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Playing DVDs

Playing DVDs on your Linux PC

Most Linux users use their PCs to play DVDs. Ubuntu and Fedora distros include the Totem Movie Player application as standard to do this, but if you don't see it, search your Software Centre for it and install it:

Install Movie Player from the Software Centre

However, the beauty of Linux and Open Source software is that there are many different applications out there for any given task – and DVD playing is no exception here. Again, if you find Totem Movie Player wanting, search your Software Centre for something that better meets your needs. The following example assumes that you are using Totem Movie Player.

Playing DVDs with Ubuntu

In order to read most DVDs, you will need to ensure that a few extra libraries are installed: there are four and they can all be installed from the Ubuntu Software Centre:

  • Gstreamer ffmpeg video plug in

  • Gstreamer extra plug ins

  • Gstreamer plug-ins for mms, wavpak, quicktime, musepack

  • Gstreamer plug-ins for aac, xvid, mpeg2, faad

Movie Player in the Software Centre

Once installed, insert your DVD into your DVD reader. Linux should read the disc and create an icon on the desktop for it:

Gstreamer libraries in the Software Centre

Right click the icon and choose “Open with Movie Player“:

Open DVD with Movie Player

If all went well, the main menu of the disc should be displayed:

DVD Playing with Movie Player

If not, then check that you installed all the required libraries in the initial step.

Playing DVDs with Fedora

Like Ubuntu, you will need to install a few extra libraries in order to cope with various disc formats; in Fedora, this is best done from the command line:

$ sudo yum install libdvdread libdvdcss libdvdnav gstreamer-plugins-ugly gstreamer-plugins-bad

Once the above is installed, insert a DVD; Fedora will pop up a dialogue box asking you which application you want to open the DVD with. Choose "Movie Player" from the drop-down box and click the "OK" button:

Opening a DVD with Movie Player

Once "Movie Player" starts, the DVD will begin playing:

DVD Playing with Movie Player

Outside of the "Movie Player", you can access, play and eject DVDs from the file manager, under the "Devices" heading:

A DVD shown in the File Manager

References and Further Reading:

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