Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

First off, I'm not just a newbie, I'm clueless! So your answers will need to be in complete idiot language (let's say I'm computer savvy, and I can follow directions, but I've never programmed anything and assume I don't understand any abbreviations. So why am I running Linux? Because Windows was driving me nuts and my friend managed to convince me. day-to-day operations, we're doing fine, but when it comes to problems, I've got no clue what I'm doing!)

So here's what's going on, my machine is an HP pavilion dv6, my optical drive is a standard cd/dvdrw, when i load an audio cd of any type (burned, official, etc,..) I have no problems, when I pop in a dvd - i get nothing. the dvd icon comes up in my launch tray, when I open VLC player I can find the dvd in the folder... but it won't play. I can watch movies I've downloaded with no problem, I can also watch movies off an external hard drive.

The only thing I've tried is removing VLC and reinstalling, and I tried installing a different player (gnome maybe? I don't remember). However, none of them work.

Again, I can follow directions, but you need to be very specific and don't assume I know anything going in. (I mean, I know basic stuff, but nothing too technical.)


share|improve this question
Possible duplicate of: – david6 Dec 16 '12 at 10:12

Try pointing VLC to /dev/sr0 instead of /dev/dvd when you open a DVD (CTRL+D). Also, did you install libdvdcss?

share|improve this answer

A reason for this could be that you have not installed the codecs for reading encrypted DVD's. Go to the Ubuntu Software Center and look for 'libdvdcss' and 'libdvdread4' and install them. As far as I know they are not installed by default, since it is based on closed source and therefore not in the philosophy of open-source software.

share|improve this answer

I know this is an old thread but i couldnt find a more up-to-date one, thaat i could reply on. I am running ubuntu 12.04 LTS, and couldnt get DVDs to run after reinstalling the operating system. I had installed the restricted extras and livbdvdcss, but it still wasnt working.

In the end I connected the screen via the graphics card and DVDs now play in VLC (but not movie player). The screen had been connected to the motherboard directly.

I am sure this isnt actually the solution to the problem, but the information might be useful to solving the problem.


share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.