Linux Movie Codecs and DVD Experience

You’ve downloaded and installed Linux, but now you realize that you can’t play movies on it! In some countries playing DVD files through DeCSS is illegal, so in many cases, Linux distributions choose not to let you watch DVD’s right out of the box.

As well, you’ll notice that your favorite codec might not be installed on a fresh distro. This article will show you how to not only get your DVD player working in Ubuntu but also how to get your favorite codecs. Did you know that it’s possible to watch windows media files in Linux? iPod videos that are encoded in h264 can also be viewed and encoded. Let’s get started on making your Linux distribution a Movie machine.

Installing DVD playback support

If you are running Ubuntu or another repository based system, you will need to enable the “extra” repositories to get DVD playback working. In some countries, it is illegal to run the extra apps that the repositories offer, such as the DVD player, certain codecs, etc…
Step 1:

Go to: System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager

in the menu, then type in the administrator password.

Step 2:

Goto: Settings -> Repositories

Enable all of the checkboxes on this screen to access all of the repositories you will need.

Step 3: Add extra Third Party Repositories:

Some of the applications that you might install require extra packages. Go to the “Third Party” tab and add the following:

deb edgy main main-all
deb edgy main main-all

deb edgy-seveas all

IMPORTANT: Do not press reload button now in synaptic package manager type first the following command in the terminal to install the GPG keys.

After doing this exit Synaptic Package Manager go to (Applications > Accessories > Terminal) and type the following command to import GPG keys.

wget -O- | sudo apt-key add -

wget -O- | sudo apt-key add -



After doing this your system should be ready for installing the extra application. Type the

sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get upgrade

For more information on this process check out the Linux desktop blog.

Step 4: To get your system working with DVD support, all you need to do is install the libdvdcss2 package. To do this, open up a terminal and simply type:

sudo aptitude install libdvdcss2

Remember: In some countries playing DVD files through DeCSS is illegal to use it at your own will.

Installing the extra multimedia codecs, players
There are a great amount of opensource codecs out there on the internet for Linux. As well, there are great programs that can utilize these codecs, and even embed them into your browser.

This will allow you to install all of the codecs: Copy the following command into your terminal:

sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-pitfdll gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg gstreamer0.10-gl gstreamer0.10-plugins-base gstreamer0.10-plugins-good gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad-multiverse gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly-multiverse libxine-extracodecs w32codecs
vlc mplayer

This should install the majority of codecs that are available. It also installs vlc and mplayer, two very popular opensource media players. I personally prefer VLC, because it can play movies, even if they are still compressed in RAR format.