Fedora 28 can't play DVDs

I’m a 20 year Linux veteran. I’ve been using the KDE spin of Fedora 28 workstation for a while now, and I just discovered I can’t play commercial DVDs!
Now it seems to me this is a pretty important thing to do. I’ve already installed a bunch of packages and still I can’t get VLC, MPlayer or Kaffein to play my Johnny Depp movie inserted in my blu-ray/dvd drive.
Now I installed various packages that were recommended in various Fedora forums and I still haven’t got any luck whatsoever. So that’s where I am now and I’m going to document in this article where I go from here.
I’ve started a fresh login to my KDE Fedora spin. and now I’m on my main screen. I have a DVD inserted in the drive and I’m going to click on multimedia and Mplayer to see if I can’t play it.
Well I didn’t get anywhere with that so now I’ve started the program Kaffeine. I click on 4 play DVD and I get a title called The Ninth Gate which is a Johnny Depp movie that I have in my drive. The title goes away and I left of the black screen and nothing playing so I close out that program and next Sun going to try loading VLC media player.
So now that I have the VLC media player on screen I click on media and then I click on open disk and I have a selection DVD, Blu-ray, audio, CD, Etc and since it’s a DVD I click the DVD option and then click play. Naturally, nothing happens.
Someone on a forum said I needed to do this.
su
yum install gstreamer1-libav gstreamer1-plugins-bad-freeworld gstreamer1-plugins-ugly

I did. No help. Someone said I needed

sudo dnf install libdvdnav

No help.
Now wait. I just remember maybe I should install xine, another media player. So I did. sudo dnf install xine
So now I start xine from the command line and the program starts. I click on DVD.
Alas. I’m now back inside Kubuntu.

Where in the Linux world did I wind up?

#Fedora #UbuntuStudio #Kubuntu
If you didn’t read my blog post yesterday, you should know that I have installed Linux hundreds of times over the years. Lately I was quite happy in my KDE spin of Fedora 27 come 28. That is until I discovered the night before last that I could not play a Johnny Depp movie in my computer’s DVD player.
This led me to the conclusion that I should leave Fedora and go back to the Ubuntu world, or specifically Ubuntu Studio. That attempt was met with disaster when I discovered that under Ubuntu Studio my mouse moved so slowly that I had to keep picking it up and sliding it across my mouse pad six or seven times just to get to the other side of the screen to click something. I have no idea why it behaved in this way. I have run Ubuntu Studio before and had no problems. But this particular version of Ubuntu Studio, AKA the latest, was unusable for me. It was so painful to manipulate the mouse just to move from one corner of the screen to the other that I wasn’t even able to effectively search for a solution to the problem.
I was forced to reformat with a different version of Linux. So I looked through my collection of Linux DVDs and found a six-month-old copy of Kubuntu. (Kubuntu is a spin of Ubuntu that uses the KDE desktop.)
That’s where I am now. I reread an article on this blog where I wrote why I left Kubuntu and went to Fedora in the first place. Back then I complained that my videos (YouTube, Netflix, Amazon) we’re choppy when I watched them and so I switched to Fedora Linux and didn’t have that problem. Curiously, later that same problem also developed in Fedora and I discovered the reason was because I was rotating my desktop wallpaper behind the scenes every 60 seconds. It subsequently caused the system to drag sufficiently and make a slight jigaboo with any video I might be watching.
Now that I know that, and I’m back inside of Kubuntu, everything is fine and life is good. I was able to re-establish my backups and get my KDE looking pretty much exactly the way it did inside of Fedora 28. So that’s where I am today after my harrowing experience of yesterday!

Fedora to Ubuntu Studio

I felt very secure inside of my Fedora KDE spin. I’ve used it for a few months now and felt very happy. I only ran into a snag last night when I discovered that I can’t play a DVD on my computer.
Now I am no newbie to Linux, and naturally I searched the internet and tried all different sorts of things to get Fedora to work. I installed dozens of programs, codecs and read lots of advice. But alas I was unsuccessful. That’s when I started thinking about Ubuntu Studio. Now I have it booting on my DVD drive and I am about to install it. I have already backed up all of my programs that I’m going to need on the other side, and it’s not that I haven’t reinstalled Linux a few hundred times in my lifetime.
The first thing I notice as I start the installer is that my mouse is really slow and pokey! It took me quite a while to get it to move over to the continue button. That is unusual.
In fact moving the mouse during the entire install program is quite tedious. I have to pick up the mouse and then slide it across my mousepad repeatedly just to get it to move from one option to the next.
However, I have used Ubuntu Studio before, so I think the end product, after the installation is complete, will allow me to move my mouse around the screen easily enough.
Fedora gave me an option to combine my 3 hard drives into one giant home directory. I liked that and I miss it here in Ubuntu. Here I install my Swap and boot directory on my 400 meg drive my home directory on a terabyte second drive and my everything else directory on my terabyte third Drive. It’s a total of 3.4 terabytes of space. Most of it is being wasted.
While I’m waiting for Ubuntu Studio to copy files to my hard drives, I’m thinking about what I want to do once I get inside my new operating system. I’ve become quite a fan of the KDE desktop environment and I know Ubuntu Studio uses the xfce desktop environment. Although I really like xfce I think I’m going to install KDE on top of it. We’ll see.
Since I’ve compressed and backed up my files to the cloud I’m going to want to install Firezilla so I can FTP download my important files again. And of course I’m going to want to see if I can play DVDs off the bat or whether I have to fiddle with it as I expect. There are plenty of instructions how to play DVDs on an Ubuntu system. Hopefully it will work better for me then Fedora 28 did.
By the way, just in case you wondered, this installation is being done to my actual hard disks not inside of a virtualbox window. I’m writing this article by dictating it into my Pixel 2 XL phone.
Now that the files are finished being copied the system is being installed. One program after another is flashing on my screen. Now Thunderbird is installed. Now USB storage is installed. Now it’s configuring hardware. The mouse still moves painfully slowly. Now grub is being installed. You need grub to get your system up and running in the first place. All of this is par for the course in any standard Linux installation.
The screen now says “Installation is complete. You need to restart the computer in order to use a new installation.” Oh boy, here we go. I struggle to get my pokey mouse pointer over to the Restart Now button and click.
Characteristic of Ubuntu based systems the computer then ejects my DVD and prompts me to press enter to restart. (My installation media was burned to a DVD.)
Before long I’m prompted to enter the password I selected during the installation program. However painfully and disappointingly my mouse is still incredibly slow and I have to figure out how to solve it right away.
After a few minutes of struggle I find I can change my mouse cursor and change the acceleration of the mouse pointer none of which has any effect whatsoever on correcting this incredibly difficult problem. Even searching the web for a solution at this point will be difficult if I have trouble moving the mouse pointer from one side of the screen to the other! Immediately I’m thinking I may have to go back to what I was using before, Fedora 28!
Still I am downloading some updates and we’ll see what happens.
I found an idea on Linuxquestions.Org that I should try xset mouse <acceleration> <threshold>. That does nothing despite whatever values I put in there. Someone else is saying I should try apt-get update.
After repeated tries, I’ve come to a conclusion. Ubuntu Studio, at least for me on my computer at this point in time, is a mistake. I’m going to have to go with something else since I’ve already wiped out Fedora 28!

Upgrading to Fedora 28 from Fedora 27

Upgrading is slow but definitely worth it.

I am presently upgrading from Fedora 27 to Fedora 28, which as of writing just came out.
At the stage I am at now I have already undertaken all of the command line instructions and have rebooted the computer. The system has started the upgrade process in the reboot. It’s taking a while but I think it will be worth it.
In the meantime, I am without my computer. So I’m using my new Pixel 2XL phone to dictate this article. It makes a few mistakes but that’s ok.
I was once a big fan of rolling Linux distributions but sometimes found them unstable. Sometimes certain programs would just stop working, or the whole OS, which is part of the deal with rolling distributions. I always thought I wanted the bleeding edge of Linux software, something you can get with rolling distributions.
What what I found, however, was that I really didn’t have the stomach or patience to wait for those programs that stopped working to start working again or go through tedious and confusing steps to get the program that stopped working to work again, or get the whole OS up and going again.
I am no newbie to Linux. I’ve been using Linux since 1998. So in these 20 years I have used most of the major distributions, if not all. Pretty much you name it, I’ve run it.
What I’m using now is Fedora Linux. The reason I decided to go with Fedora is that Linus Torvalds uses it and he is the creator of Linux.
Furthermore, I discovered, unlike some other non-rolling distributions, Fedora Linux can be upgraded to the next version without reinstalling the whole software. Meanwhile, you get regular updates so your programs stay fairly bleeding edge.
Upgrading Fedora from one version to the next can be done easily either from the command line or from inside the desktop environment, (which in my case is KDE).
That’s what I’m doing now. I’ve upgraded, or rather am still upgrading, Fedora 27 to 28, all from the command line. It’s easy to find instructions how to do this by a simple Google search, or if you prefer, DuckDuckGo.
At a certain point in the installation procedure the computer automatically restarts to begin the actual update process. That takes time. Be prepared not to be able to use your computer for about 45 minutes or so, which explains why I’m dictating this article on my phone rather than typing it on my computer.
So if you’re thinking of upgrading, by all means do so. Just search Google for “upgrade Fedora 27 to Fedora 28.” Be prepared that this will take some time but it will be worth it in the end.
The process is now complete. My computer is back to normal. Everything is as it was but under the hood is the new Fedora 28 version of Linux.

