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Thread: HowTo: Install the very latest MPlayer under Jaunty Jackalope

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    Dec 2006

    HowTo: Install the very latest MPlayer under Jaunty Jackalope


    This guide demonstrates how to successfully compile the subversion MPlayer under Jaunty Jackalope. It is intended for use by advanced users only. If this advanced guide is really not what you are after perhaps you could try the very popular: Comprehensive Multimedia & Video Howto where Nathan will look after you.

    Some Preparation

    A degree of preparation is involved before actually compiling MPlayer. Steps involved are:

    1. Compiling the latest x264 libraries
    2. Compiling the latest live555 libraries
    3. Compiling the latest libopencore-amr libraries
    4. Download and install the required dev files

    First step is to download and compile the latest x264 libraries:


    Note that x264 is required so MEncoder can encode/transcode to the h264 format, MPlayer playback does not actually require these files. The x264 package included with Jaunty is a little newer than previous offerings, in fact a snapshot from December 30th, 2008, but it is still a good idea to download and compile your own. I would also strongly advise that all older versions of x264 are removed from your system before installing the newer version. Some software tools are required first:

    $ sudo apt-get install build-essential checkinstall gpac libgpac-dev git-core yasm
    On a fresh system, which is how I test this guide, this is a download of about 23 megs. The next few steps download the x264 libraries from git and then compile, package and install them:

    $ cd $HOME
    $ git clone git://
    $ cd x264
    $ ./configure --prefix=/usr --enable-shared
    $ make
    $ sudo checkinstall --fstrans=no --install=yes --pakdir "$HOME/Desktop" \
    --maintainer "$USER" --pkgname=x264 --pkgversion "1:0.svn`date +%Y%m%d`-0.0ubuntu1" \
    --backup=no --deldoc=yes --deldesc=yes --delspec=yes --gzman --default
    $ make distclean
    Return here from time to time to update x264 by using the command 'git up' from the source directory. Next to install the Live555 libraries:


    Jaunty ships with quite an old version of the Live555 libraries which are required for some streaming broadcasts. The Ubuntu version in fact dates from July 25th, 2008, so we will install a much newer version:

    $ cd $HOME
    $ wget
    $ tar xvf live555-latest.tar.gz
    $ cd live
    $ ./genMakefiles linux
    $ make
    $ sudo cp -r $HOME/live /usr/lib
    Live555 is updated quite frequently so it may pay to return here from time to time to update. Simply repeat the process after removing the previous libraries at /usr/lib/live. Next to compile the latest libopencore-amr libraries:


    The svn MPlayer has switched to Open Source amr libraries and I note that for Jaunty there is no Medibuntu package. No problems we will roll our own:

    $ cd $HOME
    $ wget
    $ tar xvf opencore-amr-0.1.2.tar.gz
    $  cd opencore-amr-0.1.2/
    $ ./configure --prefix=/usr
    $ make
    $ sudo checkinstall --fstrans=no --install=yes --pakdir "$HOME/Desktop" \
    --maintainer "$USER" --pkgname="libopencore-amr" --pkgversion="0.1.2"  \
    --backup=no --deldoc=yes --deldesc=yes --delspec=yes --gzman --default
    $ make distclean
    Next to install the required dev files:

    The dev files

    Ubuntu is not a particularly rich compiling environment so to give MPlayer extra functionality we need to install a truckload of dev files and in fact you will be downloading about 30 megs of files on a fresh system. Load these into a terminal and then make yourself a cup of tea while they are downloading and installing:

    $ sudo apt-get install debhelper em8300-headers gawk gettext html2text \
    intltool-debian ladspa-sdk libaa1-dev libasound2-dev libatk1.0-dev libaudio-dev \
    libaudio2 libaudiofile-dev libavahi-client-dev libavahi-common-dev libcaca-dev \
    libcairo2-dev libcdparanoia-dev libcelt0 libdbus-1-dev libdbus-glib-1-dev libdirectfb-dev \
    libdirectfb-extra libdts-dev libdv4-dev libenca-dev libenca0 libesd0-dev libexpat1-dev \
    libfaac-dev libfaac0 libffado0 libfontconfig1-dev libfreebob0 libfreetype6-dev \
    libfribidi-dev libggi-target-x libggi2 libggi2-dev libggimisc2 libggimisc2-dev \
    libgif-dev libgii1 libgii1-dev libgii1-target-x libgl1-mesa-dev libglib2.0-dev \
    libglu1-mesa-dev libgtk2.0-dev libice-dev libjack-dev libjack0 libjpeg62-dev \
    liblzo-dev liblzo1 liblzo2-2 liblzo2-dev libmad0-dev libmail-sendmail-perl \
    libmp3lame-dev libmp3lame0 libmpcdec-dev libmpcdec3 libncurses5-dev libogg-dev \
    libopenal-dev libopenal1 libpango1.0-dev libpixman-1-dev libpng12-dev libpopt-dev \
    libpthread-stubs0 libpthread-stubs0-dev libpulse-dev libpulse-mainloop-glib0 \
    libsdl1.2-dev libslang2-dev libsm-dev libsmbclient-dev libspeex-dev libsvga1 \
    libsvga1-dev libsys-hostname-long-perl libsysfs-dev libtheora-dev libtwolame-dev \
    libtwolame0 libvorbis-dev libx11-dev libxau-dev libschroedinger-dev libstdc++5  \
    libxcb-render-util0-dev libxcb-render0-dev libxcb1-dev libxcomposite-dev \
    libxcursor-dev libxdamage-dev libxdmcp-dev libxext-dev libxfixes-dev libxft-dev \
    libxi-dev libxinerama-dev libxml++2.6-2 libxrandr-dev libxrender-dev libxt-dev \
    libxv-dev libxvidcore4-dev libxvmc-dev libxxf86dga-dev libxxf86vm-dev mesa-common-dev \
    po-debconf sharutils x11proto-composite-dev x11proto-core-dev x11proto-damage-dev \
    x11proto-fixes-dev x11proto-input-dev x11proto-kb-dev x11proto-randr-dev \
    x11proto-render-dev x11proto-video-dev x11proto-xext-dev x11proto-xf86dga-dev \
    x11proto-xf86vidmode-dev x11proto-xinerama-dev xtrans-dev zlib1g-dev \
    liboil0.3-dev libcddb2-dev
    This concludes the preparatory work, now to start installing MPlayer itself:

