Ubuntu does not play DVD? Even after installing all codecs from the Ubuntu Restricted Extra package? Welcome to the club. You are not alone at cannot play DVD in Ubuntu. In this quick tip, I will show you how to fix DVD or even encrypted DVD playback issues in Ubuntu 20.04, 18.04, and 16.04.

Play DVDs in Ubuntu 20.04 and 18.04

While I’m focusing on Ubuntu here, these methods should also work on Linux Mint and other Ubuntu-based distributions. What we need to do here is install the libdvd package which downloads and installs the required dependencies.

This libdvd-pkg is available in the Ubuntu Multiverse Repository. Make sure to enable it using this command:

sudo add-apt-repository multiverse

Open a terminal and run the following command:

sudo apt install libdvd-pkg

It will notify you that you need to configure the package using dpkg to install the required dependencies.

Enable DVD support on Ubuntu

Don’t worry, it’s a simple step. After the libdvd-package installation is complete, use the command below to configure libdvd-package:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure libdvd-pkg

This will download the libdvdcss2 library from the VLC repository.

Fix DVD not playing on Ubuntu

During the process, you will be asked if you want automatic updates for libdvdcss2. You can go with the yes option here.

How to play DVD on Ubuntu

Once the process is complete, restart your system and plug in your DVD and you should find a DVD playing on your Ubuntu system.

Troubleshooting: “libdvdread not available” error in Ubuntu 20.04

Ubuntu 20.04 has the libdvdread package available under the name libdvdread7. Install it using this command:

sudo apt install libdvdread7

Alternative method: play a DVD in Ubuntu (to be used only if you are using Ubuntu 14.04)

This part of the article was written a few years ago when libdvd-pkg did not exist. Basically it does almost the same as the previous section, manually. If the previous steps did not work for you, use the steps mentioned here.

We need to install some codecs needed specifically to play DVDs comfortably. These are:

  • libdvdcss2: to recognize DVDs
  • libdvdread4: to read a DVD
  • libdvdnav4: to browse the DVD

Step 1:

The first step (actually optional) is to get the VLC media player. You can install VLC from Ubuntu Software Center or by using the following command in terminal:

sudo apt-get install vlc

Once you’ve installed it, install libdvdcss2. It came by default with the Medibuntu repository. But since Medibuntu is no longer available, you will need to install this library from the VLC repository. Use the links below to install libdvdcss2:

Double click on the downloaded deb files to install it through Ubuntu Software Center. Alternatively, you can use GDebi to install the .deb files more easily.

2nd step:

Once we have it, install libdvdread4 and libdvdnav4. Use the following command in the terminal:

sudo apt-get install libdvdread4 libdvdnav4

If DVD playback does not work, try setting your region code. You can follow the instructions given here to set the region code. It worked for me without.

That would be it. Hope after completing all these steps you will be able to play DVD in Ubuntu as well as in Linux Mint. Let me know if this worked for you or if you are continuing cannot play DVD in Ubuntu.