Playing DVDs with Free Software the DVD.SF.net is a good entry point. Aside dvd-related software it provides a comparison of some free DVD-Players. Having tested most of them we choose xine. However, most projects in this area are rapidly developing, so the drawbacks we found in October 2001 may be nullified the time you want to install a DVD PLayer.


As said above, DVD-related Free Software develops rapidly. This makes it hard hard for packages maintainers to keep on track with the development. Although the current GNU/Debian packages for xine provide the basic functionality we install the most recent version from source tarballs. These can be found on the Xine Homepage in the download section. You need both, the xine-lib and the xine-ui tarball.

Configure and Installation as usual, you may want to check the output of

to figure out some missing packages to be installed via apt-get. First install xine-lib, than build and install xine-ui.


Xine itself has currently no support to access DVD menus. The Xine-DVDNAV plugin is an attempt to bring the support for DVD menus and advanced navigation features from the Ogle DVD player to Xine. The ultimate aim of the developers is to modify Xine sufficiently so that full DVD features can be added by the plugin. The current version still lacks features like seeking and chapter skip. The plugin and installation instructions can be found at http://dvd.sourceforge.net/xine-dvdnav.shtml. It need further prerequisits, namely the libdvdread, which can be found at the Ogle Download page. You might be interested in further libs from that site.

Running xine

Xine expects the DVD-drive to be located under /dev/dvd. If not avaiable, create a symbolic link:
  ln -s /dev/scd0 /dev/dvd

Xine on the Apple Titanium in general runs fine, however, there might be some stability issues, especially on start-up when using the high performance Xv video driver: The automaic rescaleing of the output window sometimes chrashes your X-Session: So it is always a good idea to save your work before start watching video.

Xine provides a MRL (media resource locator) to specify the plugin to play. With the installation as described above you have two options (with xine 0.9.2 and the corresponding dvdnav-Plugin):

  1. Play non-encrypted disks with support for seeking and chapter skip
    xine dvd://
  2. Play disks with support for menus:
    xine dvdnav://
The xine-Manpage gives a detailed overview about what is possible with MRLs and how to deal with the different drivers etc.