DVD Playing

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DVD, also known as Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc, is an optical disc storage media format used for video and data storage.[1]


If you wish to play encrypted DVDs, you must install the libdvd* packages.

# pacman -S libdvdread libdvdcss libdvdnav

Additionally, you must install player software. Popular DVD players are MPlayer, xine and VLC.

Tip: Users may need to belong to the 'optical' group to be able to access the DVD drive:
# gpasswd -a USERNAME optical

Don't forget to re-login the user for the changes to take effect. You can see your user's current groups with Template:Codeline command.

DVD players

See also: Common Applications#Video


MPlayer is efficient and supports a wide variety of media formats (i.e. almost everything). To play a DVD with MPlayer:

$ mplayer dvd://N

...where N is the desired chapter number. Start at 1 and work up if unsure.

Mplayer checks Template:Filename by default. Tell it to use Template:Filename with the Template:Codeline option at the command line, or the Template:Codeline variable in Template:Filename.

To play a DVD image file:

$ mplayer -dvd-device movie.iso dvd://N

To enable the DVD menu use (NOTE: you use arrow keys to navigate and the Enter key to choose):

$ mplayer dvdnav://

To enable mouse support in DVD menus use:

$ mplayer -mouse-movements dvdnav://

To find the audio language, start MPlayer with the Template:Codeline switch to output audio IDs. An audio track is selected with Template:Codeline. Set a default audio language by editing Template:Filename and adding the line Template:Codeline for English.

With MPlayer, the DVD could be set to a low volume. To increase the maximum volume to 400%, use Template:Codeline and Template:Codeline. The startup volume defaults to 100% of software volume and the global mixer levels will remain untouched. Using the 9 and 0 keys, volume can be adjusted between 0 and 400 percent.


MPlayer home page


A capable player with a simple GUI, installed with:

# pacman -S vlc

VLC home page

Tip: To make VLC the default DVD player in GNOME, edit Template:Filename and at the bottom of the file add:

Then, as root, run:

# update-desktop-database /usr/share/applications
Finally, open System > Preferences >> File Management >>> Media and next to DVD Video select Open VLC media player.


A lightweight media player supporting DVD menus.

xine home page


DVD drive is noisy

If playing DVD videos causes the system to be very loud, it may be because the disk is spinning faster than it needs to. To temporarily change the speed of the drive, as root, run:

# eject -x 12 /dev/dvd

Any speed that is supported by the drive can be used, or 0 for the maximum speed.

Setting CD-ROM and DVD-ROM drive speed