There are plenty of questions where people essentially want to know how to play their DVDs (How can I play encrypted DVD movies?, Lord of the Rings, Toy Story, another one).

Is there any way to know before you buy a DVD to know if it runs on your system?

Obviously, simply looking at the DVD does not help:

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Is there any online service or another way to get to know if you can watch a DVD on your computer before buying it?

edit: Sometimes, Amazon customers give this information if it is not working. But I would also appreciate a "white list" of DVDs that do work.

  • A 'black list' would be better, as most DVDs work. The only one recently I know does not work is this, as my sister wanted me to 'accidentally' copy it, but it was not even readable - I think it was dual-layer & encrypted. – Wilf Feb 4 '14 at 12:28
  • @wilf: I did not think of it as "either a blacklist or a whitelist". But at the moment, I only know Amazon as a blacklist for some DVDs. I don't know any whitelist. – Martin Thoma Feb 4 '14 at 12:55
  • 2
    Disney are infamous for creating really obtuse DVD layouts to stump DVD rippers. Unfortunately the same technology is used by DVD players in Linux. – Oli Feb 4 '14 at 14:29

As long as the region code on the DVD disk is compatible with your DVD player, it is fine. Instead of knowing a whitelist of DVD disks, it will be better if you know the compatibility of your DVD player/drive.

http://www.doom9.org/index.html?/rpc1.htm the above link provides some info on how to check (and how to modify)

An alternative solution is to upgrade your player to bluray. All bluray discs are region-free, and you will not worry about incompatibility issues.

  • Isn't Bluray even more encumbered and hard-to-read format? You can buy Fluendo for Ubuntu or use that other free one, but is there any easy-install Blu-ray player? – NoBugs Jun 10 '14 at 6:16

Install all of your DVD playback addons and you shouldn't have any difficulties playing DVDs. I've not run into any that won't play if you've got these things installed as long as you've set your DVD region code (necessary with a new DVD player). Easy to know, you won't be able to play ANY movie DVD if your region code isn't set...

Open a terminal and input these lines:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras
sudo apt-get install libavformat-extra-53 libavcodec-extra-53 libdvdread4
sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/install-css.sh
sudo apt-get install vlc

Install these (above) and you should be good to go. If you need to set your region code, go here (below).


  • This does not answer my question. I've asked for a web service that reported problems. (I did install all of these, but I still can't play some DVDs.) – Martin Thoma Feb 5 '14 at 7:27

You can go to launchpad.net and search for the name of the DVD, if others have reported that it doesn't work, you may find a report such as this one.

That's the closest that I know of for a 'black-list'.

protected by Community Apr 2 '14 at 19:27

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