64-bit Multimedia Support

Experienced power user, but not a guru.

For the past year, I’ve not had a machine able to support running any release of openSUSE. This past week that changed, thanks to a generous donor. I’m eager to make it work, but it’s not exactly easy. I’m running a Dell Inspiron 545 MT: Intel E5400 (2.79 Ghz Core 2 Duo), 6 GB RAM, Intel G31 graphics, 82801I chipset (ICH9), and an embarrassingly large 23" LCD monitor.

CentOS didn’t get past IDE detection, Ubuntu 9.04 kept freezing up the entire X server randomly (hard reset required), and openSUSE 11.1 had too many show stoppers for me, so I’m trying 11.2-RC. Most things work quite well. I’m inclined to wait out the instability issues for the next two weeks if there is reason to think I can make it serve my needs. I don’t like distro-hopping.

Sound works, but not with Flash. Others have mentioned it in other threads, but I got no useful pointers from their experiences. I have added the Packman repository.

Is there something about the way SUSE is developed that 64-bit multimedia is so difficult? I noticed Packman and the community support solutions always insist on going the 32-bit route even for 64-bit systems. Right now, that doesn’t work at all for me. Nor does the 64-bit Flashplayer installed directly. I admit I could be missing something, but this wasn’t an issue with 11.1, nor with Ubuntu. On 11.1 I simply swapped out the Packman package with Adobe’s 64-bit Flashplayer and it worked okay.

It seems to me somewhat obscene to not at least try 64-bit, since Flash, Mplayer and codecs are available, and do work in general. Does anyone know enough to explain some of this, and give me some hope this will be worked out soon enough? I’m willing to wait it out, because sound works fine otherwise. I note I am not using Pulse Audio, since it was not auto-configured. I’m not sure why, but I suppose it has something to do with the support for ICH9 or the way my mobo is wired.

I can’t speak for 11.2RC but I’ve been on 64-bit SUSE for two years now and have had very little problems on it wrt multimedia. Everything works here and of course I get the benefit of up to 20% speedups in some apps on 64-bit (esp x264 & friends)

Well, I’ve just found what was wrong with the Flash sound: By default, the PCM volume on the mixer was all the way off. Once I set it up about 75%, it Flashplayer had sound.

Thanks for your reply; I’m glad to see there’s reason to expect it will work. That still doesn’t answer why the default in the community is to force 32-bit on 64-bit systems.

I’m with microchip on this. I can’t speak for 64-bit on 11.2 RC1, but I put 64-bit openSUSE-11.1 have had no problems specific to 64-bit. Flash works for me on my 64-bit with 11.1.

But I note you are using 11.2 RC1. The full packman repository has not been moved to it. One typically needs to wait a month or more after the official GM release before one will see the vast majority of packman apps moved to the new release. Plus, typically when a new release of any distribution becomes official, the first few months after that release are full of many bug fixes, as the mass of users descend on the release, and pickup up many aspects that were missed in the pre-release testing. So IMHO if you want maximum stability with minimal quirks, you should wait until Feb-2010 or March-2010 prior to installing 11.2. If you go for 11.1 in mid-Nov-2009 when first released (like the vast majority) the IMHO a much higher degree of patience is required.

Also, my view is we will see less and less problems attributable to 64-bit in the future, and instead 32-bit will start having the problems. … I suspect this as I suspect the majority of developers and packagers will soon, if not already, have 64-bit machines.

everything works fine with 11.2 64 bit version - you will not have any problems

Well, oldcpu, I don’t have any choice. When I tried 11.1 there were too many thing which just did not work with this hardware, and some were in that class of bugs which never get fixed. I’ve used SUSE off and on since 6.1, so I’ve run into that before.

At any rate, I hunted down the list of things which the one-click does, and replicated what I felt was applicable for myself. Since I’m not in love with Amarok or Kaffeine, I had no trouble selecting Xine-ui as my primary media player. I’ve always loved it, and I had the 64-bit codecs already.

BTW, I note the repo version of Opera is badly broken, constantly going into race condition and locking up. I am using the Qt3 version directly from Opera, which they had already prepared for 11.2. This has long been my preferred browser suite. All in all, I’d say there’s nothing currently getting in way of my work on 11.2, so it’s a keeper.

I wish to thank all of your replying. This has always been one of the best distro forums.