    Installing MPlayer

    Again the actual installation of MPlayer requires a couple of steps:

    1. Install the codecs
    2. Source a font
    3. Download and compile the svn MPLayer

    First for the codecs:

    Install the codecs

    The following commands downloads a codec pack of about 13 megs suitable for 32bit systems, decompresses it and places it in the appropriate location:

    $ cd $HOME
    $ wget
    $ sudo mkdir -pv /usr/lib/codecs
    $ tar xjvf all-20071007.tar.bz2
    $ sudo cp -v $HOME/all-20071007/* /usr/lib/codecs
    I am not qualified to comment too much on 64bit systems but I believe that these systems require a different quite minimal set of codecs. Unfortunately I know next to nothing about 64bit systems and their requirements but there are some 64bit users following this thread that may be able to help out.

    But now to source a font for MPlayer:

    Source a Font

    Mplayer needs to know the location of a TrueType Font to show movie subtitles. This can be selected from the commandline but more traditionally a symlink is created to the font of your choice:

    $ mkdir -v $HOME/.mplayer
    $ ln -sv /usr/share/fonts/truetype/ttf-bitstream-vera/Vera.ttf ~/.mplayer/subfont.ttf
    Feel free to choose your own font but this will certainly do to start with. Now to download and compile the svn MPlayer:

    Download and compile the svn mplayer

    Finally after all of the preparation it is time to download Mplayer from the subversion repository, compile it and use checkinstall to create a package and install it:

    $ sudo apt-get install subversion
    $ cd $HOME
    $ svn checkout svn:// mplayer
    $ cd $HOME/mplayer
    $ ./configure --confdir=/etc/mplayer
    $ make
    $ sudo checkinstall -D --install=yes --fstrans=no --pakdir "$HOME/Desktop" \
    --pkgname mplayer --backup=no --deldoc=yes --deldesc=yes --delspec=yes --default \
    --pkgversion "3:1.0~svn-`grep "#define VERSION" version.h | cut -d"-" -f2`"
    $ make distclean
    If you wish this installation to register both MPlayer and MEncoder with the Ubuntu package management system consider adding --provides "mplayer,mencoder" to the checkinstall line. Or perhaps you have no interest in MEncoder at all, in which case add --disable-mencoder to your ./configure options. Lots of choices!

    And there you have the cutting edge MPlayer. Return here from time to time to update your copy by using the command 'svn update' and then compiling as before. But this is of course the commandline version only, next to download the best graphical front-end for MPlayer available today:

    Downloading SMPlayer

    The default gui for MPlayer is known as gmplayer and it has been out of development for some time. Although something of a commandline guy I use SMPLayer in place of gmplayer and I would advise that you do the same. To download from the Ubuntu Repositories simply:

    $ sudo apt-get install smplayer
    This will be a download of about 13 megs on a fresh system as there are some QT requirements. The developer of SMPlayer also maintains a Personal Package Archive (PPA) with a newer version of the SMPlayer, details of how to access this can be seen here.

    And in conclusion.....

    And so you have successfully installed the svn MPlayer! You can check the options available for you with the following commands:

    1. mplayer -vo help : Video output available to mplayer
    2. mplayer -ao help : Audio output available to mplayer
    3. mplayer -vc help : Available video codecs
    4. mplayer -ac help : Available audio codecs
    5. mencoder -ovc help : Available video codecs
    6. mencoder-oac help : Available audio codecs

    The commandline player is started with the command 'mplayer' in a Terminal window, the encoder with the command 'mencoder' while the gui SMPlayer should appear on your menu. And remember: "Have fun!".

    Andrew Strong
    September 15th, 2009.
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    Last edited by andrew.46; November 11th, 2009 at 04:14 AM.

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