Codecs and DVD playback on Ubuntu 8.04 for all users

For the first time we are making codecs for media playback and a DVD player, from our partners at Fluendo and Cyberlink, available through the Ubuntu store. We have had relationships with these companies for a while and to date we have offered their products to our hardware partners as pre-install options.

Now though, we are making them available to all users. It is important to us that no matter how you choose to access Ubuntu, pre-installed or as a free download, that you can have a similarly rich experience. The vast majority of our current users will have installed Ubuntu themselves. These users should also be allowed legal DVD and media playback and so we have built a way of letting them do this.

We cannot ship codecs through the distro, as they are not free to redistribute. So we have built a restricted download area that is accessible through the store. Once purchased you can find your software here which will then install in the familiar hassle-free way that Ubuntu users appreciate. A pretty cool feature is that, should you wipe out your machine you can go back to the restricted download area and access your codecs again. Enjoy

Gerry Carr – Marketing Manager, Canonical


  1. tymiles

    This is great! I have been looking forward to this. I also would LOVE to see the following from Canonical.

    1. A bundled version. Including all dvd and codecs together that I can pay for upfront, download and install with the codecs etc included.

    2. More of a CNR or Apple iPhone like App Store built into Ubuntu

    3. Better tech support options. Maybe like $50 a year for a limited email support for users recurring. This is something I liked from the Linspire days. They had a site you could sign into, when you went to put in a ticket a lot of times the answer was in their support database. if not then the user could enter a ticket and get an answer back in a set amount of time (Like 24 to 48 hours)

  2. lowen

    If someone has previously purchased the Fluendo bundle from Fluendo for a previous Linux distribution (no longer installed), will it be possible to gain access to the Ubuntu-specific version (assuming a special packaging different from Fluendo’s default packaging) by presenting a receipt from Fluendo?

  3. zoobab

    Can you clarify if the codec issue is related to software patents?

  4. kastor

    Does this “legal” DVD codec force region locking?

  5. chokey

    No-one mentioned it, so I thought to ask: Will there be 64-bit codecs?

  6. Gerry Carr

    first off – apologies and to all, moderation caught your mails and it has taken me a while to notice.

    chokey – We will make 64 bit codes available very shortly. I will update the post when we do.

    lowen – no it won’t. you will have to buy a new version I think, there is no agreement for backporting or for other linux distros

    zoobab – you will have to be more specfic. Related in what way to s/w patents?

  7. lowen

    So I have to purchase another ‘license’ even though I possess one already, and I used it under a previous Ubuntu? Just to get the easier packaging? Or is the packaging as .debs?

  8. shadowHH

    WHy dont we ubutneros start packing fluendo codecs with thier keys into the best buy editions so the end users can install them hassle free?

    They pay for the os.I don’t care about the price if its cheap enough and does what I want.The lenghty downloads can go though, so if someone knows how to merge an apt-on-dvd with a installer LIVE disc, I’m all ears.

    If your going to sell something, do it right or the end user will hate us for life.Legal DVd codec? I know about the libdvdcss thing. Is this closely related or is it IT?

    I know there is LinDVD.I don’t know if ubuntu suports it, though.Its commercial ware from Mandrake.

    Mandrake sells, but has a nasty way to get in non-free codecs on the free download[x86].Either that, or pay upwards of $50 online for them bundled inside.You can’t get ppc distros with ‘drake,though.

    Ubuntu PPC can still be gotten,though it lags a bit in stable downloads.

    I think as a ‘rescue’ disc, it would sell in BB, but for real end-users….we need those codecs and at least DVD support.Then add-in support via web and online and forums.I think,though, the forum support speaks for itself.M$ can’t even offer that correctly.

    BDR would be nice, but no one has merged mplayer with dumphd and all its requirements yet.WinDVD HD cant do it right, either, so its ok not having that support.

  9. shadowHH

    We can sell ‘restricted’ codec filled Ubuntu,right?

    –or is that an issue??

    I mean linux has always been FREE but can sell for whatever you like…free to modify….

    speaking of which, how do you get around export restrictions and ssl 128? 128-bit and above are restricted export. You’d think other countries would have to worry about that,no?

  10. convertflvtodvd

    that is a good !

  11. Bert van Brakel

    It’s now 2009, end of september. I still see no 64 bit version coming. When is this likely to happen? 64 bit linux has been out for how long…?

  12. Pete Myers

    Iowen: It is very common to have to buy a different license for the same software to use on different platforms. It requires work from both Fluendo and Canonical in order to “package up” the Fluendo software, and at minimum Fluendo will want payment for this.

    My question: I have Ubuntu 10.04, which is not listed as a compatible operating system for the downloads. Also, once I upgrade (which is every six months), do I need to then pay for the license again? I wouldn’t mind paying for the license every two years (i.e. one license to cover an LTS cycle of releases, that’s sensible), but paying every 6 months is effectively a subscription service. What’s the deal?

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