoples!).

  4. #4
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    Default Re: My experiences to share, Leap as a fully capable multimedia desktop

    Sorry, the last sentence of my original post should have read "I think you are about to become more POPULAR in the Linux world." ooops

  5. #5
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    Default Re: My experiences to share, Leap as a fully capable multimedia desktop

    [QUOTE=gnumattx;2745791]


    Code:
    The KDE 4 library is: /usr/share/kde4/apps/solid/actions. In here you will find all of the options that were available in KDE 4. I chose the following to move to KDE 5: digikam*, k3b*, kscd*, and vlc*. Just copy these files to this directory: ~/.local/share/solid/actions (you may need to create this directory first). Then you need to run this command: kbuildsycoca5 --noincremental.
    
    I did this and got the following response.

    marco@Lenovo:~> kbuildsycoca5 --noincremental
    kbuildsycoca5 running...
    Recreating ksycoca file ("/home/mahmood/.cache/ksycoca5_en_wUOfg8aJzvOTyAiIGEC1WahUNk0=", version 303)
    Menu "applications-kmenuedit.menu" not found.
    Saving
    marco@Lenovo:~>

    I then searched for kmenuedit in yast and noted that the installed packages are:
    kmenuedit5 and
    kmenuedit5-lang
    Am I missing something here?

    Code:
    The once I switched from OpenSUSE to Packman IIRC were as follows, and this change made all formats work:
    
    libavcodec52, libavcoden56, libavformat52, libavformat56, libavutil52, libavutil56
    libxine2, libxine2-codec, libxine2-pulse
    I do not understand what you mean by Packman IIRC. Is this a separate repo?
    My search in yast did not find the 2nd, 5th and 6th items in the list above.

    BTW, have you got the audio in Libreoffice Impress working in your system?

    Thanks for the informative post!!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: My experiences to share, Leap as a fully capable multimedia desktop

    Yes packman is a separate repo add it in Yast-repository management add then select community repos and click packman

    You need to get all multimedia stuff tome packman since openSUSE is open source only as the name implies. so since a lot of media is IP restricted in some way you get these from packman

    Once you add the repo you can do a vendor switch with

    zypper dup --from packman

    That will switch all media stuff from the normal non-proprietary codecs to the full codecs

  7. #7
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    Default Re: My experiences to share, Leap as a fully capable multimedia desktop

    [QUOTE=marco07;2745970]
    Quote Originally Posted by gnumattx View Post



    I do not understand what you mean by Packman IIRC. Is this a separate repo?
    the acronym "IIRC" stands for "If I Remember Correctly". Not sure if maybe that is the point that was confusing? There is a separate Packman repo, but there is not a "Packman IIRC" repo, as he was just referring to the normal Packman repo.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: My experiences to share, Leap as a fully capable multimedia desktop

    The command worked in spite of the error message shown below. I should I have pointed out that message is normal and expected.
    Menu "applications-kmenuedit.menu" not found.

    The purpose of this command is to add device pop-up actions to KDE which you installed in the .local/share/solid/actions directory (they don't show up automatically once the files are copied). You probably noticed the the pop-up device actions list is longer now and contains more actions.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: My experiences to share, Leap as a fully capable multimedia desktop

    Quote Originally Posted by gnumattx View Post
    Sorry, the last sentence of my original post should have read "I think you are about to become more POPULAR in the Linux world." ooops
    It's new year's day, I'll edit the original post .
    ° Appreciate my reply? Click the star and let me know why.

    ° Perfection is not gonna happen. No way.

    http://en.opensuse.org/User:Knurpht
    http://nl.opensuse.org/Gebruiker:Knurpht

  10. #10
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    Default Re: My experiences to share, Leap as a fully capable multimedia desktop

    >> You need to get all multimedia stuff tome packman
    >> Once you add the repo you can do a vendor switch with
    >> zypper dup --from packman
    >> That will switch all media stuff from the normal non-proprietary codecs to the full codecs

    Wow, switching to the Packman version of *all* "duplicate vendor" packages, is this what the expert users in the community are doing? Seems like a lot of packages. I just had the impression we want official OpenSUSE packages where possible (official update streams contain a official bugfixes, including security bugfixews...)

    In prior releases, the number of packages brought in by One-Click was fairly small, I only had to add "w32-codecs" and as someone else mentioned in the thread also "vls-codecs" needed to be added manually.

    I realize OpenSUSE needs to officially keep hands-off in this area, but the loss of One-Click and shortcomings in existing documentation is going to scare-off new users. Even us experienced users are guessing at the beat approach. I would volunteer to help writing documentation if we could just get an official word on what we are supposed to do. I'm going to be setting up another lab desktop in the next month, I could write the instructions with screenshots.

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