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Installing Freevo in Ubuntu.

Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala and Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope.

It seems Freevo packages do work in these releases (except that I needed to add the 'freevo' user to the 'video' group to get permissions on the DVB devices, try 'sudo adduser freevo video'.)

To install, type in a command line:

sudo aptitude install freevo

If you want to install a more recent release than 1.9.0 (Karmic) or 1.8.1 (Jaunty), you should try the manual procedure described below for Hardy and Intrepid.

Initial settings asked for on installation.

There are some settings which you chose on installation, e.g. if you wish to start xserver, recordserver, webserver and rss-server on boot. To go through this again (i.e. to make changes) type this command in the terminal:

dpkg-reconfigure -p low freevo

Disabling gdm/kdm/xdm.

If you have a dedicated HTPC and you configured freevo to appear on boot, you might want to disable the regular login manager. This is configured in /etc/X11/default-display-manager; an empty file seems to do the trick.

Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex and Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron.

As Freevo packages in Ubuntu 8.04 and 8.10 are broken, you should do a manual installation from source. This approach has the advantage that is very easy to setup several Freevo versions in the same machine, and switch between them easily.

These are the basic steps; below is an example script to save some typing.

  1. Download Freevo sources from Sourceforge

    • Freevo-x.x.x.tar.gz
    • kaa-base-x.x.x.tar.gz
    • kaa-imlib2-x.x.x.tar.gz
    • kaa-metadata-x.x.x.tar.gz
  2. Extract all the packages
  3. Install dependencies (It would be very wise to add 'Medibuntu' repository before this step)
    • Mandatory
      • libglib2.0-dev
      • libimlib2
      • libimlib2-dev
      • libdvdread-dev
      • python-xml
      • python-pygame
      • python-twisted
      • python-dev
      • python-beautifulsoup
      • xmltv
      • lsdvd
      • aumix
      • mplayer
    • Optional packages
      • libdvdcss2
      • w32codecs
      • python-pylirc
      • lirc
      • tvtime
      • xine-ui
  4. Install Freevo packages in order
    • kaa-base
    • kaa-imlib2
    • kaa-metadata
    • freevo
  5. Copy configuration files in Freevo directory
    • If you are using Freevo for the first time:
      • Exec 'freevo setup' to create 'freevo.conf'
      • Copy 'local_conf.py.example' (in Freevo source directory) to 'local_conf.py' in Freevo installation directory or ~/.freevo
      • Edit and adapt 'local_conf.py'
    • If you have a working Freevo
      • Copy 'freevo.conf' and 'local_conf.py' in the new Freevo dir
      • Run the convert_config helper

To make things easier

Here is a helper script to install everything in Ubuntu. Copy and paste to 'freevo-install.sh', and make it executable

# This script unpacks Freevo sources stored in '$SRC',<br /># and installs Freevo in $FREEVO_DIR, making a symlink to '~/freevo'<br /><br />FREEVO_DIR=~/freevo-1.8.3 # The dir where Freevo is to be installed<br />SRC=~/src # The dir where sources packages are stored (the script will unpack them in this directory)<br /><br /># Mandatory dependencies<br />sudo aptitude install libglib2.0-dev libimlib2 libimlib2-dev libdvdread-dev python-xml python-pygame python-twisted python-dev python-beautifulsoup xmltv lsdvd aumix mplayer<br /><br /># 'nullmailer' is installed too due to some dependencies. You can deactivate it in '/etc/init.d'<br /><br /># Optional packages<br />sudo aptitude install libdvdcss2 w32codecs python-pylirc lirc tvtime xine-ui<br /><br />for FILE in $SRC/*.tar.gz; do<br />        tar -xvzf "$FILE" -C "$SRC"<br />done<br /><br /><br /># Install Kaa<br />cd $SRC/kaa-base*<br />python setup.py install --prefix=$FREEVO_DIR<br />export PYTHONPATH=$FREEVO_DIR/lib/python2.5/site-packages:/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/oldxml<br />cd $SRC/kaa-imlib2*<br />python setup.py install --prefix=$FREEVO_DIR<br />cd $SRC/kaa-metadata*<br />python setup.py install --prefix=$FREEVO_DIR<br /><br /># Install Freevo<br />cd $SRC/freevo*<br />python setup.py install --prefix=$FREEVO_DIR<br /><br /># Should the previous command fail,<br /># add the next line to 'setup.py' below 'import sys'<br />#sys.path.append('/usr/lib/python%s/site-packages/oldxml' % sys.version[:3])<br /># and try again:<br />#python setup.py install --prefix=$FREEVO_DIR<br /><br /># Make a symlink pointing to "~/freevo"<br />rm ~/freevo<br />ln -s $FREEVO_DIR ~/freevo

