Category Archives: Multi-Media

Mini How To…. Installing MINIDLNA in Ubuntu

Continue reading Mini How To…. Installing MINIDLNA in Ubuntu


Installing Madsonic 5.1 the FREE Subsonic alternative on NAS4Free

Why Madsonic rather than Subsonic?

Madsonic is a fork of Subsonic the excellent cross platform web based media streamer which is free to use for media streaming but which has some ‘premium features’ only available by a low cost subscription.

Of particular interest to me was the ability to record, store, manager and stream my podcast subscriptions as there is nothing else similar which provides a web interface and cross platform APPs for mobile devices which works in NAS4Free. The Podcast capability comes under the Premium features of Subsonic. Madsonic being a fork of Subsonic works in a similar way to Subsonic, except it is truly free and Podcast management is included and runs exceptionally well in a BSD Jail in NAS4Free.

Continue reading Installing Madsonic 5.1 the FREE Subsonic alternative on NAS4Free

Mythbuntu 12.04LTS to 14.04.1LTS Upgrade

After holding off for five months, testing the point one release on a test MythTV server, I decided to bite the bullet and upgrade from Mythbuntu 12.04LTS to 14.04.1 LTS on the basis that this point release has addressed all the initial bugs identified in 14.01LTS.

The good news is that this is true, except if you are using the MythTV Web interface which breaks as a result of the upgrade Sad smile

The cause of the problem is that the Apache web server configuration file is broken because MythTV 12.04LTS had Apache 2 2.2. and Mythbuntu 14.04.1LTS has 2.4. The supported syntax changed between Apache releases and prevents the Apache server for starting.

Continue reading Mythbuntu 12.04LTS to 14.04.1LTS Upgrade

Mini How To… Setting Up Samba (Windows) folder shares in Mythbuntu

In my blog post back in February I went through how to change the Storage Groups to a different drive/ directory.

What I didn’t explain was that by default the Storage Group directories are shared in Samba so that they can be accessed remotely over the network by other computers/ devices e.g. your network enabled TV!

The process is quite simple to do, and because Mythbuntu comes with Thunar as the default file manager, which is unfortunately totally useless as the Thunar Shares Plugin is broken from Ubuntu 10.10 onwards due to dependency issues, I’ll explain how to do this from Terminal.

From Terminal, go to the /etc/samba/ directory

cd /etc/samba/

Edit smb.cfg as sudo

sudo nano smb.conf

You will see something similar to the following:


workgroup = MSHOME

server string = %h server (Samba, Mythbuntu)

log file = /var/log/samba/log.%m

max log size = 1000

syslog = 0

panic action = /usr/share/samba/panic-action %d

dns proxy = no

security = share


comment = TV Recordings

path = /media/data/mythtv/recordings

public = yes

writable = no

create mask = 0777

directory mask = 0777

force user = nobody

force group = nogroup

Edit the path for the following shares:




For example for recordings we change the path from

path= /var/lib/mythtv/recordings


path = /media/data/mythtv/recordings

Save the file:

Press CTRL-o

To exit

Press CTRL-x

Restart Samba

Either reboot the PC

or from Terminal enter:

sudo restart smbd

You will now be able to browse and play your MythTV recording as you did prior to changing the Storage Groups.

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Mythbuntu 10.10 PART 3 – Storage Groups and Automatic Wake-up/ Shutdown

Previous Articles in this Series:

Installing Mythbuntu in Ubuntu 10.10 with a Hauppauge Nova-T 500 PCI DVB-T

Installing Mythbuntu 10.10 with a Hauppauge Nova-T 500 PCI DVB-T card: PART 2 – Configuration

Having created a working PVR in the previous two articles, in this one we are going to:

  • Configure Storage Groups on a separate partition
  • Set-up MythTV Automatic Wake-up/ Shutdown

Storage Group Configuration

Storage groups are lists of directories which allow you to store MythTV recording files.

