When installing Ubuntu it always has this box which says Install this third-party software, but I am wondering exactly which third-party software and where it is installing it from.

I can see the description below, however I want to know exactly which software is being installed, which packages, and from where.

Ubuntu GNOME uses third-party software to play Flash, MP3 and other media, and to work with some graphics and wi-fi hardware. Some of this software is proprietary. The software is subject to license terms included with its documentation.

Install this third-party software check box



After digging some more through output of

dpkg --get-selections | xargs apt-cache policy | grep -B5 'multiverse' it turns out there exists meta-package ubuntu-restricted-addons. The /var/lib/dpkg/info/ubuntu-restricted-addons.list pointed me to the file /usr/share/doc/ubuntu-restricted-addons/README.Debian

The contents of that file state:

This package was split into ubuntu-restricted-extras and ubuntu-restricted-addons to allow the desktop CD installer (ubiquity) to install a subset of the packages available in the original ubuntu-restricted-extras package.

Moving forward, ubuntu-restricted-extras should only contain multiverse packages, whereas ubuntu-restricted-addons should contain main and universe packages, as well as any packages from multiverse that have been vetted by a lawyer.

Since ubuntu-restricted-extras depends on ubuntu-restricted-addons, users should be discouraged from installing ubuntu-restricted-addons outside of the desktop CD installer. This is the reasoning behind the warning and sparse description in ubuntu-restricted-addons.

-- Evan Dandrea Thu, 05 Aug 2010 16:14:43 -0400

Thus, Ubuntu installer allows you to install ubuntu-restricted-addons meta-package.

apt-cache tells us what goes into that package:

$ apt-cache depends ubuntu-restricted-addons                                                                            
  Recommends: gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly
  Recommends: gstreamer1.0-plugins-ugly
  Recommends: flashplugin-installer
  Recommends: gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad
  Recommends: gstreamer1.0-plugins-bad
  Recommends: gstreamer1.0-libav
  Recommends: gstreamer0.10-fluendo-mp3
  Recommends: gstreamer1.0-fluendo-mp3
  Recommends: chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-extra
  Recommends: oxideqt-codecs-extra
  Conflicts: ubuntu-restricted-addons:i386

This is pretty much the same output as on my 15.10 virtual machine.

Thus , my conclusion is that ubuntu-restricted-addons from multiverse repository is where the third-party software comes from.

Original post In terms of /etc/apt/sources.list file those would be any software that comes from deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu $RELEASE multiverse as well as deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu $RELEASE restricted repository.

It's also references in the software-properties-gtk program

enter image description here

You can list packages in those repositories with

awk '/^Package/' /var/lib/apt/lists/archive.ubuntu.com_ubuntu_dists_$(lsb_release -c | awk '{print $2}' )_multiverse_binary-$(dpkg --print-architecture)_Packages


awk '/^Package/' /var/lib/apt/lists/archive.ubuntu.com_ubuntu_dists_$(lsb_release -c | awk '{print $2}' )_restricted_binary-$(dpkg --print-architecture)_Packages
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    So which exact software is installed? Can you give me a list of packages which it installs because I can't believe that it installs all the software in the multiverse and restricted repositories? – user364819 Dec 21 '15 at 13:17
  • @ParanoidPanda the list of packages of all the available packages is very large. Use the awk one-liners I've posted. Alternatively you could use those oneliner in a fresh install and pass on the output to apt-cache policy through pipe and xargs – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Dec 21 '15 at 13:20
  • Off the top of my head such packages as drivers for broadcom and nvidia hardware are 100% proprietary. Microsoft compatible fonts, kde-related packages fall into "free,but restricted by license" category – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Dec 21 '15 at 13:31
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    So is there no comprehensive list somewhere of all the things this will install? – user364819 Dec 21 '15 at 14:30

What it installs is ubuntu-restricted-extras for playback of media that is not encrypted but using a proprietary codec (mainly mp3, mp4).

It is part of the Fluendo package. Fluendo is a Canonical partner so their own software is in the partner repository. gstreamer0.10-fluendo-plugins is the name of it and it has all of their playback codecs but has a price of $34.95

  • I beg to differ. Restricted extras package has to be manually installed. I've installed my Ubuntu 14.04 with Install third party software box checked, and yet apt-cache policy ubuntu-restricted-extras tells me Installed: (none) – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Dec 21 '15 at 13:04

The message "...uses third-party software to play Flash, MP3 and other media..." is in a package named ubiquity and it is Template: ubiquity/text/prepare_foss_disclaimer.

Template: ubiquity/text/prepare_nonfree_software is the label of the checkbox which contains the text "Install this third-party software"

In the file ubiquity/plugins/ubi-prepare.py there is a def ok_handler(self) that checks if that checkbox was clicked on into the active state and sets a varible use_nonfree to true if it was. If use_nonfree is true it causes universe and multiverse to be preseeded and if it hasn't already done so it causes ubuntu-restricted-addons (or kubuntu-restricted-addons if it's KDE) to be preseeded.

It does nothing with ubuntu-restricted-extras, only ubuntu-restricted-addons. There is even a changelog entry explaining this is true.

./ubiquity- * Install kubuntu-restricted-addons, not kubuntu-restricted-extras

  • Actually it does have something to do with restricted-extras. Refer to the edit on my answer – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Dec 21 '15 at 15:06
  • Please show me the code. – Metta Crawler Dec 21 '15 at 15:21
  • No code. Read the file /usr/share/doc/ubuntu-restricted-addons/README.Debian I posted contents of that file in my answer – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Dec 21 '15 at 15:25
  • It says ubuntu-restricted-extras depends on ubuntu-restricted-addons not the other way around. The OP asked about the installer. – Metta Crawler Dec 21 '15 at 15:26
  • Yes, depends means without addons you cannot have extras. Once you boot freshly installed systems, you don't have restricted-extras , only restricted-addons. Addons come with the installer – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Dec 21 '15 at 15:31

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