I have good reasons to use Opera as my default browser (I find it lighter than Firefox Quantum and Chrome/Chromium, I like its speed-dial bookmarks, as well as other features and details).

Opera browser cannot play Youtube streaming videos .

enter image description here

Normal (non-live) youtube videos work fine.

I know Youtube doesn't involve flash, but in order to debug this in a larger context it may prove usefull to say that the same browsers that do not play live streams in Youtube (Opera and Chromium) are also affected by a problem where they cannot play (at least) some other (probably flash) internet video streams - while Google Chrome and Firefox are not affected by neither of these problems.

Help me debug this.

I am in elementary OS Loki up-to-date, Opera 52.0.2871.40.

I have also posted this question: How to tell if an internet video is flash or html5 .


Installing chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-extra for the purpose of playing Vimeo videos (as indicated here) solved for Chromium all the problems I had with both Opera and Chromium (not playing live streams and a lot of other non-live online video): but not for Opera.

  • 2
    Just a note: It is not Flash-related as YouTube streams through HTML5 player. Apr 12, 2018 at 10:40
  • @Vlastimil - please see my new edit. Non-live youtube works, which is html5 too. Some flash works (Dailymotion, including live), some doesn't (Vimeo, Tweeter video, live or not, and many others).
    – user32012
    Apr 12, 2018 at 11:15
  • 1
    I have installed Loki in a VM + Opera in it. It plays even the live streams in my case. Apr 12, 2018 at 11:23
  • @Vlastimil - I imagined something similar. How could I debug it though. Note that Chromium is also affected, while GChrome and Ff are not.
    – user32012
    Apr 12, 2018 at 11:24
  • @Vlastimil - maybe you are interested in an update: solved for Chromium by installing chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-extra - but not for Opera.
    – user32012
    Apr 16, 2018 at 9:52

4 Answers 4


The solution may vary depending on the operating system.

See the Chrome base version of Opera at opera://about/.

enter image description here

For version 65.0.3325.181, download the opera-ffmpeg-codecs package from ArchLinux repository:

wget http://ftp5.gwdg.de/pub/linux/archlinux/community/os/x86_64//opera-ffmpeg-codecs-65.0.3325.181-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz

Extract it:

tar -xJf opera-ffmpeg-codecs-65.0.3325.181-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz

For other versions - as Opera will be updated in time and the above may not work anymore - see here: https://repo.herecura.eu/herecura/x86_64/. (Or search the internet for something like opera-ffmpeg-codecs-xxxxxx where xxxxxx is the relevant Chrome base version.)

Create the following directory:

sudo mkdir /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/opera/lib_extra/

Move the library to the right place:

sudo mv ./usr/lib/opera/lib_extra/libffmpeg.so /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/opera/lib_extra/

Let me know if that helps or not.

Edit by cipricus:

This works. I am editing this a bit to make it more largely significant and add what I have found myself, then I'll mark it as solved and grant the bounty too.

This problem is to be put in the context of browser html5 support, more specifically support for h264 streams (which affected much more than Youtube live streams). To check html5 support, go to http://html5test.com/. h264 support seems to be lacking at the date of these posts in both Chromium and Opera but can be solved only separately. For Chromium:

sudo apt-get install chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-extra

The same package can be used for Opera by downloading the deb file from http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/universe/c/chromium-browser/, extracting the libffmpeg.so and copying it as indicated.

The above was tested in Ubuntu-based systems.

In other systems Opera may have a different folder structure.

For Solus:

Based on this post.

Follow the Linux instructions at https://www.slimjet.com/en/libffmpeg.php You will want the x64 file. Download and extract it. Make a backup of /usr/lib64/opera/libffmpeg.so then, with administrator rights, copy the new libffmpeg.so file into /usr/lib64/opera, replacing the existing one.

You'll have to do this again after Opera updates.

  • I have just fixed it with a similar solution that I will post as an answer. Can you tell me in what way they are different?
    – user32012
    Apr 16, 2018 at 10:32
  • Let me know when you post it and I will try. I'll be be back in an hour. Apr 16, 2018 at 10:34
  • unix.stackexchange.com/a/438062/32012
    – user32012
    Apr 16, 2018 at 10:42
  • Please tell me if what I say is dirty or otherwise unrecommended. I intend to see your answer edited if needed to include the best of all solutions and mark it as definitive +bounty.
    – user32012
    Apr 16, 2018 at 10:52
  • It seems a /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/opera/libffmpeg.so is needed in any case on my system (Opea will not start with only /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/opera/lib_extra/libffmpeg.so - but it may work fine with both. I have already replaced the initial /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/opera/libffmpeg.so as per my answer, so there is no point in testing the latter unless I uninstall/reinstall Opera.)
    – user32012
    Apr 16, 2018 at 10:59

See the main answer for updates and summing-up. This varies depending on the Linux system.

I have solved this in ubuntu-based systems (by following loosely what is said here) like so:

  1. Go to opera://about/ and look for the relevant Chromium version.

enter image description here

  1. Download from here the corresponding version of chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-extra

  2. Extract the archive.

enter image description here

  1. Copy the libffmpeg.so file (with the file manager as administrator or in terminal) to /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/opera replacing the already existing file if needed.

(This is different from what the linked answer says. Location is different and no renaming of the file was done.)

Restarting Opera, live streaming in Youtube and other sites like Vimeo now are working ok.

This seems to have been a problem with h264 support in Opera, as part of html5 support. Such issues can be investigated by going to http://html5test.com.

  • +1 | For your own thorough research, which is always great to see. Apr 16, 2018 at 12:10

user32012's solution is still working with Ubuntu 20.04 and OSes based on 20.04 (e.g. Linux Mint 20.3) - although there is no specific version of chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-extra for 20.04, the version for 18.04.1 works just fine.

As of 26 March 2022, this is my Opera version:

My Opera version

And this is the version of chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-extra that works in Ubuntu 20.04, which can be downloaded here:

  • 1
    Are you posting an answer to say that another answer works?  Don’t do that.  If you are presenting a new answer, please make that clearer.  And please don’t post images that are basically just text. Mar 26 at 3:58

(Work In Progress...)


It is not Flash related. The error message mentions HTML5 which is and has been for many years the standard for Youtube and almost all major video streaming services.

Possible cause:

A missing library.

Possible solution:

sudo apt-get install chromium-codecs-ffmpeg
  • Installing chromium-codecs-ffmpeg doesn't fix it in Opera, nor in Chromium.
    – user32012
    Apr 16, 2018 at 7:42
  • Maybe you have time for this too: How to tell if an internet video is flash or html5.
    – user32012
    Apr 16, 2018 at 7:44
  • I have downsized the flash-related content of the question.
    – user32012
    Apr 16, 2018 at 7:57
  • While installing chromium-codecs-ffmpeg was not enough, installing chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-extra instead (one package removes the other) for the purpose of playing Vimeo videos (as indicated here) solved for Chromium all the problems I had with both Opera and Chromium (not playing live streams and a lot of other non-live online video): but not for Opera.
    – user32012
    Apr 16, 2018 at 9:42
  • -1 | For this post should be deleted as it does not solve the issue at all. Apr 16, 2018 at 12:13

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