Ubuntu Linux play encrypted DVDs commands

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How do I play encrypted DVDs under Ubuntu Linux?

You need to install a special library which allows you to play encrypted DVDs under Ubuntu Linux. In this FAQ you will learn how to use linux command line to install CSS library and DVD playback using open source linux software such as xine. Ubuntu Linux will not be able to play most of the DVDs out of box. Please read this my article which explains why linux don’t support MP3 and DVD out of box. Now let us see how to configure Ubuntu Linux to play encrypted DVDs.Most DVDS comes with Content Scramble System (CSS) which is a Digital Rights Management (DRM) scheme. The CSS key sets are licensed to manufacturers who incorporate them into products such as DVD drives, DVD players and DVD movie releases. Most DVD players are equipped with a CSS Decryption module. CSS key is a collective term for authentication key, disc key, player key, title key, second disk key set, and/or encrypted key.
Tutorial details
Difficulty level Easy
Root privileges Yes
Requirements Linux terminal
Category Package Manager
OS compatibility Debian Linux Mint Pop!_OS Ubuntu
Est. reading time 2 minutes

Ubuntu Linux play encrypted DVDs commands

In order to play encrypted DVDs just install CSS library with following linux command. First install open source Linux player such as vlc or xine, mplayer etc using apt command or apt-get command:
$ sudo apt-get install vlc xine mplayer libdvdread3
Also see: How to install VLC 3 application (Vetinari) on Linux for more info.

Now install CSS library:
$ sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread3/examples/install-css.sh
Please see “How to install libdvdcss (libdvd-pkg), multimedia plugins, codecs in Ubuntu / Debian Linux to play encrypted DVDs” for more info.

Now you can play DVD by visiting Applications > Sound & Video > Movie Player > Select player menu option.

Updated for accuracy.

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73 comments… add one
  • skye Jul 19, 2012 @ 2:38

    pmcartney worked for me thank you so much, time to watch my dane cook i have on dvd:)
    pmcartney said:
    Ubuntu 10.04 (i386, amd64), 10.10 and 11.04 (i386, amd64)

    Works for old releases that are no longer supported if you have repositories on Cd/Dvd or somewhere. So, anything from 9.04 onwards. The latest LTS, 10.04, and the radically different 11.04 also work this way.

    Install the libdvdread4 package (no need to add third party repositories) via Synaptic or command line:

    sudo apt-get install libdvdread4

    Then open a terminal window and execute:

    sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/install-css.sh

    Rebooting may be necessary.

  • Bob Feb 16, 2013 @ 17:34

    thank you! this works a treat in 12.04.

  • Italo Oct 26, 2013 @ 2:38

    Thanks, it worked to me!

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