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Watching multimedia in Slackware’s browser

While I was sitting in my chair with little room for escape (I sprained my lower back yesterday when trying to lift something and can barely move) I thought, I need to do something useful while being constrained.

So, I created some new packages and wrote a few blog posts – this one being the last, because sitting in this chair is becoming equally painful.

What packages? You can already find them in my repository or its mirrors. They are dconf (new package altogether) and updates to gnome-mplayer as well as gecko-mediaplayer for which I did not yet have Slackware 13.37 packages.

And why exactly these three?

I was not too satisfied with the state of viewing embedding media clips in a web browser on Slackware. In the past, I used to check out the new movie trailers on, In Slackware, that has never been possible I think. The VLC browser plugin crashes more than that it works, and the mplayerplug-in program which uses MPlayer to show the embedded video did not work reliably. I had built the gecko-mediaplayer browser plugin for earlier versions of Slackware – it uses gnome-mplayer to display embeeded media – but that too never worked with the Apple trailers and it had some of the same quirks that mplayerplug-in also had (all too natural since gnome-mplayer is a continuation of the abandoned mplayerplug-in by the same author).

But today, I grabbed the latest sources and built packages. And lo and behold! I can view Apple’s trailers!

Now, why did I mention that dconf package? Well, it turns out that gnome-mplayer which should not depend on any Gnome library, in fact does depend on an “application settings storage backend” – which is Gnome’s gconf… which is not part of Slackware. So, my Slackware package has gconf support disabled, but that only lead me to the next issue – my firefox kept crashing after installing the gecko-mediaplayer & gnome-mplayer packages.

Easy to spot the cause: you only need to run either firefox or gnome-mplayer from the console and you’ll see the following error message:

GLib-GIO-ERROR **: Settings schema ‘apps.gnome-mplayer.preferences’ is not installed

That error was fixed by adding the following command to gnome-mplayer’s post-installation script.

glib-compile-schemas /usr/share/glib-2.0/schemas

But we are not there yet. Without a settings backend to store the app’s preferences (your preferences), many of the preference settings that you change do not survive an application restart. Running gnome-mplayer from the commandline shows why:

GLib-GIO-Message: Using the ‘memory’ GSettings backend.  Your settings will not be saved or shared with other applications.

This is where the dconf package enters. Let me quote: “Dconf’s main purpose is to provide a backend to GSettings on platforms that don’t already have configuration storage systems.” It’s a small and efficient program without dependencies, and after installing dconf, our gnome-mplayer no longer complains. All its preferences are now being stored on disk.

Looking back on the weekend which is almost over now, I have performed a number of related plumbing activities: I upgraded my MPlayer package to a recent snapshot – you can grab that and use it to upgrade Slackware’s version of MPlayer with mine. Plus, I have not one, but two graphical front-ends for the mplayer binary: my repository now has the entirely new UMPlayer (universal multimedia player) which has a Qt4 interface, and an updated gnome-mplayer whose GUI is based on the GTK widget set. The choice is yours! But you should definitely give UMPlayer a trial run if you are a regular YouTube visitor – it has an awesome YouTube search & play feature that does not require a webbrowser.



Comment from John
Posted: June 26, 2011 at 23:58

my sympathies on the back. I to suffer from lower back problems and regularly get steroid epidural injections. My back is able to produce the most sever of pains.
Hope you recover soon

Comment from Chris Abela
Posted: June 27, 2011 at 07:30

Get Well Soon!

Pingback from Links 27/6/2011: Wine 1.3.23, KDE 4.7 RC | Techrights
Posted: June 27, 2011 at 10:07

[…] Watching multimedia in Slackware’s browser […]

Comment from GArik
Posted: June 27, 2011 at 11:10

What about mplayer2 and smplayer? I switced to mplayer2 just yesterday and it seems that it works just fine. And it much lighter than mplayer:
909K mplayer2-20110627-i686-1ga.txz
3,4M ffmpeg-0.8-native-1ga.txz
8,2M MPlayer-20101218-i486-1.txz

Comment from alienbob
Posted: June 27, 2011 at 11:35

@GArik –

UMPlayer is a fork of SMPlayer with some additional features (youtube and shoutcast integration).
Mplayer2 is what I already wrote about – my plan is to create a package for it with ffmpeg/libass/libdvdnav/libdvdread integrated.


Comment from Widya Walesa
Posted: June 27, 2011 at 16:51

UMPlayer right? It seems worth a try 😀

Comment from specialized
Posted: June 28, 2011 at 01:33

i see the gecko-player in my browser, but nothing happens, the download bar doesnt star

Comment from alienbob
Posted: June 28, 2011 at 09:33

@specialized –

What happens if you run “gnome-mplayer” from the commandline? Do you see any errors?
What is the URL where your video download won’t start?


