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Old 02-18-2011, 09:09 AM   #1
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which linux distribution will play DVDs?

I am relatively new to linux, but not to computers. I want to try out several different distributions and learn more about linux, but I read that some distributions will not play DVDs. Since my computer is my DVD player, I need this to be an option. Any suggestions?
Old 02-18-2011, 09:11 AM   #2
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I have to say that I've never run across one that does not play DVDs. I'm not saying it can't happen due to hardware issues, but I believe they will all do what you're looking for.
Old 02-18-2011, 09:14 AM   #3
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Most will play. Some will work out-of-the-box. Others need a will need a little bit of work.

One of the easiest, out-of-the-box, based on Ubuntu, is Linux Mint -

(In Ubuntu you just have to install the Medibuntu Repository and get the package: libdvdcss2)

Last edited by arochester; 02-18-2011 at 09:17 AM.
Old 02-18-2011, 09:15 AM   #4
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Almost any distribution will play DVDs, it's just a legal restriction in some countries that the required software can't be included. The problem is that Linux distributions are free, and the ability to use the hardware you paid for to play the movies you paid for is licensed. Since no one is collecting the license fee, the distribution can't include the software without risk of being charged with "contributory infringement". Google most any distribution and DVD and you'll find the instructions.

Last edited by macemoneta; 02-18-2011 at 09:16 AM.
Old 02-18-2011, 09:15 AM   #5
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You might have to mount the DVD drives in some distributions and for mounting you might have to locate the dvd drive:
Old 02-18-2011, 09:17 AM   #6
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All Linux distros are capable of playing DVDs.

Many Linux distros ship with only "free" software, due to ideological or legal concerns. The codec required to play a commercial DVD is called "libdvdcss" (or sometimes "libdvdcss2") and is not considered "free" software. Therefore you need to download and install libdvdcss yourself on most Linux distros.

My advice is to pick a distro you like and then Google how to install libdvdcss for that specific distro. For example if you use Ubuntu:
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:40 PM   #7
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Be aware that using libdvdcss is in a legal gray-zone in some countries, for example Germany.


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