Install Flash, Steam, and MP3 Codecs in Fedora Linux

Install important third party software on Fedora

Download icon in orange

Vectorios2016 / Getty Images

Fedora Linux is one of the most modern and well-designed distributions out there. It's powerful, and it often features the latest tools arriving on the Linux scene. It does come with one small quirk, though; Fedora doesn't include any proprietary software.

Depending on your perspective and what you need your computer for, this could be great or a huge hassle. Applications like Adobe Flash and Steam have historically required outside repositories, and many still do. This guide will walk you through adding the ubiquitous RPMFusion repository and installing Steam, MP3, and other valuable multimedia codecs. It will also explain why trying to install Flash from here out isn't a great idea.

Add the RPMFusion Repository

Aside from the MP3 codec, which you can find in the regular Fedora repository, everything in this guide requires the RPMFusion repository. If you aren't familiar with it, RPMFusion has been around for a long time, and it's considered by many to be a key part of a Fedora desktop installation. RPMFusion contains many of the third-party applications and codecs that you'd want on a Linux desktop, including drivers, codecs, and non-free applications. It'd be pretty hard to use Fedora on a home desktop without it.

  1. RPMFusion is very easy to install. Start by opening a terminal window. You can either press Ctrl+Alt+t or select Activities on your desktop and search for "Terminal" in the search field.

    Fedora search for terminal
  2. Now, run the following command exactly as it appears here.

    sudo dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm https://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm
  3. DNF will ask you if you want to continue installing the RPMFusion release package. Enter Y to confirm.

    Fedora DNF enable RPMFusion repository
  4. When it's done installing them, DNF will display a message letting you know that the packages were installed successfully. RPMFusion is now installed on your system and ready to use.

    RPMFusion installed on Fedora

Install Flash on Fedora

For years, Flash was a big deal on the web, but it was buggy, insecure, and problematic overall. As a result, Adobe has discontinued all support for Flash, and it is no longer available for download. You can no longer install Flash on Fedora, but that doesn't matter. Don't worry about Flash, there's no need for it anymore. New technologies like HTML5 canvas have replaced it.

Install MP3 Support on Fedora

MP3 support in Fedora and other Linux distributions used to be complicated. There were tricky licensing issues that made distributions a difficult issue for distributions maintainers, meaning it often got left out, like in Fedora.

MP3 support in Rhythmbox on Fedora

That's all changed, and MP3 support is now fully open source. When you install Fedora with the default GNOME desktop environment, you'll already have MP3 support. If you want to be absolutely sure, install the following basic audio codec packages.

sudo dnf install gstreamer1-plugins-base gstreamer1-plugins-good

Install Other Useful Multimedia Codecs

Even though MP3 is very popular, there are tons more multimedia codecs that you may want on your Fedora system. The RPMFusion repository opened the door to more potential in enjoying your media on Linux.

  1. First, open up your terminal if you haven't already. Ctrl+Alt+t is the fastest way there.

  2. If you want more audio options, try installing the additional plugin packages for GStreamer.

    Fedora install audio codecs
    sudo dnf install gstreamer1-plugins-ugly gstreamer1-plugins-bad-free gstreamer1-plugins-bad-freeworld
  3. For DVD backup and playback, you'll need another important package, libdvdcss. It comes from the same people behind the VLC media player, but because it needs to break DVD copy protection to work, the legality of libdvdcss is questionable in many places, including the US. Regardless, you'll need libdvdcss to play DVDs on your Fedora PC. If you choose to continue, you'll need to enable the "tainted" RPMFusion repository on your system.

    sudo dnf install rpmfusion-free-release-tainted
    Enable the RPMFusion tainted repository on Fedora
  4. After your system is done setting up the extra repository, install libdvdcss.

    sudo dnf install libdvdcss 
    Install libdvdcss on Fedora
  5. Linux Blu Ray support isn't great, but it's been improving over time. Commercial options like MakeMKV are still best, but you can try to enable support with a few open-source libraries. Install them with the following:

sudo dnf install libaacs libaacs-utils libbdplus
Install Blu Ray libraries on Fedora Linux

Install Steam on Fedora

Steam is easily the largest PC gaming platform, and they actively support Linux. Since Steam isn't free software, it's not in the main Fedora repository, but it is available from RPMFusion. Go ahead and install it like any other package.

  1. Open your terminal.

  2. Install the Steam package using DNF.

    sudo dnf install steam
    Install Steam on Fedora
  3. DNF will display a huge list of packages. That's alright. Press Y to accept and install the packages along with Steam.

  4. When the install is done, press Activities in the upper left of your desktop. Use the search function to find "Steam," and select the icon when it appears.

    Launch Steam on Fedora Linux
  5. When you select Steam, a small window will pop open, showing Steam downloading and updating itself. Wait while it does so.

    Steam updating on Fedora Linux
  6. Finally, the install will finish, and a new window will open for you to sign in to Steam or create a new account.

    Sign in to Steam on Fedora Linux