When installed the following storage groups are created:

  • Default
  • LiveTV
  • DB Backups
  • Videos
  • Trailers
  • Coverart
  • Fanart
  • Screenshotsunder
  • Banners

Their default storage location is under /var/lib/mythtv/groupname, except Default which stores its files in the directory called recordings.

If your system drive is rather small, you may wish to add an additional hard disk and set-up MythTV to store the above groups on that drive.

Note: these instructions assume that you have not yet used MythTV to record any programs. If you have then you may find that recordings stored in the original location may not be accessible, in which case you will need to move them.

You can add additional directory locations (mount points) in each of the storage groups. MythTV will balance concurrent recordings across the available locations detailed in the storage group in order to balance the I/O load.

When adding additional mount-points to storage groups you must set folder permissions so that the group mythtv has full read/ write access to the drive otherwise MythTv will not work.


You have a second hard disk in your PC which you have set-up in /etc/fstab to mount as /media/data (see Ubuntu Community Documentation on fstab and mounting disks).

Rather than having MythTV store your recordings on your system disk, you want it to store the recordings in a directory called /media/data/mythtv which you have just created using the command

sudo mkdir /media/data/mythtv

Create the directories listed in the screen-shot below in /, these are the same directories found in /var/lib/mythtv/, using the command mkdir /media/data/mythtv/directory name

For example

mkdir /media/data/mythtv/banners

The above directories have to be a member of the Group mythtv, otherwise mythtv will not work as it does not have permission to access these directories. By default it does not have permission.

To do this:

Open Terminal and enter the following to make the directories Recursively Read/ Write for the Owner; Group and Read Only for Others:

sudo chmod -R 775 /media/data/mythtv

then change both the owner and group to mythtv and do this Recursively for all sub-directories:

sudo chown -R mythtv:mythtv /media/data/mythtv

The permissions for the newly created should directories look similar to those in the screenshot below

To double check, open up the file manager Thunar (if you are using Mythbuntu) Applications > Accessories > Thunar File Manager

Navigate to the mythtv directory created above and right click on one of the newly created directories e.g. banners

Select properties from the drop-down menu, and on the properties window select the Permissions tab.

You should see the following

Close the properties window and the Thunar file manager.

Launch Accessories > System > MythTV Backend Setup

Select option 6. Storage Directories

Then starting at the top and working through.

To change the location, select the Storage Group name, pressing <Enter>, then pressing <Enter> again on the directory name (e.g. /var/lib/mythtv/recordings).

For the Default group change the entry to something similar to that in the screen shot below

Select OK

You should now see the new path for the default Storage Group directories.

Press <ESC> to go back to the list of groups.

Now repeat the above process for the next storage group until all have been changed.

<ESC> out of the MythTV Backend Setup in the usual way, and allow mythfilldatabase to run.

Now test that this all works by launching MythTV Frontend and watch some TV.

If you select Watch TV and you just get a black screen and are then reverted back to the main menu, then you have not set-up your directory permissions correctly. MythTV, even when recording writes files into these folders enabling you to rewind live TV or record a program you already partly watched, in full.

Set-up MythTV Automatic Wake-up/ Sleep

By default MythTv is set-up to run 24/7, which may be convenient for you but not great for the environment or if you want to keep down how much you spend on electricity! It can cost over £300 a year keep a PC running 24/7!

The good news is that this is not necessary with MythTV. If you use the ACPI Wakeup feature which comes as standard with most PC BIOSs manufactured in the past 7 years, your PC will automatically wakeup before a recording and shutdown/ suspend after the recording has completed.

The instructions below are a summary of those those found in the MythTV Wiki

Testing whether ACPI Wakeup works on your PC

From Terminal enter

grep -i rtc /var/log/kern.log

You should see something similar to

kernel: [ 0.474924] rtc_cmos 00:04: RTC can wake from S4


kernel: [ 0.474987] rtc0: alarms up to one year, y3k, 242 bytes nvram

The above means that your PC can wake up and that the wakeup time can be set.

