Stream a DVD in Ubuntu

In order to watch a DVD on a device which doesn’t have a DVD drive, it’s possible to stream it from another device which does, through the network. For instance in our house we only have one laptop with a DVD drive. This is the main and most powerful machine which I use for day and nighttime work. When the children want to watch a DVD upstairs in bed (we don’t allow them have TV in their room) I use VLC to stream from my laptop, instead of playing directly, so I can keep working away.

Before we start, obviously, make sure VLC is installed on both devices either by Ubuntu Software Center, Synaptic or apt-get, whichever takes your fancy. On the machine with the DVD drive, we’ll call this the “server”, you simply type/paste one command in, then at the drive-less end, let’s call this the “client”, you run the VLC GUI and tell it where to listen for the stream. So on the server type/paste:-

vlc -vvv --color dvd:///dev/DVD --sout '#rtp{mux=ts,dst=192.168.x.x,port=5004}' --ttl 12 --sout-all

Where “DVD” is your dvd device file in Linux. Examples include “/dev/dvd” and “/dev/sr0” (I think both work on my laptop), and “192.168.x.x” is the IP address of the client. e.g. Our Dell Mini currently gets “” from our Dnsmasq DHCP/DNS server.

Then on the client open up the VLC gui, click on the “Media” menu, and choose “Open Network Stream”, like so:-

Then type “rtp://@5004” and click play:-

The only problem I have found with this thus far is that power saving will disrupt i.e. stop playback because it shuts down network connections, so either disable it or keep them fingers workin’.

Further more you don’t need to be running Ubuntu at either the server or client ends, VLC is truly cross-platform, so I don’t know, you could have say a Windows machine at the server end (the syntax would be slightly different obviously), and an Android Tablet as the client. There is a reasonable list of possibilities.

Leave a Reply