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DVD's in Linux

  1. Nov 9, 2005 #1
    Does anyone know how to do this?

    I have read some things about downloading and compiling things, but I just want to play dvd's.

    Any help is great!!!
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 9, 2005 #2
    xine works fine, if your system is set up properly, which depends on the distro. That said, I've never been unable to play them in Linux.

    Which distro are you using?

    You need to provide more info, Linux is just the kernel, the part that talks to the hardware, nothing more. You've told us nothing useful about your system to help you with.
  4. Nov 9, 2005 #3
    Sorry, I have Suse 10.0

    what else do you need?
  5. Nov 9, 2005 #4

    Try totem, or xine. They should be installed. Mplayer works, but doesn't do DVD menus, so finding the actual movie is a bit of a trick (not really a hard one, but its kinda hard to explain). However, xine should be installed, and Totem is just a frontend for that. I assume Suse uses KDE, so it should be in the KDE menu somewhere probably under multimedia (I haven't used suse, this is just generic info).
  6. Nov 9, 2005 #5
    I use KDE for the desktop.

    I think I have to update xine in order to force it, but do I have to get any decoding software?
  7. Nov 9, 2005 #6
    It should be included in the xine package. The only catch may be that there might not be a device /dev/dvd (which is just a link to the DVD drive, not actually the drive, that is usually /dev/hdc or something similar). However, a newbie centered distro like SuSe(so much so that some of us just call in LinuxXP) should have taken care of that automatically (Slackware doesn't, but its a trivial fix, and Slackware is not a newbie-centered distro).

    So the short version is, update/install xine, and run xine. There should be an explicit DVD button on the interface to play the DVD.
  8. Nov 9, 2005 #7
    um, try kaffine.
  9. Nov 9, 2005 #8
    kaffeine is another xine frontend, like totem. Xine is the program that actually does the playing. Kaffeine and totem are just different interfaces for it.
  10. Nov 9, 2005 #9
    oh really? , never knew that, good too know.:smile:
  11. Nov 9, 2005 #10
    its the way a lot of programs work in linux. There a few engines that are used by other interface apps. For example, amarok (a music player similar to iTunes, without the iStore, or similar to MusicMatch Jukebox) can use xine for playing its audio (it can also use ARTsd, but I hate arts, so i have it use xine). KMPlayer is just a KDE frontend for Mplayer (probably the best video player on any platform, with the exception of its lack of DVD menu capability).
  12. Nov 9, 2005 #11
    ya, amarok is my fav music player, and the xine engine is alot better quality than gstream and arts. I dont want qt libs on gnome, so now i use rhythmbox :grumpy: .

    have you tried vlc?, best in my opinion.
  13. Nov 9, 2005 #12

    No i haven't tried vlc, but why wouldn't you want qt libs in gnome? There is no conflict in having them present ( I use amarok in gnome daily, it works fine. The only annoyance is needing a KDE theme and a gnome theme to make both interface sets congruent, but thats relatively minor).
  14. Nov 9, 2005 #13


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    I like mplayer because it can play pretty much any format you throw at it. They actually have H.624 support before Apple's Quicktime.
  15. Nov 9, 2005 #14
    No one has said anything about the libraries

    you need to have the dvd libraries installed. those libs will not come with any commercial distro (or even free ones) because they are technically illegal in the us because they overcome the encryption on dvds.
  16. Nov 9, 2005 #15
    Not illegal if you dont live in the U.S. :tongue2:
  17. Nov 9, 2005 #16


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    If you own the dvd you have the right to watch it. I don't see a problem with decrypting the disc to view it. That is what a dvd player does anyway, decrypt the disc. Why do you need to play someone for a dvd player when you can use your own.

    If your on linux/bsd you'll want to use libdvdcss or libdvdread. All I do in gentoo is emerge mplayer with the dvdread USE option.
  18. Nov 9, 2005 #17
    OK, so i do have to get those. I did some research last night, and seemed to find them.
  19. Nov 9, 2005 #18
    Looks like my copy came with freerock gnome, but not with Slackware. Hmm, never thought of that.

    its still illegal because its unlicensed use of a patented technology, namely the decryption software.
  20. Nov 9, 2005 #19


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    Most UNIX/Linux/BSD multimedia players link with the libdvdcss lib. The source to build may be downloaded at:


    I know for certain that MPlayer actually uses a modified libdvdcss, called mpdvdkit2, which is entangled in their source tree for MPlayer. So, if you decide to use mplayer and build from source, you'll have a mechanism to decrypt DVDs by default.

    Players like Xine, on the other hand, don't include libdvdcss, so you'll need to build it separately and make sure that the Xine binary can find the libdvdcss lib (this is OS dependent).
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2017
  21. Nov 9, 2005 #20


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    Franznietzsche, CSS is not patented, it is a trade secret. Unfortunetly the secret is out and the association that handles the CSS license doesn't like it.
  22. Nov 9, 2005 #21
    So DVD technology is not patented? Just asking for clarification as I'm confused, if its not patented, what is the legal issue? As i understood it, playing DVDs in Linux is technically a violation of the DMCA since the libraries that enable you to do it bypass "protections" in the DVD format.
  23. Nov 9, 2005 #22


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    Yes, it is completely a DMCA issue. Here is another case where the DMCA was used to block a company from manufacturing a universal remote for garage doors:


    If you lose your remote don't you have the right to open your own garage door with a remote not from the manufacturer? You could apply this to dvd. YOU own the right to watch the dvd. Why does it matter which player you use?
  24. Nov 9, 2005 #23

    I'm not disputing that the law is wrong. The DMCA is a complete load of crock. However, that doesn't answer my question as to what exactly is the legal issue then with playing DVDs.
  25. Nov 9, 2005 #24


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    The legal issue is that the software is circumventing a copy protection scheme.
  26. Nov 10, 2005 #25
    Yes, but it is the wonderful DMCA that makes circumventing copy prtotection schemes illegal.

    trade secret or not, it is "illegal". Not that I care, I was just explaining the reasons.
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