Ubuntu strives to make all of the most important software available to its users automatically. However patent and copyright restrictions (see Ubuntu License Policy) complicate distribution of software to support non-free formats.
However, you can install the ability to play popular non-free media formats, including DVD, MP3, Quicktime, and Windows Media formats, by following the instructions below.
Ubuntu’s commitment to only include completely free software by default means that proprietary media formats are not configured “out of the box”. See Ubuntu’s Free Software Philosophy and the Free Formats page for a more comprehensive discussion of these issues.
Legal Notice Patent and copyright laws operate differently depending on which country you are in. Please obtain legal advice if you are unsure whether a particular patent or restriction applies to a media format you wish to use in your country.
Playing Restricted Formats
If you are using regular, stock Ubuntu: Click here to install the ubuntu-restricted-extras package
If you are using Kubuntu: kubuntu-restricted-extras
If you are using Xubuntu: xubuntu-restricted-extras
If you are using Lubuntu: lubuntu-restricted-extras
If you find the above link for your system does not work, please use the Manual Install section.
If you are using regular, stock Ubuntu:
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras
If you are using Kubuntu:
sudo apt-get install kubuntu-restricted-extras
If you are using Xubuntu:
sudo apt-get install xubuntu-restricted-extras
If you are using Lubuntu:
sudo apt-get install lubuntu-restricted-extras
In addition, in order to play DVDs, you need to install libdvdcss by entering the following in a terminal:
Detailed Instructions and Troubleshooting
The free formats page
Ubuntu’s Free Software Philosophy
GNU Gnash, a GNU flash player (alpha)
Ubuntu Customization Guide resembles Easy Ubuntu and Ubuntu Guide. But it has another focus as it tries to teach and link to existing documentation.