You will now need to check the BIOS in the Power Management section (see MythTV Wiki for more details)

With your BIOS configured you now need to disable the HWclock updates. As we are using Mythbuntu we will use the Ubuntu instructions:



Comment out the line exec hwclock so it looks like the following:

# exec hwclock –rtc=/dev/rtc0 –systohc $tz –noadjfile $badyear

To manually test wakealarm, enter the following commands from Terminal which will wake up the PC 5 minutes after the commands are entered. As the kernel shipped with Mythbuntu 10.10 uses kernel 2.6.35, we will use /sys/class/rtc/rtc0/wakealarm.

Enter the following:

sudo su

echo 0 > /sys/class/rtc/rtc0/wakealarm

echo `date '+%s' -d '+ 5 minutes'` > /sys/class/rtc/rtc0/wakealarm

To check that this has been set correctly enter

cat /proc/driver/rtc

Check the alrm_time field is set to 5 minutes into the future.

Now shutdown your computer and see if it starts back up after approximately five minutes by entering

sudo shutdown -P now

On the basis that the above test worked (if not reference the instructions in the Wiki ) we are now ready to set up this functionality in MythTV.

MythTV Back-end Configuration

From Terminal run


This will shut-down the MythTV back-end and run the set-up program.

From the menu, select 1. General

Keep selecting Next> until you get to the Shutdown/ Wakeup Options menu

and change the default setting so that they look like the following:

  • Untick Block shutdown before client connected
  • Set idle shutdown timeout (secs): 120 (2 minutes although you can make this longer or shorter if you wish)
  • Set Max. wait for recording (min): 15 (you can make this longer or shorter if you wish)
  • Set Startup before rec. (secs): 600 (If you have not disabled the occSave the file.asional disk check on boot, make this time long enough to complete the boot & disk check before the recording should start)
  • Set Wakeup time format: time_t
  • Set Command to set Wakeup Time: sudo sh -c “/usr/bin/ $time” xtube
  • Set Server halt command: sudo shutdown -P now
  • Set Pre Shutdown check-command: mythshutdown –check

The results should look similar to the following screen-shot

Comprehensive information on the various settings on this screen as well as the other General screens can be found in the MythTV Wiki under User_Manual:Detailed_configuration_Backend

Now keep selecting Next> until you get to Finish and select it. You will be returned to the main menu.

Press ESC to exit mythtv-setup and allow it to run mythfilldatabase to complete.

The backend is now configured, we now need to configure the front-end!

MythTV Front-end Configuration

As our Mythbuntu configuration is for a combined Frontend/ back-end there are two options:

  1. Follow the Desktop users instructions in the Wiki
  2. Use Mythwelcome

I’ve found Mythwelcome to be easier to use and understand and it tells you what MythTV is doing, so this is the option we will use for this tutorial.

The first thing we need to do is set-up Mythwelcome to automatically run at start-up

Edit /etc/mythtv/session-settings as sudo

Remove the # from in front of MYTHWELCOME=true

Save the file

We are now going to add Mythwelcome to the list of applications which auto-start on boot-up

From the desktop click on Applications > Settings > Session and Startup and select the Application Autostart tab.

It should look like the following

Click +Add

A Add Program window will appear and compete as follows:

Name: MythWelcome

Description: Startup for MythTV

Command: mythwelcome

Save the changes and exit.

We are now going to setup mythwelcome.

In terminal enter mythwelcome – -setup

We now need to configure Mythwelcome.

Open Terminal and enter

mythwelcome –setup

Configure as follows:

Command to set wakeup time: sudo sh -c “/usr/bin/ $time”
wakeup time format: time_t
nvram-wakeup Resart Command: make sure this is blank
Command to reboot: sudo -H shutdown -h -r now
Command to shutdown: sudo -H shutdown -P now
Command to run Xterm: xterm
Command to run to start the Frontend: /usr/bin/mythfrontend

It should look like the following screenshot

We are now going to create the wakeup script.