Bad Blood and Help Vampires in Linux Forums

by Wayne Boyd

April 3, 2017

As you probably know there are about a hundred billion versions of GNU/Linux freely available for download that you can install on your computer, wiping out Windows altogether (or keeping it if you like too).

Some of these versions were started from scratch using the Linux kernel developed and maintained by Linus Travalds in the early 1990’s. It also includes various other pieces of software from GNU and even sometimes proprietary sources. (Android is one of these Linux branches and runs on many, many smart phones.)

There are charts you can look at on Wikipedia about the history of the development of these many Linux distributions (herein called distros), but many of them branched out from some older and often still maintained distros.

The largest family tree is Debian. From Debian come so many versions of Linux it takes up have the chart on Wikipedia. It includes Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Ubuntu Studios, Linux Mint, Linux Debian, SolyDX, Bodhi,  ad infinitum. No way to do it justice here.

Then there’s the Red Hat branch, and that’s the next big branch. It includes dozens and dozens of offshoots, including openSuse, Fedora, and Lord knows what.

Slackware is a distro with many active branches.

More recently Arch and then later Android (developed by Google) came along.

Arch is a gloves off roll up your sleeves operating system that you install from the ground up with certain command line tools. Unlike other popular distros, after you install Arch on your computer, you wind up with a command line. What you do from there is partition your hard drives with fdisk and start installing the bits and pieces that eventually will give you some kind of functioning desktop computer down the line.

These Arch people are hard core. They have little time for fools like you and me who they call Help Vampires come to suck the life blood out of their efforts. Honestly, though, as someone who has used Linux since the turn of the century (exclusively since 2002), and somewhat familiar with how a Linux system is put together and works, I just don’t want to build a version of Linux from the ground up anymore.

There’s no need.

So along came some branches off of Arch, most notable but not exclusively, CineArch and Manjaro. CineArch was an Arch based distro with a graphical install and which provided the Cinnamon desktop environment. Thus the name: Cinnamon + Arch: CineArch. But when Cinnamon was dropped by CineArch and they went with Gnome 3, they need to change the name of the distro. Thus Antergos was born.

I’ve used both Manjaro and Antergos now, and they are great operating systems that give you a wonderful graphical experience and you don’t have to worry how it was put together underneath the hood.

The Arch people are very quick to point out, despite so many YouTube videos and forum claims, Arch is not 100% Antergos. Antergos has their own repositories and software, their own wiki, their own forums and their own administrators. It is not true that Antergos is just a graphical installation of Arch. Antergos is a full-fledged Linux distro in it’s own right using the Arch framework plus their own tools to build their own operating system.

The Antergos community and their forums are not as populated as the Arch forums, and so a lot of Antergos users, thinking Antergos is just Arch, go to their forum and ask questions. This makes some in that community upset. Many of the original Arch developers have stated their feeling that they should not help Antergos. Antergos should provide their own help on their own forums to their own users.

Life is a two way street, and although much less so, there’s a similar mood from Antergos diehards about the Manjaro people that come to their forums and ask questions about their Arch based distro.

Arch forum moderators get all hot headed and have no tolerance for what they are calling Help Vampires. Help Vampires, they say, come in swarms and completely distract and destroy a well developed online community.

That’s what they think of us – the Antergos community.

So I found bad blood and calls of Help Vampires after reading a prominent article tonight on the Arch user forums. Now I don’t want to go there anymore. Let them have their world all to themselves. Power to them.

I just want a computer that works pretty good, is fun to fiddle with, looks pretty and functions effectively. I’ve got that with Antergos. I recommend it.

That’s my two cents worth. I came here to get away from politics, not to find it.

Footnote: Now, a year and a half later, my situation has changed. I have three hard disks and three operating systems on each one. They include Arch, my main one, Tumbleweed and Fedora Gnome.