Linux Playing encrypted DVD

Linux includes xine, totem or other DVD/movie player softwares. However when it comes to encrypted DVDs most of the DVD player software under Linux generate error:

libdvdread: Encrypted DVD support unavailable.

Many DVDs use css for encryption. To play these discs, a special library is needed to decode them, libdvdcss. Due to legal problems, Debian and most Linux distro cannot distribute libdvdcss, but it is available on other places on the internet. If it is legal for you to use css, you can download & run script (same script may be installed at location

A) Just login as root and type the command:
Visit url and download the script then type the command:
# ./

OR try as follows if wget is installed in your system

# cd /usr/share/doc/libdvdread3/examples
# sh

B) Once libdvdcss installed you can use them without problem.

C) However in some cases even after installing the libdvdcss does not resolves the problem. Some encrypted DVD still reports the problems such as:
“The source seems encrypted and can’t be read. Are you trying to play an encrypted DVD without libdvdcss?” OR “Media stream scrambled/encrypted” OR error windows as follows:

Xine DVD Software Error

Totern DVD Software Error

This problem can be solved by two ways:

i)Try to update your DVD software such as xine or totem

ii)Or install VLC media player. Under Debian GNU/Linux install vlc using atp-get command :
# apt-get install vlc

iii) Then start vlc and play DVD as follows:
Click on File menu > Select Open Disk > Select disk type > DVD > Click OK

Setup VLC DVD Software to play encrypted DVD

Please note that do not select/click DVD disk type as DVD (menus). This will result into same error. From Navigation and Video menus you can control rest of the operations or move to next/previous titles in DVD.

Author: admin

I like chocolate, gadgets, open source software, photography, traveling and all shades of green colors. I love spending time with fun loving friends and family members. This is my own online journal.

15 thoughts on “Linux Playing encrypted DVD”

  1. Thanks for this article!! Using that script (already in my Debian system) I got DVDs to play with no problem!

  2. yes, thank you.
    i could not get it working with totem or xine but finally vlc is working. watching “Celtic Woman” now.

    thank you very much.

  3. Thank you for posting this, It worked wonders well at least for my test DVD Stargate Atlantis Rising

  4. Hi

    I have still got a problem with encrypted dvd’s. I have loaded a new version of libxine, an updated version of VLC and the libdvdcss file but still cannot play encrypted dvd’s. When I installed VLC I had no dependency conflicts. I can play other dvd movies no problem.

    When I insert an encrypted dvd, the VLC panel just disappears with no error message. Any ideas?

    Any help would be appreciated.

  5. Hi,
    I also can’t play dvd using xine and latest libdvdcss.
    DVD I was trying to watch was release in Sep 2006. Maybe some new stuff,
    people from libdvdcss didn’t implement yet, or it is something more seriouse.
    I can’t install rpms, but VCL compiling from source was a dissapointment.
    Any suggestions please?

  6. Hi,

    I had to set the region code of the DVD drive.
    If the DVD drive has been used on windows before, it’s already set (automatically?).

    The program “regionset” ( can be used to view/change the player’s region setting. On Gentoo-Linux it’s installed using ’emerge regionset’.

    Good Luck(tm)

  7. It works fine with debian 4. im using vlc since to wont work with totem. thanks and more power.

  8. Yeah, this worked nicely, i have read about encrypted dvd’s before..
    This one really helped me out, but the was located at /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4
    I’m now working on Ubuntu 9.10, the things I did for installing the css-library:

    Open Konsole
    Type: cd /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4
    Type sudo
    DONE AND Working


  9. Worked very nicely: I downloaded the script and executed it.
    Running kernel 2.6.34-hvw and Debian Sid.
    It installed libdvdcss2 1.2.5-1.
    Thanks a lot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *