I have a problem with Ubuntu 14.04 and playing DVD's.

After installing 14.04 I came to the conclusion that I can not play any DVD's. DVD's cannot even be opened as they are not seen by Ubuntu.

The data I have until now:

  • In the install of 13.10 this was no problem, so this excludes a hardware problem
  • It's on 2 installs on 2 different computers.
  • It concerns a Ubuntu and Lubuntu install
  • The different libdvd libraries are installed:
    • libdvdread4 : version 4.2.1-2ubuntu1
    • libdvdnav4 : version 4.2.1-3
    • libdvdcss2 : version 1.2.13-0
    • ubuntu-restricted-extras : version 60
    • acidrip : version 0.14-0.2ubuntu7
  • The dvd is found on /dev/sr0
  • eject /dev/sr0 does work like a charm
  • sudo mount /dev/sr0 /tmp/dvd makes DVD to in but doesn't mount
  • The dvd is found on /dev/sr0
  • lshw on cdrom gives the DVD player with the <status=nodisc> when there is a dvd in it!
  • playing a CD is no problem
  • ls -l /dev/sr0 gives :

    brw-rw----+ 1 root cdrom 11, 0 aug 9 20:20 /dev/sr0

    • I am in group cdrom
  • vlc doesn't work as doesn't acidrip for that matter or mplayer
  • changing regions doesn't work as the computer thinks there's no disc.
  • vlc doesn't have problems with encyption (region) but just can't open /dev/sr0
  • when using vlc as root it gives the same error, so it won't be a rights problem

vlc -vvv /dev/sr0 gives a lot and this:

libdvdnav: Using dvdnav version 4.2.1
libdvdread: Could not open /dev/sr0 with libdvdcss.
libdvdread: Can't open /dev/sr0 for reading
libdvdnav: vm: failed to open/read the DVD
[0x7f1d18000e78] dvdnav demux warning: cannot open DVD (/dev/sr0)

So now I am stuck with two installs of Ubuntu 14.04 which don't play any DVD's. Can somebody help and/or ask some questions which lead me to an answer?

  • What does lsblk say when there is a disk in the device? udisks --mount /dev/sr0 / udisks --unmount /dev/sr0 / udisks --eject /dev/sr0 ? – Hannu Aug 9 '14 at 20:03
  • I installed udisks and behavior on my Lubuntu install is somewhat flaky. What I found further : inserting a data DVD poses no problem, booting ubuntu from USB gives no problem regarding vlc and play back. – linuxpete Aug 10 '14 at 12:15
  • lsblk gives sr0 11:0 1 8G 0 rom – linuxpete Aug 10 '14 at 12:15
  • udisks --mount /dev/sr0 gives a time-out and hogs the computer. – linuxpete Aug 10 '14 at 12:16

Try cleaning your DVD drive optical head. I had some flaky DVD recognition, similar symptoms, which got much better after cleaning the laser lens.

  • Who would think... I also had this problem :D – Luke Oct 5 '18 at 18:47
  • lol.. Mau its true.. Just cleaned with my shaving brush.. :) – Manikandan Arunachalam Oct 9 '18 at 16:25
  • Hmmm, it read the next DVD I put in it, which makes me think this isn't the issue in my instance, but other than a shaving brush, how do you do this? – codenoob Nov 11 '19 at 1:29

Did you try running sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/install-css.sh ?

It is a " shell script to install libdvdcss under Debian GNU Linux, many DVDs use css for encryption. To play these discs, a special library is needed to decode them, libdvdcss. Due to legal problems, Debian and most Linux distibutions cannot distribute libdvdcss "

This script will also install VLC if necessary

I do read that you have libdvdcss2 installed already, but in my experience I had to run this script before I could play DVD's.

  • According to the question, libdvdcss2 is already installed. – David Foerster Oct 24 '14 at 10:44

For 18.04:

sudo apt-get purge libdvd-pkg
sudo apt-get install libdvd-pkg
sudo dpkg-reconfigure libdvd-pkg

If you still can't get it to play, try borrowing a USB DVD player from somewhere. My new PC came with such a lame no-name DVD drive, it wouldn't play anything.


Also, be sure that your user is in the cdrom group.

This right is gained by adding the user to the "cdrom" group.

The "cdrom" group owns the CD-ROM devices in /dev.

Source: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Security/Privileges#Use_CD-ROM_drives

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