Video playback problem

I have Opensuse 11 with Gnome on Intel 945 graphics on a laptop. Since 2 days, I am having problems with playing video. Until then it was fine. The video playback is fine when the window is small, but when made full-screen they are slow and jerky. I have tried Mplayer, Totem and VLC. Same thing in all of them. I saw that Xorg might be the problem and so I downgraded the Xorg core package to the previous version. Even then there is no change.

Could somebody tell me what might be wrong. Thank you.

PS: I am quite new to Linux started using only after the release of openSUSE 11. So, if you want any terminal outputs or anything, could you please specify what command I need to type? Thanks again.

An update. In VLC when I changed the output from “X11” to “OpenGL”, video improved, but still it was not completely normal.

Any thoughts or suggestions??

What did you do for the video to stop? Was it an update? If you type “rpm -qa --last > rpmupdates.txt” and then open the file “rpmupdates.txt” with a text editor, you can check out and see if an rpm update corresponds to the exact time you lost your video play back.

You also make no reference to the file you are playing. What hardware codec’s did you try? Thats important ! One way to get limited info on a video file (for this example called “video.avi”) is to type in an xterm:
file video.avi

Reference your problem, I don’t use Gnome, I don’t like Gnome, and hence if the problem is Gnome specific, I can’t help. You could try changing the video output module in your players from “auto”, to x11, or to xvid or to xshm. I think xvid has the best performance, but it is not compatible with “special desktop effects” being enabled. Maybe try disabling such effects if they are enabled.

To be of more help, it makes a BIG difference if you can list what vesions of these apps you are using, and whether you obtained them from videolan or packman.

Apologies that I didn’t reply earlier, but I was hoping a Gnome user would reply, where such a user could guess better at the “unknowns” than I can guess.

Hello Oldcpu, I have automatic updates turned ON and so I think it checks for updates everyday and installs them - especially system updates. So I should have the latest in all applications and the latest kernel and the latest X11. I downgraded the X11 upgrade, but it did not solve the problem.

Mplayer - (x86_64) (packman)
Totem-xine - 2.22.2-10.2 (x86_64) (openSUSE community)
VLC - (x86_64) (packman)

I am trying to play an .avi file. Trying the OpenGL, in VLC, the video was slightly better, but not normal. When I changed it to “Simple DirectMedia Layer video Output”, the video was far more better, almost normal. When I changed it to “Xvideo”, “General Graphics Interface video output” and “Matrox Graphic Array video output” - it was bad.

I was using X11 until the xorg update a couple of days ago and it was fine. But after the update X11 doesnt work. So now the best is “Simple DirectMedia Layer video Output”. It is not perfect, but it is watchable.

Thank you for your help.


When I switched OFF the “Desktop Effects”, the movies played normally with “X11” selected as the Output module in VLC. But I still feel that the “Simple DirectMedia Layer video output” was the best.

But I couldnt understand why it was working perfectly before after the update it got messed up.

Anyway, thanks for the help.


I think I know the reason. And the reason is in this post of yours:

My view is having “automatic updates” turned ON is a BAD idea. It can mean that your pacman multimedia can be over-written by a crippled Novell-SuSE app of the same name, but newer version. Crippled is crippled no matter how new the version. Each to their own, but I would never go for automatic updates.

Thank you Oldcpu. I think this is the disadvantage of coming from Windows where you leave the automatic updates turned ON all the time. But how will we know from where to install the update? Is there a general list or something regarding which software needs to be installed from which repo? Coz it is making me crazy with all these repos.

Thanks for your help.

I think it fair to say that everyone develops their own view as to what the best repos setup should be. That’s part of the beauty of Linux, in that it allows such flexibility. But as you note, for new users from Windows, it can be puzzling.

My recommendation to new openSUSE users is to ONLY install 4 repos: OSS, NON-OSS, Update, and Packman, where:

OSS = Open Source Software that comes with openSUSE;

NON-OSS = Non-Open Source Software that one can get with openSUSE;

Update = various updates provided by Novell/SuSE-GmbH

Packman = many applications (especially multimedia & games) packaged by Packman packagers for openSUSE

There is guidance here on how to do that:
Repositories - openSUSE-Community

There are many other repos, but my recommendation is to add them ONLY if and when they are needed for a specific application, and then immediately remove them after the specific application is installed. When you get proficient with an xterm/konsole (via Linux commands), this can be done in less than 10 seconds (as opposed to a few minutes, when having to start/stop the YaST Software Management GUI). And when you understand better what the trade-off’s are in adding additional repos, then you can also add more.

