Saturday, 25 August 2012

WebGL in Google Chrome on Ubuntu

Today when trying to play a small browser game I found that a small message was thrown which said that my browser does not have WebGL enabled. Just to briefly explain WebGL stands for Web Graphics Library and it is a JavaScript API which renders 3D and 2D graphics.

I found it odd since I knew that by default Google Chrome would have WebGL enabled. After doing some research into the matter I found that my ATI graphics card was on Google Chrome's blacklist of graphics cards, which meant that the hardware graphics acceleration was disabled. After doing some more hunting around I found a small command line which fixed the problem. I just used the two steps below to fix my problem.
  1. Open a terminal window by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T
  2. Copy/write in the command line below

    google-chrome --enable-webgl --ignore-gpu-blacklist
This launched a new session of Chrome and I found that I was able to play the browser game.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Ubuntu Coke

This weekend just passed, me and a few others walked down to Frampton Marsh (RSPB nature reserve) . The walk took much longer than it should have as we were stopped by a number of horses along the way and found that parts of the public footpath were over grown and so we had to make our own paths. Anyway after slightly more than 3 hours on a hot day I got through my supply of water so I was glad to find that they sold refreshments in the tourist centre at Frampton Marsh. Amusingly I discovered that they sold my favourite OS' coke: Ubuntu Coke.

As you can see the Ubuntu Coke is part of the Fairtrade which made me feel all the happier. The description on the back of bottle said this:
"Ubuntu: "I am because we are". The Fairtrade Certifcation Mark is your independent guarantee that the Fairtrade ingredients in this product have been certified in accordance with international Fairtrade Standards. Plus, Ubuntu will donate 15% of all of our profits to development projects in Malawi with our Ubuntu African program. Visit "
I did not know that Ubuntu had its own coke but I guess we learn something new every day. So keep your eyes open for it in stores near you.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

How to play Blu-ray Discs in VLC on Ubuntu

If you have a Blu-ray player on your computer you cannot just insert a Blu-ray disc and start to play it in your favourite media player, the reason is that Blu-rays are encrypted and hence require the correct codecs. Chances are when you bought your Blu-ray player it came with a CD which provided its own media player and would allow you to watch Bly-ray movies.

To no surprise this will only work on Windows, so people like myself who use a Linux based OS are left in the dark. It is only recently that I discovered a post on another site which explained how to install the codecs so that you can play a Blu-ray disc that came out before 2012 in VLC media player on Ubuntu. The original post can be visited below:


This includes information on why it is only Blu-rays before 2012 and a more detailed guide. If you cannot be bothered to read the post then you can just follow the steps below:
  • Open your terminal
  • Type/copy in the 5 command lines below:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:n-muench/vlc
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install vlc libaacs0 libbluray-bdj libbluray1
mkdir -p ~/.config/aacs/
cd ~/.config/aacs/ && wget
  • Open VLC media player
  • Select Media > Open Disc 
  • Set Disc Selection to BluRay
  • Make sure that the No disc menus is ticked
  • Browse for the Blu-ray disc
  • Click Play
Your Blu-ray will now be able to play.

At least now I can begin to increase my Blu-ray collection and watch movies in their HD form.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Joys of Adobe Flash

Just recently I had problems playing flash based videos through Google Chrome. In fairness this is only on Ubuntu. When I would play a video it would just start to stutter in places and the sound would fall out of sync with the video.

I first noticed the problem back when Chrome update to version 19 and I have only recently discovered why this was a problem. Chrome has a built in Flash plug-in and this plug-in was updated to version 11.3. For whatever reason this does not play nicely in Chrome on Ubuntu.

To fix the problem I used the steps below.

  1. Open Chrome and type into the address bar: chrome://plugins
  2. Click on Details to view more details about the plug-ins
  3. Click the Disable link on the Shockwave Flash  11.3
  4. Download and install Flash 11.2 for Ubuntu which can be found in the Software Centre
  5. Open up a Terminal window
  6. Type/copy in the two following lines:

sudo mkdir -p /opt/google/chrome/plugins
sudo cp /usr/lib/flashplugin-installer/ /opt/google/chrome/plugins

When I went to view the plug-ins for Google Chrome I noticed there were 4 Flash plug-ins. Shockwave Flash 11.2 was present there.

After doing this I noticed that any videos using flash worked like a treat. Problem sorted!