Debian Linux 6: Install libdvdcss2 For DVD Decryption Playback

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How do I install libdvdcss2 which is part of the VideoLAN project to play DVDs under Debian Linux 6 (squeeze) operating system?

libdvdcss or libdvdcss2 is a free and open source software library for accessing and unscrambling DVDs encrypted with the Content Scramble System (CSS).


Tutorial details
Root privilegesYes

It is part of the VideoLAN project and is used by VLC media player and other DVD player software such as Ogle, xine-based players, MPlayer, and so on under Linux an Unix like operating systems.

Turn on deb-multimedia repo

The sources.list file contains package resource list for apt. Edit /etc/apt/sources.list file, enter:
# vi /etc/apt/sources.list
Append the following directives:

deb squeeze main non-free

Save and close the file. Rsynchronize the package index files from their sources, run:
# apt-get update

Install libdvdcss2

Type the following command:
# apt-get install libdvdcss2
Sample outputs:

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following NEW packages will be installed:
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 12 not upgraded.
Need to get 37.1 kB of archives.
After this operation, 106 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Get:1 squeeze/main libdvdcss2 amd64 1.2.10-0.3 [37.1 kB]
Fetched 37.1 kB in 1s (22.8 kB/s)   
Selecting previously deselected package libdvdcss2.
(Reading database ... 267066 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking libdvdcss2 (from .../libdvdcss2_1.2.10-0.3_amd64.deb) ...
Setting up libdvdcss2 (1.2.10-0.3) ...

Now you can play DVDs with VLC or any other media player under Debian Linux 6.x. In this example, use lsdvd to list all titles / chapter from /dev/dvd:
$ lsdvd
To play track # 3 from DVD, enter:
$ mplayer dvd://3 -dvd-device /dev/dvd


Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

4 comment

  1. Im new and am a dumb ass to Ubuntu. How do I exactly type in the codes to install libdvdcss2. I get NOTHING?
    Q. WHAT is the first COMPLETE line code to FIRST type in?
    then 2ed. The next line, etc etc.
    Thanks for reply

    1. I am surprised that you “get NOTHING” after sending your command [by “Enter”] if you have typed :
      apt-get install libdvdcss2
      [Don’t type ‘ # ‘ ]
      You should get an error message if the libdvdcss2 cannot be found.

      If you look up on the Google search engine :
      ubuntu libdvdcss2
      you will find in the list of pages one :
      where you can find :
      Install w32 video codecs and libdvdcss2 in Ubuntu 11.10
      Is that your version of Ubuntu : Ubuntu 11.10 ?
      Tell me

  2. Thanks i can play my dvds now. I had went to and tried the hard way, managed to get the src code in a folder on my computer but then how to configure make and install? I guess that was meant for developers, i tried for a day have a lot to learn. Though to add deb squeeze main non-free to my source list i navigated to etc/apt/sources.list double clicked enter root password hit the other software tab then add then entered the above url then add source and closed the window and went back to the terminal and did the install.

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