Comment from Kevin DeKorte
Posted: June 28, 2011 at 16:36

Why didn’t you just build with the –with-gconf configure flags for gnome-mplayer and gecko-mediaplayer.

As for dconf it is a valid GSettings backend, and again is not part of gnome.

Comment from alienbob
Posted: June 28, 2011 at 18:54


Slackware does not have GConf:

checking for GCONF… no
configure: Using keystore for preferences

I added the explicit “–without-gconf” to remind people of its absense. If you run Gnome, you can change the SlackBuild if you wish. In a future update I could leave that bit out of the script.

And about dconf, did I write somewhere that it does depend on Gnome? I created the package for it precicely _because_ it has no further dependencies.


Comment from specialized
Posted: June 28, 2011 at 21:10

gnome-mplayer without erros, and i try to see the trailers in

Comment from Ole
Posted: June 29, 2011 at 19:30

Hey thanks a lot for providing those media players. I can now enjoy media feeds that i used to believe where only accessible from a Windows machine! Much obliged 😀

And cheers to a speedy recovery!

Comment from lunarvalleys
Posted: July 1, 2011 at 12:49

how about gconf from /extra/google-chrome?

PS: Hope you get better soon!

Comment from Phillip
Posted: July 2, 2011 at 03:26


Did you use the SW 13.1 seamonkey to build gecko-mediaplayer with? I was never able to build it with the missing headers in the 13.37 seamonkey package.

Hope you are feeling better soon!

For those wanting to use gconf, just make sure your configure includes –with-gconf.

Comment from Phillip
Posted: July 2, 2011 at 03:29


Did you use the SW 13.1 seamonkey to build gecko-mediaplayer with? I was never able to build it with the missing headers in the 13.37 seamonkey package. I’d like to resolve that issue before submitting the SlackBuilds to SBo for 1.0.4 (just released). Perhaps a note in the README to build using the older seamonkey would suffice?

Hope you are feeling better soon!

For those wanting to use gconf instead of dconf, just make sure your configure includes –with-gconf.

Comment from Phillip
Posted: July 2, 2011 at 03:31

Heh looks like messages post here regardless of whether or not the security code is correct!

Pingback from Multimedia browser plugins
Posted: July 2, 2011 at 14:03

[…] in to get rid of this advertisement]'); Hi, I actually installed the packages mentioned in this blog post of AlienBob. Obviously I installed some more multimedia browser plugins in the past and […]

Comment from alienbob
Posted: July 2, 2011 at 23:57


It’s documented in the SlackBuild what it needs to build the package – just like I always do. Check the “Needs: ” line, it goes like this:

# Needs: xulrunner (compile-time), this does not build against seamonkey.


Comment from Phillip
Posted: July 3, 2011 at 16:52


Thanks for the reply! Ah, I should have RTFS! I skipped over that section somehow.

So, it looks like this is the route to go then. I avoided requiring xulrunner before since it is such a large package compared to gecko-mediaplayer.

Comment from Andrey
Posted: July 3, 2011 at 19:11

Hi. Thanks a lot for new packages. One thing about Mplayer, it’s work nice with every thing but matroska (mkv) files, because you packaged Mplayer without vdpau support. Are you planing include vdpau support in future Mplayer packges. Hope you recover soon.

Comment from alienbob
Posted: July 3, 2011 at 23:58

Hi Andrey

I checked several MKV files that I have here, and they all play with the MPlayer package I uploaded.
Did you previously have a version of MPlayer installed that was built with vdpau support? It may be that your “~/.mplayer/config” file has a leftover vdpau parameter.


Comment from Andrey
Posted: July 4, 2011 at 06:12

Hi Eric
Thanks for the reply.
Yes I had version of MPlayer installed that was built with vdpau support but my “~/.mplayer/config” is ok, problem occurs when i try to play Hi res mkv with the MPlayer package you uploaded, it’s plays but with very noticeable slowdowns. I had not this problem with MPlayer that was built with vdpau support. I figured out that it is because my cpu is to slow to decode hi res mkv, so when i choose xv, or gl, video output, it is slow in mkv, but with vdpau is just fine even with very hi resolution mkv.


Comment from Lawrence
Posted: July 5, 2011 at 19:28

HI there Eric
Hope your back is better soon .
I installed everything for 13.37 but have the same problem as -specialized – no errors but the apple trailers dont start playing just stand there waiting for somthing

Comment from Lawrence
Posted: July 5, 2011 at 19:33

Ok i forced the URL in the player and get his error

** (gnome-mplayer:8577): CRITICAL **: dbus_g_proxy_disconnect_signal: assertion !DBUS_G_PROXY_DESTROYED (proxy)’ failed
in media state change with state = 0

Comment from Phillip
Posted: July 7, 2011 at 01:41

For those who don’t see videos play in FF4/5 try scrolling down the screen after clicking the “Automatic” button. The video might be popping up near the bottom. I didn’t have this issue in Chrome.

