Encrypted DVDs and Fedora

The well known RPMFusion repository contains a lot of the useful software which Red Hat doesn’t ship by default (for licensing, patent or legal reasons). It is the amalgamation of several other repositories, including Dribble, Freshrpms, and Livna.

One helpful package that RPMFusion does not package however, is libdvdcss, the free software library which enables Linux to play encrypted DVDs.

Most users keep Livna around for this single purpose, but it is often offline (especially recently). So, here’s another solution – use ATrpms – another third party repository that includes lots of handy software.

The problem is, ATrpms has lots of other software which you might not want to update and which could conflict with the packages from RPMFusion. The solution? Tell yum to only include libdvdcss* packages from that repository. Easy.

To do this, simply add a new repo file (/etc/yum.repos.d/atrpms.repo) for Yum to configure it.
name=Fedora Core $releasever - $basearch - ATrpms

Now, just run the following to update the repo and install libdvdcss (you may wish to remove the old package first, if you have it).
sudo yum check-update
sudo yum install libdvdcss

That’s about it!


6 thoughts on “Encrypted DVDs and Fedora

  1. Hi,

    After following the instructions, libdvdcss-1.2.12-1.fc17.remi.i686 is installed. However, the DVD continues to be unplayable. Is there a reason for this?

  2. What are you using to play? If you’re using Totem, you might need additional codecs, so try VLC.

    I have seen this happen with newer DVDs that use a newer encryption. VLC, Totem, mplayer, HandBrake all crashed (does this happen to you?). Xine did sort-of work.

    Can you try an older/different DVD?


  3. Thanks Chris!

    This solved my problem. I wasn’t sure where the best place was to get libdvdcss.

    For anybody searching, the problem I had was that when trying to play a DVD in “videos” (Totem) in Gnome, a box was displayed with “The movie could not be read”.

    If you try to start totem from a terminal with the “–debug” switch it actually crashes! However if you start it without debug (like “totem /dev/cdrom”) it displays a clear error stating that it couldn’t play the DVD as it was encrypted.

    PS: With new versions of Fedora/Korora it’s probably helpful to add “skip_if_unavailable=1” in to your /etc/yum.repos.d/atrpms.repo file as well, so that you can still update your system if this particular repo is down.

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