When I converted my CD collection to mp3 several years ago, I used abcde. The workflow basically went like this:

  • Insert CD
  • Run abcde
  • abcde ejects the disc
  • Repeat

I'm looking for a similar workflow for converting my DVD/Blu-Ray collection as well, but so far haven't found anything quite the same. I'm sure I could script something with Handbrake's CLI, but I'm hoping someone else has already solved that problem for me.

2 Answers 2


MakeMKV is the only utility that I've found that is capable of playing (and copying) Blu-Ray movie releases on any Linux, including Ubuntu. I'm quite sure MakeMKV can also handle DVDs, so it might be your one-stop solution for the conversion process. It has a simple GUI and a command-line utility. By default the GUI will choose a title (or titles) for you based on some heuristic, and put the corresponding original MPEG stream inside a MKV container.

MakeMKV has closed source parts, which are proprietary software. You can use it for free for 60 days, after which you will need to obtain a license key. This key can be bought from the author (currently USD 50, I think).

If you do not wish to compile the sources, I think you can get an installer from ebower's PPA (it appears to cover everything from 10.04 to 12.10):

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-ebower/ebower
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install makemkv-install

However, I have no experience using that PPA.

  • I had forgotten about MakeMKV, although I did use it briefly as a demo. I'll look into it a bit further to see what the scripting/automation options are. I'm going to leave this question open a bit longer, since this still doesn't seem to replicate those aspects of abcde that I'm specifically looking for.
    – LockeCJ
    Oct 29, 2012 at 17:18
  • I'd be thrilled to find an open source replacement for MakeMKV, please post here, if you find something. Could you also update your question to specify how abcde functionality should be replicated for video content (for example, what should happen to the menus of DVDs, and BD-J / BD-Live features).
    – taneli
    Oct 29, 2012 at 18:48

I just came across the "Automatic Ripping Machine", which seems to be exactly what you're asking for (and also includes auto-detection of media type to switch between video, audio, and data.) I haven't used it yet, but it looks promising:



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