Comment from Robert
Posted: July 20, 2011 at 11:32

Just to mention, I had to remove vlc-mozplugin as well to get the Apple trailers to play.

Comment from Rob
Posted: August 7, 2011 at 16:13

Hi, Thanks for all the packaging. I tried this multimedia set and playing YouTube directly from UMPlayer worked great until I tried yesterday and although youtube files were found they were not loaded into the player from the search-results window. When choosing (upon right-click) the option ‘Watch on YouTube’ the video played fine within firefox. (For more info, I have pasted the mplayer-log below)

The same file did not play in VLC either: VLC cuts out with: “VLC can’t recognize the input’s format:
The format of ‘’ cannot be detected.”
On the vlc-forum ( this problem is linked the /lua/playlist/youtube.lua file. Apparently the YouTube site has changed affecting the functioning of this lua file. Still it’s only a wild guess that something similar is underlying the UMPlayer problem to play youtube files

Did is the mplayer-log output:
/usr/bin/mplayer -noquiet -v -nofs -nomouseinput -lavdopts threads=2 -sub-fuzziness 1 -identify -slave -vo x11 -ao alsa -zoom -nokeepaspect -framedrop -nodr -double -input conf=/usr/share/umplayer/input.conf -stop-xscreensaver -wid 46139828 -monitorpixelaspect 1 -ass -msglevel ass=6 -embeddedfonts -ass-line-spacing 0 -ass-font-scale 1 -ass-styles /home/rob/.config/umplayer/styles.ass -fontconfig -font Arial -subfont-autoscale 0 -subfont-osd-scale 20 -subfont-text-scale 20 -subcp UTF-8 -subpos 100 -cache 500 -osdlevel 0 -prefer-ipv4 -vf-add screenshot -noslices -channels 2 -af equalizer=0:0:0:0:0:0:0:0:0:0 -softvol -softvol-max 110

