Ubuntu: Enable DVD Playback

I enjoy watching movies, so getting DVD playback on my Ubuntu install was a definite priority. Nothing sadder than putting a DVD into your drive and having your system be unable to play the disc. Here’s how to enjoy your DVD movies on your Ubuntu system:

1. Open a terminal window.

2. Execute the following terminal command to install the necessary packages (make sure to approve any prompts):sudo apt-get install totem-xine libxine1-ffmpeg libdvdread3

3. Execute the following terminal command:sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread3/install-css.sh

After you have executed the above terminal commands, insert a DVD into your drive. Totem will open and the movie will begin playing.


About Rob Rogers

Once a prolific author here on Tech-Recipes, Rob has moved on to greener pastures.
View more articles by Rob Rogers

The Conversation

Follow the reactions below and share your own thoughts.

22 Responses to “Ubuntu: Enable DVD Playback”

  1. October 22, 2008 at 3:39 am, Paul Valley said:

    This works Great thanks


  2. October 26, 2008 at 5:33 pm, Mohamed Sherif said:

    I am sorry, but this did not work for me. I am using Ubuntu 7.10. Totem keeps telling me “Are you trying to open a coded DVD without libdvdcss?” although that I have them installed.

    This is the output from Totem when ran in terminal:

    libdvdnav: Using dvdnav version 1.1.7 from http://xine.sf.net
    libdvdread: Using libdvdcss version 1.2.9 for DVD access
    libdvdread: Attempting to use device /dev/scd0 mounted on /media/cdrom0 for CSS authentication
    libdvdnav: Can’t read name block. Probably not a DVD-ROM device.
    libdvdnav: Unable to find map file ‘/home/molpsychist/.dvdnav/.map’
    libdvdnav: DVD disk reports itself with Region mask 0x00fe0000. Regions: 1

    libdvdread: Attempting to retrieve all CSS keys
    libdvdread: This can take a _long_ time, please be patient

    libdvdread: Get key for /VIDEO_TS/VIDEO_TS.VOB at 0×00000124
    libdvdread: Elapsed time 0
    libdvdread: Get key for /VIDEO_TS/VTS_01_0.VOB at 0x0000146d
    libdvdread: Elapsed time 0
    libdvdread: Get key for /VIDEO_TS/VTS_01_1.VOB at 0×00001632
    libdvdread: Error cracking CSS key for /VIDEO_TS/VTS_01_1.VOB (0×00001632)!!
    libdvdread: Elapsed time 1
    libdvdread: Get key for /VIDEO_TS/VTS_02_0.VOB at 0x00206f1c
    libdvdread: Error cracking CSS key for /VIDEO_TS/VTS_02_0.VOB (0x00206f1c)
    libdvdread: Elapsed time 0
    libdvdread: Get key for /VIDEO_TS/VTS_02_1.VOB at 0x00206f20
    libdvdread: Error cracking CSS key for /VIDEO_TS/VTS_02_1.VOB (0x00206f20)!!
    libdvdread: Elapsed time 0
    libdvdread: Found 2 VTS’s
    libdvdread: Elapsed time 1
    AFD changed from -2 to -1

    Can you help me with that? Thank you!


  3. November 16, 2008 at 4:46 pm, Netflixs Guy said:

    Thats good man
    i was breaking my head to do that
    to make it play back


  4. March 10, 2009 at 5:53 pm, Jeans said:

    Works great! But I had to remove the totem-gstreamer in the Synaptic Pakage Manager to get it working without conflict.



  5. July 03, 2009 at 2:32 am, jeff said:

    how do you uninstall this


  6. July 03, 2009 at 6:00 am, Raven said:

    those commands dont work any more.
    you need to change the libdvdread3 to libdvdread4 in both lines and it works great. DVD plays now with no problems.


    • August 16, 2009 at 8:02 pm, Anonymous said:

      No this method does not work either…only reason it works for you cause you have other lib files. but on fresh installs of ubuntu and kubuntu and linuxmint following this information will not read a dvd or detect a dvd in playback


    • September 14, 2009 at 4:29 pm, k.c said:

      thank you Raven, just a digit at the end of a string but it meant everything (3 to 4), running jaunty on acer aspire 5920 laptop


    • January 07, 2011 at 11:46 pm, 89jettagl said:

      Thanks for that tip man, wouldnt work until i used the libdvdread4 not 3.


    • February 22, 2011 at 9:46 am, Gina said:

      thank you so much works now


  7. July 20, 2009 at 9:56 pm, John Hennessy said:

    You might find that running the following is also needed:

    sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras


  8. August 16, 2009 at 8:01 pm, Anonymous said:

    as with all the other sites giving this information. it is now outdated and theses steps will not work on installing kubuntu 9.04 or later or linuxmint 7 or later as well.


  9. August 17, 2009 at 2:50 pm, Anonymous said:



  10. September 29, 2009 at 2:02 am, Anonymous said:

    Thank you shamanstears for this post and Raven for posting the libdvdread4 change. That did the trick…I struggled for a couple days trying libdvdread3 reading older posts. I had all the Gstreamer plug-ins with the exception of fluendo checked off in Add/Remove programs prior to cutting and pasting the command line above with along with the correction…not sure if that helped but I am officially up and running in Ubuntu Juanty with an old Dell P4 1.8Ghz,…everything works..wireless drivers, printer and now dvd. I may never go back to MSFT. Thanks again.


  11. January 04, 2010 at 4:40 pm, Anonymous said:

    You have to use libdvdread4 now


  12. January 04, 2010 at 4:40 pm, Anonymous said:



  13. January 25, 2010 at 2:20 am, Anonymous said:

    i tried entering the second command and it was not recognized. Do u have any ideas?


  14. April 17, 2010 at 12:07 am, Th3Pr0ph3t said:

    In Ubuntu 10.04 the package is libdvdread4 instead.
    When it comes to DVDs I recommend VLC as the media player.


  15. July 29, 2010 at 2:23 am, Wanderingalbatross said:

    With the change to libdvdread4 this works great. Thanks! My wife worked a few hours on this before we found this site!


  16. September 01, 2010 at 6:01 am, Car DVD Players said:

    Great! But I had to remove the totem-gstreamer in the Synaptic Pakage Manager to get it working without conflict.


  17. January 14, 2011 at 12:52 am, jajalica said:

    Thanks so much!!!


  18. March 31, 2012 at 11:44 pm, Paras said:

    thanks you so much this helped play Rd box movie on my ubuntu 10.04 which was not previously playing with VLC alone


Leave a Reply