What You Need To Know About Watching Blu-Ray On Linux

Danny Stieben 22-06-2013

blu-ray on linuxIf you’ve been using Linux back since DVDs first came out, you might remember just how long it took before DVDs were somewhat supported. Heck, even now, if you want to play an encrypted DVD, you’ll need to add an extra repository and install a few extra packages just to be able to replay them with barely acceptable quality.


Once Blu-Rays came out Blu-Ray Technology History and The DVD [Technology Explained] Read More , it wasn’t a surprise that it was going to be a while before they would also be supported under Linux. However, support has finally arrived and it’s actually easier to get Blu-Rays working than it is DVDs.

Important Disclaimers

It’s important to note, sadly, that support for Blu-Rays isn’t perfect, so you can’t expect to have all Blu-Rays to work. At least a majority of discs should work under Linux, but some discs have special encryptions in place that require functionality that isn’t put in place. Additionally, all BD+ discs are currently not supported at all. As a general rule, I always like to recommend converting all of your movies (of any sort) into a playable video file as they’re easier to play/manage, and the concept of using discs is starting to become obsolete (see Macbooks and Ultrabooks without an optical drive).

Finally, under Linux, VLC is the go-to app for Blu-Ray playback. Other media players are either unsupported or “at your own risk”. If you absolutely want to use a different media player, I recommend looking into Blu-Ray playback with MPlayer.

Set Up On Ubuntu

If you’re running the latest version of Ubuntu (13.04 “Raring Ringtail” Ubuntu 13.04: What's New In Raring Ringtail? [Linux] On April 25th, the newest version of one of the most popular Linux distributions was released -- Ubuntu 13.04, codenamed "Raring Ringtail". Unlike previous releases of Ubuntu, 13.04 doesn't bring extraordinary new visual features which... Read More at the time of writing or any future release), getting Blu-Rays to work is as simple as installing the VLC Media Player. Already famous as the most popular open source media player, VLC is capable of playing literally everything under the sun. Sure, it might not have the prettiest interface out of them all, but it is a highly functional interface – plus all that really matters is whether it plays your media or not anyway.

Blu-Rays work under VLC because its installation also forces the installation of the packages libaacs0 and libbluray1, which are necessary to read those discs.


blu-ray on linux

The player probably will not launch automatically whenever you insert a Blu-Ray disc, so you’ll need to open up VLC yourself, then choose Media –> Open Disc. Then choose Blu-Ray from the assortment of media options, and make sure that No Disc Menus is selected to prevent VLC possibly crashing. Hit Play, and you should be ready to go.

Set Up On Fedora

If you’re on another Linux distribution The Best Linux Operating Distros The best Linux distros are hard to find. Unless you read our list of the best Linux operating systems for gaming, Raspberry Pi, and more. Read More such as Fedora, the process of getting Blu-Rays to work isn’t quite as easy. Although, with a little bit of effort, you can get it working in no time. This is still a lot less work than what was previously required to get Blu-Ray to work under any distribution of Linux.

Similar to Ubuntu, you’ll want to have the packages libaacs and libbluray installed on your Fedora system to support Bluray playback. While the Fedora repositories do not include these packages because of Fedora’s strict open source policies, the friendly folks over at the RPMFusion repository easily offer these packages.


blu-ray linux

Head over to their site, and add the free and non-free repositories according to their instructions. Then, after updating your package lists with the command :

sudo yum check-update

…run the command :


sudo yum install libaacs libbluray libbluray-java vlc

This command will install the needed packages as well as the VLC media player.

blu-ray on linux

You’re almost done. You now just need to update the decryption keys that are used by libaacs. This can easily be done with two commands in the terminal:


mkdir -p ~/.config/aacs/


cd ~/.config/aacs/ && wget

After a restart, you should be able to start VLC, choose Media –> Open Disc, and choose Blu-Ray with the No Disc Menus option selected.


I’ve only included instructions for Ubuntu and Fedora because they are the top two distributions that use different package formats. If you use any of the Ubuntu variants or Linux Mint, following the Ubuntu instructions step-by-step should work for you as well. Otherwise, you should search the Internet for your own distribution along with Blu-Ray keywords, such as “arch linux bluray” or “arch linux libaacs libbluray“.

Do you watch Blu-Rays on your Linux system? Do you have tips and advice for Linux-using Blu-Ray watchers? If so, let us know in the comments.

Image Credit: Cati Kaoe

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  1. Angelo
    November 4, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    hi at all, I have a problem, when I view bluray film with this method I view a film but the sequence of film is irregular, pieces of film and pieces of trailer and "extra" of bluray are mixed during the vision of film. I think maybe is the "no disc menu" the problem, exist any method for fix this problem and/or viewer the bluray film with disc menu activated?

