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GNU/Linux Desktop Survival Guide
by Graham Williams
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DVD and Video Viewing


Debian Packages: w32codecs

All forms of video viewing are supported by Linux. You can view AVI, DVD, SVCD, and many more codecs (video encodings). The w32codecs package allows viewing of many MS Windows video codecs.

There at least five DVD players available for Debian: totem (the default Gnome DVD player), gxine, xine, mplayer, ogle, and vlc. gxine, whilst not the default, is a good choice for a DVD viewer for Gnome. Under Ubuntu totem will seek to install packages for any codecs that are not installed.

There is considerable uncertainty in the legal situation with respect to the position of the US movie studios. Certainly, illegal copying of DVDs can not be condoned, but unfortunately the CSS copy protection scheme (used on DVDs) has become a view restriction scheme, thereby, according to many, restricting freedom of speech. Thus the required library to read many commercial DVDs needs to be obtained separately.

  # sh /usr/share/doc/libdvdread2/examples/install-css.sh

To allow users access be sure they are in group cdrom.

Some packages expect the DVD device to be called /dev/dvd. If it does not exist, and your DVD device is /dev/hdc, for example, then simply:

  # ln -s /dev/hdc /dev/dvd


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