Can I watch videos on Ubuntu?

I wanted to have a play with Linux and installed a copy off the cover of a magazine. It seems to work nicely, bute I cannot seem to watch any videos on Youtube, Vimeo etc. Can Ubuntu actually play videos?


Ubuntu can play these videos but the software you need to do this doesn’t come installed with Ubuntu because it’s not strictly open-source. It’s quite easy to install though; here’s how you do it.

  • Click on the Applications menu and then on Add/Remove
  • Set the top option to All available applications
  • Type ubuntu-restricted-extras in the search box and press enter if the restricted extras entry does not appear.

You can also do this via Terminal if you wish. Just click on the Applications menu, Accessories and then Terminal. Type:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

Press Enter, type in your password when prompted and press Enter. A bunch of text will appear on the screen, but when it stops, your software will be good to go.

Check it out by popping down to YouTube, you can watch a video on effective weight loss pills, your local zoo or maybe even some racing.

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