Playing Blu-Ray and HD DVD Video

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by Philip Müller (aka Amnon82)

It's possible (although a little cumbersome) to play HD DVD and Blu-Ray films under Paldo GNU/Linux

Image:Bluray_paldo_small.png Image:Bluray_paldo_pt_small.png

Audio in some films may not yet be supported.

About AACS

The AACS 'Digital Rights Management' system in most HD-DVD and all Blu-Ray discs attempts to stop consumers from exercising fair use rights, including:

  • Playing purchased Blu-Ray and HD DVD films using Open Source software.
  • Playing films using standard digital (DVI) or analog (VGA) cables and monitors, which generally do not support HDCP DRM, without a 75% reduction in resolution.
  • Fast forwarding or skipping advertisements.
  • Playing imported films, including when local equivalents may be overpriced or not available.

Blu-Ray or HD DVD player applications require their unique player (or 'device') key to play discs. These keys are issued by AACS-LA to approved manufacturers that implement the restrictions above. This player key can decrypt each film's volume key, which in turn can decrypt the film's content to play it.

However the AACS DRM is ineffective and does not successfully prevent any of these things.

  • The player key for the xBox 360 HD DVD drive is known publicly, and has around 500,000 results on Google.
  • Player keys for all Windows based software players, such as WinDVD and PowerDVD are known publicly. These can be used to find the volume keys for all current discs. While these applications now have new keys (and future HD-DVD and Blu-Ray discs won't play with the old keys), it's likely the new key will be discovered too as all players must store their keys in memory at some point.
  • The volume keys needed to play nearly all released films are known publicly, due to the above. Even without a licensed player key, Linux HD-DVD and Blu-Ray software can use these to play discs.

Legal Notice Patent and copyright laws operate differently depending on which country you are in. Please obtain legal advice if you are unsure whether a particular patent or restriction applies to a media format you wish to use in your country.


  • Actual SMPlayer version (sudo upkg-install smplayer)
  • Actual FFMPEG version (sudo upkg-install ffmpeg)
  • Actual Java version (sudo upkg-install jre)

Also required:

None of the software below is supplied or endorsed by Paldo.

  • An HD DVD drive. The Xbox 360 HD-DVD player works well. Log into Gnome and then plug in the player. DVDs and CDs will work out of the box, HD-DVDs require the additional steps below.
  • A UDF 2.5 filesystem driver (the UDF driver included in Paldo only supports UDF 2.0). I made a patched version of udf.ko for the You can download it here (sendspace) and extract the tar.bz2 into the root-folder.

Many HD DVD and all Blu-Ray discs use DRM. For these discs, you'll need:

Playing the Movie

  • Put an HD-DVD or Blu-Ray disc in the drive. The disc should appear on the Gnome desktop.


  • If using HD-DVD, try and play the disc. R&B Films, Fox Pathe/Studio Canal, EMS GmbH and other studios produce HD DVD discs without DRM, allowing them to be played without any of the restrictions mentioned above. The films content is in .EVO files in the 'HDDVD_TS' folder on the disc. Use followed cmd:
    smplayer /media/KING_KONG/HVDVD_TS/FEATURE*EVO
  • If using Blu-Ray, try and play the disc. The films content is in .M2TS files in the 'BDMV/STREAM' folder on the disc. Use followed cmd:
    smplayer /media/bluray/BDMV/STREAM/*.m2ts

If you're not watching a movie at this point, the disc needs to be decrypted.

  • DumpHD can decrypt the disc. Ensure you have a large amount of disk space available (around 30GB, and run):
   sudo java -jar DumpHD.jar


Select the disc as the source (a directory somewhere beneath /media/Film Name and a directory like /tmp to save the movie content.

You can proceed onto the next step once 00001.m2ts has started decrypting.

  • Play the the film from your hard disk. Use this cmd:
   smplayer /media/bluray/BDMV/STREAM/00001.m2ts


Enjoy the movie in Paldo GNU/Linux

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