How to install all possible media codecs from console?

Is there a way to load and save them for some cases without Internet connection?

Thanks in Advance!


4 Answers 4


UPDATE: 2017-Jan

For Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and 16.10 (12.04 or later)

update the repos:

sudo apt-get update

install CURL tool

sudo apt-get install curl

load VideoLAN repository

curl https://download.videolan.org/pub/debian/videolan-apt.asc | sudo apt-key add -
echo "deb https://download.videolan.org/pub/debian/stable ./" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/libdvdcss.list
sudo apt-get update

install VLC and Mplayer, and their support elements

sudo apt-get install vlc vlc-data browser-plugin-vlc mplayer2

If still using 14.04 LTS (or earlier), then:

sudo apt-get install vlc-plugin-pulse

install remaining Ubuntu 'restricted extras' (146 MB when installed, skip if space is critical)

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

If you are NOT already using 16.04 LTS (or later), force (manually) install the three key elements for full DVD support:

sudo apt-get install libdvdcss2 libdvdnav4 libdvdread4
  • didn't get. for what we adding medibuntu rep? to get wide codecs range?
    – skater_nex
    Aug 2, 2012 at 7:56
  • 1
    ubuntu did'nt include some codec's due to licence issues , mediaubuntu team packed such codecs
    – Tachyons
    Aug 2, 2012 at 8:01
  • 1
    see: medibuntu.org "Medibuntu is a packaging project dedicated to distributing software that cannot be included in Ubuntu for various reasons, related to geographical variations in legislation regarding intellectual property, security and other issues:"
    – david6
    Aug 2, 2012 at 8:02
  • 1
    This answer could need an update (for Ubuntu 16.04). E: Package 'vlc-plugin-pulse' has no installation candidate and sudo: /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/install-css.sh: command not found
    – MERose
    Jan 24, 2017 at 18:00
  • Package 'vlc-plugin-pulse' in now included (as of 2015-11-17) in vlc main. See: launchpad.net/ubuntu/xenial/arm64/vlc-plugin-pulse
    – david6
    Jan 25, 2017 at 3:59

Yep, I had this problem when I switched to Ubuntu a year ago lol. I only know how to install them. I then made a mirror of my Linux installation as it's a bit more complex than using just the Ubuntu Desktop. I use a Server Thin Client Environment.

Anyway the command to install codecs you need is

sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad gstreamer0.10-bad-multiverse

You may want to check if there is a later version of gstreamer available. The last one worked well for me and all my videos played so I stuck to this version (0.10)

I'm sure there is a way to save it too but hopefully someone will answer your the second part of your question here

  • 2
    you can download them from the gstreamer website. Click link Aug 2, 2012 at 4:09
  • Thanks, but I don't thinks your codec list if full enough. I need almost all existing codecs.
    – skater_nex
    Aug 2, 2012 at 4:36
  • 1
    check out this Post installation guide. It has details on installing codecs in the Multimedia section. I hope this helps link Aug 2, 2012 at 4:50
  • This worked for me in Ubuntu 12.04, except I had to remove gstreamer0.10-bad-multivers
    – Francisco
    Nov 13, 2015 at 22:42

To install all the *default media codecs for Ubuntu, run this command in the **terminal:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

You will then be asked for your password (your password will NOT show up in the terminal, but I promise you it is there)

Press [Enter]

When prompted, press [Enter] (again)

Once the process is complete, you're good to go!

*Generally you have a choice to download and install them during initial instillation, but you can always install them this way as well after the fact

**To open the terminal, right click on any empty workspace, and select "Open Terminal"


Install the ubuntu-restricted-extras for most of the codecs. To install it, click on the below image: Install via the software center

Install and run aptoncd Install aptoncd to backup all the packages you have downloaded; you can reuse them using aptoncd in any computer.

  • I really need all the codecs. How Can I obtain rare ones?
    – skater_nex
    Aug 2, 2012 at 4:34
  • i think all the codecs would come with restricted extras, still you can search in the "software centre" for any other codecs left to be installed. if you are a music professional , you can install "ubuntustudio desktop" it will fetch all the required packages for art-music professionals.
    – techvish81
    Aug 2, 2012 at 5:34

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