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Developer(s) VideoLAN
Stable release 1.3.0 / August 5, 2014 (2014-08-05)[2]
Written in C
Operating system GNU/Linux, BSD, BeOS
Windows 95 and later
Mac OS X, Solaris, HP-UX
Platform Portable
Type Library
License GNU GPL v2[3]

libdvdcss (or libdvdcss2 in some repositories) is a free and open source software library for accessing and unscrambling DVDs encrypted with the Content Scramble System (CSS). libdvdcss is part of the VideoLAN project and is used by VLC media player and other DVD player software such as Ogle, xine-based players, and MPlayer.

Comparison with DeCSS[edit]

libdvdcss is not to be confused with DeCSS. While DeCSS uses a cracked DVD player key to perform authentication, libdvdcss uses a generated list of possible player keys. If none of them works (for instance, when the DVD drive enforces region coding) a brute force algorithm is tried so the region code of a DVD is ignored. Unlike DeCSS, libdvdcss has never been legally challenged.


Many GNU/Linux distributions do not contain libdvdcss (for example Debian, Fedora, SUSE Linux, and Ubuntu) due to fears of running afoul of DMCA-style laws, however they may provide the tools to let the user install it themselves. For example, it used to be available in Ubuntu through Medibuntu, which is no longer available.[4]

Distributions which come pre-installed with libdvdcss include BackTrack, CrunchBang Linux, LinuxMCE, Linux Mint, PCLinuxOS, Puppy Linux 4.2.1, Slax, Super OS, Pardus, and XBMC Live.


Libdvdcss alone is only a library and cannot play DVDs. DVD player applications, such as VLC media player, use this library to decode DVDs. Libdvdcss is optional in many open-source DVD players, but without it, only non-encrypted discs will play.


External links[edit]