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Old 11-12-2004, 04:41 PM   #1
Registered: Oct 2004
Posts: 113

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Stay with Ubuntu or switch to Debia?

Okay, I got pissed with the "other" OS last month and figured I'd jump right into Linux with no safty belt. I was running Knoppix Live for about 2 weeks while I learned a little and decided on Ubuntu, so I installed that and have been running it for roughly 2 weeks. I'm a total newbie and I like it so far but. I need apt-get as I don't know how to install anything any other way and there isn't much there for me.

The reason I'm thinking of switching is because I have no multimedia at all! Can't play MPEGs, MP3s or ANYTHING else and that just isn't good. I've been trying to force myself to do everything with Linux and don't wanna have to run two computers but this is really starting to suck!

Totem gives me an error ever time, and the other thing I have XMMS or whatever opens nothing.

So, will switching to Debian give me a better selection of multi media tools or should I stick it out with Ubuntu for awhile? It's looks like a very promising distro and I like it very much with the few exceptions I've noted.

Thanks a lot,
Old 11-12-2004, 04:43 PM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Sep 2004
Location: Savannah, GA
Distribution: Ubuntu, Gentoo, Mythbuntu, ClarkConnect
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my suggestion on distro with best GUI suite: RedHat/FC (

[edit] (below) hear hear, J.W. ... my setiments exactly [/edit]

Last edited by secesh; 11-12-2004 at 05:46 PM.
Old 11-12-2004, 05:40 PM   #3
LQ Veteran
Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Boise, ID
Distribution: Mint
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My advice would be to try both, then decide which you like best. Everybody has their own opinion as to which distro rocks the most, but in the end it's a totally subjective call. Good luck with it, whichever you choose -- J.W.
Old 11-12-2004, 07:27 PM   #4
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Sydney, Australia
Distribution: Ultima, Blag, KateOS, PCLinuxOS, Frugalware
Posts: 216

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My advice would be to stick with Ubuntu, and learn how to use it because it's good fun And also because it is a good, clean distro that can serve you very well once you learn a bit about it.
As for mulitmedia it's true - out of the box, it kind of sucks.. But have a bit of a search through forums and mail archives and you'll find how to add support for mp3s, and video. Forget about totem, it is buggy and unuseable as far as I'm concerned. But I added xmms for sound, and mplayer for video and I'm all set! There is a great set of instructions floating somewhere on the wiki, I think, that tells you step by step how to install development environment and then compile mplayer from source.

PS. Neither Fedora or Debian will give you support for proprietary media formats out of the box, anyway. You'll have to go through some extra steps in any case, so you might as well stick with the system you've already got.

Last edited by ferrix; 11-12-2004 at 07:33 PM.
Old 11-12-2004, 09:20 PM   #5
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Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Egypt
Distribution: Arch
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here is the link for ubuntu multimedia
Old 11-13-2004, 01:16 AM   #6
Registered: Oct 2004
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Yeah I saw and tried that but got all hung up at about the $ sudo apt-get install libgtk1.2-dev part plus none of those wget's worked. Nothing good came of that or maybe I just didn't know how to do it despite it being laid out so well.
Old 11-13-2004, 01:51 AM   #7
Registered: Oct 2004
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Okay I did it and got all the way to:

Now install the fonts and skin.

$ cd
$ tar -xjf font-arial-iso-8859-1.tar.bz2
$ sudo cp font-arial-iso-8859-1/font-arial-14-iso-8859-1/* /usr/local/share/mplayer/font/
$ tar -xjf Blue-1.4.tar.bz2
$ sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/share/mplayer/Skin/default
$ sudo cp -r Blue/* /usr/local/share/mplayer/Skin/default/

Finally, copy over the included conf files.

$ sudo cp MPlayer-1.0pre5/etc/* /usr/local/etc/mplayer/

Test your install by launching the graphical version of MPlayer.

$ gmplayer

When I type in: $ tar -xjf font-arial-iso-8859-1.tar.bz2

I get command not found?

