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How To Save DVDs And Blu-rays To Your Linux PC

Those looking want to digitize a personal collection of Blu-rays and DVDs to access them on Linux, the best option is MakeMKV. It’s a straightforward tool that can save DVDs and Blu-rays. It analyzes optical video disks and allows the user to extract individual video files, audio tracks, and even subtitle files.

Install MakeMKV

Not every Linux distribution has a packaged version of MakeMKV. If you want to use this software, you’ll likely need to build it from source. In this section of the tutorial, we’ll cover the Ubuntu/Debian dependencies. If you use a different operating system that is lesser known, you’ll need to find the dependencies on your own.


sudo apt install build-essential pkg-config libc6-dev libssl-dev libexpat1-dev libavcodec-dev libgl1-mesa-dev libqt4-dev zlib1g-dev

Using the mkdir command, create a new build folder for MakeMKV. A folder is important in this case, as there are multiple sources being downloaded.

mkdir ~/makemkv-build

cd ~/makemkv-build

Inside of the build folder, use the wget tool to download the sources for MakeMKV.

wget https://www.makemkv.com/download/makemkv-oss-1.12.2.tar.gz

wget https://www.makemkv.com/download/makemkv-bin-1.12.2.tar.gz

Extract both of the Tar archives into the build folder.

tar -zxvf makemkv-oss-1.12.2.tar.gz

tar -zxvf makemkv-bin-1.12.2.tar.gz

CD into the makemkv-oss folder, and run the configure script.

cd makemkv-oss-1.12.2

Once the files are completely configured, build makemkv-oss:


sudo make install

Makemkv-oss is built, but the software isn’t installed entirely. Next, move to the makemkv-bin folder.


Press END on the keyboard to skip to the bottom of the software license. Press Q to close it.

After closing the software license, write “yes” to confirm it. Install the makemkv-bin part of the software with:

sudo make install

Arch Linux

MakeMKV is in the Arch Linux AUR. Start off the installation process by syncing the latest version of the Git program to your PC with Pacman.

sudo pacman -S git

Next, use the Git tool to clone the latest version of the MakeMKV AUR snapshot.

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/makemkv.git

Lastly, compile and install MakeMKV with makepkg. Keep in mind that this command may fail if any dependencies fail to install. Find all dependencies on the MakeMKV AUR page.

makepkg -si


Fedora users can use MakeMKV thanks to the Negativo17 third-party software repository. To install it, you’ll need to add the software repo with DNF.

sudo dnf config-manager --add-repo=https://negativo17.org/repos/fedora-multimedia.repo

Adding the Negatio17 Multimedia repo is the only step to getting MakeMKV on Fedora. Run dnf install to finish the process.

sudo dnf -y install makemkv


OpenSUSE is one of the only Linux operating systems that makes it super easy to install the MakeMKV software. To install it, open up a terminal and use it to install the software.

42.3 Leap:

sudo zypper addrepo https://packman.inode.at/suse/openSUSE_Leap_42.3/ packman

sudo  zypper install makemkv


sudo zypper addrepo https://packman.inode.at/suse/openSUSE_Tumbleweed/ packman

sudo  zypper install makemkv

Save BluRays And DVDs

To save a DVD or Blu-ray for later, put the disk in the drive and open up MakeMKV.  The tool should instantly identify that it’s a video DVD and display the disc type and title. Click on the big icon (it will look like a DVD or Blu-ray) to use the disc as a source.

Choosing to load the disc as a source in MakeMKV will cause the program to scan it for video files, audio files and etc. When the scan is complete, MakeMKV prints out a list of everything it found. Go through the list and uncheck the individual boxes next to items you wish not to save. When you’re satisfied with the selections you’ve made in MakeMKV, click the hard-drive icon with the green arrow on it to save the Blu-ray or DVD to an MKV file.

If the user selects the “save” button, MakeMKV will scan your Linux PC and determine if the default hard drive has enough space. It will refuse to continue if your hard drive is lacking in storage space, so be sure to make room for the file.

The saving process will take a very long time. The speed all depends on the speed of your CPU, and disk drive. Be patient, and soon the DVD/Blu-ray will be digitized.

Playing Video Files

Converting optical video media to a playable video file is tedious, but worth it if you want to be able to take your movies anywhere. To play these video files, you’ll need a good video player. Most Linux distributions come with a decent video app, but it usually doesn’t support as many codecs as people would like.

To get the best out of your newly converted DVDs and Blu-rays, we recommend installing the VLC video player for Linux. VLC is supported on virtually every major Linux operating system. Head over to pkgs.org to download a version of VLC that is compatible with your Linux distribution.

After installing VLC, load up your converted movie files by opening up the file manager and clicking on the “Videos” folder. Inside of “Videos”, find the MKV file you’d like to play, right-click on it, select “Open with” and click VLC.

1 Comment

  1. Wow, this is one of the best Linux tuts I have ever seen. Clean, to the point and easy to understand.
    Thanks a bunch!

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