Firefox video issues

Video playback issues on Firefox.

I’m struggling to understand why the universe is screaming about this issue. Usually that means I have a localised issue but in this case I don’t think so.

That’s a video on a website. No YouTube, just an MP4 and highly unlikely to be anything but ordinary.

I can download and play the video, I can’t play it on Firefox.

There was some “buck passing” on Bugzillia with the recommendation that I use a different decoder and a claim this issue stems from Redhat.

Can someone try the above video using Firefox and any other browser?

I’d like to get to the following…

  1. the problem is here or the problem is universal
  2. is the problem owned by Firefox or is it deeper in the system

I’m happy to follow up on Bugzilla. I’d just like some proof that the issue isn’t just on this computer.

You are likely missing codecs/libraries for firefox.

dnf install epel-release rpmfusion-free-release -y
crb enable
dnf install compat-ffmpeg4 ffmpeg gstreamer1-plugin-openh264 mozilla-openh264 gstreamer1-plugins-ugly -y

You can search for others via dnf search gstreamer if needed after.

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Been through your suggestions N and added other items that I likely will never need.

This test page

It is the MP4 videos that fail.


dnf install gstreamer1-plugin-openh264.x86_64
Last metadata expiration check: 1:24:38 ago on Tue 10 Oct 2023 22:01:26.
Package gstreamer1-plugin-openh264-1.18.2-1.el9.x86_64 is already installed.
Dependencies resolved.
Nothing to do.

And I rebooted just to be sure.

And I loaded Opera and get the same results.

System: AlmaLinux 9

Plain Firefox could replay all but the mp4 from that test page.

EPEL has now a side channel (epel-cisco-openh264) with four packages. I did install three of them:
dnf install gstreamer1-plugin-openh264 mozilla-openh264 openh264

The mp4 did remain dead, so I did add ugly from RPM Fusion:
dnf install gstreamer1-plugins-ugly

The mp4 did remain dead, so I did add ffmpeg from RPM Fusion (which did pull 50 other packages):
dnf install ffmpeg

Now Firefox plays that mp4 for me.

dnf install ffmpeg
Last metadata expiration check: 2:44:37 ago on Tue 10 Oct 2023 22:01:26.
Problem: problem with installed package ffmpeg-free-5.1.3-1.el9.x86_64

  • package ffmpeg-5.1.3-1.el9.x86_64 conflicts with ffmpeg-free provided by ffmpeg-free-5.1.3-1.el9.x86_64
  • conflicting requests
    (try to add ‘–allowerasing’ to command line to replace conflicting packages or ‘–skip-broken’ to skip uninstallable packages or ‘–nobest’ to use not only best candidate packages)

dnf install ffmpeg --allowerasing

Still no luck…

And the following changes, Firefoox – about:config

media.cache_readahead_limit 120
media.cache_readahead_limit.cellular 90
media.decoder-doctor.decode-errors-allowed true
media.decoder-doctor.decode-warnings-allowed true
media.decoder-doctor.verbose true
media.decoder.recycle.enabled true
media.eme.enabled true
media.ffmpeg.allow-openh264 true
media.ffmpeg.vaapi.enabled true

Seems to work but will need more testing.


ffmpeg-free and ffmpeg cannot be installed together. You should use dnf swap ffmpeg-free ffmpeg instead. Else, dnf remove and then install.

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Firefox for Linux includes a complete video player (gstreamer was given up years ago). It is backed by a stripped-down version of* for patent reasons. But it can instead dlopen a full-featured* installed in the system if it finds one. All you need to say is

 # yum install ffmpeg-libs

if you have rpmfusion enabled and that’s it. Of course, rpmfusion has many packages that depend on ffmpeg-libs

I did get this working. Sorry if I didn’t reply, I no I reported success but might have done so in Bugzillia.

dnf install ffmpeg-libs

That would have been the solution.

This solution doesn’t work with out rpmfusion.
If “Solved” solution doesn’t work for you, follow the steps in the next post by nazunalika

This has been an absolute pain in the as_.
I don’t understand why Rocky isn’t including it?

Anyway thanks to both of you, Yani and nazunalika.

Include what?

Rocky has what RHEL has. That is the idea behind Rocky.

If you don’t know what Red Hat is, and that Rocky is based upon it, then you won’t know why it is or isn’t included. Since Rocky is based on Red Hat then it only has the packages that Red Hat have. That is why third party repositories exist, to allow packages to be installed that don’t exist in Red Hat/Rocky. This is not Debian/Ubuntu with contrib or non-free, or universe/multiverse or wherever the packages come from. Something that people new to EL need to realise before complaining.

Third party repositories also exist for Debian/Ubuntu as well, including PPA’s, so it’s not really different from any other distro.

And if no repo exists, or a package cannot be found, it means building/using the source to build your own. It shouldn’t be expected of any distro to have every package possible. Requests can be made, but to third-party repositories like EPEL or whatever to ask for a package to be added if one doesn’t exist. It won’t be possible to ask Rocky or Red Hat to add to their base repositories because that simply won’t happen.

A working version of Firefox.

I was referring to a “working version” of Firefox as part of the Rocky installation.

I found your response inappropriate and unnecessary not to mention offensive and condescending.

I’ve been using Red Hat since we were compiling with their source code under CentOS.
If you don’t know who CentOS, or what source code is well, let’s just leave it at that.

And once again, thank you, Yani and nazunalika for the solution.

Yes there are too many specific purposes that Linux fits for that the be the case and I really appreciate this forum and direct access to people in the know.

However, I’d like to say again, that the opportunity for being the version of Linux that wins the hearts and minds of the graphics and video community exists and should be explored under a forum dedicated to that. At least to the point of considering what is possible and what is not.

