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1. Introduction

There are some Damned Things like enabling Java and Flash in Mozilla, playing MP3 files, playing Quicktime/AVI/RealMedia/Windows Media streams, and playing encrypted DVDs that the Fedora distro folks won't tell you how to do, either because they're afraid of being sued under the DMCA or for various other esthetic and political reasons.

This HOWTO collects the relevant information in one place. It is not a general multimedia-on-Linux HOWTO; if it were, there are hundreds of nifty tools and packages it would list (starting with the GIMP and all its kindred and forks and symbiotes). The packages we'll cover here are just the legal and political hot potatoes, the stuff that threatens monopolies and worries lawyers.

Good background information on souping up your Fedora system can also be found at the FedoraNEWS website and the Unofficial Fedora FAQ. One assumption that distinguishes this document from these other sources is that you are as lazy as I am — you want to install your Damned Things (and, later, update them) with your normal package-management toolswith an absolute minimum of going to special sites, download source tarballs, or executing unique build procedures.

Legal note: No source code or locations of source code of any software alleged to be covered by the DMCA is disclosed on this page, you will have to look on my personal website for that. The DMCA is a bad law rammed down our throats by fools and villains and the use of it to suppress free speech about software is a disgrace, but in order to ensure that this HOWTO gets maximum distribution I have remained in compliance with it here.

One reason I am doing this is that I believe I'm a harder target for the attack lawyers than most hackers; public fame and a reputation for truth-telling are helpful here. If you are an attack lawyer, be warned that I invariably respond to attempts at intimidation by fighting back, that I am legally savvy and very good at working the press, and that I will exert all my considerable ability to make your and your client's name a public disgrace if you try to suppress my speech. You have been warned.

1.1. New versions of this document

You can also view the latest version of this HOWTO on the World Wide Web via the URL http://tldp.org/HOWTO/Fedora-Multimedia-Installation-HOWTO.html.

Feel free to mail any comments about this HOWTO, or additions or bug fixes, to Eric S. Raymond, . But please don't ask me to troubleshoot your multimedia or plugin configuration problems; if you do, I'll just ignore you. Everything I know about this subject is already here.