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Note: These instructions no longer work since the Medibuntu repositories are long-since discontinued. Even Real's own website just describes other media players in Linux.

Parent: Applications


RealPlayer is a media player originally developed by RealNetworks in 1995. It supports a number of audio and video codecs such as realaudio, realvideo, mp3, ogg vorbis and theora, h263, and AAC. RealPlayer for Linux is based on the open-source Helix Player. The RPM packages can be found at the Helix Community Website.

Please Note: RealPlayer is proprietary software, is not supported by the Ubuntu community, and is not available from the official Ubuntu repositories. It is located in the non-free section of third-party repositories which the user must specifically enable.




Installing RealPlayer11

RealPlayer installation method depending by version of Ubuntu that you use.

Installing on Ubuntu 10.10 & Later

RealPlayer is no longer officially supported by Real. Archived copies are available via the Helix Community. Only the 32-bit version is listed on the site and is an RPM package.

The RealPlayer11GOLD.deb file may be available as an archive on 3rd party websites. The version available in Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid is still contained in the Medibuntu repositories and can be downloaded from this site

Installing on Ubuntu 10.04

32 bit

RealPlayer is available through the Medibuntu non-free repository for Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid) and earlier.

  • See instruction for adding Medibuntu repository.

  • Install realplayer packages in any method.

64 bit

The realplayer version in the Medibuntu repositories is 64-bit compatible. Several 32-bit libraries will be installed as dependencies.

Running RealPlayer

RealPlayer can be started via Applications > Sound & Video > RealPlayer11 or via the Terminal by typing:




Start file with RealPlayer

External Protocol Handling: As a standalone player, the default Ubuntu settings may start Totem when a RealPlayer file is selected (.ra, .rm, .rv, .ram, .smil, etc.). If these files are not opened with RealPlayer, the application may start and then crash or close.

To change the default to RealPlayer:

  • Right click on the file.
  • Select Properties > Open With and then RealPlayer.

  • If it is not a choice, select Open with Other Application and select it.

If not listed, expand Use custom command and the Browse button to point it to the RealPlayer run file. By default, this is /usr/bin/realplayer. If not installed from the Medibuntu repositories, the location may be /opt/real/RealPlayer.

Firefox Plugin

The RealPlayer Firefox plugin will be created with the instruction above. The plugin files are nphelix.so and nphelix.xpt.

If you want set Firefox to play RealAudio/Video Files:

  • Open Firefox
  • Click Edit > Preferences

  • Go to Applications label
  • Scroll to RA files or RealAudio Document.

  • In the Action column, click the enabled action (such as Always ask).

  • Select Use realplay or Use other and browse to the realplay run file.

If Firefox will not open RealAudio/Video files:

  • Check the RealPlayer plugin installation and location.

  • Restart Firefox.
  • From the Firefox menu, select Edit > Preferences: Plugins. You should see the RealPlayer plugin named as as Helix DNA Plugin: RealPlayer G2 Plug-In Compatible

  • It the plugin isn't listed, investigate further by accomplishing the following:
    • Set Firefox to display the full plugin path when the about:plugins feature is used:

    • Type about:config in the Firefox address bar and acknowledge the warning.

    • Type plugin in the Filter field.

    • Find plugin.expose_full_path. Double click to change the value to true.

  • Type about:plugins in the Firefox address bar.

    • Find the RealPlayer plugin.

    • Ensure the plugin references nphelix.so. If it points to a totem file, note the location and remove or rename that file.

Make Firefox use RealPlayer for rtsp streams embedded in web page links:

  • Close Firefox and open the gconf editor from the Applications menu:

    gconf-editor /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/rtsp 
  • Check the value for "command" - it will probably read totem "%s". Change the entry to read realplay "%s" and then close gconf editor.

  • Note: Firefox will only evaluate the mime types that the plugin supports either when such plugin is updated or when $HOME/.mozilla/firefox/pluginreg.dat is missing. To update the mime-types:

    sudo touch /usr/lib/firefox/plugins/mplayerplug-in.so  # If this file exists.
    # or
    rm $HOME/.mozilla/firefox/pluginreg.dat  # If this file exists.


Removing .deb installs

Uninstall realplayer packages in any methods.

Removing .bin installs

  • Run the following command:

    sudo /opt/real/RealPlayer/postinst/postuninst.sh
  • Once this script has been run it is safe to remove the /opt/real folder and subfolders.

  • If the package was installed in another folder, run the postuninst.sh script from that folder.


RealPlayer won't start

  • If RealPlayer won't start, make sure that a symbolic link of the realplay start-up script is in your system path.

  • To check, run this command in Terminal:

    which realplay
    # The command should return:
  • If it is not, the user will need to enter the full path to realplayer when the command is run or entered into scripts. If the RealPlayer startup script (realplay) is not located in /usr/bin or /usr/local/bin, create a symbolic link so the startup script will be located by the system.

  • The following example is for a RealPlayer installation into the /opt/real/Realplayer folder. If RealPlayer was installed in another folder, change /opt/real/RealPlayer to reflect the actual location:

    sudo ln -s /opt/real/RealPlayer/realplay /usr/local/bin

MPlayer plugin conflicts (if installed)

  • To prevent the MPlayer plugin from playing RealAudio/Video files, edit the plugin configuration file ~/.mplayer/mplayerplug-in.conf and change or add the following three lines:




See also

RealPlayerInstallationMethods (last edited 2017-09-26 20:45:50 by ckimes)