Installing codecs and decryption

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Most commercial DVDs are encrypted with CSS (the Content Scrambling System), which attempts to restrict the software that can play a DVD. By installing the libdvdcss2 package you can play encrypted DVDs.
Also, to be able to play WMV, RealMedia and other formats, it is necessary to install the w32codecs package.

Installing from the Admin page

This is the easiest method. It is done after installation has been completed.

  • LinuxMCE Admin Website-->Advanced-->Software.
  • "Update software list".
  • "Add software on which computer?"-->Choose Core.
  • Click on the "install" buttons next to libdvdcss and w64codecs (or w32codecs if your are using a 32-bit system).
  • Reload the menu to confirm the software has been installed (otherwise it says "installing" forever).

Installing from the Command Line

These instructions reflect changes to the recent versions of Kubuntu. The following method is accomplished from the Kubuntu desktop. Stop LinuxMCE entirely and bring up the Kubuntu desktop.

  • From the Konsole command terminal (K--> System --> Konsole), use
sudo apt-get install kubuntu-restricted-extras

to install multiple restricted drivers at once.

Legacy Instructions

Playing DVDs

Note: These instructions have been superseded by the instructions above. They are provided for legacy reference only.

To install libdvdcss2 (see caveat above) you need to follow these steps:

  • Open a Konsole terminal by K--> System --> Konsole from the Kubuntu desktop, or by pressing CTRL+ALT+F1.
  • Type this set of commands:
sudo apt-get install -y libdvdread3
sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread3/

If invoked the terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F1 from the Kubuntu desktop, go back to it by pressing Alt+F7. If you reached it from within LinuxMCE, go back to it by pressing Alt+F11.

Optionally, there is an add software tab in the 'Media Director' portion of the setup wizard, which usually lets you add libdvdcss entirely within LinuxMCE using only the remote control. We say 'usually' because LinuxMCE doesn't include this software since it's not legal in all areas. This software appears only if the add software wizard was able to locate this software by doing a google search.

  • Insert a Video DVD in the LinuxMCE drive to test it.

Playing WMV, WMA, and RealPlayer formats

Note: These instructions have been superseded by the instructions above. They are provided for legacy reference only.

Support for WMV, RealMedia and other formats has been bundled into the w32codecs package. This package is not available from the Ubuntu repositories and is not supported by Ubuntu, due to licensing and legal restrictions. (But see caveat above.) However, the package can be downloaded from

wget -c
sudo dpkg -i w32codecs_20071007-0.1_i386.deb
  • Note: The w32codecs package from the Debian repositories have been tested and work with Ubuntu systems. However not all Debian packages work correctly with Ubuntu. For your safety do not add the Debian repositories to your /etc/apt/sources.list
  • WMV files encoded with DRM (Digital Rights Management) cannot be played with this package.
  • If you are experiencing choppy audio while playing WMV files, try [the fix described here].
  • If you still cannot play WMV files after installing w32codecs, try [the method suggested here].