Help for a Linux Newbie With Video (Edubuntu - Edgy Edge)

Mike Camden mcamden at
Thu Mar 8 11:59:59 GMT 2007

Thanks.  That helps quite a bit.If I can't get it working following the 
other suggestions, I may just wait until April for the beta test for the 
teachers in whose classrooms I wanted to initially roll it out.

Simon, thanks also for your suggestions.  Still couldn't get quicktime to 
work correctly with the files.  I think I just have tinkered with it too 
much; when I try to play something now, I just get a "no video" message.  I 
wiped the partition on one of the computers and started a fresh install last 
night before I left work.  Given what Uwe said, I think I may just wait 
until April before I do anything else with it though.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Uwe Geercken" <uwe.geercken at>
To: "Mike Camden" <mcamden at>
Cc: <edubuntu-users at>
Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2007 3:32 AM
Subject: Re: Help for a Linux Newbie With Video (Edubuntu - Edgy Edge)

> hi mike,
> let me add one thing to it, that you might not have heard of by now. with 
> the
> next version of ubuntu - which will be out in april - there will be new
> functionality available of how to install support for multimedia formats.
> there was obviously a big discission about it (because it is partly 
> proprietary
> software) but fact is that there will be an easy one-klick way to install 
> e.g.
> codecs and other multimedia features.
> hope that helps.
> rgds,
> uwe
> Zitat von Mike Camden <mcamden at>:
>> Hi,
>> I am testing Edubuntu for use in individual classrooms at our school.  We
>> have some older computers tasked for use in individual classrooms (Cel 
>> and P3
>> 500 - 700 w/ 192 - 256 MB) that I think this would be a perfect solution 
>> for.
>>  I really like the interface and features for classroom use; however, I 
>> am
>> running into a problem that is beyond my very limited knowledge of how 
>> Linux
>> works.  I aim to get smarter about using Linux this summer (the file 
>> system,
>> compiling, etc), but for right now, I just need to get this working 
>> before
>> the end of the week.
>> We use Discovery's United Streaming in our school.  United Streaming 
>> allows
>> for the viewing of its many videos in either Windows Media .asf format or
>> Quicktime format.  I have used United Streaming without issue on Windows
>> machines (using IE, Firefox 2, and Opera).  I have also used it on a
>> student's Mac laptop (not sure of the browser) without issue.
>> Using edubuntu, I cannot get  the videos to play correctly -- either in
>> Quicktime or Windows Media player advanced streaming (.asf) format.  I 
>> have
>> played around with pretty much all of the packages available in 
>> add/remove
>> programs option and the synaptics package manager.
>> I have tried installing the mplayer and its associated Mozilla plug-in to 
>> no
>> avail.
>> If I use the default GStreamer, I can't get any videos to play.  Without
>> using the "ugly" plug-in, I get an error that Totem can't play the 
>> Windows
>> Media 9 files without the proper plug-in.  If I apply the gstreamer 
>> "ugly"
>> codec, the movie will appear to play, and I get audio, but I can't get 
>> video.
>>  Quicktime files also do not work when using gstreamer.
>> If I install Xine (as well as the Xine media codec plug-in), my Firefox
>> defaults to using Totem with Xine.  If I do this some.asf videos will 
>> play,
>> but they have a ton of corruption in the playback.  Some Quicktime videos
>> will also play, but they too have corruption  (negative colors, 
>> embossing, a
>> lot of severe tearing, what appears to be pretty bad compression errors).
>> I have tried this on three separate computers (a Dell Inspiron laptop w/ 
>> a
>> dual core 2.0 GHz CPU and 1 GB of memory, a desktop with a P4 2 and 512MB 
>> of
>> memory, and a P3 700 with 256MB of memory), and I can't make it work on 
>> any
>> of them.
>> This is the first time I've dipped my toe in the Linux waters; it's been 
>> a
>> while since something computer-related has left me feeling this ignorant.
>> I've selected so many different options within the Add/Remove and 
>> Synaptics
>> package managers, that I'm wondering if I've caused some kind of 
>> corruption
>> (although the system prompts me that it will remove conflicting packages 
>> as
>> necessary).  If someone can tell me exactly which packages to install 
>> from
>> the get-go to get the video working, I'd be happy to wipe the partition 
>> that
>> I have edubuntu on and start from scratch to get it working.
>> I'm also having trouble getting the wireless to work and changing the 
>> Grub so
>> it defaults to booting to Windows instead of linux if I don't make a 
>> choice
>> in time (both on the Dell), but the issue of being able to seamlessly 
>> play
>> the videos in the browser are much more pressing.
>> Thanks for any help that folks can provide!
>> Mike
>> Mike Camden
>> Technology Director
>> Mount de Chantal Visitation Academy
>> 304-233-3771
>> mcamden at

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