Enable DVD Playback in Ubuntu 10.04+

Ubuntu can’t include software to decrypt commercial DVD movies, even in the software repositories. If you don’t have the necessary software, Movie Player will give you the error: An error occurred: Could not read from resource. If you reinstall Ubuntu for every new release like I do, this is problem you may repeatedly come across. My previous instructions have gotten slightly out of date now, so here’s how to enable commercial DVD playback in Ubuntu 10.04 or later.

  1. Make sure the package libdvdread4 is installed. If you’ve installed the very useful Ubuntu Restricted Extras, you will already have it. Otherwise, install it using the Ubuntu Software Center or using the command below:

    sudo apt-get install libdvdread4
  2. Next you need to install the software for decryption of DVDs. Make sure you’ve closed any package management software like the Software Center. Open a terminal and run the command below (you will be prompted for your password):

    gksu /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/

After completing the process you may have to eject the disk and re-insert it. Ubuntu’s movie player application should now be able to play DVDs, including DVD menus. If you have any trouble, VLC media player is another good player and is available in the Software Center.

See the Ubuntu documentation for more on DVD playback.

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