Ubuntu isn't the only Linux distribution offering easy automatic updates. It just does the best job of making them accessible. But if you take a few moments to add third-party repositories to your existing Linux install, you can get the same access to software, codecs, and OS updates, even if they're not part of your OS's default configuration. Here's how.
The quickest way to give Fedora 7 access to third-party stuff like multimedia codecs is to add the Livna repository, which is chock full of good stuff that isn't included in Fedora for purely legal reasons. To add it, fire up Terminal and enter the following commands (in case you're new to Linux, the $ and # represent the command prompt -- you don't need to type them in):
# rpm --import /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/*
# rpm -ivh http://rpm.livna.org/livna-release-7.rpm
# rpm --import /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-livna
Once you've done this, the Livna repository will be a part of Fedora's regular software search. So the next time you try to play an MP3 file or another proprietary format, you should be automatically prompted to download the appropriate codec, just like Ubuntu does.
With openSUSE, adding repositories is arguably easier, but slightly more time consuming, because you have to enter them into openSUSE's administration utility, Yast, and then wait for them to sync. Here's how to do it:
First, go to en.opensuse.org/Package_Repositories and find the repositories you want. We suggest starting with OSS, Non-oss, and Update. Then launch Yast (aka, Aministrator Settings), and choose Installation Source. Under Configured Software Catalogs, click Add, then choose Specify URL... and click Next to enter the URL of the repository you want to add. After that, Yast will grind away for a few minutes, gleefully adding your repository. Do this for each of the URLs you want to add. Once you've added all of your repositories to the list, Yast will sync with the Novell ZENWorks Manager, and then you'll be in business. The next time you want to download a proprietary codec or Flash Player, or whatever, you'll be just a few clicks away.