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3. Software Installation

Here we cover the installation of the DVD playback software on various Linux distributions. For each Linux distribution we indicate how to install MPlayer, Xine, Ogle, and VideoLAN onto the system. These are the four most popular software packages for DVD playback in Linux. Usage instructions for these programs will be given in the next section.

Read the section that corresponds to your Linux distribution. All of the installation commands given below should be run as root.

3.1. Red Hat / Fedora

If you run Red Hat Linux or Fedora, you can download all of the DVD playback software from the FreshRPMS package repository. Since there are so many packages needed for DVD playback, the easiest way to install all of them is to use apt-get. Here's how to do it:

  1. Follow the link to the version of apt that matches your Red Hat version:

    Download the appropriate binary x86 RPM package (in this example, and install it using the rpm command as follows:

    # rpm -Uvh
  2. Run the commands

    # apt-get update
    # apt-get install mplayer xine ogle_gui
    to have apt install everything for you.

3.1.1. Special note about VideoLAN and Red Hat

The FreshRPMS repository contains the videolan-client package for Red Hat 9 and Red Hat 7.3, but not for Red Hat 8 or Fedora Core 1. If you want to install VideoLAN on Red Hat 9 or Red Hat 7.3, you can just type apt-get install videolan-client and let the program take care of it for you. Fedora Core 1 users who want VideoLAN will need to visit the official VideoLAN Red Hat page instead, and follow the instructions there. I do not recommend that Fedora users install VideoLAN, since the VideoLAN packages interfere to a large degree with the FreshRPMS packages installed in the previous step.

There appears to be no easy way to install VideoLAN on Red Hat 8.

3.2. Debian

These instructions are for Debian, stable only (3.0r1 as of this writing) -- it is assumed that if you run testing or unstable versions then you should already know what you are doing.

Make sure the following lines are in your /etc/apt/sources.list file:

deb stable main
deb ./
deb woody main

(The first line is for MPlayer, the second is for the Xine CSS plugins, and the third is for VideoLAN.) Then run the commands:

# apt-get update
# apt-get install mplayer-686 mplayer-fonts mplayer-doc ogle
# /usr/share/doc/ogle/examples/
# apt-get install xine-ui xine-d5d-plugin xine-d4d-plugin gnome-vlc libdvdcss2

3.3. Slackware

The best site for Slackware add-on packages is You can use their search engine to find and download the Ogle, Xine, MPlayer, libdvdcss, libdvdnav, libdvdread, lame, and a52dec packages from the web site. Put the packages into a single directory and run pkgtool to install the packages onto your system.

For VideoLAN, you will have to build it from source since there is no precompiled package on the LinuxPackages web site yet. To make matters worse, the version of mpeg2dec included with Slackware 9.1 is too old to be used with VideoLAN, so you have to compile a newer version of mpeg2dec as well.

That said, if you still want to install VideoLAN, then download the latest source packages for mpeg2dec and VideoLAN and run the following commands. Note that you have to disable ffmpeg support for the VideoLAN build because the Slackware MPlayer packages omit some of the header files needed by ffmpeg.

# tar xzvf mpeg2dec-0.4.0.tar.gz
# cd mpeg2dec-0.4.0
# ./configure 
# make 
# make install 
# cd ..
# tar xzvf vlc-0.7.0.tar.gz
# cd vlc-0.7.0
# ./configure --disable-ffmpeg
# make 
# make install 

3.4. Mandrake

Mandrake users can get packages for all of the video programs from the Penguin Liberation Front web site. The fastest way is to visit the Easy Urpmi site and follow the instructions to generate a listing of the commands you need to type for PLF access in urpmi. You should then type in the commands returned by the web site to set up your system for PLF access.

After you have set up PLF access, type:

# urpmi.update -a
# urpmi mplayer libdvdcss2 xine-ui ogle ogle_gui vlc

to install all the video programs.

3.5. SuSE

The YaST package program included with SuSE works only with official packages, and there are no official packages that support DVD. Therefore you will have to install the packages for all of the DVD software manually.

MPlayer and Xine packages for SuSE are available on the PackMan site. For MPlayer, you need the MPlayer, lzo, and xvid packages on that page as well as the "additionally needed binary packages" listed on the page for each package. SuSE 9.0 users should note that as of this writing the MPlayer package for SuSE 9.0 has a broken dependency. You can work around this problem with the commands

# rpm -Uvh --nodeps MPlayer-1.0pre3-pm.1.i686.rpm
# ln -s /usr/lib/

To install Xine, you should download and install the libxine1-dvd and xine-ui packages from PackMan. Encrypted DVD support in Xine also requires installing libdvdcss from the VideoLAN site.

Ogle can be installed using the Red Hat RPMs from the Ogle site. SuSE 9.0 users who want to install the Ogle_gui package will also need to install orbit, gdk-pixbuf, gnome-libs, and libglade from SuSE 8.2.

VideoLAN users will need to download the Red Hat RPMs from the VideoLAN site and install them forcibly using rpm --nodeps. The VideoLAN packages also require XFree86-compat-libs and freetype from SuSE 8.2 in order to run.

3.6. Gentoo

The basic command to use is:

# emerge sync
# USE="dvd mmx sse" emerge mplayer xine-ui vlc ogle-gui

If you have an AMD processor, you should type USE="dvd mmx 3dnow" instead of using the sse flag. Athlon XP owners can use the 3dnow and sse flags together.