Watching, ripping and converting DVDs (xine, mplayer, mencoder, dvd, iso image)

Both xine and MPlayer can play DVDs directly, but xine has a DVD navigation. In Mplayer you need to specify which movie (VOB file) you want to play:
xine dvd:// mplayer dvd://3 If you just want to temporarily store the DVD on your hard disk it might be sufficient to create a DVD image:
dd if=/dev/dvd of=rosenstrasse.iso The image can be mounted as follows:
sudo mount -o loop rosenstrasse.iso /media/temp/ Xine can play a DVD from an iso image directly (without mouting the image):

Suse Linux 9.2 and encrypted DVD playback (xine, libdvdcss2, libxine, hdparm, DMA)

Although several linux video players (e.g. xine) do support playback of encrypted DVDs, Suse has crippled the libraries needed to do so. Thus none of the players/frontends included in Suse Linux 9.2 can play encrypted DVDs. What are encrypted DVDs? Essentially all commerical movies are released exclusively as encrypted DVDs. It is a pain in the ass, but actually can be cured. To play encrypted DVDs you need libdvdcss2. This is the famous hack, that was in the news and that obviously was not liked by the media industry.