multimedia for opensuse 11.0


I have installed 100ds of suse in the past 10 years. My last opensuse installation was 10.2 and I will move to 11.0 in short. My question is how to get the multimedia (mp3, DVD, wma, wmv, flash etc) enabled.

My Internet research gave me some different solutions but I am not convinced 100%.

I use KDE and I do not want to spend hours (days)trying to fix multimedia.

  1. This is the “old style” manual solution: add the packman repository. Pro: once the packman is there the installed packages are kept up-to-date by the update functionality. Cons: you have to know and choose all the multimedia codecs you need.
  2. I have read that there is a (new form 10.3) 1-click-install functionality. As far as I understood you open for example kaffeine it realizes that some codecs are missing for full functionality, a window pops up where you can with one click install all the missing codecs. Questions:
  • Does this “pop up” appear only with kde 4 or even with the kde 3.x? I have read some posts which say kde 4 is not really ready for use and I would prefer to install kde 3.x.

  • Will this pop up give you a list of all possible codecs to install and you choose which to install or will it prompt you for a codec bundle installation?

  • As far as I read this 1-click-install will: add the repository for software installation, install, remove the repository. And then what happens with the updates? I mean how is the software installed within this 1-click-install way kept up-to-date?

  1. There are people offering 1 codecs bundle (1 for KDE, 1 for GNOME)(openSUSE 11.0: Enabling Complete Multimedia Support | Linux and Open Source Blog)
  • Does this approach work?

  • For which kde version is made this bundle for? kde 3.x or kde 4?

  • Like the previous point: and then how are the codecs kept up-to-date?

Closing: which strategy would you use? Are there other strategies?

I do not understand why should I(we)do such research every time I want to install a new suse version. Multimedia is needed by everyone which is using opensuse (the only occasion where I, maybe, could not need it is for business purposes … but then I would not use opensuse but rather SLES). Multimedia is not active out-of-the-box (ok I understand why) and every time there is a NEW, more or less comfortable, solution to the problem. A very easy solution would be to add somewhere (in Yast for example) a tool: “activate multimedia”.


No need to. Just keep using the traditional “add repositories” method: Repositories/11.0 - openSUSE-Community

my understanding is if you try to play a file with a codec that is not supported, Gnome, KDE-3.x and 4.x will offer to take you to a site to solve that problem. However I believe this will also be a commercial site, as this option in openSUSE was designed for users from countries where one must pay for such proprietary code use.

No such list from what I know. Instead it is a single codec, based on the multimedia file you tried to play.

No updates, until you decide you want an update. It keeps the control with you. The disadvantage of keeping the repository, is often these repositories have many other applications, some of which may conflict with applications you have now, or may conflict with applications you wish to install in the future. Hence the repositories are removed to avoid such potential conflicts. BUT you do have the choice (during the 1-click-install) to over rule the removal of the repository.

Yes, but this is NOT designed for individuals with Internet. Rather it is designed as a single snapshop of multimedia for individuals whose PCs do not have internet. This is a volunteer effort by one of our forum members. ENTIRELY volunteer, and the multimedia apps are not 100% up to date.

I think this works in Gnome, KDE-3.x and 4.x.

They are not. Its a volunteer effort. Volunteers have only so much time. But we are always looking for more volunteers. Perhaps you can help out?

The old tried and true method of adding repositories to one’s Software Package Manager of choice still works for me.

Just stay up to date. I’ve been using SuSE since 7.3, and I don’t have a problem here.

The community has tried to create web pages to explain this to users, and those pages are kept up to date. For example, information on the openSUSE approach for packaged audio/video support can be found here:
Restricted Formats - openSUSE

INformation on installing 1st rate multimedia with the appropriate 3rd party applications and codecs installed for openSUSE users can be found here:
Multimedia - openSUSE-Community

More information for installing 3rd party “restricted formats” on different openSUSE versions can be found here:
Restricted Formats - openSUSE-Community

Welcome to our forum, and thanks for participating.

ok, so you say manual repository + manual codec/software choice.

What I hate about this solution is that often to play one media type you need more then 1 component and to find out which one is the one you need is a bit of a pain especially because typically it happens in a moment when you do not want a pain.
Example: you browse around and you click on some multimedia content which needs some extra install to work. You do not want to research through the all web for “what do I need and in which order to let it play?”!

I must admit that in the old times (previous to 10.0) I had hard times to let multimedia work “by hand”. I have found perfect the “konvenientSUSE” solution which I have used in my 10.2: asks which multimedia you want active, installs the repositories (“standard repositories” like packman), installs the software. So you have everything you need installed and working and you have the repositories to get everything up-to-date.

