I have an external USB DVD drive which works fine with my Win7 laptop; however, when I connect it to my netbook (Ubuntu 14.04), it will not play commercial (encrypted) DVDs.

I have installed the VLC player, libdvdcss2, libdvdread4, libdvdnav4. If I select the no menu option in VLC, I get the message "Playback failure: DVDRead could not read - 1/4 blocks at 0x22a7." VLC does, however, display the name and length of the movie.

This is apparently a software issue since the DVD drive and DVD work fine with WIn7.

  • Try run sudo ln -s /dev/sr0 /dev/dvd
    – Liso
    Commented Aug 9, 2015 at 20:09
  • try smplayer, it may work for you, to download it. go to a terminal and write: sudo apt-get install smplayer. you may also need to download Ubuntu extras from Ubuntu software center. JMO
    – user433732
    Commented Aug 9, 2015 at 20:19
  • Liso and Ronnie - Thanks for the suggestions, but still does not work.
    – RetiredGuy
    Commented Aug 9, 2015 at 20:21
  • Will it play unprotected DVDs? Commented Aug 9, 2015 at 20:35
  • Not sure - all the DVDs I have are commercial, store-bought movies.
    – RetiredGuy
    Commented Aug 9, 2015 at 21:14

2 Answers 2


Open terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) and run following command to install require dependencies :

sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg libxine1-ffmpeg gxine mencoder libdvdread4 totem-mozilla icedax tagtool easytag id3tool lame nautilus-script-audio-convert libmad0 mpg321 && sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/install-css.sh

Restart may necessary.

WARNING: Run encrypted video on Linux is illegal, so make sure its legal on your area.

See also:

Since medibuntu is no longer available, you have to install libdvdcss2 manually :

wget http://download.videolan.org/pub/debian/stable/libdvdcss2_1.2.13-0_i386.deb
sudo apt-get update
sudo dpkg -i libdvdcss2_1.2.13-0_i386.deb

Now encrypted dvd should run perfectly fine

  • This saved my life when i promised my daughter watching Frozen from DVD :-)
    – iacobus
    Commented Aug 9, 2015 at 20:58
  • Since I have already installed, uninstalled, reinstalled VLC, libdvdread4, etc., would it help to do it again? Would sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/install-css.sh install something different than what is already there?
    – RetiredGuy
    Commented Aug 9, 2015 at 21:17
  • Yes! Without this, nothing will work.
    – iacobus
    Commented Aug 9, 2015 at 21:21
  • I guess I spoke too soon, Liso and iacobus. The DVD played for about 15 minutes and then went back to the VLC menu. Also, while I am able to select a submenu from the main menu, anything I select on any submenu causes the DVD to quit and puts me back at the VLC menu.
    – RetiredGuy
    Commented Aug 9, 2015 at 22:24
  • @RetiredGuy that is due to encryption; not all encryption methods have been deciphered so it is a bit of hit and miss watching dvds. You are better off downloading the content of the DVD (and yes I know ...).
    – Rinzwind
    Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 9:54

Try to install libdvdcss2 from here and then try VLC again.

libdvdcss is a simple library designed for accessing DVDs like a block device without having to bother about the decryption.

  • libdvdcss is already installed. Does the link point to a different version?
    – RetiredGuy
    Commented Aug 9, 2015 at 21:18
  • I don't know which version you have. You can determine it using 'aptitude show libdvdcss2' command. Also please read about region codes here: help.ubuntu.com/community/RestrictedFormats/PlayingDVDs .
    – Gannet
    Commented Aug 9, 2015 at 21:24

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