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Rip DVDs in Linux the (Semi-)Easy Way

Post date: December 8, 2007, 14:12 Category: Views: 3694 Comments
Tutorial quote: With its hacker-friendly aesthetic and open source mentality, you'd think a Linux desktop would be the best place to assert your digital rights—you know, make backup copies of your DVDs, convert them for iPods, that kind of thing.

And you'd be half right. There are plenty of programs that let you take control of your video discs, but they're only useful if you can make it through a maze of configuration menus, command line options, choices about bit rates and codecs, and the occasional confusing message about a missing library.

I've tried out a good number of DVD ripping and conversion programs, and I've made peace with one method, and one program, that gets the job done more often than not. It's not exactly one-click, but once your system is set up, you can drop in DVDs and back them up or convert them with relative ease.

Note on system differences: I set up my ripping/burning system on a Lenovo Thinkpad T61 running a brand-new installation of Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon). As with so many things Linux, packages and commands may vary based on your system. But for the most part, the tools I use in this walkthrough work across distributions and on both major desktop environments, GNOME and KDE.

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