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Man Pages

Manual Reference Pages  -  PLUGGER (7)


plugger - a streaming multimedia plugin for UNIX netscape
pluggerrc - configure file for plugger


Configure File
Finding The Right Command
Macro Processing


Plugger is a Netscape plugin which can show many types of multimedia inside your Netscape. To accomplish this, Plugger uses external programs such as xanim, mtv, timidity and tracker.

For up-to-date information on Plugger, see the plugger home page:


You can configure plugger by changing the file pluggerrc which can be located in any of the following directories:


The format of pluggerrc is very simple. The general layout is to have one or more lines describing mime-types followed by one or more lines describing commands used to handle those mime-types. Lines beginning with # are considered comments and are ignored. Here is a simple example:

        video/mpeg; mpeg; Mpeg video
        video/quicktime; qt; Mpeg video
                : xanim +W$window -Zr +q +Ze +f $file

        audio/mpeg2: mp2: MPEG audio
        audio/x-mpeg2: mp2: MPEG audio
        audio/mpeg3: mp3: MPEG audio
        audio/x-mpeg3: mp3: MPEG audio
        audio/mpeg: mpa,abs,mpega: MPEG audio
        audio/x-mpeg: mpa,abs,mpega: MPEG audio
                stream, preload: mpg123 -q -b 128 -
                many: splay -t 200 $file
                many: amp -b 200 -q $file

Each line describing a mime type has three fields:

         mime type ; extensions ; description

mime type
  The mime type is the standardized name for the content type you want Plugger to handle. This must be the same type as the web server claims the file to be, or Plugger will not be used for that file, regardless of the extension.
  This is a comma separated list of extensions that should be associated with this particular mime type. The extensions are only used when a web server does not report what type of file it is, or when loading files directly from disk.
  This is the description that shows up in about:plugins and in the application preferences section in Netscape.

Lines that describe what command to use for a mime type must begin with a whitespace and have two fields:

         flags : command

flags This is a comma-separated list of flags which tells plugger how to handle this particular application. See below for further details.
  This is a command which is sent to /bin/sh when handling this mime type.


When Plugger is called from netscape, it looks through the configuration file and tries to find a matching mime type. For an application to be chosen it has to fulfill certain criteria, it has to exist, and it must match the flags given to plugger.

When it does, it tries to figure out which command to use. If the input is streamable, it looks through all the commands for that particular mime type to see if it can find an application that has the stream flag. If it cannot find a streaming application it downloads the file and tries again. Note that Plugger will check the first word of the command and search your $PATH for that command. If that command is not found Plugger will go to the next line in your pluggerrc.


repeat This indicates that the command uses the $repeat variable. If this flag is set, Plugger will only start the application once.
loop This indicates that the application loops forever. If the <EMBED> tag used to start Plugger indicated that the file should not loop forever, the command on this line will not be used.
many This indicates that the application can accept several files on the command line. Using this option can reduce clicks, choppiness and machine load, but it is never required.
  This options tells Plugger to ignore the exit status of the application.
exits This option tells Plugger that the application exits, but should not be restarted. This can be used with applications which automatically forks into the background.
nokill This will tell plugger not to try to kill the application when leaving the page. This is normally used for programs which start in their own window and can play multiple files, such as xmms.
embed This means that this command will only be used if the <EMBED> tag is beging used.
  This means that this command will only be used when the file is being displayed in the entire browser window.
  This means that plugger shouldn’t try to find the command in your $PATH, it should just assume it is there.
swallow ( name )
  This is the only option that takes an argument so far. It will tell plugger that the application will open a window with the specified name and that this window will then be moved to inside your browser.
hidden In conjunction with the swallow keyword, this tells plugger to swallow windows which are not visible yet.
  This makes plugger resize a swallowed window to the maximum possible size without affecting it’s aspect ratio.
fill This makes plugger resize a swallowed window to fit the available space.
url This tells plugger that the shell command will use the $url variable to download the file on it’s own, and plugger should try to stop the browser from doing the download if possible.
  This is used for programs which have no gui by themselves. Plugger will provide a simple play/pause/stop gui for the application.
have ( name )
  Only execute this command if "name" exists as a command somewhere in your $PATH.


Plugger gives some variables to /bin/sh when starting the application, these variables are:

  This variable contains how many times the file should be played. Applications which use this variable should also set the repeat flag.
  This is the X window Netscape has given the plugin. This can be used with applications such as xanim to display graphics inside the netscape window.
$file This is the file to play. This variable is not set if the application uses the stream flag. It may also be more than one file if you use the many flag.
  This variable contains the mime type of $file.


When plugger reads the pluggerrc file, it runs it through m4 first, which allows you do some fairly advanced macro processing if you like. See the documentation for m4 for further information.


You may have to remove ~/.mozilla/pluginreg.dat after changing the configuration, or nothing will happen.

Netscape 3.x will not play anything for <EMBED> tags for which height or width are zero. This is a Netscape bug, not a Plugger bug.


Fredrik H´┐Żbinette,
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