So I have no clue, I did all of this as root user but I'm still stuck and not done.

Old 11-13-2004, 01:52 AM   #8
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Sydney, Australia
Distribution: Ultima, Blag, KateOS, PCLinuxOS, Frugalware
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Did you add Universe to your sources.lst first (and run apt-get update)? You need Universe for some of the more obscure packages.
Old 11-13-2004, 02:00 AM   #9
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Sydney, Australia
Distribution: Ultima, Blag, KateOS, PCLinuxOS, Frugalware
Posts: 216

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OK so if you got to that point where you're installing fonts and skins you've already untarred and compiled mplayer - which means your tar command is definitely there! It must be some obscure typo or something...
Old 11-13-2004, 02:49 AM   #10
Registered: Oct 2004
Posts: 113

Original Poster
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Okay I GOT IT!!!! Now all I really need to know is this?

How the heck to I remove Totem? I assume something like apt-unistall totem but I'm not sure, I want that gone.

Second, how do I make MPlayer my default player? Or get an icon under Applications Multimedia?

I'm trecking right along and very happy now. If I could just use MPlayer to open mpegs I click on the links of?

Thanks so much for all this help!

Old 11-13-2004, 08:28 PM   #11
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Sydney, Australia
Distribution: Ultima, Blag, KateOS, PCLinuxOS, Frugalware
Posts: 216

Rep: Reputation: 31
Uh, I can't use my Ubuntu system at the moment, so I'm going to be a bit vague... but I would recommend against trying to remove totem. It isn't very large - just let it be! In any case, apt-get -s is your friend! That option '-s' stands for 'simulate' - it will show you what actions apt-get would perform, but will not actually perform them. So it is very useful before installing, and especially before removing software - sometimes if you pick a wrong package to remove, it could take half of your system with it! So don't just remove things without checking.
As for getting mplayer into the menus, I think it just appeared by itself; I don't remember doing anything. Maybe needed to log out and back in, that's all. As for making it a default, look at Gnome desktop preferences - there should be something there. Or else, try right-clicking on the icon for your movie, and see if you can set some sort of 'always open with...' option. Sorry, as I said I can't get to that system right now...
Old 11-14-2004, 01:45 AM   #12
LQ Guru
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: N. E. England
Distribution: Fedora, CentOS, Debian
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I suggest that you stick with Ubuntu. As for totem, it's buggy, but if you get the latest cvs version of xine-lib from xine (I don't know if they have debian packages coz I use rpms or compile from source) it seems to work a lot better.
Old 11-14-2004, 07:37 PM   #13
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Lacey, WA
Distribution: SUSE 9.2
Posts: 102

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Anything but ubuntu, I have used it and its worse than windoze, half th programs crash and return an error of 1. (this is the warty release)

installing nvidia drivers didnt work either, it would say something about a kernel thing needed.
Old 01-07-2005, 01:38 PM   #14
LQ Newbie
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Nottingham, England
Distribution: Slack 10 / gentoo / Ubuntu Warty
Posts: 13

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I've just started using Ubuntu and I've found it to be the easiest to install distribution of any I've tried, so Ubuntu is probably a good one to stick with while you're learning. I found a good guide here:

It takes you through all the important steps

The only problem I have with it at the moment is with my nVidia driver, but I've always had problems getting that installed and working properly. Using apt-get is a real bonus, but you do have to rely on the repositories being up to date.

Good luck with the penguin
Old 01-07-2005, 07:27 PM   #15
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Registered: Mar 2004
Location: far enough
Distribution: OS X 10.6.7
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stick with unbuntu. With other distros
* it will be the same
* or maybe somehow more things are gonna get
* "autoconfigured" , maybe not...

I never tried unbuntu but if it is debian based, anything you do on it can be done in debian i think. you can have access to the same software or keep it unbuntu(/etc/apt/sources.list).

if unbuntu is working good enough keep it. When for example, the nvidia driver isn't preinstalled, that doesn't mean it is not working, you have to compile the nvidia modules.


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