Blessed are the Geeks, for they shall internet the earth

Overcoming the Linux DVD Hurdle

William Nett

For many Linux Newbies... one big hurdle is playing DVDs. If you e-mail the developers, no doubt, you get flamed for being ignorant... so here is a simple solution, or "how-to" on playing DVDs with Linux.

A.) First and foremost... If you have installed Xine, the multimedia player... remove it and get the latest sources from a better resource. The best resource I've found is here:

B.) Install the RPMs. The source is Brazil and it has all the required packages to play DVDs. My problem and yours is this... so I install all the packages and DVD playback is choppy! This is unacceptable. After all who wants to watch choppy DVDs?

*** One caveat here is that installing DVD decryption software may be illegal in your country, planet, state, or township... that being said, here's the secret key...

Linux does DMA checking on all media, DVDs, CDs, and Drives... I damned near pulled my 1/4" hair out of my head trying to figure this out. Basically, Linux checks all media packets for flaws, and this can be very resource consuming... the solution?

C.) On your Linux box open a shell and su to root. then insert the following command:

hdparm -d1 /dev/dvd

This tells the DVD device to stream the media and not perform error or CRC checking... at least that's what the folks at Lindows told me,  Launch Xine again, fire up the microwave popcorn, sit back, relax, and enjoy your movie. Keep in mind that if you reboot your computer, then the hdparm value restores to 0 (zero) and you'll have to enter this command again. For SuSE users, you can make a quick desktop prep icon to perform this option. Remember to launch the parameter as root!




Hacking The IT Cube: The Information Technology Survival Guide -- Douglas Chick

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