Linux Playing DVD over Network…

The problem! I’ve got an extraordinary TV/Media Server set-up using XBMCbuntu (more to come on that soon) with a DVD drive, however my main computer in the office (amazing as it is) does not have a disc drive. So watching DVD’s while working (Stargate Atlantis Season 3) is a bit of a pain…

After much research and trial/error using SSHFS to mount the DVD locally, I reverted to VLC, after all its called Video LAN Project for a reason.

After screwing about with the GUI trying to use VLC’s streaming capability. I opted for the terminal approach.

Either on the DVD Server itself or via SSH, run the following command:

vlc -vvv dvdsimple:///dev/sr0 --sout '#standard{access=http,mux=ts,vcodec=x264,dst=:8181}'

and replace “/dev/sr0” with the location of your DVD device, “/dev/sr0” is mine and could work for you as well.

Once that’s all done, open up your client VLC on your computer (not the DVD Server) and go to “File>Open Network Stream” and type in:


Replacing “server-ip” with your DVD Servers local IP address, such as ‘’ or ‘’.

You should now see the DVD content playing, however the client VLC has very little control over DVD controls, so, if like me your watching a DVD containing multiple TV shows, you will need to enter in a terminal command on the DVD Server or SSH connection.

title_n = Next TV Show
title_p = Prev. TV Show
help = Show all available commands...

and this will save your the pain of getting another DVD drive! 😀


My info was originally from:

Linux Playing DVD over Network…

3 thoughts on “Linux Playing DVD over Network…

  1. ae says:

    That’s pretty good!

    Have you found a way to stream the dvd menu? I’ve found that by using dvdnav: (instead of dvdsimple), I get the menu on a client instance of vlc (this confirms that dvd menu navigation works in my client).

    Also, if I run the server with it (the same as your instructions here, but with dvdnav instead of dvdsimple), then I get the main menu screen when I open the stream on my client. I think this confirms that the server is able to use dvdnav to run the dvd.

    The part that I haven’t figured out is how to get the menu to work in the client instance when streaming this way. I think that dvdnav needs to be used somewhere in the client instance, but I can’t figure out a way to do it and http. Maybe the –sout options on the server strip the menu data when streaming over http?

    1. Thanks for your input, I’m no master of VLC however I would imagine that the DVD content (video and sound) are converted and compressed on the fly from the interactive DVD (navigation menu) format to something such as MP4 or AVI, thus the navigation would not be usable on the client side.

      Let us know if you find a way! 🙂 Since this post I’ve got a DVD RW/Blueray player for my other computer for around £40 from Maplins, and don’t use this method, but it’s always interesting to find out how it works!

      1. ae says:

        That’s what I’ve sort of learned too. However, I’ve found that by using the web interface I’m able to sort of remotely control the stream. The web interface is enabled by adding:

        -I http –http-src /usr/share/vlc/http –http-host :8182

        to server command line. The path is where the web interface is install on my distro (10.04). I also had to update the .hosts file in there to allow the ip address of client to connect.

        My current idea is to add a webpage on my server to let me launch start the vlc server, and then control it by forwarding commands to that instance’s http interface.

        Apparently newer versions of vlc have a json interface, would would probably be useful in this case. Unfortunately I haven’t found any more detail on that json interface yet.

        This is just for my own use, so I may not get any further. Your setup with the http interface sort of gives me what I needed. The rest is just to make it a bit easier to use.

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