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Best Linux DVD Players

written by: Om Thoke•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 10/29/2009

Video playback under Linux wasn’t even considered few years back, but today, with an excellent DVD player, you can easily turn Linux box into a home entertainment system. Since it is tough to give a verdict as to what is the best DVD player for Linux, let us take a look at some of the best options.

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    Picking a particular player as the best DVD player for Linux isn’t too easy, as each of them excels in a particular aspect, but loses out on something or the other. We’re still waiting for that perfect one to be built, though Ogle, VLC, XLine and MPlayer are currently considered the most popular.

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    Top Considerations to Pick a DVD Player

    Before we proceed further, let us take a look at the top considerations while evaluating various Linux DVD players-

    • Ease of navigation,

    • Ease of installation,

    • Interactive Menus

    • Available modes,

    • Ease of Switching between modes

    • Subtitle support,

    • Audio-video synchronization

    • Ability to read encrypted DVDs, and

    • Of course, above all, the quality of sound and video.

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    Ogle was the first ever Linux DVD player that brought out the concept of interactive menus.

    Ogle has been reviewed countless times, so its major pros and cons in terms of DVD playback have been listed below


    • Clear sub-titles

    • libdvdread/libdvdcss can be used efficiently to read encrypted DVDs

    • Very easy to set up

    • Good full-screen mode

    • Interactive menus.

    • Highly intuitive interface


    • No Karaoke mode

    • Ogle doesn't support configuration in full-screen mode

    • Sound is flaky at times, especially when you try to switch between windowed and full-screen mode

    • Interface is available only under windowed mode.

    • Ogle can’t read/play certain DVDs (though this is a common problem with many Linux players)

    • Sound playback may stop for few seconds while switching between modes

    The Bottom-Line

    Ogle is definitely one of the most promising Linux players, but there are certain drawbacks such as shaky operation while switching between modes, which prevent it from being tagged as the best DVD player for Linux systems.

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    Xine is one of the hottest choices amid the Linux DVD buffs, but it requires several plug-ins and it is prone to crashing too often.

    However, after you successfully set up all the plug-ins, you’ll enjoy its interactive menus and you can just hit ESC button to return to them, though a little jerky at times too.


    In terms of full-screen mode operation, it is far superior to Ogle as you may select various angles, subtitles, languages and plethora of options when you right click it under full screen mode.

    In terms of sound playback, it is simply one of the best in business, and same applies to synchronization with the video too.


    The sad part of the story is that Xine can’t easily play encrypted DVDs, though there are various plug-ins that can help in this regard.


    Therefore, if you’ve got the time to research these plugins and fiddle with them, Xine can definitely enter the realms of commercially DVD players.

    Following front-ends are available for Xine

    • GTK+,

    • KDE,

    • the console and few more.

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    Other Good Options

    Apart from Ogle and XLine, there are several other good options, with VLC and MPlayer being the next two top choices.

    MPlayer can play almost anything and everything including DVDs, but the lack of menu support and navigation choices make it quite tedious to operate (most Windows lovers hate it big time!).

    Despite the fact that video and audio playback quality is simply superb, MPlayer is gong to give you only frustration, if you’re someone who hates command line operation.

    VLC is simply the best in terms of full-screen functionality, and is capable of playing all the DVDs effortlessly. What’s more, it can even play streaming videos, and you may use it as a video server for streaming videos too.

    More details about VLC and MPlayer can be found here.