[conspire] RealAudio for Linux

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Apr 3 21:23:33 PST 2003

Quoting Sean Wolfe-Justice (mailjones at mouseandfrog.org):

> Ladies and Gentlemen, once again it's a pleasure to email at you.

The pleasure is ours.  <bows>

> I have been snooping around on real.com's Unix forum. Does anybody
> have much experience making Realaudio work with Linux? Any pointers? I
> plan on installing it on my Debian box. (Once I *have* a Debian box
> 8^).

There used to be an official Debian package for RealPlayer, that
automated the process of pulling down the (very restricted, not legal
for anyone else to distribute) RealPlayer tarball and install it.  That
seems to have been removed some time in the last year or so.  So, the
fallback is to do it manually. 

I'll assume you're on i386 (i.e., x86), as opposed to any of the other
ten CPU architectures that Debian supports.  Go to:

Select "Linux 2.x (libc6 i386)".  (There's also an RPM.)

Gets you a copy of rp8_linux20_libc6_i386_cs2.bin.  Download it into
/tmp or wherever.
$ su -
# cd /tmp
# chmod u+x rp8_linux20_libc6_i386_cs2.bin
# ./rp8_linux20_libc6_i386_cs2.bin 

By default, that installer program installs the RealPlayer binary to:
...and adds the necessary plug-in and MIME type support to your copy of
Mozilla, if any.  You will probably find it useful to create a symlink
in /usr/local/bin pointing to the realplay binary.  (I can't remember
whether that works, but it probably does.)

Download and install
http://docs.real.com/docs/playerpatch/unix/rv9_libc6_i386_cs2.tgz to
update the RealPlayer8 codecs to v. 9 levels, pretty much the same way
as above.

I haven't paid a lot of attention to the RealPlayer stuff because of the
rather evil nature of much of that company's past deeds, including past
incidents of including spyware.

> Also, I saw references to the Linux 2.2 and 2.4 kernels. Is there any
> reason why I wouldn't want to run the 2.4 kernel?

On x86, I can't think offhand of any compelling reason to stay with
2.2.x kernels.  If you're running the plain-vanilla Official Debian
installer from CD media, at the boot prompt you can hit F3 to see
alternative "boot flavours".  One such is bf2.4, the boot flavour that
starts you out right away on some 2.4.x kernel, instead of that
installer's default 2.2.x installation kernel.  (This can actually be 
vital for successful initial installation onto some exotic hardware.)
Once you're completely done with the installer and have a running
system, you can very easily pull down your choice of preconfigured
binary kernel image, tweaked for your situation, e.g.

# apt-get install kernel-image-2.4.20-686-smp

Of course, you don't _have_ to install Debian using the plain-vanilla
Debian installer.  On x86, there are a number of "friendlier" installers
that can be likewise used to create Debian systems, e.g.,

o  Knoppix
o  Libranet
o  PGI CD image for Debian "woody"
o  Xandros Desktop OS
o  Morphix

I really think that Knoppix is a terrific way to get a Debian system
going on x86.  So is Libranet -- though it's a retail boxed set and will
cost you $50 or so (something like that).  On the plus side, it gives
you built-in installers for RealPlayer and the Flash plug-in.

> Is that the latest kernel?

The way it's supposed to be, "even" numbered kernels such as the 2.4
series are the stable series, while "odd" kernels such as the 2.5 series
are the development (beta) ones.  There's _supposed_ to be just one of
each series.  That fairly simple model has been muddlied somewhat by the
fact that both the 2.2.x and _2.0.x_ series keep being maintained, and
new releases keep coming out in both.

Eventually, the 2.5 betas will be declared "done", and one of those will
get renumbered 2.6.0, the new "stable" kernel.  Optimists might even
believe that.  ;->

Cheers,                     Chaos, panic, & disorder - my work here is done.
Rick Moen
rick at linuxmafia.com

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