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How to fix streaming video in Peppermint Linux, or next best thing?
November 24, 2010 6:45 PM   Subscribe

Linux and streaming video- I'm on Peppermint One OS, and I can't get full screen streaming video without it getting all stutter-y and stupid. Help me out with a workaround or recommend another Linux OS.

It doesn't have this problem if it's not full screen.

The problem is true across different websites (Hulu, Youtube, etc.), different browsers (Chrome, Firefox) and even with the pre-installed single-site browser Prism for the same sites. I've tried asking on the Peppermint OS forums, without much success.

DVDs or video on the harddrive plays just fine without stutter as well.

It's also not a connection problem, since my roommate's Window box does streaming just fine.

Ideally, I get to keep on running Peppermint. It's fast, light, and reliable. If not that, then whatever distro is closest to those things and GUI based. (Yes, I tried Ubuntu, which had a bit of hang time. I'll go back if I have to, but I'm checking to see if there's other options).

I'm still not command-line savvy, or Bash-script capable, so if you have any workarounds or links, please go as simple as possible.

Thanks!
posted by yeloson to Technology (28 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I've seen this mostly on lower spec hardware - often atom processors with on-board graphics and adding more RAM and assigning it to Video has certainly helped. Otherwise just wait for the Flash video to download (or at least fully buffer) from youtube or wherever and in a terminal window type
mv /tmp/Flas[TAB] ~/appropriate-title.flv 
(That is to press the TAB button to complete the filename of the temporary file as it downloads, and move it in to you home directory.) From there you can open it in VLC or mplayer as you like. Delete them when done, or keep some fo
posted by dirm at 6:59 PM on November 24, 2010


... r a rainy day if you feel so inclined. The added bonus is you don't need to bother with "youtube downloaders" and the like with this method.

Apologies for hitting post too soon.
posted by dirm at 7:02 PM on November 24, 2010


Yeah, I've been snagging temp files for later, but I was hoping to not have to take the extra step. I've been getting back into watching Hulu stuff and it'd be nice to just pop it on full screen.
posted by yeloson at 7:03 PM on November 24, 2010


Yeah, that sounds like a video memory problem.
posted by gjc at 7:04 PM on November 24, 2010


It's not about your distro, but about your hardware not being up to the thrashing Flash is giving it.

Are you on an Atom netbook or using onboard graphics as dirm suggests? Any decent or recent GPU with the proprietary drivers will run full screen Flash fine.
posted by quarterframer at 7:07 PM on November 24, 2010


Naw, I'm on a desktop and when I had it running XP earlier this year, flash never gave it a problem. It's been about 6 months of this, and 2 or 3 times people have asked about it on the forums, without getting a real answer, so I was hoping either a) a Mefi linux guru could drop an answer or b) suggest a different distro that would be similar in performance.
posted by yeloson at 7:17 PM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm on a Netbook (Windows) and this is an issue for me too. The hardware just isn't up to it. I turn off HD on sites that give me the option and then I'm fine.
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:30 PM on November 24, 2010


(Sorry didn't see your latest response before I wrote that.)
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:31 PM on November 24, 2010


No problem. The stutter also happens regardless of what resolution I turn it to on any given streaming site.
posted by yeloson at 7:34 PM on November 24, 2010


The performance of Flash on Linux is notoriously awful. Switching distros isn't going to help. You could try upgrading to the latest bleeding-edge alpha Flash.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 7:55 PM on November 24, 2010


I had similar problem and it was something called v-sync issue. In my Ubuntu system, I had to change this setting to on ( or off if it was on, don't remember) in the compiz window manager. If you don't have compiz, at least it's a new search term worth trying. Sorry I am not more specific, but a quick search didn't yield easy to follow instructions I could point to.
posted by Yavsy at 8:01 PM on November 24, 2010


what do you have in the way of a video card? are you running the vendor drivers? Flash will use some 3D accelation on Linux (not as much as windows.. yet.. hopefully) and that can make a big difference too.
posted by jrishel at 8:07 PM on November 24, 2010


[12-year linux user here.]

Flash on linux sucks. A lot. Talk to Adobe.

Without discrete graphics (nVidia or ATI/AMD), it's probably always going to stutter in fullscreen mode. The processor (or more precisely, the shitty Adobe programming) just can't blit the whole screen full of pixels without some tearing and flickering. Playing with vsync might improve the situation, but it has never fixed it for me. Distro won't matter, configuration doesn't make much difference.

It is a defect in the flash software itself.