  2. kmian
    October 7, 2013 at 1:11 am

    so dissapointed in linux ,all my time went to seach to right codec put in terminal so something works ,but no nothing works even still
    so we have poor os with windows and linux ,ubuntu what ever and you have to choose less bad, so annoying.
    hope that someday ,someone get right idea for user friendly os
    and you need no more terminal shit and everything works ,more or less
    this is my pray. :-) have a nice day and so sorry my bad englis writing

    ps NO bluray playback ?jessus !

  3. Don Gateley
    June 23, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    This showed me a perfect reason to avoid Fedora like the plague.

    • Danny Stieben
      July 1, 2013 at 1:20 am

      I don't mind using Fedora, really. It's more directed towards power users, so doing stuff like that is pretty normal.

  4. null
    June 23, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    I don't believe I have ever set my hands on a bluray before, but its quite embarrasing for linux that it took so long to even support bluray and even now not everything works. Marketshare is everything.

    • dragonmouth
      June 23, 2013 at 1:49 pm

      "Marketshare is everything."
      As long as the marketshare is there, quality be damned.

      • Don Gateley
        June 23, 2013 at 6:14 pm

        I understand your choice of a name.

        • dragonmouth
          June 24, 2013 at 12:13 am


  5. Lazza
    June 23, 2013 at 9:47 am

    LOL the usual very funny policies of Fedora. Both of those packages are indeed free and open-source, and they don't include them because they are not considered free software (by who?).

    • dragonmouth
      June 24, 2013 at 12:15 am

      "they are not considered free software (by who?)."

      By Free Software Foundation.

      • Lazza
        June 24, 2013 at 9:03 am

        So I guess the FSF considers their LGPL to be "non free" !?

        Or alternatively, I am really missing something. In that case, can you elaborate a little bit more and help me to understand? Thank you.

        • dragonmouth
          June 24, 2013 at 2:05 pm

          To me "free" means I can use it without having to pay for it, "non-free" means I have to reach into my wallet; Linux = free, Windows = non-free.

          As far as I am concerned, the differences between "free" and "non-free" as defined by Richard Stallman and others are purely philosophical.

        • Lazza
          June 24, 2013 at 2:08 pm

          It is NOT about money, it is about freedom. The problem arises because the English language is so "succint" that it doesn't have two different word for different concepts (something you don't pay, and something that does not prevent your freedom).

          There is no philosophy here, but a lot of important consequences in terms of your user (and developer, if it is the case) rights.

          FSF always makes this distinction, but both those libraries are "free as in freedom" because they have a LGPL license. This is why I am asking you what do you mean when you say they are not in Fedora because of the FSF. Do you have any link to official (FSF or Fedora) statements?

        • Danny Stieben
          July 1, 2013 at 1:19 am

          @Lazza: I think it may not be included because of potential legal implications. It might be open source but it could violate patents. Or something. That's the reason why the regular, open source GStreamer codecs aren't included either.

  6. Jay
    June 23, 2013 at 3:32 am

    I just tried to play TROY blu-ray and it kept on showing an error message as below
    Blu-Ray error:
    Missing AACS configuration file!
    Your input can't be opened:
    VLC is unable to open the MRL 'bluray:///dev/dvd'. Check the log for details.
    Blu-Ray error:
    Missing AACS configuration file!
    Your input can't be opened:
    VLC is unable to open the MRL 'bluray:///dev/dvd'. Check the log for details.

    Please help.

    • Lazza
      June 24, 2013 at 8:59 am

      Did you install the configuration files as explained in the post?

      • Jay
        June 24, 2013 at 7:24 pm

        Yes I did.

        • Danny Stieben
          July 1, 2013 at 1:17 am

          Yes, follow the AACS instructions under the Fedora section. If that didn't work, then Troy is one of the few BluRays that still won't work. Like I mentioned in the article, it's pretty functional but not perfect.

  7. Jobs
    June 23, 2013 at 2:34 am

    People still take Linux seriously? lol. Just get a proper desktop OS.

    • Lazza
      June 23, 2013 at 9:45 am

      When there will be one better than Linux, in the broader possible sense (better software, better security, better freedom, better speed, better stability) we will switch, don't worry! :)

    • dragonmouth
      June 23, 2013 at 1:47 pm

      "People still take Linux seriously?"

      What do you mean "still"? Many corporations and governments are switching from the "proper desktop O/S" to Linux.

    • Chinmay Sarupria
      June 23, 2013 at 3:53 pm

      Then which is a proper desktop OS for you? I hope your answer won't be Windows.

    • Danny Stieben
      July 1, 2013 at 1:16 am

      More and more seriously every day. :)

    • Doug
      February 4, 2015 at 6:00 pm

      When will Microsoft stop denying that at the heart of every MS OS is a heavily modified Unix kernel?

      • Yaro
        October 31, 2016 at 1:01 am

        There is not a modified Unix kernel in Windows. If anything it's a modified VMS kernel.

  8. the0therMike62 .
    June 23, 2013 at 12:38 am

    one of the first things i do is install vlc and get rid of all the other media players.