This tutorial will show all Ubuntu users how they can use Ubuntu to play all their MP3 music files and many other common audio types. Read below to find out how you can install and enable many audio codecs in just a few steps.

Now be sure that you have a relatively new media player. In this tutorial I am going to use VLC media player as an example.


If you do not have VLC media player then enter the code below into your “Terminal” (command prompt) to install it to your Ubuntu computer:

sudo apt-get install vlc             Then hit “Enter” on your keyboard.


After you have entered the code highlighted above in your “Terminal”, you must then select “y” and then hit enter. This will begin the download and installation process of the VLC media player on your computer. Once this is complete you will once again have a blinking cursor next to your username.


Now that your VLC installation is complete it is time to install some codec packs. In order to install a massive variety of codecs enter the command in the list below depending on your current version of Ubuntu, which will install various packages in one line of code:


Ubuntu 10.04, 9.10 and 9.04 (of both the i386 variety and the amd64 variety)

sudo apt-get install libdvdread4            Then hit “Enter” on your keyboard.

Then enter the following into your command window:

sudo usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/            Then hit “Enter” on your keyboard.

Once you have followed the above two steps you should restart your computer to ensure that your media codecs are fully installed and in a completely functional state, which will prevent potential lockups.


Below are the instructions to install all of these codecs onto some of the older Ubuntu distributions:


Ubuntu 8.10 (i386 and amd64

sudo apt-get install libdvdread3 gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly           Then hit your “Enter” key

Once you have followed the above steps I recommend that you restart your computer, in order to ensure that your codecs are fully installed and functional prior to opening your media files and opening yourself to the possibility of your media glitching, garbling or locking up.


Ubuntu 8.04 (i386 only)

sudo apt-get install libdvdread3                  Then hit the “Enter” key on your keyboard.

Then enter the text below into your command window:

sudo usr/share/doc/libdvdread3/           Then hit the “Enter” key on your keyboard.

Once you have entered the text highlighted above and your codecs have installed, I recommend that you restart your computer in order to ensure a fully installation of the codecs, as this will minimize the possibility of corrupt, semi-functional codecs on your system.


Ubuntu 8.04 (amd64 only)

sudo apt-get install build-essential debhelper fakeroot              Then hit your “Enter” key.

Then enter the text highlighted below into your command prompt window:

sudo usr/share/doc/libdvdread3/           Then hit the “Enter” key on your keyboard.

Once you have entered the text above and hit the “Enter” key, I recommend that you restart your computer, as doing so will ensure that you get a full installation of your codecs. If you do not restart your computer after installation then it is likely that your codec may not work in the way you expected it to, which will cause complications.


Now that you have configured your media codecs and restarted your computer, you must enter the command below into your “Terminal” (command prompt) in order to change the region settings on your DVD hardware in order to play the DVD region marked on the DVD of which you intend on playing:


Entering the above text will provide you with multiple choices on your region code. There are many different region codes, which vary depending on your country. These region settings are put in place to help stop the spread of pirated movies and maximize the income from movies released on DVDs. This code can be easily changed by entering the one-number code matching the disc. A list of region codes is below:


Area Code (Single Number Code) Region That The Code Applies To


Canada, U.S. and U.S. Territories.


Albania, Andorra, Austria, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, European Union, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Iran (Islamic Republic of) Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia (the Former Yugoslav Republic), Malta, Moldova, Principality of Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia,South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Kingdom (Channel Islands) Vatican City State, Yemen and Yugoslavia


Southeast Asia and East Asia ( also including Hong Kong)


Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Central America, Mexico, South America and the Caribbean


Former Soviet Union, Indian Subcontinent and Africa (also North Korea and Mongolia)






Special international venues (airplanes, cruise ships, etc.).

The above list was written based on the list at


Now that you have installed and configured your particular VLC installation and you are ready to play your media you must copy an "MP3” file or another media file of your choice somewhere on your harddrive, your documents folder will do for now.


Once you have copied your choice of media file or inserted your favourite media CD or DVD, you may then navigate to it through your preferred file manager and then double click onto the DVD drive or the media file of your choice. If it does not start playing or begins playing in a media player other than VLC, then you may open VLC by navigating to it through your taskbar and then clicking the “File” button in the VLC window at the top left of the window and then clicking the “Open File” button and then selecting the individual media file that you wish to play. Alternatively, say you would like to play every media file from a specific directory, you may click the “File” menu again and then select “Open Directory” and then choose the directory that your media file is stored in.

Congratulations! You have just installed, configured and should now be using the VLC media player on your Ubuntu computer system. Enjoy your newfound Ubuntu media utilization knowledge.