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The first hurdle
So, you've installed Ubuntu. Maybe you've spent some time fiddling around with your settings. Maybe it's starting to feel like "your" operating system. You've got a nice drop down terminal, a solid wallpaper and theme, and you're having a grand old time.
If you're like me, you've been geeking out to all of your friends about the wonders of Ubuntu. You've gone out of your way to make sure you've discovered an open source, Linux friendly alternative to all the software they might claim is keeping them clinging to windows. At this point you're probably just annoying them but they're too kind to tell you to shut the hell up and let them play Farmville in peace.
Maybe one of those people you've been geeking out to is your girlfriend (this is all clearly hypothetical). So one night, you and your significant other are sitting around and you all decide to watch some Big Bang Theory. Well of course you want to use this opportunity to further show off Ubuntu, so you grab your laptop and pop in the (theoretically) third disc of season 1. The dvd drive clearly reads the disc, things are going smoothly; Ubuntu brings up an option window allowing you to choose what program you want to play the dvd with and you of course choose the Ubuntu built in player instead of VLC just so show off a little more. The program opens....and the dvd doesn't play! You get an error instead of playback. At this point you're chuckling quietly under your breath (heh heh) and doing everything you can to recover. You go ahead and try to play the dvd in VLC. VLC has never failed you, you trust it. VLC is good, lovely VLC lovely! You open the dvd in VLC and it won't play. You whore VLC. How could you do this to me? Ubuntu, I feel betrayed! I've sung your praises. I've spread the good word....errr....YOU feel betrayed, you've sung it's praises and spread the good word because this is an entirely hypothetical situation. Anyway, at this point you do what anyone else would do and pop the dvd in the dvd player instead and go on with your life. But you're wounded a little inside, it's ok to admit it.
Ok, if by now you've guessed that this actually happened to me then congratulations. You've seen through my cleverly worded ruse and got right to the heart of the matter. Good for you! Now you may be thinking: "Well hell, if Ubuntu won't even play a dvd it's probably not the operating system for me." Don't give up so easily! To be honest it's not even Ubuntu's fault really and the fix is incredibly easy. See, when Ubuntu is distributed it isn't allowed (for whatever reason, probably legal) to include certain codecs. One of these codecs is the one that allows for dvd playback. What YOU need is a repository! The Medibuntu repository to be exact. A repository is a collection (from my understanding) of codecs that were, for whatever reason, unable to be distributed along with the operating system itself. Once you've installed this repository (I'll include a link at the end of this blog in case you're having this problem yourself) all you need to is sudo apt-get install libdvdcss2 and you're good to go! No rebooting necessary and Dvds will play back just fine! You're all set to continue preaching the wonders of Ubuntu and you won't have to deal with any awkward playback issues in the near future! All is well. Hell, it's even better because now you know a little more than you did in the past. See, isn't learning fun?
The link for medibuntu help/installation: