Sunday, April 12, 2009

HowTo: Install the very latest MPlayer under Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope

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. Preparing your system to use the Medibuntu Repository
  2. Compiling the latest x264 libraries
  3. Compiling the latest live555 libraries
  4. Download and install the required dev files

First you need to set your system to use the Medibuntu Repository:


Medibuntu holds the dev files for amr wide and narrow band and you will need to both add Medibuntu to your sources list by issuing the following command:

$ sudo wget \
as well as adding the Medibuntu GPG key:

$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install medibuntu-keyring \
&& sudo apt-get update
You will get a message from apt similar to the following:

WARNING: The following packages cannot be authenticated!
Install these packages without verification [y/N]?
Typing 'y' means that you trust the Medibuntu archive, as I personally do. With this done the next step is to download and compile the latest x264 libraries:


I note that 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
The naming scheme used here mimics the naming scheme of the Ubuntu Repository and thus your new files will not be overwritten whenever you update your system. Return here from time to time to update x264 by using the command 'git up' from the source directory. BTW you may notice that the use of gpac and libgpac-dev means that the commandline x264 encoder can now also generate mp4 output. Hopefully this will be useful to someone?

Next to install the Live555 libraries:


I note that Jaunty ships with quite an old version of the Live555 libraries, in fact the July 25th, 2008 version, but 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 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 \
libamrnb-dev libamrwb-dev libamrnb3 libamrwb3 liboil0.3-dev
If you have an appropriate nvidia card, as well as the relevant drivers installed, consider adding the vdpau dev files as well. The required files can be found by running:

$ apt-cache search nvidia | grep libvdpau
This guide does not deal with vdpau but I note that there are other guides on these forums do. 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 another set of codecs that can be downloaded here. 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 with any problems.

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 --codecsdir=/usr/lib/codecs --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, 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!".

No comments: