Archive for April, 2009

Help! My Dragon Player is not working in Kubuntu 9.04!

April 26, 2009 Leave a comment

It is unacceptable to have Battlestar Galactica on DVD and be unable to watch it on Kubuntu. However, out of the box, Dragon Player does not know how to play standard DVDs which makes the unacceptable perfectly horrendous.

This fix is an easy one: the Dragon Player doesn’t work without certain drivers that are legally encumbered (that’s code for proprietary with the risk of strongly worded legal letters arriving uninvited at your home) so you have to go get the drivers yourself so as to keep various people, most notably Canonical, from declaring bankruptcy or being embarrassed in court when they kick the RIAA‘s butt (did I say that out loud?).

If you have 64-bit Kubuntu running on a Core 2 Duo and the Dragon Player does not work when you try to play a DVD movie run the following lines from a terminal window (if you want to run them all together put a semi-colon after each command):

sudo wget --output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install medibuntu-keyring
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install w64codecs libdvdcss2

I found this information a few months ago at It just made it possible for me to watch my legally purchased copy of BSG.

The cat was alive again.


Help! I’ve Installed Kubuntu on my Notebook and the Sound Doesn’t Work!

April 26, 2009 Leave a comment

I just (well, a few weeks ago) installed an instance of Kubuntu on a Dell Studio 17 (the host OS is Vista Home Premium 64-bit) and the volume went from low, after the initial installation, to non-existent after rebooting. Was it possible that the volume on Amarok was down? Nope, it was at 100%. Was the volume setting located in the task bar set to mute? No again. Was the Mixer at fault? No.

After trolling the web and finding many possible reasons for the sudden onset of muteness (bad drivers, conflicting installations of software) I found a simple check that proved to be the most telling: I ran the command line alsamixer and made sure the volume is up!

This is what I saw after I opened a Konsole terminal window and typed alsamixer:
Notice the lack of color on the third bar; the one labelled PCM. After moving the cursor to the PCM column and pressing the up arrow a few dozen times the bar was nicely multi-colored. This is what the alsamixer levels looked like (notice the PCM is up) after my tinkering:

I pressed Esc to exit alsamixer and ran the following to save the settings:

sudo alsactl store

The cat was alive.