DVD Playing

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Video Playback

Some popular programs to play DVDs are mplayer, Xine and VLC. Xine and VLC support dvd menus where mplayer will play any title you specify.

You will need to add your user to the group optical to be able to access your dvd drive, if you have not done so already:

 gpasswd -a USERNAME optical

libdvd Install

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

They are installed with:

 pacman -S libdvdread libdvdcss libdvdnav


Mplayer is efficient and not heavy on the system requirements. There isn't much that can't be played with this program. To play a DVD with mplayer

 mplayer dvd://N

Where N is the chapter that you want to play, start at 1 and work your way up if you are not too sure.

To play a dvd image file:

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

To play a loopback mounted image (shouldn't be needed, use the above)

 # as root
 mount -o loop movie.iso /mnt/dvd
 # as a user
 mplayer -dvd-device /mnt/dvd dvd://N

To find your audio language you can start mplayer with the -v switch and it will output audio IDs. You can make use of any auido track with -aid <audio_id>. You can set a default audio language by editing ~/.mplayer/config and adding the line alang=en for english.

DVDs can have volume too low. To increase the maximum volume to 400% use softvol=yes and softvol-max=400. 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 Homepage


The GUI version of mplayer is not quite as powerful as the console version, but still efficient.


A lightweight media player. It has a GUI and supports menus.

xine Homepage


A capable player with a GUI, installed with:

pacman -S vlc

VLC Homepage


To make VLC the default DVD player in GNOME edit /usr/share/applications/vlc.desktop and at the bottom of the file add:


Then, as root, run:

update-desktop-database /usr/share/applications

Open System>>Preferences>>File Management>>Media and next to DVD Video select Open VLC media player

Backing up Video

See Make backup of DVD Video or use k9copy or dvdshrink under wine for the easy way out.

DVD Writing

See DVD writing.