Could a moderator please make this a sticky? I think it would be very helpful to a lot of Mandrake/Mandriva users. I figured I would put it here since people tend to ask this question here quite a bit, but if it is more appropriate then could you move it to the Mandrake distribution board and make it a sticky there?
One problem that I have seen a "ton" of people have with Linux is getting their Windows media files to play, or getting DVDs to play past the first scene. Most of the time the answers posted involve compiling the source code for mplayer which can be a little confusing for people who are new to Linux. Thanks to the command line implementation of Mandriva Linux's package management system known as "urpmi" you can solve your problems in a few easy steps without having to compile anything. Just follow these steps and you will be playing your DVDs and Windows media movies in no time. Keep in mind that you do not have to use mplayer, all of these codecs also work for Kaffeine if you prefer to use it. For a few special instructions pertaining to Xine player please skip to the bottom of this article.
1) To perform these operations you need to open the command line (don't be scared it doesn't bite) and type "su". You will be prompted for the root password that you set when you installed Linux, assuming you set one. This gives you root permissions needed to perform the steps that follow.
2) Go to this website and select your version of Mandrake/Mandriva Linux and follow the instructions to install every package listed.
Here is the website
3) If you want to use mplayer finish this step, if not skip to step 4. Run
This is the graphical user interface for mplayer. It should ask your permission to install some additional needed packages. Just agree to them, by jumping ahead to installing the gui you skip having to run individual commands to install the key program files for mplayer because it does it automatically.
4) This plugin works regardless of whether you install the mplayer gui or not. If you want to use Kaffeine or another movie player instead of mplayer then I still recommend you install the Mozilla Firefox plugin for mplayer. It allows you to view/listen to embedded media files. To do this run
This also will ask your permission to install additional packages, agree. It will install the core mplayer program files and the firefox plugin, but will not install the gui so it will not be added to your applications menu.
This installs the win32 codecs needed to play Windows media files (.wma and .wmv files), .avi files, .mov files, etc.
A lot of the time people cannot get DVDs to play past the first scene. This command installs the DVD playback package that allows you to properly watch DVD movies, assuming you have a DVD drive.
This installs the Real media codecs required to play, well, REAL media. Usually they are installed to /usr/lib/real.
I personally use Xine player, I like its interface better than that of mplayer. If you would like to use Xine then you need to follow these steps.
This installs the graphical user interface for Xine along with the core program files. It will ask your permission to install the required packages, agree.
This is the same thing as win32-codecs, but a special package that Xine player needs. All of the other packages previously mentioned are universally compatable with Kaffeine, MPlayer and Xine.
I hope this helps answer this question. I have seen it arise quite often and decided it was time for an "answer all questions" sticky on the topic.