Knowing Knoppix/Multimedia

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Playing Audio CDs[edit | edit source]

Knoppix has a built-in player for Compact Disc Digital Audio music CDs. Unlike data CDs, audio CDs don't need to be mounted in order to be played. The ideal is to have two CD drives in your computer – one for the Knoppix CD, and one for the audio CD that you want to play. If you only have one CD drive, refer to “If you have only one CD drive” in the “Advanced startup options” section.

  1. Click K Menu.
  2. Point to Multimedia.
  3. Point to Sound.
  4. Click KsCD (CD Player).
  5. The CD player application will appear.
  6. Put the audio CD in the drive that is not occupied by Knoppix.
  7. Click the big “Play” button in the KsCD window to begin.
  8. The audio CD will be played.

If your CD-ROM drive is wired to the sound card, you will hear the music through the speakers attached to the sound card. If you can't hear anything, plug your speakers or headphones into the audio out socket on the front of the CD drive. Then adjust the volume level using the volume control on the front of the CD drive.

When you close KsCD, it will “dock” into the System Tray in the bottom right corner of the screen. To get it back again, click its icon in the System Tray.

Some audio CDs are designed not to work on a computer CD-ROM drive. They should be clearly marked.
They may also not work on some non-computer CD players such as in-car players.
If you are not satisfied with your audio CD, return it to the shop and ask for a refund. It is simply cheaper and easier for the seller to give you your money back than argue.

Playing DVD movies[edit | edit source]

Knoppix has a built-in player for DVD movies. This section will help you test a DVD-ROM drive for DVD movie playing. It is best to have two CD drives – one CD drive for the Knoppix disc, and one DVD capable drive for the movie disc you want to play. If you have just a single DVD drive, refer to “If you have only one CD drive” in the “Advanced startup options” section. You also need a reasonable graphic cards with hardware acceleration that is supported by Knoppix. For example, the ATI Rage 128 AGP card works perfectly.

What is DVD?[edit | edit source]

DVD stands for Digital Versatile Disc. It was originally called Digital Video Disc. A DVD disc can contain data, audio or video. DVD Read Only Memory (ROM) drives are backwards compatible, so they can read the older Compact Disc media.

DVD movies in Knoppix[edit | edit source]

Knoppix 3.3 has a limited DVD player application. It can play "unencrypted" DVD movie discs, such as home videos, but it can't play most commercial DVD movie discs. Knoppix 5.1 has a full DVD player which can play commercial DVD movie discs, given extra software that has to be downloaded separately. It is best to have two CD drives: one drive for Knoppix, and one DVD capable drive for the movie disc.

Playing DVDs in Knoppix 3.3[edit | edit source]

  1. Click K Menu.
  2. Point to Multimedia.
  3. Point to Video.
  4. Click Xine Media Player.
  5. Wait for a moment while “Xine” starts up.
  6. The Xine player application will appear.
  7. Put the disc in the DVD drive that is not occupied by Knoppix.
  8. Click the “DVD” button in Xine.
  9. If the DVD is unencrypted, and the region check is passed, the movie should begin playing.
  10. If it says “Error reading NAV packet”, most likely this means the DVD is encrypted and so it cannot be played. Try another disc.
  11. If you need to change the region, click the Xine Setup button. When you hover the mouse pointer over the “Setup” button, a blue spanner icon will appear in the Xine display, and a “Setup window” tooltip will appear. Click the “Input” tab. Under “Region that DVD player claims to be”, choose the region number that you want. For example, choose “2” for United Kingdom (Europe). Click Apply, then Close. This change affects only the Xine software. It will not alter your DVD drive, and it will not affect any other DVD movie playing software that you may have.

Playing DVDs in Knoppix 5.1[edit | edit source]

Knoppix 5.1 has the magical ability to add extra software on the fly. This is handy, because playing most commercial DVD movie discs requires installing an extra package.

  1. Click "Knoppix" menu in the Panel (bottom row, 2nd from the left).
  2. Click "Set password for root".
  3. Enter a password of your choice. This is only a temporary password. It will be forgotten when you exit Knoppix.
  4. Click OK, re-enter the password, click OK again.
  5. Start the Konqueror web browser.
  6. Visit
  7. Click "libdvdcss2_1.2.9-1_i386.deb"
  8. Click "Open with KPackage".
  9. Click "Install". It will ask to confirm to install package "libdvdcss2", click "Install".
  10. When KPackage has finished installing, click "Done", then close KPackage.
  11. Insert the DVD movie disc.
  12. The disc will be auto-detected. Choose "Play DVD with Kaffeine".
  13. Follow the steps and the DVD movie will be played. Notice that you can skip freely. Where many DVD players annoyingly refuse to fast forward and skip to the film, here you can. Much better. :-)
  14. When you exit Knoppix, the temporary installation of "libdvdcss2" will be discarded.

Question: Why is libdvdcss not just included in Knoppix?
“Xine Media Player” and "Kaffeine" have not been authorised by the “DVD Copy Control Association”. Getting authorisation is expensive and would introduce licencing constraints. To get around that, the necessary third-party component "libdvdcss" is a separate download.

Question: It says “Error reading NAV packet”.
The movie is probably encrypted. Knoppix cannot play it without libdvdcss.

Question: How do I know if a DVD is encrypted or not?
You don't. There is no official label. The presence (or not) of a "region code" is a guide but not definitive. The only way to find out is to try it and see if it works.