Note the Packman site has a great search function (look at the various “tabs” on the main packman page): PackMan :: home

There is also webpin, where one can search for applications already compiled as binaries and packaged as rpms. Webpin - openSUSE application search engine The webpin site lists the package, its version, the URL of the repos where it can be located, and a one-click install. I don’t use the one click install myself, … instead I briefly add the repos via zypper or smart package managers, install the app, and remove the repos. It keeps my package manager lean, mean, and fast.

One can also search sites like softpedia for software ideas Latest Linux Downloads - Softpedia , … but don’t install from there. Instead search for the appliction with a site like webpin.

Your post suggested you arrived here from windows. It might be useful for you to look at the following URL with some rather basic openSUSE Linux concepts:
Concepts - openSUSE

and also look at this “Linux is not Windows” page: Linux is NOT Windows

Than you so very much for the detailed info. I have aomething like 13 repos enabled. Do I need to disable all the others? Other than the 4 you mentioned?

I think I answered that. I recommend only 4: OSS, NON-OSS, Update and Packman.

… specifically per this:

There is no harm in removing (or disabling) the remaining 9 of the 13. You can always add them back if and when required.

Thank you. I disabled most of them. With the release of KDE4.1, I wanted to try that by installing alongside Gnome. But I have heard that there are some dependency issues due to which there seems to be some problems.

Being a power user in Windows, I usually liked to try out things. I was wondering, what would be the best way to try out if KDE4.1 works fine on my system? Would you suggest that I install it and see it? Or do you think I should try it out with a liveCD first? Or should I wait for openSUSE 11.1??

I know that we need to add the KDE4.1 factory repos. How do I need to add them? In Yast, software repos ->add -> then do I add them as http links? In future will I start getting all unstable upgrades of KDE4.1 then?

Here is the original post: KDE 4.1 - openSUSE Forums

Thank you for your help.

My plan is to:
a. stay with openSUSE-10.3 (KDE-3.5.7) and openSUSE-11.0 (KDE-3.5.9) for the near future, and
b. play with KDE-4.1 on the live CDs that have been released, and
c. install KDE-4.1 when 11.1 comes out

I’m very grateful to the openSUSE community (and the KDE community) for making these KDE-4.x Live CDs available.

The openSUSE site that talks about what is happening in the KDE4 side of things is here:

The point that I picked up on is KDE-4.1 has now been released, and have put out a Live CD of KDE-4.1 (on openSUSE-11.0) here:
“KDE Four Live” CD](

I downloaded it via bittorent last night and played with it for a couple of hours. Its very different from KDE-3 and I made some horrible mistakes (deleting things I should not, messing up the desktop beyond my ability to repair) and I rebooted a few times (to completely wipe my settings). But by about the 3rd reboot, I was at the stage where I could start custom configuring the desktop without committing hari-kari out of frustration. :rolleyes:

The font presentation is different from KDE-3, and I still did not get to the stage of familiarity that I could get its fonts up to KDE-3.5.7/3.5.9 levels, but thats likely my lack of familiarity. I only played for 90-minutes. During those 90-minutes (including 3-reboots, and having to start over) I had wired internet, was able to get audio running, mount my various drives (via manual mount commands) and play an assortment of avi, mpeg, mp3 and other files, formats and various codecs. Plus play with various multimedia apps.

… My test PC only has 1GByte of RAM, where on a Live CD, part of this RAM is where downloaded applications are stored, so I had to be very judicious in what I installed as my RAM free space was disappearing fast.

My recommendation is if you have a wired LAN, is to download and play with the KDE Live CD (NOT the Novell/SuSE-GmbH live CD), until you are happy with KDE-4.1.x. My view (as a very conservative user) is only when you get to the stage where you think KDE-4.1.x will match what you can now do with KDE-3.5.x (or with Gnome) should a user switch to 4.1.x. … But that’s my conservative view. I don’t have the patience for OS/Software/applications that are not polished/ready. I like to spend my time elsewhere. … But thats me. I note many other’s like to tinker with state of the art desktops/OS/applications.

The beauty of Linux, is there is so much choice.

My recommendation is if you have a wired LAN, is to download and play with the KDE Live CD (NOT the Novell/SuSE-GmbH live CD), until you are happy with KDE-4.1.x. My view (as a very conservative user) is only when you get to the stage where you think KDE-4.1.x will match what you can now do with KDE-3.5.x (or with Gnome) should a user switch to 4.1.x.

I think you are right. Unless I am convinced that 4.1 works without issues and doesnt mess up the system, I think I will stick with Gnome.

So for all those novice enthusiasts, especially on a 64bit system, I think it is best to wait until it is (possibly) added to the main repo and have all the functionalities of 3.5.9. Until then try out the LiveCD to get the feel of it without wrecking your system.

Thanks again oldcpu for the detailed explanation.