Tuesday, December 20, 2005

libdvdcss and why we need it?

To my knowledge not a single Linux distribution will bundle this library because of Legal issues stemming from its use. For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about let me explain.

Libdvdcss is a library (program) that allows users of GNU/Linux (Linux operating systems) to watch DVDs on their computer just like users who run Windows or MacOSX. The difference is that Linux users are made to feel like criminals and have to jump hoops through their own "backside" in order to do it. As such I would like to share with you some Debian centric basics and repositories to address at least the hoops portion of the issue.

Users of Debian, Morphix, Mepis, Ubuntu/Kubuntu, Knoppix etc. will be able to simply add these repositories to their /etc/apt/sources.list file with their editor of choice.

I386 Architecture

Debian Sarge: stable (Knoppix DVD 4.x)
#copy and paste from here
deb ftp://ftp.nerim.net/debian-marillat/ stable main

Debian Etch: testing (Mepis and Knoppix)
#copy and paste from here
deb ftp://ftp.nerim.net/debian-marillat/ etch main

Debian Sid: unstable (Mepis and Knoppix)
#copy and paste from here
deb ftp://ftp.nerim.net/debian-marillat/ sid main

#copy and paste from here
deb ftp://cipherfunk.org/pub/packages/ubuntu breezy main

Then as root: (or su or sudo, etc)

Those of you who are not using Sarge need to install the appropriate gpg key.

For the debian-marillat repository use:

gpg –recv-key 07DC563D1F41B9
gpg –export 07DC563D1F41B9 | apt-key add -

Another blogger suggested a note be added to to the /etc/apt/sources.list so we would not have to look it up again:

# keys for verification are retrieved with gpg:
# gpg –recv-keys 07DC563D1F41B907
# and added with apt-keys:
# gpg –export -a 07DC563D1F41B907 | apt-key add -
# (the example is Christian Marillat’s key)

apt-get update
apt-get install libdvdcss2 xine-ui w32codecs k9copy .... .etc,

Please note that these repositories contain many "nice to haves" for general multimedia desktop use. Those of you not familiar with apt at the console may wish to use "synaptic" or another gui package installation tool to browse. The marillat repositories are especially nice and include acroreader, dvd:rip, liblame and enough Windows 32 codecs (lets you watch wmv, etc.) to choke a horse.

For those folks needing additional help with installing packages just google "apt-get howto"

This is by no means a complete list of repositories I will attempt to maintain a growing list for more architectures and distributions and welcome any input or references that you may have.

All the best, RoadKill


Hi all and welcome to my blog. Though I am not entirely sure why I am doing this, I hope to have some fun. It may even be enlightening. With any luck I will be able to get some constructive feedback from these posts.

All the best, Dan Graham (aka, RoadKill)