Yesterday an article on Ubuntu Linux appeared on the front page of the New York Times‘ website. The article, “The Next Leap for Linux“, talks about the basics of Linux, Dell’s preinstalling, Ubuntu, and multimedia codecs.

Unlike Windows from Microsoft and OS X from Apple, Linux is not owned, updated or controlled by a single company. Thousands of developers around the world work on Linux, making improvements and issuing new versions several times a year. Because the core Linux software is open source, these developers have the right — some would say responsibility — to borrow from one another’s work, constantly looking for enhancements.

The article mentions multimedia codecs issue. It’s too bad that the reason multimedia codecs can not be included in Ubuntu went unmentioned. Ubuntu’s automatic codec installation works well, but does it support installing encrypted DVD support? If it does, then why does the article have to recommend Automatix?

One challenge for Linux users is finding media players that work with encrypted music and DVDs. Ubuntu comes with a movie player, but it is not automatically configured to play copy-protected commercial DVDs. To watch a movie, the Linux user must install necessary codecs, or decoders. One way to do that is to first download a program called Automatix from www.getautomatix.com.

It’s great so many of the New York Times’ readers are now aware of Linux.


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