Open the following file as sudo in your text editor:


and copy and paste the following:



# set ACPI Wakeup time

# usage: seconds

# seconds – number of seconds from epoch to UTC time (time_t time format)


# set UTCBIOS to true if bios is using UTC time

# set UTCBIOS to false if bios is using local time


%mythtv ALL = NOPASSWD: /sbin/shutdown, /bin/sh, /usr/bin/, /usr/bin/mythshutdown



#utc bios – use supplied seconds



#non utc bios – convert supplied seconds to seconds from

#epoch to local time

SECS=`date -u –date “\`date –date @$1 +%F” “%T\`” +%s`


echo 0 > /sys/class/rtc/rtc0/wakealarm # clear alarm

echo $SECS > /sys/class/rtc/rtc0/wakealarm # write the waketime

Save the file.

We now need to change the permissions of the file so it can be executed. From Terminal enter:

sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/

Add the following line to your /etc/sudoers by entering sudo visudo and then copying and pasting the line at the end of the file the following line:

%mythtv ALL = NOPASSWD: /sbin/shutdown, /bin/sh, /usr/bin/

Save the file.

From Terminal enter mythwelcome, a screen similar to the following will be displayed

Press m on the keyboard, the following screen will be displayed

Select Lock Shutdown and press Enter.

If you did not do this, then your Mythbuntu PC would automatically shut itself down!

When you have finished working on the Mythbuntu PC, repeat the above but this time select Unlock Shutdown.

The PC will then shut itself down according to the parameters set above for MythTV, you will see a screen similar to that below with a countdown from 180 seconds.

The first few times you run MythTV you may find that the countdown restarts when it gets close to 10 seconds left, whilst frustrating this seems to be normal behaviour for a new install.

MythTV is now configured for ACPI Wakeup/ Shutdown, we just need to test it for real!

A Final Test – Recording a Program!

Personally I place a Mythwelcome icon on the desktop, alternatively open up Terminal or press ALT-F2 and enter mythwelcome, the following screen will be displayed (you may need to Lock Shutdown to prevent MythTV from shutting down the PC).

Select Start Frontend, the following menu will be displayed.

As we are interested in managing our recordings, select the Manage Recordings menu items.

Select Schedule Recordings and then select Programme Guide in the subsequent menu.

A screen similar to the following will be displayed

Select a programme in the guide which you wish to record and then press enter.

The following screen will be displayed

Once in this recording menu, you will seeSave the file. that the default option is Do not record this programme. Choose an appropriate recording option.

The full set of options are as follows:

  • Do not record this programme
  • Record only this showing [S] at this specific time and this station
  • Record one showing of this title [F] from any of the times which appear in the TV listing (no good for episodes)
  • Record in this timeslot every week [W] records weekly, same channel, day and time ignoring title and program information
  • Record one showing of this title every… [F}
  • Record in this timeslot every day [T]
  • Record one showing of this title every day [F] Record one showing of this show a day based on the program title
  • Record at any time on this channel [C] Records a show any time the title appears on this station
  • Record at any time on any channel [A]

More information is available on these options at the MtyhTV Wiki

In addition to the above you have Schedule Options. Which help refine way in which the recording is made, and preventing duplicate recordings.

As the broadcasters can be very unreliable for starting and ending their programs on time, I set recording to start and end 1 minute early.

The Post Processing menu allows you to do set the following options

Probably the two most useful options here is Commercial removal and transcoding the recording.

The MythTV Wiki has excellent documentation on “Using A Myth Box From Day To Day” which clearly explains how to fully use MythTV for day to day recordings, including using the remote control. This is well worth reading.

When you have finished setting up your recordings, ESC back to the Welcome to MythTV screen and remember to select Unlock Shutdown by pressing m.


If you try to shutdown the MythTV PC less than 20 minutes before it is due to perform a recording, it will not shutdown as it will not consider itself to be in an idle state.

The following keys are useful in all MythTV menus

  • m for menu
  • i for information
  • e for edit

Final Comment

I was going to include configuring the remote control in this article, but on investigation it appears be be a complete “train crash” mainly because the 1.20 driver does not work with the remote and you need to downgrade the driver. If you are feeling brave, try what is suggested in this post in Ubuntu Forums for Mythbuntu. When I get some more time I’ll look into this again.

