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Old 11-23-2010, 01:34 AM   #1
siva balan
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dont we need to install device drivers in linux?

what drivers must be in our system to play audio files?
i am a newbie.i am using fedora 12.
in windows, i installed device drivers?but when i install fedora12, automatically it detects all i think.
after the "yum update" command , audio,video everything is working it is possible?
please,anyone could shed some light on this?
thanks in advance.
Old 11-23-2010, 01:44 AM   #2
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A lot of drivers are already part of the kernel.
Old 11-23-2010, 02:23 AM   #3
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Fedora tends to be very "clean" open-source wise, e. g. a vanilla Fedora is often incapable of playing / opening any proprietary formats like .flv or .mp3 - it tends to be very strictly open-source only.

Fedora tends to want to "shift the blame" if non-open source codecs are to be read / used to the user himself. Apparently there might be some pending legal restrictions the Fedora group is weary of when people write their own code to use proprietary multimedia formats.

E. g. probably if you do a yum update, the update manager automatically downloads all the packages and files needed to play / open the formats you refer to. Since YOU did this (by typing "yum update") philosophically YOU are now accepting responsibility for what is on that system, and so yum probably provided lots of libraries and applications that will open some formats that are not natively available in a vanilla Fedora.

I've often been vilified because I completely refuse to EVER "yum update". Instead, I like to download, configure, compile, and install all my programs and libraries needed and used for audiovisual stuff myself for my Fedora deployments. I've heard too many stories of people's systems being buggered after a "yum update" and I like to have control over PRECISELY what gets onto my system and what is changed / altered.
Old 11-23-2010, 10:34 AM   #4
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I think you might be confusing drivers and codecs.

Codecs are what is needed to decode audio/video files. Drivers are what are needed to utilise hardware.

Nylex has given you an answer about drivers. Rylan76 has given you an answer about codecs (though I'm not sure it's really an answer as it doesn't seem to actually address your question.)

As Nylex said, there are a lot of drivers in the kernel. If there is Linux hardware driver for a piece of hardware it is usually included in the kernel. Hence you do not need to install extra drivers before your hardware is usable (though sometimes configuration tweaks are required). In fact there are so many drivers in the kernel that is very rare to need to install drivers yourself.

One commonly encountered case where it is often desirable (except if you have views such as rylan76 appears to hold) to install a driver not in the kernel is when using an Nvidia graphics card. Nvidia produce a proprietary (hence cannot be built in the kernel) driver use of which is required to get (decent) 3D hardware acceleration performance. However some distros will automatically detect if you have an Nvidia card and install that driver for you.
Old 11-23-2010, 11:27 AM   #5
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To play...

Kernel modules in your Fedora installation, the linux equivalent of Windows drivers, allow the devices in your system to function. There is sound, there is a screen with moving images, there may be flash video with the right browser plug-in, not in the kernel, but an addition to browser functionality.

To play audio and video files, stream media and the like, you need something like VLC or MPlayer. The packages that compose these players include codecs that allow the playing of "restricted formats", for example DVD films that otherwise would not play. The Ubuntu site gives a fair explanation.

Last edited by thorkelljarl; 11-23-2010 at 11:43 AM.


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