Why Amarok doesn’t play MP3 files in Slackware 14 and how to solve the problem ?

gstreamer logo

Amarok one of the best music players for the Gnu\Linux world and I have been a loyal fan of it ever since I started using it.

Back to the point now !! 🙂 . After installing Slackware 14 I was hugely disappointed, I wasn’t able to play MP3 files using Amarok. I tried changing the backend by going to

-> Settings 
  -> Configure Amarok 
    -> Playback 
      -> Sound System Configuration
        -> Backend tab

and that didn’t help me. But after a google search I was able to spot the problem. Amarok uses phonon in the backend and which in-turn depends on GStreamer to work. The problem revealed to be the missing of some GStreamer plugins which were used to play the mp3 files. GStreamer plugins are grouped into several packages: base, good, bad and ugly. Slackware 14 was not giving ugly group ( This package contains plug-ins from the “ugly” set, a set of good-quality plug-ins that might pose distribution problems.) of plugins out of the box, probably because of its license. I installed ugly plugins, i.e, gst-plugins-ugly, but I didn’t know if it was enough so Installed gst-plugins-bad and gst-plugins-ffmpeg also. It was a blind shot but it worked. And I am happily hearing to some music now,  Amaroking by the way ;).

waiting for your comments, cheers 🙂


Setting up the Java Dev Environment in Slackware 14 – Part 3


This is the third part in the series ‘Setting up the Java Dev Environment in Slackware‘. The previous part was to discuss about how to install IDEs for java development in Slackware. And it was ending with mentioning IntelliJ IDEA but without giving the steps to install it. So this part will be dealing with that.

Steps for installation :

  1. Download the Gnu/Linux package.
  2. Login as root :
    $ su
    $ Password:
  3. Copy the downloaded file to /opt/ :
    # cp /home/user/downloads/ideaIC-12.1.4.tar.gz   /opt/
  4. Uncompress the file and rename the uncompressed directory :
    # cd /opt/
    # tar -xzvf /opt/ideaIC-12.1.4.tar.gz
    # mv -f ideaIC-12.1.4/ idealC
  5. Create an executable file :
    # touch /usr/bin/IDEA 
    # chmod 755 /usr/bin/IDEA
    Open the file in an editor
    # vim /usr/bin/IDEA
    and paste the following lines

    export IDEA_HOME="/opt/idealC/bin" 
    $IDEA_HOME/idea.sh $* 

    OR we can directly link the `IDEA_HOME/idea.sh`

    # ln -fs /opt/idealC/bin/idea.sh /usr/bin/IDEA

    but I think the first approach is the neat one.

  6. Create an entry in menu :
    Create an entry in KDE or XFCE Menu.

How to install Thunderbird in slackware

Mozilla ThunderbirdMozilla Thunderbird is one of the best FOSS mail clients out there and I prefer it over the other mail clients. In Slackware 14 we already have three mail clients out of the box, which are Mail, KMail and Seamonkey Mail respectively. But Thunderbird is not preinstalled with the distro so I had to install that first.

System : Slackware 14 on a Dell Vostro 1015n laptop.
Software version : Thunderbird-17.0.6

  1. Ensure that you have all the required libraries.
    • GTK+ 2.18 or higher
    • GLib 2.22 or higher
    • Pango 1.14 or higher
    • X.Org 1.0 or higher (1.7 or higher is recommended)
    • libstdc++ 4.3 or higher

    Mozilla recommends that a Linux system also have the following libraries or packages installed:

    • NetworkManager 0.7 or higher
    • DBus 1.0 or higher
    • HAL 0.5.8 or higher
    • GNOME 2.16 or higher

    Luckily Slackware 14 is coming with all the necessary libraries so don’t have to worry about that.

  2. Download the correct file.
    This is very important since in a 64 bit system a 32 bit software will not work without some necessary libraries. So if yours is a 32 bit system download the 32 bit version of Thunderbird else get the 64 bit version.
    To get the 64 bit version go here.
  3. login as root.
    login as root
  4. Change directory to /opt.
    I chose this directory as this installation is a custom one.

    change directory to /opt

  5. Copy to tar ball to /opt.
    copy the tar ball to the directory /opt/
  6. Extract the file.
    uncompressing the thunderbird tar ball
  7. Create an entry in /usr/bincreate link in /usr/bin
  8. Create shortcuts to launch Thunderbird (in menu + desktop).
    menu entry Right click on the KDE menu and select the option ‘Edit Application’. Using that utility we can add or edit the application details. To create a desktop shortcut just drag and drop the Menu entry to the desktop (after unlocking the widgets).
  9. To update Thunderbird we will have to launch it as administrator:   #thunderbird
  10. To remove/uninstall Thunderbird, enter:
    #rm -rf /opt/thunderbird /usr/bin/thunderbird
    and remove the thunderbird directory under /opt/.