This guide will show you how to access, view, manipulate and create DVDs on Linux.
Playing DVD videos
Linux can play all unencrypted DVDs out of the box.
Unfortunately because of licensing and patent restrictions most Linux distributions do not pre-install the software required to play encrypted DVDs.
To play encrypted DVDs on Linux you need to have a package called libdvdcss2 installed.
libdvdcss (or libdvdcss2 in some repositories) is a free software library for accessing and unscrambling DVDs encrypted with the Content Scramble System (CSS).
Once you have libdvdcss2 installed you can play encrypted DVD videos with any Linux video player. My favourite player for playing DVDs is VLC.
Install VLC media player on Ubuntu
Backing up DVDs to your computer.
Here are 2 ways to backup DVDs on Linux.
Option 1: Copying the entire DVD as an .iso file to your disk.
Advantages: Everything will be copied including menus
Disadvantages: The file will be huge and the created .iso file cannot be played directly by most video players.
You can create an .iso file from a DVD with Brasero by choosing copy DVD and then choosing to write the copy to an image file (.iso file).
You can play a DVD video .iso directly with VLC media player.
Option 2: Ripping the DVD to a video file.
Advantages: The created video file will be smaller than the DVD, and it can be played directly by any video player.
Disadvantages: Some things eg. DVD menus will not be copied.
Some DVD rippers for Linux include dvd::rip and Acidrip.
Install Acidrip on Ubuntu
Creating DVD videos
There are many applications and methods of creating DVD videos on Linux.
Two of the easiest applications for creating DVD videos are ManDVD and Devede,
Both of these can convert any video file into a format suitable for DVD as well as allow you to create menus for your DVD.