Excuting Freevo

Now Freevo should work fine (provided you have a valid 'freevo.conf' and ' local_conf.py' in '~/.freevo' or '~/freevo') and you can remove ~/src and all its contents.

cd ~/freevo<br />PYTHONPATH=~/freevo/lib/python2.5/site-packages:/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/oldxml bin/freevo

I've defined the following function in '.bashrc' (or '.bash_profile'):

function freevo () {<br />    pushd .<br />    cd ~/freevo<br />#    export FREEVO_STATICDIR=~/freevo/lib<br />#    export FREEVO_LOGDIR=~/freevo/log<br />#    export FREEVO_CACHEDIR=~/freevo/cache<br />    LC_ALL=es_ES.UTF-8 PYTHONPATH=~/freevo/lib/python2.5/site-packages:/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/oldxml bin/freevo $@<br />    popd<br />}

Two or more Freevo versions

  • Download and extract Freevo packages as described before
  • Make a symlink 'freevo' pointing to the version you want to use
  • Make the directories 'cache' y 'log' inside every freevo directory
  • In each 'local_conf.py' set these variables as needed:
    • FREEVO_STATICDIR='~/freevo-1.8.1/lib'
    • FREEVO_LOGDIR='~/freevo-1.8.1/log'
    • FREEVO_CACHEDIR='~/freevo-1.8.1/cache'
  • Run Freevo with:

cd ~/freevo<br />PYTHONPATH=~/freevo/lib/python2.5/site-packages:/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/oldxml bin/freevo

If you want to use another version of Freevo, you can change the symlink or, simply, cd to that Freevo version directory and adapt PYTHONPATH in the command line as needed.

Feisty 7.04 and Gutsy 7.10

If you haven't already done so, review the restricted formats page on the ubuntu community site page on getting Ubuntu to play a wide variety of multimedia formats.

Attention! The gutsy version of Freevo 1.8.0rc2 is buggy and will not start on Ubuntu Gutsy system. To avoid this problem, install an older version. Refer yourself to this post: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=731013&page=2

For Feisty or Gutsy either

  • Add these lines in your /etc/apt/sources.list manually, or

  • Open Synaptic, go to Settings -> Repositories -> Third Party Software, and use the add button on the bottom to add each of these lines.

deb http://ubuntu.geole.info/ gutsy universe multiverse<br />deb-src http://ubuntu.geole.info/ gutsy universe multiverse

You may see a warning that the packages can't be verified. To add the GPG-Key for ubuntu.geole.info so your software packages are cryptographically checked, install the package geole-keyring by either

  • opening a terminal session and typing

sudo apt-get update<br />sudo apt-get install geole-keyring
  • or clicking 'Reload' in Synaptic, then use the Search button to find geole-keyring, mark it for installation and hit apply.

Now install the freevo packages by either

  • apt-get install freevo

  • or search for freevo in Synaptic, mark all the resulting packages for installation and hit Apply

Either way you do it, apt will find a list of dependencies and offer to install them as well.

On a stock gutsy install, ubuntu-restricted-extras, the freevo packages and all the related programs pulls in about 120 different packages overall. If you have ubuntu-restricted-extras already installed, freevo alone is about 77 packages.

As apt installs the packages it will prompt for the location of your Audio Video and Picture folders, along with a few other settings.

There are many more options and plug ins available. After installation, start looking at the configuration pages to see what's possible.

Don't forget the users mailing list archives and live for even more help.

Older Versions of Ubuntu.

For older version of Ubuntu you can download the archive and install it as in SourceInstallation. Note the large number of dependencies can make this time consuming....

64 Bit warning.

For AMD64 installations you will need to update python-pygame as there is a bug in the currently provided debian package which will cause freevo to crash on startup:

Note on older versions of Freevo.

Versions of freevo before 1.5.4 do not support python 2.4

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About Hugo Repetto

Ubuntu is a Linux distribution that offers an operating system predominantly focused on desktop computers but also provides support for servers. Based on Debian GNU / Linux, Ubuntu focuses on ease of use, freedom in usage restriction, regular releases (every 6 months) and ease of installation.
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