I need to rip a DVD, to watch it later on a tablet or laptop. How can I do it? I would like to use a tool from the standard repositories. So far I tried only k3b, but it crashed.


To be clear, you want to convert the DVD to a video file, right? The only thing that has worked reliably for me is handbrake. Unfortunately, this is not available for wheezy. However, one can modify a third party package from http://www.deb-multimedia.org. See this question/amswer - Handbrake for wheezy?.

Feel free to add questions/comments to that answer, or this one. Or you can ping me in the chat room, if you prefer.

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  • Seems like there is no tool for ripping video format in Wheezy. Your only choice is to build your own package :( – Grzenio Mar 21 '14 at 11:19

If you don't care about the format, you can rip to an image of the DVD (as opposed to ripping to a video format, e.g. MKV, MP4, avi etc.).

For this I use GNU ddrescue -- it's available as gddrescue in Debian. Note that the binary is named ddrescue.

To rip, first install gddrescue and then use the following command:

ddrescue /dev/sr0 dvd_name.img dvd_name.log

The latter is the log file. If for some reason you need to halt the rip, having a log file enables you to start where you left off.

Using gddresue has the added benefit of the resulting image being as close as possible to the original. If you have two (or more) copies of the same DVD, but both are scratched, you may be able to make one perfect copy using gddrescue on both.

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  • Wouldn't that fail if there is any form of copy protection on the DVD? – Faheem Mitha Mar 21 '14 at 16:25
  • I've used it a few times before without having decss libraries installed, so I guess not. I believe that the CSS encryption is applied to the .VOB files on the DVD, not to the DVD directly. The Wikipedia article on Content Scramble System says that "CSS prevents byte-for-byte copies of an MPEG (digital video) stream from being playable since such copies do not include the keys that are hidden on the lead-in area of the restricted DVD". – runejuhl Mar 22 '14 at 6:57
  • That's interesting. I'll bear that in mind as an option. You write "If you have two (or more) copies of the same DVD, but both are scratched, you may be able to make one perfect copy using gddrescue on both." Can you elaborate on how that would work? Thanks. – Faheem Mitha Mar 22 '14 at 8:30
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    ddrescue (there are two versions, one GNU and one not, AFAIK) doesn't care how many input media there are. When it is using a log file, it keeps track of the blocks which are missing. If you have missing blocks after ddrescue'ing a disc, inserting another and continuing with ddrescue (assuming that you use the same output and log files) will have ddrescue continue with the missing blocks. Even if the new disc is scratched, it won't matter as long as the scratches are in a different place. The Wikipedia arcticle on ddrescue mentions it as well: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ddrescue#Other_uses – runejuhl Mar 22 '14 at 19:17

The blog post Video DVD reader library / python-dvdvideo - nice free software by Petter Reinholdtsen suggests a Python library called python-dvdvideo. I haven't tried it - I'm just passing the recommendation along.

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