Movies, DVDs and videos

You can watch movies and video clips with the Totem Movie Player (ApplicationsSound & VideoMovie Player).

Playing DVDs

In order to play DVDs you must install some additional software. Unfortunately, DVD support cannot be provided by default in Ubuntu due to legal restrictions in some countries.


Read about restricted formats before following the instructions below. There are some legal issues that you should be aware of.

  1. Install the libdvdnav4, libdvdread3 and gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly packages.

  2. If you would like to play encrypted DVDs, press ApplicationsAccessoriesTerminal and type the following into the screen which appears, followed by the Enter key:

    sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread3/

  3. Enter your password if prompted. The libdvdcss2 package will be downloaded and installed from a website.

  4. Insert a DVD into your drive. It should open automatically in the Movie Player.

Where have the menus on my DVDs gone?

DVD menus are not currently supported by the default Movie Player. To be able to use the menus on a disc, you must install an alternative movie player such as gxine or VLC.

Per a fer que els DVD es reprodueixin automàticament en un reproductor de pel·lícules alternatiu quan els inseriu, obriu LlocsCarpeta d'usuari, feu clic a EditaPreferències i feu clic a la pestanya Suport. Seleccioneu el reproductor alternatiu a la llista DVD de vídeo.

How can I get my videos to play?

Some video formats, such as Flash, QuickTime, and Windows Media Video, are proprietary and so support for them cannot be included in Ubuntu by default. You must install some extra software to allow playback.

In order to play the most common proprietary formats in the Totem movie player or Firefox web browser, install the ubuntu-restricted-extras package (see Restricted Software for more information).

Video files

(e.g. QuickTime, Windows Media)

If you try to play an unsupported video file, you will be asked if you would like to search for a suitable codec. Click Search and, when the Install multimedia codecs window appears, select one of the codecs displayed in the list and click Install.

If you are asked to confirm installation of restricted software, the codec required to play your video may have some legal restrictions which you should be aware of. If you think that the restrictions do not apply to you, press Confirm to continue with the installation.

Once installation is complete, the video should begin to play. If not, try closing and then re-opening the video.

Flash videos

(e.g. Youtube, iPlayer)

When you first try to play a Flash video in the Firefox web browser, a bar will appear at the top of the window saying that additional plugins are required. Press the Install Missing Plugins button and follow the instructions on-screen to install a Flash player.

You will be offered the choice of several players. The Adobe Flash Player is the official plugin, which should offer the best support for videos. Unfortunately, it is proprietary software and so cannot be supported directly by Ubuntu. The Swfdec and Gnash players are not proprietary and so are supported. You may also find them to be more stable (cause fewer problems) than the official player.

Streaming video

(e.g. RealVideo)

The most reliable way of playing RealVideo-format videos is to install the official RealPlayer software. See Installing and configuring RealPlayer for full instructions.

Support for most other types of streaming video can be added by following the instructions for video files or Flash videos. If you are having difficulties getting a video to stream in your web browser, right-click the video and select Open with "Movie Player" if that option is available.

Videos that are otherwise unsupported

If none of the other instructions in this section work with a particular video, try using a different media player. VLC and MPlayer support a wide range of formats; it is recommended that you try one of these.

Installing and configuring RealPlayer

RealPlayer is a proprietary application, and so is not installed in the usual way.

  1. Download a suitable Linux installer from the RealPlayer website and save it in your Home folder.

  2. Open a Terminal (ApplicationsAccessoriesTerminal) and type the following, pressing Enter at the end of each line and typing your password when prompted:

    sudo chmod a+x RealPlayer*
    sudo ./RealPlayer*
  3. You should see the text Extracting files for Helix installation on the screen if the installer has started properly. When asked a question by the installer, press Enter to accept the default.

  4. When the installer has finished copying files, press ApplicationsSound & VideoRealPlayer 11 and follow the instructions on the screen to complete set-up.

For more in-depth instructions, see the community help wiki.

Recording and editing video

There are numerous video capture and editing programs available for Ubuntu. Some of the most popular include Kino, Kdenlive, and Pitivi.