Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Fix Firefox Not Playing MP4 on Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS

Ubuntu 15

In this guide, we will walk you through the steps to fix the issue of Firefox not playing MP4 videos on Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS. This is a common problem that many users face, and it can be resolved by following a few simple steps.

1. Install H.264 support for Firefox

The first solution to try is installing H.264 support for Firefox. H.264 is a popular video compression standard widely used for recording, compression, and distribution of video content.

To install H.264 support, open a terminal and run the following command:

sudo apt install libavcodec-extra

This command installs the libavcodec-extra package, which contains additional library files for the libavcodec library, including support for H.264. The sudo command is used to run the command with root privileges, while apt install is the command to install a package.

After running the command, restart Firefox and check if MP4 videos can now be played.

2. Check if FFmpeg is installed correctly

FFmpeg is a free and open-source software project that produces libraries and programs for handling multimedia data. It is used by software such as Firefox to play videos.

To check if FFmpeg is installed correctly, open a terminal and run the following command:

ffmpeg -version

This command displays the version of FFmpeg installed on your system. If you receive an error mentioning missing libraries like libva.so.1, you can try creating symbolic links to the available libraries.

For example, run the following command to create a symbolic link for libva.so.1:

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libva.so.2 /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libva.so.1

This command creates a symbolic link, which is a type of file that serves as a reference to another file or directory. In this case, it creates a link from libva.so.1 to libva.so.2, allowing software that requires libva.so.1 to use libva.so.2 instead.

Repeat this process for any other missing libraries mentioned in the error message. After that, restart Firefox and check if MP4 videos can now be played.

3. Install the stock FFmpeg from the Ubuntu repositories

If the above solutions do not work, you can try installing the stock FFmpeg from the Ubuntu repositories.

To do this, open a terminal and run the following command:

sudo apt install ffmpeg

If it reports that the newest version is already installed, you can try reinstalling FFmpeg by running the following command:

sudo apt reinstall ffmpeg

After running the command, restart Firefox and check if MP4 videos can now be played.

4. Test with Chromium

If none of the above solutions work, you can try testing with Chromium. Chromium is an open-source browser project that forms the basis for the Chrome browser.

To install Chromium, open a terminal and run the following command:

sudo apt install chromium-browser

After installing Chromium, visit the same website that was giving you problems in Firefox and check if Chromium can play MP4 videos with H.264 support. If Chromium works fine, it suggests that the issue is specific to Firefox and not the system’s codecs or FFmpeg installation.

In conclusion, the issue of Firefox not playing MP4 videos on Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS can be resolved by installing H.264 support, checking if FFmpeg is installed correctly, installing the stock FFmpeg from the Ubuntu repositories, or testing with Chromium. We hope this guide has been helpful in resolving your issue. If you have any further questions or need additional help, feel free to ask.

How do I open a terminal in Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS?

To open a terminal in Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS, you can press Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard. This will open a new terminal window.

How do I restart Firefox in Ubuntu?

To restart Firefox in Ubuntu, you can go to the top-right corner of the Firefox window and click on the menu button (three horizontal lines). From the dropdown menu, click on "Exit" to close Firefox. Then, you can reopen Firefox from the Applications menu or by searching for it in the Dash.

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