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Installing Mythbuntu in Ubuntu 10.10 with a Hauppauge Nova-T 500 PCI DVB-T

If you are already running Ubuntu or an Ubuntu based distribution like Kubuntu or Xubuntu, then you can add Mythbuntu as a package.


Assuming you are on the PC running Ubuntu on which you wish to install Mythbuntu and have a DVB-T tuner card installed, open up the Ubuntu Software Centre by clicking on Applications > Ubuntu Software Centre.

In the search box type myth, you should see the following.

Note: In Kubuntu you click on the K Menu > Applications > System > Software Management , select Get and Remove Software, click on Multimedia and enter myth in the search bar. Then click Find by name.

Assuming you want a all-in-one MythTV PC i.e. Frontend and Backend on one PC, You will need to install the following packages:

  • Mythbuntu Control Centre
  • MythTV Frontend
  • MythTV Backend Setup

Click on Install next to each package you are going to install and enter your superuser password. The package will be downloaded and installed.

As part of the MythTV Backend installation, MySQL Server is installed. You will be asked to set a password fro the MySQL root user

This is not mandatory and if you wish can be left as the default password.

We will leave it as the default, click Forward

You will then be asked wither other computers in your household will be running MythTV.

As this is the only PC, click Forward.

The installation will continue.

Once the installation has completed, close the Ubuntu Software Centre.

Now click on System > Administration > Mythbuntu Control Centre

The following window will be displayed

We now want to configure the Control Centre as follows:

Proprietary Codecs

Tick Enable DVD Support (libdvdcss2), click Apply and then click Apply again in the Apply Settings? window. You will be asked to enter your superuser password.

System Roles

Change the Backend Role from Secondary Backend to Primary Backend, leave everything else unchanged. Click Apply and then click Apply again in the Apply Settings? window. You will be asked to enter your superuser password.

You will then be asked to configure Mythweb

Leave as per the defaults and click Forward, the changes will then be applied.


Add the following plug-ins:

  • MythVideo
  • MythWeather
  • MythMovies
  • MythMusic
  • MythGallery

Click Apply and then click Apply again in the Apply Settings? window. You will be asked to enter your superuser password.


Enable the following optional services:

  • Samba Service
  • VNC Server

Note: Depending on your network, you may prefere to use NFS over Samba.

Click Apply and then click Apply again in the Apply Settings? window. You will be asked to enter your superuser password.

Once completed, click Quit.

MythTV is now installed.

In Part 2 we will configure the Hauppauge Nova-T 500 DVB-T card and will follow the same instructions used for Mythbuntu, as both installations are now the same.

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Installing Mythbuntu 10.10 with a Hauppauge Nova-T 500 PCI DVB-T card – PART 1

Having the ability to watch as well as record Digital TV on a PC has always been something which I’ve found attractive, especially if you have a large screen monitor/ TV with at least a VGA/ DVI input.

One option is to take your normal Linux distribution like Fedora or Ubuntu and install something like MythTV

If you want to have a dedicated PC running as a PVR then there are a number of dedicated Linux distributions available:

  • Mythdora is based on Fedora and follows the Fedora development cycle. It uses MythTV.
  • Mythbuntu is based on Ubuntu Linux and comes in two forms. A Live CD which is installable and an add-on package for Ubuntu. It uses MythTV.
  • KnoppMyth originally based on Knoppix Linux the latest version is 5.5. However, development has ceased, being replaced by LinHES. It uses MythTV.
  • LinHES is based on Arch Linux and R6 is the current stable release, R7 is under development. It uses MythTV.
  • LinuxMCE is an open source add-on to Kubuntu to give it media-centre functionality. In addition it can be used to control your home including phones and lighting!

I’m going to use Mythbuntu 10.10. To be honest, I would have written this guide earlier, but have struggled to get to grips with the Mythbuntu and MythTv documentation which is best described as poorly maintained. Hopefully, this tutorial may help make sense of the official documentation!


