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Old 06-07-2011, 11:58 AM   #1
kienlarsen
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Can I watch DVDs in Linux?


I know it may be a really dumb question, but I moved with my Linux to another laptop with a DVD drive, on which I had windows before. And I use windows is on my netbook which doesn't have DVD drive. I've been watching UNIX Academy training DVDs on windows in play/pause mode, and typed commands on Linux. Now when it's gone, I'm not sure how to play the DVD with a training on Linux. I can play it on my set-top player though.
 
Old 06-07-2011, 12:21 PM   #2
David the H.
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Most of the major software multimedia players can handle dvd video to some extent or other. vlc, xine, and mplayer, for example, can all do dvd playback, along with various front-end players like kaffeine. Menu support is still spotty in some of them, however.

The only real hurdle comes from commercial dvds with their built-in css encryption. libdvdcss, if installed, will decrypt them for playback or ripping, but it's not considered legal in many countries. Not that that stops most users, of course.

There are also disks out there that have playback problems due to the various anti-copy schemes they keep foisting on us.

It sounds like the ones you're watching may be non-encrypted educational types though, in which case you should be good to go.
 
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:46 PM   #3
szboardstretcher
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Fedora has the ability to play pretty much everything. There is a simple way to install all of the non-free software required too -- easylifeproject.org
 
Old 06-07-2011, 01:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David the H. View Post
The only real hurdle comes from commercial dvds with their built-in css encryption. libdvdcss, if installed, will decrypt them for playback or ripping, but it's not considered legal in many countries.
As far as I know, nobody has ever been taken to court over hosting or using libdvdcss.

Even some US courts have given rulings that could be taken as allowing libdvdcss-

Quote:
"Merely bypassing a technological protection that restricts a user from viewing or using a work is insufficient to trigger the (Digital Millennium Copyright Act's) anti-circumvention provision," Judge Garza wrote for the New Orleans-based court.
http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/07/23/29099.htm

Last edited by cascade9; 06-07-2011 at 01:34 PM.
 
Old 06-07-2011, 03:28 PM   #5
Hevithan
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I was using a debian build and even with the proper lib files had a tough time ... But when I put Ubuntu on, it came with a couple of Movie players, and Ubuntu includes the lib files needed and they come pre-configured so it can play DVDs as soon as you install. It says on their site that they do this in case you are in europe or canada ... Where different rules apply ... So even if you are in the US you get what is considered to be 'less the legal' methods already setup.

As stated before VLC,xine, players like that should be able to play it for you. In my experiance VLC will play anything (.wma, .flv, .avi, CD's,DVD's,etc) on anything. Good luck!
 
Old 06-07-2011, 03:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hevithan View Post
I was using a debian build and even with the proper lib files had a tough time ... But when I put Ubuntu on, it came with a couple of Movie players, and Ubuntu includes the lib files needed and they come pre-configured so it can play DVDs as soon as you install. It says on their site that they do this in case you are in europe or canada ... Where different rules apply ... So even if you are in the US you get what is considered to be 'less the legal' methods already setup.
Maybe I'm misreading what you have written, but libdvdcss does not come with ubuntu 'out of the box'. You need to install it-

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Re...ts/PlayingDVDs
 
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Old 06-07-2011, 04:33 PM   #7
Hevithan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
Maybe I'm misreading what you have written, but libdvdcss does not come with ubuntu 'out of the box'. You need to install it-

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Re...ts/PlayingDVDs
Sorry should of clarified ... The distro I have (Zorin) which is built on Ubuntu has them. My fault, Thanks for the correction
 
Old 06-07-2011, 10:30 PM   #8
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There's always the brute force way if all else fails.

Open the DVD file structure VIDEO_TS directory in a file manager and play the individual video files (it's been a while but I think they are the *.VOB files) one by one.
 
Old 06-08-2011, 12:22 AM   #9
David the H.
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Yes, vob is just a container format for mpeg2 video, and they should play fine individually. They still have to be decrypted first, however.

They're also limited on dvd to 1gb in size, so most longer videos will be broken up over multiple files.
 
Old 06-08-2011, 08:58 AM   #10
kienlarsen
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Is there a "normal" DVD player for Linux, just like for Windows with all codecs installed, that plays all disks, including commercial and protected without hacking anything or accessing files directly?
 
Old 06-08-2011, 09:12 AM   #11
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Quick answer is NO. There is nothing in Linux which is "like in Windows". They are two entirely different operating systems with different philosophy and function.
What I do in order to watch whatever dvd on a Linux machine, is to install (if not already installed) xine-lib, xine-ui and libdvdcss.
Windows may have three similar parts assembled as one package eg PowerDVD, but in Linux xine lib can be used by virtually ANY media player; I even wrote a command-line mp3 player myself using xine lib.
 
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:32 AM   #12
David the H.
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Here's a quick run-down on multimedia availability in Linux, as I understand it.

The closest you'll probably get to an all-in-one player is vlc, a stand-alone project that attempts to be a comprehensive cross-platform player. It can handle just about every common format out there. mplayer is the granddaddy of *nix players and probably the most powerful single multimedia tool available. It is however a bit cryptic and not so push-button user-friendly. xine falls somewhere in-between, a decent player and backend, but not exceptionally polished.

Then there's gstreamer, which is not a player so much as a multimedia framework for other projects to build on. It does have a series of tools available for direct use, however. There's also ffmpeg, which is not a player, but an encoder project with some connections to mplayer. It's not designed for playback, but it comes with a nice collection of format decoders (libav*), and so xine and gstreamer have plugins so that they can call on it when needed (while mplayer and vlc both use libav* directly).

Most of the other players you'll find out there are simply gui front-ends that use mplayer, xine, or gstreamer to do the actual playback. They exist to try to give a more polished user interface to these basic players.

I mostly use xine myself for regular use, but I keep all of the above around, as I have never found a single player capable of handling absolutely everything. There are always odd-ball files that are poorly-encoded or use unusual codecs, and one player may work where all the others fail. But with all of them available to me, I'm always likely to be able to play it somehow.

Finally, there are a few outlying projects, such as Helix, which is RealNetwork's attempt at creating a presence on Linux. I've never bothered with it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VLC_media_player
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MPlayer
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xine
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GStreamer
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FFmpeg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helix_(multimedia_project)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari...layer_software


As a final bit of advice, though, stop worrying about it. Any one of the major players mentioned above should be able to handle 90%+ of what you throw at it. Try them all out and see which one(s) work best for you.
 
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:10 AM   #13
kienlarsen
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That's a great post! Thanks for taking time and addressing this my question!
 
  


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