Configuring media and DVD playback in Ubuntu 12.04 or Linux Mint 13


Bill Giannikos


This guide will assist in install playback functionality for DVDs and media files which are not supported as standard by Ubuntu 12.04 and Linux Mint 13. Due to legal issues Ubuntu does not include these functions. This guide will install support for MP3, x264 as well as other files.


There are many legal issues associated with DVD playback and media files in regards to the patent on MPEG2 and the US DMCA law on decryption of the DVD which is why Ubuntu and Linux Mint does not include this function. It is my understanding that it is totally fine and legal if you install the DVD playback functionality yourself, however I am not a lawyer so you may like to verify for yourself if following this guide is legal in your jurisdiction.


You should run a full update for your installation of Ubuntu to ensure you have all the latest packages installed.

Configuring DVD and media playback

In this guide we will be using totem (the default Ubuntu movie player) as our player of choice. Fortunately Ubuntu and Linux Mint provides an easy installation method for the needed file. Here are the steps involved.

1. Load up a terminal window if you are in the graphic interface.

2. Type in the following to install the necessary packages:

sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad-multiverse gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly

3. The above will install everything except the DVD decryption files. To install these we type in:

sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/

4. You can now start “Movie Player” and load the file you wish to play or select your DVD drive for DVD playback.

Alternative Media Player

As an alternative to using the built in player you may like to use VLC instead. You can install VLC with the following command:
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sudo apt-get install vlc


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