README for libdvdcss, a portable abstraction library for DVD decryption


libdvdcss is part of the VideoLAN project, which among other things produces
VLC, a full video client/server streaming solution. VLC can  also be used as
a standalone program to play video streams from a hard disk or a DVD.

Building and Installing libdvdcss

See the INSTALL file.

Running libdvdcss

The behavior of the library can be changed by setting two environment variables:

  DVDCSS_METHOD={title|disc|key}: method for key decryption
    title: By default the decrypted title key is guessed from the encrypted
           sectors of the stream. Thus it should work with a file as well as
           the DVD device. But decrypting a title key may take too much time
           or even fail. With the title method, the key is only checked at
           the beginning of each title, so it will not work if the key
           changes in the middle of a title.
    disc:  The disc key is cracked first. Afterwards all title keys can be
           decrypted instantly, which allows checking them often.
    key:   The same as the "disc" method if you do not have a file with player
           keys at compile time. If you do, disc key decryption will be faster.
           This is the default method also employed by libcss.
  DVDCSS_VERBOSE={0|1|2}: libdvdcss verbosity
    0: no error messages, no debug messages (this is the default)
    1: only error messages
    2: error and debug messages


A mailing-list has been set up for support and discussion about
libdvdcss. Its address is:


To subscribe or unsubscribe, go to:


When reporting bugs, try to be as precise as possible (which OS, which
distribution, what plugins you were trying, and so on).


The VideoLAN web site at http://www.videolan.org/ is a good start for
information about MPEG and DVD playback. Have a look at the support
section to look for answers.