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Rip a CD/DVD


You have a CD/DVD and you want to store its content on your hard drive in an .iso file. That is, you want to rip the CD/DVD.


Here I explain how to rip a CD. In the case of an unprotected DVD the method is the same. If the DVD is protected by a region code, you can still rip it but you cannot play it back normally :( For ripping protected DVDs, you need more sophisticated techniques but that’s out of the scope of this post.

So, either you do it in command-line or in Gnome (I use Gnome).

Command-line solution:

time dd if=/dev/sr0 of=/tmp/ripped.iso

It’s a good idea to add the time command, then you’ll see how much time the process took. In the example /dev/sr0 is the filesystem of my CD, you will have to replace it with a value that is specific to your machine. To figure it out, use the df command. In my case I got the following output:

$ df
Filesystem    1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda1     230598832 159681596  59203444  73% /
/dev/sr0         424112    424112         0 100% /media/cdrom0

GUI solution:

In Gnome just do the following. On the desktop right click on the CD/DVD icon. Choose Copy Disc… from the popup menu. Under Select a disc to write to, choose Image File. Click on Properties, and at the bottom of the file selector, next to Disc image type, choose “ISO9660 image”. Specify the output file and start ripping by clicking on the button “Create Image”.

Playing back a DVD iso file

If you ripped a movie from an unencrypted DVD, playing back the iso file is very simple. Use the VLC media player and pass the iso file as if it were a normal avi. Example:

vlc holidays.iso

Update (20110605)

When you insert a DVD, it is mounted automatically under /media, for instance in the folder /media/Holiday. In the /media/Holiday you will find two subfolders, AUDIO_TS and VIDEO_TS (or something similar). How to play it with VLC? Nothing is simpler:

$ cd /media
$ vlc Holiday/

Easy :)

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