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-   -   dvdrw help (

ixcel87 07-22-2006 03:56 PM

dvdrw help
Hello there.

I'm looking for someone to help me with setting up my dvd drives. I am a newbie to Linux and I'd really appreciate some help.

I have an older computer Dell Dimension 4100 - Pentium 3 running Slackware Linux 10 kernel 2.4.26. Here's a brief look at my system:
_NEC DV-5700A [DVD drive]

Hard Drives
Maxtor 52049H3 (20.42 GB) -- drive 1
WDC WD400BB-00FJA0 (40.02 GB) -- drive 0

Network Interface Card
Network Everywhere Fast Ethernet Adapter (NC100v2)

Sound Card
Gamesurround Muse Lt Audio Device

Video Card and Monitor
32MB DDR NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS (Dell)
Envision AOC A995 (17.7")

Board: Intel Corporation DB15EEA AAA10383-402
Serial Number: MY02336V1246409U02DI
Bus Clock: 133 mhz
BIOS: Intel Corp. A05 09/22/2000

933 mhz - Pentium 3
32 kb primary cache
256 kb secondary cache

Memory Modules
256 mb Installed Memory
Slot 'DIMM' has 128 mb
Slot 'DIMM' has 128 mb

In short, I'd like to play DVD's in both drives and burn DVD's with my DVDrw. Whenever I place a DVD in either drive, it reads but i am unable to play it.

Also, here's a look at my fstab:
/dev/hda5 swap swap defaults 0 0
/dev/hda2 / reiserfs defaults 1 1
/dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom iso9660 noauto,owner,ro 0 0
/dev/dvdrw /mnt/dvdrw iso9660 noauto,owner,rw 0 0
/dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy auto noauto,owner 0 0
devpts /dev/pts devpts gid=5,mode=620 0 0
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
/dev/hdb1 /mnt/hdb1 reiserfs defaults 2 1

Please let me know if you need anything else!

MasterC 07-22-2006 05:17 PM

First things first, I'd update to a newer kernel (which may be included in a newer Slackware release). Second, if you are talking about commercial DVDs, then you'll need to do some sort of decryption; which may or may not be legal in your area of the globe.

You'll need to find and install the libdvdcss library; this will be the key in decoding encrypted DVDs. Once that's installed, mplayer is a nice option IMHO so you should go about installing that next (along with it's dependencies). Be sure you enable DVD playback during the configure process.


MasterC 07-22-2006 05:19 PM

Second thought:
You might be interested in a "newbie" distro, it specializes in (and has good docs for) people just learning Linux. Ubuntu is the newest distro I've used that seems fairly capable of being 'easy to use' for a new Linux user.

Good Luck!


ixcel87 07-23-2006 03:35 PM


I haven't gotten around to doing anything else yet.

What did you mean by the dependencies for mplayer?

MasterC 07-24-2006 08:20 AM

Without going too deep, here's what I mean:

The beauty (and ugly if you ask the right people) of Linux is that it relies on other applications to supply certain libraries and such. The benefit is that you don't 37 different versions of a simple library floating around on your system; causing confusion, possibly overwriting importing settings in libraries, etc. But, the drawback to this is that when you install an application that expects you have this "other" application and it's libraries installed, you have to satisfy dependencies before the application will successfully install (or it might install, but before it will actually work correctly or at all). In some cases, this may be a laundry list of 100+ other libraries/applications.

So one day, some very intelligent linux folks decided that it was quite a pain to have to round up all the required packages from their respective homes, configure and install each one. Today, this comes in the form of a "package manager". Yum (ported from YellowDog to FC is very popular now), Apt (ported from Debian to a lot of RPM based distros, also very popular) Synaptics (a frontend to apt), and on the source side of things you've got Portage (ported from BSD to Gentoo, extremely popular), amongst thousands of other relatives that do pretty much the same thing (for the purposes of what we are discussing anyway):
Satisfy dependencies for you. Thousands of packages are tucked away on some server (called a Repository typically) waiting for your system to say "I need the dependencies for mplayer" and serve them up to your package manager. Your package manager takes care of all the downloading, configuring and installing (typically) and in the end, you have a working mplayer without doing much more than:
yum install mplayer
(or Gentoo)
emerge mplayer

So... hopefully that wasn't too boring, but gave enough info to help you understand why some distros are more geared towards "newbies" than others (although it does appear Slackware's Swaret is doing quite well).

Good Luck!


ixcel87 07-24-2006 11:13 AM

Thanks for the explanation. I'm all into the verbage, I throughly enjoy a deep explanation as I am fairly new to linux.

I did however get my dvd's to play thanks to your advice. I haven't configured mplayer yet and I will look into the later. As of right now I use Totem to watch dvd's.

As I stated before. This is an older PC and I'd like to learn it in depth before I fully make the transition from Windows to linux. I have definately noticed that Slackware can be a b*tch to configure sometimes. Do you have any suggestions on books or articles?

Thanks again for your help and I will definately be posting more questions in the near future.

MasterC 07-25-2006 02:54 AM

Slackware can be a beast, but the general idea is that once it's done right in Slackware, it's done. The excellence that Slackware provides is that it doesn't overwrite any of your files without you deliberately telling it to. Contrasting to something like Yast (part of SuSE) which knows far more than you do about what you want, slackware can be very enticing to the 'control freak' inside you. However, because it expects you *know* what you want, at least to a point, it can be hard for someone who doesn't know how to achieve that end goal; in walks the newbie distros with tools like YaST and drakeconf (though I am a bit aged in my Mandrake and SuSE knowledge, these tools may have changed since I last played with them). The upside of these tools are that they provide an easier to understand description of what they are offering, and let you easily change things that you would otherwise have no idea on how to change (it may be an obscure command line switch perhaps). So you tell YaST you want your IP to be static, and provide it, and then you are done; you didn't have to know what ifconfig was, or route, or how to manipulate them; or that /etc/resolv.conf is used for DNS resolving.

Books, articles, not really. The Slackware forum on this website is quite helpful for Slackers. Also, some of the LinuxAnswers written (also on this site) are written by fellow Slackers, which potentially benefit you as they may be Slackware-ish. It has been said that once you learn to use Slackware, you will have learned to use Linux. I find that to be somewhat true, but certainly not 100%.

Good Luck!


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