MPlayer 20110624-4.5.2 (C) 2000-2011 MPlayer Team
CPU vendor name: GenuineIntel max cpuid level: 10
CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU P8400 @ 2.26GHz (Family: 6, Model: 23, Stepping: 6)
extended cpuid-level: 8
extended cache-info: 201351232
Detected cache-line size is 64 bytes
CPUflags: MMX: 1 MMX2: 1 3DNow: 0 3DNowExt: 0 SSE: 1 SSE2: 1 SSSE3: 1
Compiled with runtime CPU detection.
get_path(‘codecs.conf’) -> ‘/home/rob/.mplayer/codecs.conf’
Reading /home/rob/.mplayer/codecs.conf: Can’t open ‘/home/rob/.mplayer/codecs.conf’: No such file or directory
Reading /etc/mplayer/codecs.conf: Can’t open ‘/etc/mplayer/codecs.conf’: No such file or directory
Using built-in default codecs.conf.
Using MMX (with tiny bit MMX2) Optimized OnScreenDisplay
get_path(‘fonts’) -> ‘/home/rob/.mplayer/fonts’
Configuration: –prefix=/usr –mandir=/usr/man –confdir=/etc/mplayer –enable-gui –enable-menu –disable-arts –disable-bitmap-font –codecsdir=/usr/lib64/codecs –language=all –enable-runtime-cpudetection
CommandLine: ‘-noquiet’ ‘-v’ ‘-nofs’ ‘-nomouseinput’ ‘-lavdopts’ ‘threads=2’ ‘-sub-fuzziness’ ‘1’ ‘-identify’ ‘-slave’ ‘-vo’ ‘x11’ ‘-ao’ ‘alsa’ ‘-zoom’ ‘-nokeepaspect’ ‘-framedrop’ ‘-nodr’ ‘-double’ ‘-input’ ‘conf=/usr/share/umplayer/input.conf’ ‘-stop-xscreensaver’ ‘-wid’ ‘46139828’ ‘-monitorpixelaspect’ ‘1’ ‘-ass’ ‘-msglevel’ ‘ass=6’ ‘-embeddedfonts’ ‘-ass-line-spacing’ ‘0’ ‘-ass-font-scale’ ‘1’ ‘-ass-styles’ ‘/home/rob/.config/umplayer/styles.ass’ ‘-fontconfig’ ‘-font’ ‘Arial’ ‘-subfont-autoscale’ ‘0’ ‘-subfont-osd-scale’ ’20’ ‘-subfont-text-scale’ ’20’ ‘-subcp’ ‘UTF-8’ ‘-subpos’ ‘100’ ‘-cache’ ‘500’ ‘-osdlevel’ ‘0’ ‘-prefer-ipv4’ ‘-vf-add’ ‘screenshot’ ‘-noslices’ ‘-channels’ ‘2’ ‘-af’ ‘equalizer=0:0:0:0:0:0:0:0:0:0’ ‘-softvol’ ‘-softvol-max’ ‘110’ ‘’
Using nanosleep() timing
Parsing input config file /usr/share/umplayer/input.conf
Input config file /usr/share/umplayer/input.conf parsed: 67 binds
get_path(‘watch?v=9LRrYSXo_Ec.conf’) -> ‘/home/rob/.mplayer/watch?v=9LRrYSXo_Ec.conf’
get_path(‘sub/’) -> ‘/home/rob/.mplayer/sub/’
Filename for url is now
Filename for url is now
Resolving for AF_INET…
Connecting to server[]: 80…
protocol: [HTTP/1.0]
http minor version: [0]
uri: [(null)]
method: [(null)]
status code: [200]
reason phrase: [OK]
body size: [1260]
0 – Date: Sun, 07 Aug 2011 14:46:58 GMT
1 – Server: wiseguy/0.6.10
2 – X-Content-Type-Options: nosniff
3 – Set-Cookie: use_hitbox=72c46ff6cbcdb7c5585c36411b6b334edAEAAAAw; path=/;
4 – Set-Cookie: VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE=P8AgWybE0Gc; path=/;; expires=Tue, 03-Apr-2012 14:46:58 GMT
5 – Set-Cookie: recently_watched_video_id_list=e376f61915029496d7ecf8a784841e7fWwEAAABzCwAAADlMUnJZU1hvX0Vj; path=/;
6 – Set-Cookie: PREF=f1=50000000; path=/;; expires=Wed, 04-Aug-2021 14:46:58 GMT
7 – Set-Cookie: GEO=e2705ff1e2864a8609f0544f13741f04cwsAAAAzR0KA8FgUTj6lYg==; path=/;
8 – Expires: Tue, 27 Apr 1971 19:44:06 EST
9 – Cache-Control: no-cache
10 – X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN
11 – Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8
Content-Type: [text/html; charset=utf-8]
Cache size set to 500 KBytes
STREAM: [null]
STREAM: Description: http streaming
STREAM: Author: Bertrand, Albeau, Reimar Doeffinger, Arpi?
STREAM: Comment: plain http
CACHE_PRE_INIT: 0 [0] 0 pre:102400 eof:0
Cache fill: 0.00% (0 bytes) Stream not seekable!
Cache fill: 18.78% (96146 bytes)
LAVF_check: no clue about this gibberish!
Checking for YUV4MPEG2
ASF_check: not ASF guid!
Checking for REAL
Checking for SMJPEG
SUB: opened iconv descriptor.
SUB: closed iconv descriptor.
Searching demuxer type for filename ext: .com/watch?v=9LRrYSXo_Ec
Checking for Nullsoft Streaming Video
Checking for MOV
Checking for VIVO
header block 1 size: 33
Checking for PVA
Checking for MPEG-TS…
TRIED UP TO POSITION 71898, FOUND 47, packet_size= 0, SEEMS A TS? 0
Checking for LMLM4 Stream Format
Invalid packet in LMLM4 stream: ch=15393 size=1129601352
LMLM4 Stream Format not found
MPEG Stream reached EOF
ds_fill_buffer: EOF reached (stream: video)
MPEG packet stats: p100: 0 p101: 0 p1B6: 0 p12x: 0 sli: 0 a: 0 b: 0 c: 0 idr: 0 sps: 0 pps: 0 PES: 0 MP3: 0, synced: 0
Not MPEG System Stream format… (maybe Transport Stream?)
MPEG Stream reached EOF
ds_fill_buffer: EOF reached (stream: video)
MPEG packet stats: p100: 0 p101: 0 p1B6: 0 p12x: 0 sli: 0 a: 0 b: 0 c: 0 idr: 0 sps: 0 pps: 0 PES: 0 MP3: 0, synced: 3
Not MPEG System Stream format… (maybe Transport Stream?)
Invalid seek to negative position ffffffffffffffff!
ds_fill_buffer: EOF reached (stream: video)
LAVF_check: no clue about this gibberish!
demux_aac_probe, failed to detect an AAC stream
vo: x11 uninit called but X11 not initialized..
Exiting… (End of file)

Comment from alienbob
Posted: August 7, 2011 at 17:17

Yes, Youtube changed their web site layout again, so both VLC and UMPlayer are broken. I saw a patch in git already for VLC 1.1:;a=commit;h=9cb117783bb9dc4e361facf4d6da2378f07a759e and I am sure that UMPlayer will update their software too, soon.


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