Just updated to the newest version of Ubuntu and now VLC player won't read DVDs and displays the following message every time I try to play a DVD:

Playback failure:
DVDRead could not open the disc "/dev/dvd".
Your input can't be opened:
VLC is unable to open the MRL 'dvd:///dev/dvd'. Check the log for details.

What actions do I need to take?

  • Missing details: Which Ubuntu version? 32-bit or 64-bit? Have you loaded the optional extras, codecs, DVD handling, etc. ? – david6 Jun 1 '13 at 0:57
  • 32 bit, have loaded libdvdread 4. I am new to running ubunto so I have figured out all the optional extras – cwood Jun 1 '13 at 4:45

These steps worked for me on a fresh install of Ubuntu 13.10:

Read through the steps fully before you start.

  1. Make sure your entire os system is up to date with ubuntu software updater.

  2. Install vlc:

    sudo apt-get install vlc
  3. Route around "broke on purpose" system damage to the internet by trolls.

    sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras
    sudo apt-get install libdvdcss2 libdvdnav4 libdvdread4
    sudo apt-get install libavformat-extra-53 libavcodec-extra-53 libdvdread4
    sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/install-css.sh
  4. Restart the computer.

  5. Run VLC.

  6. Right click the screen "Open Media" -> "Open Disc".

  7. Select the DVD radio bubble. To ensure you have the right path to your DVD you may have to reset it. Click "Browse" to the left of 'Disc Device' field. In the chooser window double click "DVD" on the left pane.

  8. Press Play.

  9. The DVD menu comes up and I can click on the screen to navigate the menus and play the DVD.

Remember... A lot of really smart people are working VERY hard day and night to make what I've listed above inoperable or impossible. Trillions of dollars weigh in that balance. The game is afoot, make your time.

| improve this answer | |

I had the same issue after installing all needed codecs. I found that I needed to add the symbolic link to the DVD

sudo ln -s /dev/sr0 /dev/dvd
| improve this answer | |

Try entering these three commands: (to see if any of it is missing)

sudo apt-get -y install w32codecs ubuntu-restricted-extras

sudo apt-get -y install libdvdcss2 libdvdnav4 libdvdread4

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


If you don't already have Medibuntu (Ubuntu Media extras), then add that first:

Add repository

sudo wget --output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list http://www.medibuntu.org/sources.list.d/$(lsb_release -cs).list && sudo apt-get --quiet update (all on one line)

Add repository key

sudo apt-get --allow-unauthenticated install medibuntu-keyring

Update packages

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get -y upgrade

Update Software Center (with new media-apps)

sudo update-apt-xapian-index (this may take 40+ seconds)

| improve this answer | |
  • Everything else seemed fine but was missing the codecs. This is the message I got: E: Unable to locate package w32codecs – cwood Jun 1 '13 at 7:31
  • 1
    Medibuntu repository no longer exists. You have to choose the ubuntu-restricted-extras. – user85164 Nov 6 '13 at 22:09
  • Agreed. Time has moved on. For a new install of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or 13.10 you can just use restricted extra. There are still issues with 13.10 (or 13.04), and I should update my answer .. – david6 Nov 7 '13 at 7:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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