Reason being, Rocky has won the hearts and minds at Blackmagic so you have a special position in the graphics community. That’s something to build on by upping the game and getting the most recent versions of GIMP, Inkscape etc into a repro.

It’s an opportunity that is current and not something that will last as an opportunity if it isn’t built out.

Tell me the reasons this is wrong. Tell me how I can help if this is correct.


Rocky is based on Red Hat - so the base repositories available have only what Red Hat has. Therefore, pretty much everything outside of that is to obtain from third-party repositories like EPEL, rpmfusion, elrepo, etc. Red Hat decided what packages make their repositories, and what they leave out - including the issues here with Firefox and video.

Red Hat obviously have reasons for it, probably to focus on what is better for them and the purpose they see their distribution being used for. The more packages being maintained, means more people having to do it.

If I’m understanding correctly, this is about “why” we aren’t just rebasing certain packages to the latest/newest (gimp, inkscape, a recent one was about firefox in our IRC channel, and perhaps others), including some packages that third-party repos like EPEL/rpmfusion already have, or not re-enabling features that our upstream purposely disables. Perhaps this is being seen as a “missed opportunity”.

It’s not that we can’t, we don’t because we are following our upstream 1:1 and rely on Special Interest Groups within the project and third-party repositories to provide add-ons to enhance the user experience[1]. By default, we provide extra release packages (as described here and here) to try to help provide easy access to that enhanced experience, if the user chooses[2][3]. Granted, new users may not be aware of this sort of thing.

It should be noted that EPEL and RPMFusion have been around for a very, very long time serving primarily RHEL but also other rebuilds (like CentOS past and present). They have plenty of experience in this area. As a general rule, they do not replace/update base packages. Instead, they enhance the enterprise linux experience with useful add-on packages.

[1] The reason why we don’t is that it will make us no longer 1:1 with our upstream. However, we have SIG/FastTrack that is starting up that could potentially provide rebased packages or additional features that perhaps the other third-party repos do not have nor is our upstreams willing to backport or add in. What it’s going to come down to is one of the following:

  1. Put in a request for a package, and they can see what they can do
  2. Join/participate in the SIG to add on those packages (we have plenty of great RPM building mentors)

Helping can come down to just requesting (point 1) or joining a special interest group (point 2).

[2] EPEL as far as I know is the most popular add on repository for enterprise linux.

[3] As an example, if someone installs the raspberry pi image we have, it already has the necessary addon repositories installed and enabled to make it work. Rocky Linux (and upstream) was not built nor designed to run on a raspberry pi and this had to be built as an enhancement.


RPM Fusion has founding principles: FoundingPrinciples - RPM Fusion
that reveal their repositories to have packages that can’t be in Fedora/RHEL/Rocky/EPEL.

Goal, make sure Rocky runs on everything.

I haven’t had a lot of “fun” with Inkscape 1.3 or GIMP 2.99 Beta.

Flat pack for Inkscape the menus suck. They work but with weirdness.

I’m up for being more involved once summer gets past the heat here in Australia.

I don’t understand the model of the repos or the business model much.

I can see the potential to leverage on Blackmagic Resolve’s commitment to Rocky as a starting point to build market share in the graphics space. That requires effort over time. I’m not sure how that can be translated into project income.

From readings, the big wins in the last 15 years have come from integration. A phone + camera + GPS + LiDAR + xxx and not from the invention of new tech.

I’d say that Linux for graphics and video people would start with a default of KDE.

VivaDesigner (VD)

Like Resolve, VD is commercial and has Windows, Mac and Linux versions.

Inkscape and GIMP could never state a preference for a specific version of Linux. I think VD could in the same way as Resolve does.

Don’t know how Rocky won BlackMagic or if BlackMagic just picked Rocky but that is what brought me here. If you are good enough for BlackMagic and Grant then you are doing something right because they a heroic in effort to make customers happy.

If you got VD onboard with Rocky as preferred Linux that would have a similar marketing effect.

Then by means of Help files, I think that would be enough, cover Inkscape, GIMP, Darktable, Scribus…

And the best Help files on the web that are kept up to date on running Windows with QEM and graphics card pass through.

That would be enough to claim “Rocky the best choice for graphics professional” and I doubt anyone would disagree.

We could build out from there.

If Adobe did Linus they would do Adobe Linux. And Corel is highly unlikely to ever go near Linux again. If either Adobe or Corel touch Linux, Microsoft would go nasty and important information they rely on to keep up with Windows be on stop supply.

And while Adobe are putting AI into everything that is not the case for GIMP. I’ve talked with them about it, the policy is “we are open source, we don’t add commercial code period and not stuff that has possibly been trained on images that they had little rights to train on”.

Corel… we will have to see if they even survive. I told them to rack off with their X4 Adobe pricing, if they don’t change policy I can’t see them continuing.

The sell point is that you lose features moving off Windows and the Mac but you gain at the archival level as your software doesn’t kick you out if you don’t pay the subscription.

I’m not at “let me sell you on moving to Linux” rather “can I make Linux work for me and not spend $3,000 a year on software”.

That said, I’m of the belief that there are only X necessary features and over time Linux will catch up while commercial software will be adding fluff.

I don’t think it is that hard to make Rocky, the Linux that is the first choice in the graphics professional market segment. It’s the right Linux for that market if for no other reason than Blackmagic’s choice of Rocky. Start running Resolve on Linux then you need to support it with other applications to make content that goes into Resolve like GIMP and Inkscape. If you have gone that far then VD over InDesign is the next move.

And KDE I love it! It’s made for me! Screen capture tool, the clipboard, the troubleshooting, the simple video editor, the lack of nagging advertising…

All up, it is as if something is coming together for graphics professionals on Linux. That it isn’t all there yet is why there is an opportunity.


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