Ubuntu 7.10 is the first version to ship with Compiz Fusion effects enabled by default. The Visual Effects tab of the System > Preferences > Appearance control panel allows you to choose between a modest level of effects or a flashier desktop. To enable an additional menu for custom control of the full range of effects, use Synaptic to install the package called “compizconfig-settings-manager.” If, on the other hand, your GUI seems too sluggish, you may prefer to disable Compiz entirely.
A mixed bag of multimedia
Because of the abundance of patents covering audiovisual technology, multimedia support has always been problematic for
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The first time you try to play an MP3 or a Windows AVI, for example, the Totem Movie Player will show a dialog box asking if you would like to find the appropriate software to play it. You should have to install each codec only once. Similarly, the Firefox Web browser in Ubuntu 7.10 includes a new feature that can automatically find the appropriate plug-ins for new content types it encounters, including Java applets and Adobe Flash.
It’s worth mentioning that Ubuntu’s multimedia support does not extend to DRM-encrypted (digital rights management) media files. So far, none of the protection schemes for audio or video has been ported to Linux. That means MP3s you’ve ripped from your own CDs will play fine, but songs downloaded from the iTunes Music Store, for example, will not.
Index of "Switching to Linux" stories
Windows to desktop Linux in three easy steps
Which Linux should I choose?
Linux desktop applications
Getting connected with Ubuntu
Don't panic! (Seven ways to troubleshoot Ubuntu)