How to install libdvdcss2 in Ubuntu 16.04 for ripping and watching DVDs

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VLC, Brasero and HandBrake works with libdvdcss2

In earlier versions of Ubuntu, you could just run “sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/install-css.sh” in a terminal to install libdvdcss2 that would decrypt DVDs to make them work in Ubuntu for ripping or watching. However, I discovered today that this has changed for version 15.10 and onwards. (Thank you to the Ubuntu MATE community for clearing up why nothing happened when I tried running the script mentioned above.)

To get libdvdcss2 installed now, download this link and when your browser asks you what to do, choose “install software” and it will install with Ubuntu Software Centre. (The link is for a French mirror of Debian Multimedia, so don’t worry.) Or if you are running Ubuntu MATE, you could just install it from MATE Welcome. With libdvdcss2 installed, you could watch that DVD in Totem or VLC or you could make an .iso in Brasero or rip it to MP4 or MKV with Handbrake. 🙂

To get the latest version of libdvdcss2 and stay up to date as new versions are released, it is best to install it from the official Debian/Ubuntu-repository from Videolan (the project that make libdvdcss2 and VLC). With this method, you will get any new version through the software update programme.

This is how to do it:

  1. Open Software and updates by hitting the Super key and writing as much of the name as you need to find the right programme. (Assuming you use standard Ubuntu with the Unity desktop environment. Otherwise, find it in your menu.)
  2. Click in the “Other software” tab and click “Add…”. Copy “deb http://download.videolan.org/pub/debian/stable/ /” into the dialog box and click “Add source”.
  3. Open a Terminal by pressing ctrl – alt – t.
  4. Copy this text into it: “wget -O - http://download.videolan.org/pub/debian/videolan-apt.asc | sudo apt-key add -” and hit return. (You have to use ctrl-shift-v to paste into a terminal.) You will have to type your password and return now.
  5. Then write or copy “sudo apt update” and hit return and wait for the machine to update its list of packages from its software sources.
  6. Lastly, write or copy “sudo apt install libdvdcss2” and hit return again, and wait while libdvdcss2 installs.

Now you are ready to rip your DVDs in Handbrake, watch them in VLC or Totem or make ISO backups with Brasero. (You find all of these programmes in the Ubuntu Software Centre. If you haven’t already installed the “Ubuntu restricted extras” package, now is a good time to do that as well. It will make many video and audio formats usable for you.)

Many thanks to Videolan for making this very useful tool available!

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