I've been using abcde to rip our audio CD collection onto our fileserver for a few years now. Then I can play songs from across the collection using MPD without having to dig the original CDs out of the closet. I just picked up a large external hard drive and thought it might be time to take a look at ripping our DVD collection as well.

There is an excellent Quick-n-Dirty Guide that goes into more detail on all of this, but here's an executive summary.

Make sure your kernel understands the UDF file system:

$ grep CONFIG_UDF_FS /usr/src/linux/.config

If your kernel was compiled with CONFIG_IKCONFIG_PROC enabled, you could use

$ zcat /proc/config.gz | grep CONFIG_UDF_FS

instead, to make sure you're checking the configuration of the currently running kernel. If the udf driver was compiled as a module, make sure it's loaded.

$ sudo modprobe udf

Mount your DVD somewhere:

$ sudo mount /dev/dvd /mnt/dvd

Now you're ready to rip. You've got two options: you can copy the VOBs over directly, or rip the DVD into an alternative container format such as Matroska.


Mirror the disc with vobcopy (media-video/vobcopy on Gentoo):

$ vobcopy -m -t "Awesome_Movie" -v -i /mnt/dvd -o ~/movies/

Play with Mplayer (media-video/mplayer on Gentoo):

$ mplayer -nosub -fs -dvd-device ~/movies/Awesome_Movie dvd://1

where -nosub and -fs are optional.


Remux the disc (without reencoding) with mkvmerge (from MKVToolNix, media-video/mkvtoolnix on Gentoo):

$ mkvmerge -o ~/movies/Awesome_Movie.mkv /mnt/dvd/VIDEO_TS/VTS_01_1.VOB
(Processing the following files as well: "VTS_01_2.VOB", "VTS_01_3.VOB", "VTS_01_4.VOB", "VTS_01_5.VOB")

Then you can do all the usual tricks. Here's an example of extracting a slice of the Matroska file as silent video in an AVI container with mencoder (from Mplayer, media-video/mplayer on Gentoo):

$ mencoder -ss 00:29:20.3 -endpos 00:00:21.6 Awesome_Movie.mkv -nosound -of avi -ovc copy -o silent-clip.avi

Here's an example of extracting a slice of the Matroska file as audio in an AC3 container:

$ mencoder -ss 51.1 -endpos 160.9 Awesome_Movie.mkv -of rawaudio -ovc copy -oac copy -o audio-clip.ac3

You can also take a look through the Gentoo wiki and this Ubuntu thread for more ideas.