Friday, February 16, 2007

Enable Media Codecs & Extras (For Edgy Eft)

Okay, because a reader named "-" (worst nickname EVER!) requested it, here's how to enable restricted formats, Flash, Java and other codecs in Ubuntu for your Dell Inspiron 1501.

There are two schools of thought of enable media codecs in Ubuntu, do it yourself and download a program to do it for you. I use Automatix, it can download media codecs for MP3 and DVD, Flash 9, Java, Microsoft fonts, some essential programs. I personally love it and it never caused me any problems. Others hate it because it uses it own repos and makes updating from one release to the next is a real pain. But I would never update an install, I prefer a clean install.

So if you want to do it yourself you should use this Guide on Restricted Formats

But if you want to do it the easy way and get everything done at once, use Automatix. It's not as bad as the detractors say. Here is how to do it: (works for both 32 and 64 bit versions)

Add Automatix to your source list:

echo "deb edgy main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list

Get Key:

Import Key:
gpg --import key.gpg.asc

Add Key:
gpg --export --armor 521A9C7C | sudo apt-key add -

Update Your System:
sudo apt-get update

Install Automatix:
sudo apt-get install automatix2
Then go to Applications-->System Tools--> Automatrix
From there you can download all the restricted goodies you want.

*Note: Azuerus works so much better from Automatrix than from Ubuntu's own repos. Looks KDEish but actually minimizes to tray without needing a complex fix. But do not use ndiswrapper to enable wifi, use my guide.
edited by pHreaksYcle


Bill said...

I haven't tried Automatix. I use EasyUbuntu, which works great with Kubuntu 6.10.

I did it before installing Wifi and ATI drivers. Presumably it can do the ATI drivers too, but I didn't try that.

BTW, thanks for setting this blog up. I just got my 1501 yesterday, and thanks to you, I'm up and running with everything working right now!

redDEAD said...

EasyUbuntu works just like Automatix and is a pleasure to use. But mediubuntu, its repo server, does go down quite a lot and I couldn't recommend it.

If it works for you, cheers. I used it when I fist switched to Ubuntu and when it was up it never let me down or killed my install.

What I will warn against is it's install of the proprietary ATI driver. Do it yourself, that way you know its right and it will update automatically. Lazy people get broken systems.

Besides that rock on bill, thanks for reminding me about EasyUbuntu.

Paul said...


Thanks for another great tip. One correction:
echo "deb edgy main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.lis

is missing the 't' at the end. It should be:
echo "deb edgy main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list

Thanks again.

redDEAD said...

Fixed it Paul, thanks for your help. My proof reading skills are subpar.

diegoeche said...


Your guide has been very helpful... I also own a 1501 but ubuntu get freezed sometimes... does this happen to you?

redDEAD said...

nope stable like a rock.

Sungjin Choi's BLOG said...

hi, i was reading your "upgrade ram yourself" article and i was wondering where i could buy a static bracelet. thank you.

sung choi

redDEAD said...

Any computer store, tons of websites, I usually use