Now probably my question moves away to the 1-click-install, but I do not find any precise description on how this thing is working.

  1. Are you sure it will use “strange” repositories to install even “normal” stuffs (like win codecs for wma, wmv and mp3)? I mean for such things packman would be more then enough!
  2. Are you sure you can choose to keep or not to keep the repository in the repository list for updates?
  3. Does it show the repository is going to use for the installation? If this is the case and it would show a “sensible” repository (see packman again) I have no problem in add in it fix in my repository list.
  4. Does it maybe give you a list of repositories to chosse from?
  5. Say I have a manually added list of repositories. Say I want to play a media for which the codec is still not installed (same story for the k3b mp3 support). The 1-click-install will pop up. Will it first try to use my already added repositories to install the needed software or it has its own predefined?


I dont’ find it a pain at all. Simply install from Packman:

  • w32codec-all
  • xvid
  • vlc
  • libxine1 and xine-ui
  • smplayer
  • amarok
    and the software package manager handles the rest. Users who have had difficulty with this, have had so because they mixed Packman and Videolan applications, or because they have “special desktop effects” enabled, and have run into problems where the ‘x11’ input is needed instead of the ‘xv’ for various players.

This page give a very nice summary:
Multimedia - openSUSE-Community

If one wishes to learn more about what applications are available for openSUSE, then one can search through the Packman web site, using their very good search engine. PackMan :: home
This is a very user friendly way, its very usable, and I do not agree with your views about this being a “pain” and I suspect we may need to agree to disagree.

You don’t have to. Its all there on the Packman site AND on the links I gave in a previous post. Users like myself take the time to make the stickies and other users take the time to make the multimedia pages on the openSUSE site and the openSUSE-community site (where I referenced those pages in a previous post). Please do NOT ignore our efforts and “research through all the web” when we made a MAJOR effort so you don’t have to. :mad: … and if you have read the URLs I provided and believe them inadequate, then please contribute to improve them.

openSUSE is a Linux distribution that pushes the opensource and free-software movement, and to a large extent its success will depend on the contributions of users like YOU and ME to make it succeed. So please contribute to the wiki’s, to ensure they meet the standard that YOU think should be in place.

I didn’t. Multimedia installation was just as quick for me then, as it is now, EXCEPT now my Internet bandwidth speed is significantly faster. Back then I adopted the same technique, which is to update 1st my software repositories, and then install a small number of apps, which resulted in a large number of dependencies semi-automatically being installed. IMHO it could not be more simple, and I can setup my full multimedia capability faster than some skilled multimedia practitioners I know from a couple other OS (where the two OS I have in mind have a larger home market share and have more computer users than Linux has users).

It don’t know what you mean by a “strange” repository, and your explanation only obscured “your definition” even more for me. It depends on the “one-click” that you click on.

I answered this above. If you don’t believe, then test it yourself.


I have no idea what you consider sensible.

No. The one-click proposes to take you down a specific route. You can decline if you don’t like that.

I don’t understand the question.

Anyway, the one-click is there IMHO for newbies. I think users with the knowledge you have will find it restrictive. As I recommended in my previous approach, as a more advanced user, I recommend you stick with the traditional approach.

But please note this is all IMHO, … I definitely know of users more skilled than myself in openSUSE Linux who have a different view.


As I’m lazy I always install using the one-click installs found here : Restricted Formats - openSUSE-Community (choosing to customize I add VLC and Mplayer).

After that I add extra gstreamer packages (like plugins-good-extra & plugins-bad - might wanna be careful with that last one).

So far this has let me play what I want to… but I’m no fancy multimedia consumer, just being able to play some dvd/movies files and mp3 music makes me happy :slight_smile:


edit: Thanks oldcpu… make that newbies and lazy or ‘easy’ people… :wink:

answer to oldcpu:
First of all let me specify that I did not want to be aggressive in anyway and that I DO appreciate a lot the wish to help by writing the “community sites”. Clear are they “a first choice lo look at”, but you must accept the fact that you not always find the answer to your questions there (just because it is impossible to).
For example in Restricted For - openSUSE-Community

is written:

[QUOTE] * Flash
* Java
* Latest Amarok (with MP3 Support) for KDE, or Helix-Banshee for GNOME users
* Encrypted DVD (libdvdcss)
* Extra xine codecs, for MPEG-4 etc. (libxine1)
* K3b with MP3 Support (k3b-codecs)
* Win 32 Codecs (w32codec-all)

…as well as the option of installing many more applications (select Customise mode at the screen), including:

* Opera
* ..and more 

A full list would be very useful even for those which do not want to use the bundle.

I mean if everything would be clear this thread would not exist.
I had a look to the links you have sent me. They are good no question but, there is a lot of theory, less practice.
Say I am new to linux (or simply new to multimedia in linux). I do not really care (or at least only a bit) why things do not work, I want to make them work.

I mean, as suggestion, what I would wish is a step-by-step multimedia HowTo. I tell you more not only ONE step-by-step guide but a set of HowTo with difficulty degree and pros and cons of each.
For example: what you have told me that the bundles are meant for people without flat lan, that the 1-click-install is more for “beginners” and that either you force to keep the repository or you loose the update capability, that the preferred (?) way for advanced user is still the manual solution.

As example for the “manual” solution I would wish something like:

  1. A list of components (packages) which I need to install to get different multimedia stuff working, with the explanation for what each package is useful for (for example: you need w32codec-all to be able to play wma, wmv etc)
  2. A list of out of the box suse installed packages which you should replace with the packman ones
  3. A “prescription” to do the whole thing (what I will try to summarize in a sec).

… so let me summarize what you (oldcpu) suggest to do and tell me if I am wrong (unfortunately I do not have suse at hand now while I am writing and I am going to install the 11 version after my vacations, so I write “blind”):

  1. This is the list of repositories you suggest to have (I saw it in another thread:
  • packman

  • update for 11.0

  • opensuse-11-oss

  • opensuse-11.0-non-oss

  1. This is the list of packages you suggest to have installed in the packman version (merge what you have old me and what you have told some other guy in some other thread):
  • w32codec-all

  • xvid

  • vlc

  • libxine1 and

  • xine-ui

  • smplayer

  • amarok

  • mad

At this point I ask: what about k3b with mp3 support? This should also come from packman right? What about lame? I need lame to get any cd to mp3 rip program (see ripit for example) to work, right? In the bundle there is also libdvdcss which is for Encrypted DVD, right? What about QuickTime data? Do I forget something else? You see the list gets longer …

  1. De-install all the previous packages, if already installed from the standard opensuse repository, RIGHT (or just “overwrite” them with the packman ones?)?
  2. Install all of them from packman
  3. Install this other list of packages from the non-oss repository:
  • realplayer

  • flash

  • Java

  • … ??

Is this HowTo correct? Do I still miss something? What about the browser integration? i.e. browser plugin for the different media types? Comes out of the box? Does it need extra packages to get activate?

Could you please complete the list?

Thanks again (I do really mean it! A lot of times forum question stay “ignored” and it is always a pleasure to see truly active forums)

I always install k3b from Packman, but in truth, it depends on the scope of one’s question.

In my answer, I interpreted the scope of what you were looking for to play basic multi-media (including the more common proprietary codecs). I did NOT include the scope to burn CD/DVDs. Nor did I include the scope to include every multimedia package possible.

What is important to one person, is less important to someone else. This is very subjective.

The important things are what I noted re:
a. setup your repositories, and
b. use the Packman search engine.

That would answer your k3b, lame, quicktime etc … questions. Perhaps libdvdcss2 is the only item that is not covered any more by Packman, and there are very good reasons for not mentioning it directly (but it IS mentioned in the links provided).

This again is very subjective. One could write an entire HOW-TO just and this, and never get agreement as one user claims vlc plugin is the best, another mplayplug-in, another gxine pluggin, another claim its not the plugin, but the browser Add-in that matters, … etc …

IMHO that sort of consideration has just as much impact on other OS, and not just Linux. I’ve seen Mac users, and Windows (XP and Vista) users fail to get web sites work for them, because they were not setup to handle the streaming media.

So I don’t see linux as being special here, and IMHO this can be covered in a more advanced section/guide.

Yes, one could setup an advanced multimedia web page, but I see this as beyond the “basic”. And this is true for all OS. (And its the “basic” that I am trying to help users with).

I was hoping you would write a completed wiki on this. :smiley:

Hate to add on to this but I too feel like trying to sort out all this video stuff is like pulling teeth. Currently cannot watch dvds or stream video etc. Have tried various ways to get all up and running with no avail. This is my first attempt at using linux, suse etc and its only been installed for a few days. Guess all this repository, package, tarball, proprietary, xine, wine, vlc, mplayer, real, totem stuff is so confusing. Its not pressing but does seem daunting, cant take it captain. Thanks for all the support. :eek:

There is an easier way
See this post
OpenSuSE 11.0 Some Packages+Dependencies June 2008 - openSUSE Forums