My machine can't play encrypted DVDs on a fresh install. How do I add this capability? Another useful bit of information would be what programs are best for playing DVDs, once I'm able to do so. See the similar question here. Will I be able to play DVD movies from any region?
To Enable Playback:
sudo apt install libdvd-pkg
Note: You may have to enable multiverse to install this package.
Then install libdvdcss:
Ubuntu 20.04 onward See this answer instead.
Ubuntu 15.10 to 19.10
sudo dpkg-reconfigure libdvd-pkg
Then follow the instructions to let it download and compile.
Ubuntu 12.04 to 15.04
(More about libdvdcss here.)
I believe playback will work in any region.
Commercial DVDs are copy protected to ensure that you aren't able to backup your legally acquired movies, but instead have to buy new ones if they break. You also aren't allowed to enjoy them in just any manner you please; you may only watch them on certain devices with pre-installed decryption keys. Unless those devices are too old, of course; Then you have to buy new ones.
To get around this, install libdvdcss.
Legal Warning: Check with your local laws to make sure usage of libdvdcss2 would be legal in your area. *[Unless you live in Somalia or some other place with no rule of law, it's not legal]
Ubuntu 10.04 (i386, amd64), 10.10 and 11.04 (i386, amd64)
[edit: This method has been used successfully in 11.10 and 12.04 as well]
Works for old releases that are no longer supported if you have repositories on Cd/Dvd or somewhere. So, anything from 9.04 onwards. The latest LTS, 10.04, and the radically different 11.04 also work this way.
Install the libdvdread4 package (no need to add third party repositories) via Synaptic or command line:
sudo apt-get install libdvdread4
Then open a terminal window and execute:
Rebooting may be necessary.
After this, VLC will automatically use it. Some programs may need recompilation.
If after doing all this, you still get messages about not being able to play DVDs, check that the DVD drive has a region set (see below).
Ubuntu 20.10 and later
In Ubuntu 20.10 and later DVD-Video playing library - installer (libdvd-pkg) can be quickly and easily installed from the default Ubuntu repositories. Open the terminal and type:
sudo apt install libdvd-pkg libdvdnav4 libdvdread8 sudo dpkg-reconfigure libdvd-pkg
In Ubuntu 20.04 DVD-Video playing library - installer (libdvd-pkg) can be quickly and easily installed from the default Ubuntu repositories. Open the terminal and type:
sudo apt install libdvd-pkg libdvdnav4 libdvdread7 sudo dpkg-reconfigure libdvd-pkg
In Ubuntu 16.04-19.10 DVD-Video playing library - installer (libdvd-pkg) can be quickly and easily installed from the default Ubuntu repositories. Open the terminal and type:
sudo apt install libdvd-pkg libdvdnav4 libdvdread4 sudo dpkg-reconfigure libdvd-pkg # to allow DVD playback
This package provides libraries (including libdvdcss2) that are needed for playing video DVDs with a media player (such as VLC, SMplayer, Totem, etc.). It automates the process of downloading source files, compiling them, and installing the binary packages.
You can add the medibuntu repository. It will add some other niceties like the ability to play some windows-only codecs.
You can find a how-to here : https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Medibuntu
Please note that installing this packages can be illegal in some jurisdictions. You can always buy Power DVD from canonical web store, if your concerned about it.
Fluendo produces a binary-only DVD player for purchase that (supposedly) works in Ubuntu quite well. You can get it from their webshop.
Please note that in some jurisdictions (Finland at least) even engaging in discussion about circumvention of copy protections is illegal.
In my case, at a command line launch of
vlc I was seeing:
[mpeg2video @ 0x7f5608002a80] hardware accelerator failed to decode picture
For my AMD Radeon R9 290 I resolved it by downloading and installing the latest drivers.
I had troubles with one german dvd with new all-in-player from asus, and only help was to change the region-code: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RestrictedFormats/PlayingDVDs#Ubuntu_15.10_and_newer