DVD Playback

The movie players provided in Ubuntu are capable of reading DVDs that are not encrypted. However, most commercial DVDs are encrypted with CSS (the Content Scrambling System) and currently for legal reasons it is not possible to include support for these DVDs in Ubuntu. However it is possible to enable support as follows:


The legal status of this library is not fully clear. In some countries it is possible that the use of this library to play or copy DVDs is not permitted by law. Verify that you are within your rights in using it.

  1. Install the libdvdread3 package (see Chapter 3, Adding, Removing and Updating Applications).


    You will need to use Synaptic Package Manager to install this package

  2. To activate DVD decryption, type the following line into a terminal prompt:

    sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread3/install-css.sh

  3. To play DVDs with Totem, you will need to install some extra codecs (see the section called “Multimedia Codecs”).

  4. However, the Gstreamer framework (used by Totem) does not support menus or subtitles for DVD playback. For this reason, you can install a separate DVD player, Xine, which supports these. To install Xine, install the gxine package from the “Universe” repository (see Chapter 3, Adding, Removing and Updating Applications).

  5. You can then open gxine from the Sound & Video menu.