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4 Best USB DVD Drives for Linux Users in 2021 (Buying Guide)

Most Linux computers do not have a CD/DVD drive attached to them anymore. Not having a CD/DVD drive usually isn’t a huge issue, as most people do things over the internet or via USB. However, if you have some old PC games, movies, or data to access, not having a disc drive is a huge problem.

There are many excellent USB DVD drives available online these days. However, not all of them work with the Linux platform. That’s why we’ve made this list of 4 USB DVD drives that work on Linux. 

DVD playback on Linux

The DVD drives on this list work on Linux thanks to drivers included within the kernel and the manufacturer’s effort to bring drivers to the platform. However, there’s something you should know: DVD Playback on Linux is turned off by default on almost all Linux distributions.

Why is DVD playback disabled by default? In short, legal reasons. Linux operating system developers don’t want to get into hot water distributing proprietary DVD playback codecs. If you plan to get one of the USB DVD drives from this list and intend to use it for movie playback, please follow the instructions below to get playback working.

If your Linux distribution isn’t covered in the list, but you still want DVD playback, do yourself a favor and install the VLC media player. Even with DVD playback shut off, it will decode most DVDs and play them back on any Linux system! For information on how to get the latest VLC media player on Linux, check out this guide!

Best USB DVD Drives forLinux

There are many USB DVD drives available on the market to choose from. So many that it’s enough to make the average person overwhelmed with choices.

To help you make an informed purchase, we’ve carefully selected USB DVD drives that are confirmed to play well with mainstream Linux operating systems. 

1. Rioddas External USB 3.0 Portable CD/DVD +/-RW Drive

The Rioddas External USB DVD drive works excellent with the Linux platform, as it supports “plug-n-play.” So, there is no need to install drivers on your Linux PC before attempting to use it. Just connect it and go!

Feature-wise, the Rioddas External USB DVD has a lot to offer. It supports both CD and DVD writing capabilities with speeds up to 24X, has a prominent eject button so you won’t have to worry about getting discs stuck in the drive, has non-slip rubber pads on the bottom, and is backward compatible with USB 1.0 and 2.0.

Rioddas External USB DVD drive is an excellent choice for Linux users. Especially those looking to access old optical media on Linux as well as create new CDs or DVDs. 

Pros

  • Is backward compatible with older USB ports.
  • It can burn at speeds of up to 24X.
  • Has anti-slip pads on the bottom of the device to discourage disc skipping.
  • Works on Linux without any need for drivers.
  • It has a prominent eject button, so users don’t have to fight to open the disc tray.

Cons

  • The drive USB cable might be too short for some users’ liking.

2. ROOFULL External CD/DVD Drive

The ROOFULL External CD/DVD Drive is another excellent external USB CD/DVD drive for Linux users to use, as it is “plug-n-play” and does not require drivers to use the device on most Linux operating systems. 

The ROOFULL drive has many exciting features such as the eject button, anti-slip feet, burning speeds up to 24X, and the ability to read/write CDs/DVDs.

However, out of all of the features it offers, the one that stands out is USB-C support. So, if your Linux PC primarily uses USB type-C, this may be the drive to go with.

Pros

  • Works on Linux with USB plug-n-play and no drivers required and is backward compatible with older ports.
  • It can burn at speeds of up to 24X.
  • Supports USB-C right on the drive cable. No need to get a separate adapter.
  • Comes with a carrying case.
  • Has a laptop-style eject button.

Cons

  • USB cable is a bit short, and some users might prefer a longer cable.
  • The carrying case is a bit cheap.

3. Amicool External CD/DVD Drive

The Amicool External CD/DVD Drive, like many of the drives covered on this list, is a “plug-n-play” device. Meaning, all you need to do to use it is plug it into a USB port. However, what makes it unique is that it has “intelligent burning” technology, allowing users to interrupt burning and resume it at will.

Aside from the intelligent burning technology included in the drive, it also has other useful features. Features such as backward compatibility with older USB ports, has anti-slip pads, burning support for CD/DVDs at up to 24X, an easy-to-press eject button, and more.

Pros

  • Works on the Linux platform via “plug-n-play.”
  • It can burn at speeds of up to 24X.
  • Intelligent burning technology allows users to resume burning if interrupted.
  • Supports USB-C via an included dongle that attaches to the cord.
  • Is compatible with older USB ports (1.0 and 2.0).

Cons

  • The cord is relatively short, and USB-C support isn’t built onto the cable but requires a dongle.

4. HAIWAY External CD DVD Drive

The last item on our list of external USB DVD drives that work with Linux is the HAIWAY External CD DVD Drive. Like all other drives on this list, it is “plug-n-play” and will work on the majority of Linux systems with no need to install drivers. It also supports burning both CD/DVD at a max speed of 24X.

In terms of features, the HAIWAY External CD DVD Drive supports both USB 3.0 and older 2.0 and 1.0 ports. It has a prominent eject button and anti-slip pads on the bottom. It also promises a data transmission rate of 5 Gbps, which could be useful when moving old data from optical media to modern equipment.

Pros

  • Support on Linux with no drivers thanks to “plug-n-play.” 
  • The device has anti-slip pads and a prominent eject button for easy ejecting.
  • The device supports data transmission of up to 5 Gbps.
  • It can burn at speeds of up to 24X.
  • Backward compatible with older USB ports like USB 2.0 and 1.0.

Cons

  • USB cable is very short.

Conclusion

In this list, we went over 4 USB DVD drives that work well on the Linux platform. If you had issues finding a good USB DVD drive on Linux, hopefully, this list helped, and you now know what drive to get that will play well with your Linux PC!

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