At least make sure you're running the latest version of flash. If you're using an apt-based distro, it's probably called something like 'flashplugin-nonfree'. You'll probably want to do something like 'sudo apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree'.
posted by Netzapper at 9:09 PM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks Netzapper. I'll wait until I can afford Win7 and set it up for dual-booting. Given that there was no responses on the Peppermint boards, I was thinking it might be one of those unresolveables or just being ignored.
posted by yeloson at 9:27 PM on November 24, 2010


Seriously? People care about this? Whaaaaat?
posted by nrobertson at 10:02 PM on November 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


Seconding Netzapper that it's Flash itself being incompetent and that it's not an issue of video in general (as you've confirmed yourself by playing DVDs). It's unlikely that memory is the bottleneck but you could throw a faster CPU at the problem which will make Flash go marginally faster, but yeah, Flash will still suck resources.

As I understand it Hulu insists on Flash (presumably for copyright control). YouTube and Vimeo however are more lenient and you've got some options there to bypass Flash:

1) To use an OS video player within Firefox search Add-Ons for "Flash Video Replacer" and you'll find a way of bypassing Flash for many popular sites and accessing the video file directly using mplayer/gstreamer.

2) Google Chrome (not Chromium) supports h.264 video so use that and switch to the Youtube HTML5 player. Firefox 4 / Chromium / Google Chrome support WebM video (append &webm=1 to your youtube searches) which also needs HTML5 and uses native browser support which is typically hardware accelerated.
posted by holloway at 11:23 PM on November 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


And, obviously, that means that XKCD joked about Linux kernel developers not caring about users when it was actually Macromedia/Adobe's ineptitude (again).
posted by holloway at 11:46 PM on November 24, 2010


Um.. Right now I'm on an older atom netbook running ubuntu, and it has no problems with flash.
posted by Ahab at 12:07 AM on November 25, 2010


I've had luck running opera (which apparently contains a different flash flavor than is used by FF / chrome/ etc). This eliminated screen tearing and horrible flickering.

Alternately, grab xVideoServiceThief and bang them down to MP4s or some such...
posted by jenkinsEar at 8:55 AM on November 25, 2010


Snag any flash videos worth watching in fullscreen with Video Download Helper, and watch them with VLC. Works for me.
posted by flabdablet at 9:40 AM on November 25, 2010


Just tried Opera- it completely refused to even attempt full screen at all. That is, it completely ignored attempts to click the fullscreen icons on both Hulu and Youtube.

Hey folks, thanks for the advice on downloading, but I've already got that covered.
posted by yeloson at 9:44 AM on November 25, 2010


Ubuntu-based distro users are probably better off installing the adobe-flashplugin package than the older flashplugin-nonfree one. The adobe-flashplugin package is the actual flash player plugin packaged as a .deb, while flashplugin-nonfree just installs a script designed to grab the Linux flash plugin installer from Adobe's website and run it. Updating flashplugin-nonfree therefore doesn't necessarily cause the actual flash plugin to get updated, merely the script that fetches its installer.
posted by flabdablet at 9:54 AM on November 25, 2010


Have you tried the latest official 10.2 beta flash player? For me it handles full screen much better than the 10.1 versions on Linux on my old eee-laptop with intel graphics as well as computers with different nvidia chipsets.

The main problem with the beta is that you have to remember to update it manually when Adobe releases new versions - with all the security bugs it can be kind of important...
posted by rpn at 10:32 AM on November 25, 2010


Thanks for the suggestion, just installed it and... no go. Full screen still stutters, even at 240p. It's especially sucky since I watch mostly stuff with subtitles, and when you end up only getting every other sentence, it's not so great.
posted by yeloson at 11:07 AM on November 25, 2010


Netzapper has this one. Blame Adobe.

Having struggled with streaming videos on my old Acer Aspire One, I also did a lot of hunting for solutions to this problem. I couldn't upgrade the 512mb ram, which kind of sucked a lot.

Try this. It cuts flash out of the playing equation.

1. Open video page in Youtube so it starts loading. Hit pause.

2. Hit alt+F2 and type /tmp/ The temp folder will open up.

3. Open the .flv file with VLC.

4. Enjoy video without the choppiness.

You may also like to try minitube (have a look in synaptic for that). I can't vouch for Hulu with this method I'm afraid, as I'm not in the U.S.
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 12:03 PM on November 25, 2010


Thanks for all the help folks. As I mentioned at the top, and again, I don't need any more recommendations on how to download the flv files. I'm already doing that.
posted by yeloson at 3:16 PM on November 25, 2010


Oh! Is there any chance that the distro you're using is compiled in 64-bit? 'Cause the 64-bit version of Flash is about a thousand times shittier than the already shitty 32-bit version.

If you are running a 64-bit distro, switching to a 32-bit distro will be the difference between night and day.
posted by Netzapper at 7:58 PM on November 25, 2010


Nope, I'm on the 32-bit. Thanks for the rec, though.
posted by yeloson at 7:29 AM on November 26, 2010


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