Opera on Ubuntu 18.04 and 16.04 won’t play videos – Simple Fix

If you install Opera on Ubuntu 18.04 (or 16.04) it all works – except for video playback. When you first install Opera (or upgrade Ubuntu) You (or at least I) get this:

For me this came down to the /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/opera/libffmpeg.so file being at the wrong level.

The story goes that Opera is based off Chromium and so relies on the libffmpeg.so version associated with Chromium. Somehow the version that is included with Opera on Ubuntu 18.04 (and 16.04 as well) is actually the wrong version. As videos depend on it then they don’t work in Opera straight out of the can.

The work round is simple and worked seamlessly for me with both 16.04 and 18.04.

If you are paranoid (like me) rename the existing libffmpeg.so in /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/opera to something else (aka libffmpeg.so.18.04-orig or whatever you like)

sudo mv /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/opera/libffmpeg.so /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/opera/libffmpeg.so.18.04-orig

Then copy over the chromium version to the Opera directory.

sudo cp /usr/lib/chromium-browser/libffmpeg.so /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/opera/libffmpeg.so

Now videos should work.

BE WARNED: If you fixed this on Ubuntu 16.04 and then upgraded to Ubuntu 18.04 the fix has to be done again as the upgrade tramples over the fix.

Linux: Mounting a USB Drive Manually

Here’s my notes on mounting a USB drive that for some reason fails to mount automatically on Ubuntu.

This would be the case if you plugged in the usb stick and it has not appeared in the “places” tag in the menu bar.

Open a terminal. If you are running in the Gnome GUI you can do this with crtl-alt-t but use whatever method you like.

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Ubuntu: start or stop MySql and Apache2 on boot

These are my personal notes on enabling/disabling auto start of Mysql and Apache2 on boot (or other services for that matter). Also on how to start/stop these services after boot. The notes are as they are. I hope you find them useful.

All this is done through a terminal. Open one from the Gnome GUI with:


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How to Convert video file format.

Here are my notes on how to convert video files between mp4 and other file types on Ubuntu. Especially between mp4 and mpg but avi and wmv can be used too.

There are a number of GUI converters in Linux but I’ve always found the command line converters the best. In fact most of the GUI solutions are just front ends on these command line driven converters. GUI tool winff isn’t bad but using command line tools (either avconf and ffmpeg) give you more options.

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Ubuntu: Wifi connection has gone missing?

Here’s my personal notes on restoring a Ubuntu (or other linux distro) wifi connection that has gone missing. Maybe they’ll be useful to you too.

Sometimes when Ubuntu comes out of suspend or even after booting from power-on the wifi connection disappears. Usually the little triangular wedge on the task bar is empty. Usually this is easy to fix.

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