Note: If you just wish to added to add it to an existing Ubuntu installation then follow these instructions and then follow the configuration instructions in this tutorial.

We are going to do a complete install, rather than just an installation to an existing Ubuntu based distribution. The first step is to download the Live CD which can be obtained from It is recommended that you download the 32-bit version.

Burn the ISO to a CD and on the PC on which you wish to do the install, boot off the Mythbuntu 10.10 Live CD.

The above two screens will be displayed before the installation screen is displayed. Please note that you may see some error messages displayed during the boot process, do not worry!

Eventually the installation screen will be displayed, select your language e.g. English.

click Install Mythbuntu.

The following screen will be displayed.

Tick the check boxes for Download updates while installing and Install this third-party software.

Then click Forward to continue.

You will now be asked to create a partition in which to install Mythbuntu. In this tutorial we are going to use the whole hard disk, so we will select Erase and use the entire disk .

Then click Forward.

You will new be asked to confirm what you wish to do.

When you are happy click Install Now.

As with any Linux install you will need to specify your time zone.

Once done, click Froward.

Keyboard layout. Again click Forward when done.

Now enter your login credentials.

As this is a media centre PC, I leave it to login automatically.

Once set-up, click Forward.

You now need to decide whether you want to have a dedicated “back-end” server, basically doing all the recording and streaming of video/ TV or a Frontend or a Primary Backend with Frontend ( a combination of both).

For our installation we will go for a Primary Backend with Frontend.

Once selected, click Forward.

You are then asked what additional services you need installed. Samba and SSH are selected to be installed by default, but I always feel it is useful to install VNC as well in case you need to remotely manage the server using its graphical interface.

Once you have made your selections click Forward.

You are then given the opportunity to enable the Remote Control for your DVB-T card. Tick the check box Enable a Remote control, select the relevant remote, in our case the Hauppaugu Nova-T 500 and tick the check box Generate frontend restart mapping (Power followed by Clear).

When ready, click Forward.

Mythbuntu has now collected the information it needs and will commence installation.

Once installation has completed you will get the following window displayed. Click Restart Now to reboot the PC.

Your installation CD will be ejected and once removed, you will need to press Enter to continue the reboot.

On reboot the above screen will appear.

As MythTV has not yet been configured, press ESC and confirm to exit MythTV. The XFCE desktop environment will be displayed

In part 2 of this tutorial we will set-up our DVB-T tuner card to receive Freeview as well as the program guide (EPG) information through XMLTV.

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Joining Files the Linux Way

The Concatenate Command – cat

You can use the cat command to join files together without using an editor. To do this, type cat, the names of the files you want to join together, and then redirect the output into a new file.

For example, if you want to join together file1, file2, and file3 into a file called allfiles, you could type:

cat file1 file2 file3 > allfiles

The nice thing about the cat command is it can join nearly any type of file as long as the format of the files are the same. For example you can join avi files if they are in the same format, e.g. stop motion video taken by a web cam.

However, there are some types of files which are better left for more specialist programs to join, and one of these file types is created using a cross platform program called hjsplit For these file lxsplit is a more reliable option, although a Java version of hjsplit does exist for Linux, the former is easier an quicker!

lxsplit for Joining Split (e.g. hjsplit) Files

To Join a file split with HJSPLIT or lxsplit enter from the directory where the file is located

lxsplit -j <filename>.001

A new file consisting of all the split parts will be created called <filename>

If you have not already guessed, the -j is short for Join!

Using lxsplit for Splitting Files

There are many reasons why you may wish to split a file e.g. your e-mail system has a 10Mb file attachment limit and you want to send a 30Mb file.

To split a 30Mb file in to 10Mb sections you would enter:

lxsplit -s <largefilename> 10M

where <largefilename> is the name of the 30Mb file.

A Manual page exists for lxsplit and this can be displayed in Terminal by entering

man lxsplit

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Converting MP4 video to FLV

Whilst I love the power and simplicity of using FFMPEG there are some things it does badly, like converting MP4 or AVI files to FLV (Flash Video).

