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Thread: Removing proprietary multimedia codecs: What and How

  1. #1
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    Removing proprietary multimedia codecs: What and How

    Hi, I know this is an odd request, but I would like to know the names and perhaps the locations of all proprietary multimedia codecs. I have tried many different Linux distros, and sometimes want to place them (like the lightweight LXDE desktop) on older PCs to give away. However, i also want to be legal, and most Linux flavors include proprietary multimedia codecs, which i understand in the US requires licenses (and thus Flurendo sells them), so i would like to simply remove the proprietary ones, i could find them.

    I know Linux Mint offers a version that does not have them by default, and it seems Fedora ands OpenSuse does not either, and am not sure about any others, but i would like to be able to use any distro and just remove the proprietary codecs.

    And i also know i understand that this is a issue of debate, but from what i read at least some are illegal, and even W/8 no longer ships with the ability to play DVD's unless you buy the Media Center.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

  2. #2
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    Re: Removing proprietary multimedia codecs: What and How

    There is no proprietary codecs in *buntu unless you install them (*buntu-restricted-extras) Debian, Fedora also don't come with condecs. LXLE does come with codecs (the long term supported version of lubuntu 12.04 but it is made by a third party that is not connected to Canonical or lubuntu)

    I don't know how you actually go about "sometimes want to place them (like the lightweight LXDE desktop) on older PCs to give away" Unless you are some large scale distributor I won't worry about it, it is not like the FBI is going drag you away screaming and kicking just because you give out an old laptop that plays mp3 and dvd out of the box and have vlc preinstalled.

    Edited: I occasionally give out old laptops with lubuntu on it and I make sure that all the good stuffs are installed lest the recipients think that I give them crap and ask someone else to replace the os with (unlicensed) Windows XP
    Last edited by monkeybrain20122; March 1st, 2014 at 11:42 PM.

  3. #3
    ibjsb4 is offline Ubuntu addict and loving it
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    Re: Removing proprietary multimedia codecs: What and How

    None of the Buntu's come with proprietary codecs installed.

    It has to be added with one of the restricted extras package.

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RestrictedFormats

  4. #4
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    Re: Removing proprietary multimedia codecs: What and How

    Quote Originally Posted by monkeybrain20122 View Post
    There is no proprietary codecs in *buntu unless you install them (*buntu-restricted-extras) Debian, Fedora also don't come with condecs. LXLE does come with codecs (the long term supported version of lubuntu 12.04 but it is made by a third party that is not connected to Canonical or lubuntu)

    I don't know how you actually go about "sometimes want to place them (like the lightweight LXDE desktop) on older PCs to give away" Unless you are some large scale distributor I won't worry about it, it is not like the FBI is going drag you away screaming and kicking just because you give out an old laptop that plays mp3 and dvd out of the box and have vlc preinstalled.

    Edited: I occasionally give out old laptops with lubuntu on it and I make sure that all the good stuffs are installed lest the recipients think that I give them crap and ask someone else to replace the os with (unlicensed) Windows XP
    Thanks. But i am looking for a lightweight version that is meant for a system having 512mb or less. I did install Fedora LXDE on one, but it is too basic, besides Yum being unable to work after the first day.

    But i would just like a list of the codecs at issue, but no one seems to know so far. This is the second forum i asked.

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    Re: Removing proprietary multimedia codecs: What and How

    Quote Originally Posted by ibjsb4 View Post
    None of the Buntu's come with proprietary codecs installed.

    It has to be added with one of the restricted extras package.

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RestrictedFormats

    But the lightweight ones like Lubuntu and Peppermint or XFCE or LXDE versions seem to have them.

    Be back tomorrow PM. Thanks
    Last edited by Iowan; March 2nd, 2014 at 12:01 AM. Reason: Merged posts

  6. #6
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    Re: Removing proprietary multimedia codecs: What and How

    Lubuntu doesn't have them unless you install them (LXLE does have them as noted) Debian is very light weight if you choose a light desktop.

    But like I say, big deal. What is the point of installing lubuntu only to have your recipients slapping pirated Windows xp on top since they think Linux is crap because it can't play any media? It is self defeating and for no valid reason IMO.

  7. #7
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    Re: Removing proprietary multimedia codecs: What and How

    Quote Originally Posted by saved2serve View Post
    But i would just like a list of the codecs at issue, but no one seems to know so far. This is the second forum i asked.
    There is a set of codecs that Medibuntu used to package which are perhaps the ones that you mean? These can be placed manually either in /usr/lib/codecs or /usr/local/lib/codecs but these are of diminishing use these days as MPlayer / FFmpeg are increasingly covering most of the bases. The page is here:

    http://www.mplayerhq.hu/MPlayer/releases/codecs/

    Bear in mind the only useful ones are the 32bit ones. If you crack open one of these (perhaps this one) you will get your list...
    You think that's air you're breathing now?

  8. #8
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    Re: Removing proprietary multimedia codecs: What and How

    Quote Originally Posted by monkeybrain20122 View Post
    Lubuntu doesn't have them unless you install them (LXLE does have them as noted) Debian is very light weight if you choose a light desktop.

    But like I say, big deal. What is the point of installing lubuntu only to have your recipients slapping pirated Windows xp on top since they think Linux is crap because it can't play any media? It is self defeating and for no valid reason IMO.
    Thanks. I am installing Lubuntu now. This is for someone who only uses the laptop for email and light surfing, while i also want to use Linux for myself. If they want to add multimedia after then that is up to them. Canonical sells them for that reason.

  9. #9
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    Re: Removing proprietary multimedia codecs: What and How

    Quote Originally Posted by andrew.46 View Post
    There is a set of codecs that Medibuntu used to package which are perhaps the ones that you mean? These can be placed manually either in /usr/lib/codecs or /usr/local/lib/codecs but these are of diminishing use these days as MPlayer / FFmpeg are increasingly covering most of the bases. The page is here:

    http://www.mplayerhq.hu/MPlayer/releases/codecs/

    Bear in mind the only useful ones are the 32bit ones. If you crack open one of these (perhaps this one) you will get your list...
    Thanks, I did unzip it and can see quite a few, but which I assume are both proprietary ones and free ones.

  10. #10
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    Re: Removing proprietary multimedia codecs: What and How

    Quote Originally Posted by saved2serve View Post
    But i would just like a list of the codecs at issue, but no one seems to know so far. This is the second forum i asked.
    That's because you're asking the wrong question... The best way to make sure you're not including proprietary codecs is not to install them in the first place (disablilng multiverse repo would be a step in the that direction). Once you start installing them, the horse is out of the barn.
    Example: You install gstreamer-plugins-ugly, which pulls in mp3 codecs and such. Now, to get rid of that stuff, you can't just remove the gstreamer-ugly package; you also have to track down the dependencies.

    EDIT: I guess someone could give you an exhaustive list, but it would be very tedious/time-consuming. Don't hold your breath.
    Last edited by Temüjin; March 3rd, 2014 at 06:01 PM.
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