How to Play HD-DVD / Blu-Ray Disc under Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex

Posted on 4:14 PM by Bharathvn

Playing Blu-Ray and HD DVD Video

It's possible (although a little cumbersome) to play HD DVD and Blu-Ray films under Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex.


Audio in some films may not yet be supported.

The AACS 'Digital Rights Management' system in most HD-DVD and all Blu-Ray discs attempts to stop consumers from exercising fair use rights, including:

  • Playing purchased Blu-Ray and HD DVD films using Open Source software.
  • Playing films using standard digital (DVI) or analog (VGA) cables and monitors, which generally do not support HDCP DRM, without a 75% reduction in resolution.
  • Fast forwarding or skipping advertisements.
  • Playing imported films, including when local equivalents may be overpriced or not available.

Blu-Ray or HD DVD player applications require their unique player (or 'device') key to play discs. These keys are issued by AACS-LA to approved manufacturers that implement the restrictions above. This player key can decrypt each film's volume key, which in turn can decrypt the film's content to play it.

However the AACS DRM is ineffective and does not successfully prevent any of these things.

  • The player key for the xBox 360 HD DVD drive is known publicly, and has around 500,000 results on Google.
  • Player keys for all Windows based software players, such as WinDVD and PowerDVD are known publicly. These can be used to find the volume keys for all current discs. While these applications now have new keys (and future HD-DVD and Blu-Ray discs won't play with the old keys), it's likely the new key will be discovered too as all players must store their keys in memory at some point.
  • The volume keys needed to play nearly all released films are known publicly, due to the above. Even without a licensed player key, Linux HD-DVD and Blu-Ray software can use these to play discs.

Legal Notice Patent and copyright laws operate differently depending on which country you are in. Please obtain legal advice if you are unsure whether a particular patent or restriction applies to a media format you wish to use in your country.


None of the software below is supplied or endorsed by Ubuntu.

  • An HD DVD drive. The Xbox 360 HD-DVD player works well. Log into Gnome and then plug in the player. DVDs and CDs will work out of the box, HD-DVDs require the additional steps below.

Up to version 8.04 Hardy Heron

  • A UDF 2.5 filesystem driver (the UDF driver included up to 8.04 Hardy Heron only supports UDF 2.0). A driver for Feisty Fawn's 2.6.20-15 kernel is attached to this page. Copy it to /lib/modules/2.6.20-15-generic/kernel/fs/udf/udf.ko.

For all versions

Many HD DVD and all Blu-Ray discs use DRM. For these discs, you'll need:

  • DumpHD to perform the decryption necessary to play the film.

  • The sun-java6-bin package. See Installing Software.

  • A current keydb.cfg file, which contains the decryption keys required to your film: keydb.cfg for HD-DVDs, Blu-Rays.

  • Around 30GB of temporary disk space for HD-DVDs and 50GB for Blu-Rays.

Playing the Movie

  1. Put an HD-DVD or Blu-Ray disc in the drive. The disc should appear on the Gnome desktop.


  1. If using HD-DVD, try and play the disc. R&B Films, Fox Pathe/Studio Canal, EMS GmbH and other studios produce HD DVD discs without DRM, allowing them to be played without any of the restrictions mentioned above. The films content is in .EVO files in the 'HDDVD_TS' folder on the disc. Specify the video codec to use:

mplayer -vc ffvc1 /media/KING_KONG/HVDVD_TS/FEATURE*EVO

If you're not watching a movie at this point, the disc needs to be decrypted.

  1. DumpHD can decrypt the disc. Ensure you have a large amount of disk space available (around 30GB, and run):

sudo ./


Select the disc as the source (a directory somewhere beneath /media/Film Name and a directory like /tmp to save the movie content.

You can proceed onto the next step once FEATURE_1.EVO has started decrypting.

  1. Play the the film from your hard disk. Specify the video codec to use:

mplayer -vc ffvc1 "/tmp/King Kong/HVDVD_TS/FEATURE*EVO"


If your disc is a Blu-ray and still doesn't work, it might be protected with BD+; it is possible to decrypt it using these tools.