However, to the rescue comes Mencoder which is built from the same code as MPlayer, a close Linux alternative to VLC although I feel VLC still has the edge!

Anyway, I found this command line to convert a MP4 file to FLV to Menencoder at , it works really well.

The command line is:

mencoder “video.mp4″ -o “video.flv” -of lavf -oac mp3lame -lameopts abr:br=56 -ovc lavc -lavcopts vcodec=flv:vbitrate=800:mbd=2:mv0:trell:v4mv:cbp:last_pred=3 -srate 22050 -ofps 24 -vf harddup

Your input file is video.mp4

your output file is video.flv

In each case substitute video for the name of your input and output files and press enter.

Job done!

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No Flash Video in Firefox!

I’ve been playing with the Linux version of the BBC iPlayer on my HP laptop (I’ll blog about this later). As performance was poor decided to try this on my desktop.

It was at this point I discovered that flash video playback would just give a grey box with a “play” symbol in the middle (swf and flash enabled websites would work). Pressing the “play” symbol would start Flash, but Firefox would totally freeze with the only option of doing a “Force Quit”.

After some digging around uninstalling Adobe Flash and the version which comes with Ubuntu I found someone else on Ubuntu Forums with a similar problem

Like me they had copied their bookmarks from Firefox in Windows into Ubuntu so as to retain their plug-ins, add-ons and bookmarks, they had also re-installed Flash but to no avail and then took the drastic step of wiping and re-installing Ubuntu, something I was not really prepared to do!

I decided to try an alternative browser, as I’m running Ubuntu I installed Epiphany and had exactly the same experience as Firefox.

After some more digging and established the following:

1. Flash enabled websites do work, I just need to click the play button in the middle of the big grey window!
2. Sites using SWF flash files playback okay.

After reading this post…econds-32861-3 which is related to Windows and Firefox but in this case (same difference) it looked like there is a problem with Flash 9. In my case I have in Firefox Plugins Shockwave Flash 9.0 r999. On two of my PCs where streaming Flash Video works fine i.e. BBC iPlayer and youtube, it is Shockwave Flash 10.0 r22.

The next step was to work out how to change this to Flash 10.0 r22.

I upgraded the Flash plug-in to but it was still showing Flash 9 in Firefox!

Found the following on the Mozilla Knowledge base Really excellent link for trouble shooting Flash problems in Firefox. This confirmed the Flash version 9 bug in the Firefox plugin.

Removed flashplugin-nonfree from firefox with:

sudo apt-get remove flashplugin-nonfree

Flash was still present in Firefox so did the following (as instructed in the link):

If the uninstall don’t work: 1. type about:config in the address bar and press Enter. Find the option plug-in.expose_full_path and change the value to “true” (double-clicking the preference name will toggle the setting). 2. type about:plugins and locate the flash plug-in.

File name: /usr/lib/swfdec-mozilla/
Shockwave Flash 9.0 r999

Remove the plug-in files (both .so and .xpt).

I could only find the .so file so just deleted this file.

Noticed in /etc/alternatives two broken links to the above for mozilla-flashplugin and midbrowser-flashplugin and in /usr/lib/firefox/plugins another broken link for flashplugin-alternative, pointing to /etc/alternatives. As these were just links linking back to the deleted .so file I decided to leave, at least for now!

Restarted Firefox, checked that the flash plugin was still removed and then re-installed the Adobe plug-in (back to the Adobe website) using the Ubuntu 8.04+ deb package via the package manager.

Restarted Firefox.

Checked the plug-ins again and now got:

Shockwave Flash 10.0 r22.

Entering in the address bar about plug-ins showed the following for Shockwave Flash (I decided to leave the full path information exposed, might be useful in the future!)

File name: /usr/lib/adobe-flashplugin/
Shockwave Flash 10.0 r22

All was now looking good, so went to the BBC iplayer website and played a program. It worked, previously Firefox would hang.

Flash was fixed.

I guess that as the problematic plug-in file was outside the Home folder, this problem was not caused by me copying over my Firefox settings folder from Windows.

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