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Parole Media Player install fixes VLC issue on HP DV-8000 w/ Pioneer K15 dvdrw


Parole Media Player playing a local .mkv file...


VLC Media Player playing a dvd...


Take that, VLC!

I had a bit of difficulty getting DVD's and local video files (.mkv, .vob, and .mpeg) to play out-of-the-box with Linux Lite and Lubuntu LXLE.

I did not find the fix explicitly in any forums, and I came across some outdated links and info that no longer works. It took a few days to solve the issue, so I am posting this to help others who may encounter the same.

Note that this is not a shortcoming of LL, LXLE, or any other variation of Ubuntu, but rather by design. By default, Ubuntu does not include the necessary libraries or codecs to decode and play DVDs. In order to bundle them with the OS, the creators would have to pay royalties and licensing fees, making Ubuntu non-free. However, they are free to install for personal use.

For starters, I knew that the dvd-rw drive worked fine on this laptop in both Win XP &  7, as well as in HP Quickplay -- but only while Windows & Win bootloader were still installed. I have since un-installed Windows, so Quickplay does not boot...for now, unless I can enter the needed info into GRUB...or install a light HTPC version of Linux on the Quickplay partition and link it to the  hardware button or GRUB.  So, I was looking for a way to play videos and dvds on the DV8000's 1440x900 17-inch wide-screen display.

After installing Linux Lite and opening VLC, videos were mostly black with heavy ghosting and a matrix-array of white dots or squares. Clicking around in the dark and hitting 'play' in the dvd menu, I could begin the movie, but it was not viewable. Audio and subtitles worked fine.


Linux is known for having most hardware drivers included and VLC is known for having most codecs on-board by default. A Google search revealed there were no third party Linux drivers for the Pioneer K15 dvd+rw. Searching in Synaptic Package Manager (SPM) for "dvd" and/or "codecs" showed that libdvd-pkg was not installed. I believe I tried to install it through SPM, but it failed. (It seems to get snagged at the same point as the terminal method, but with no way to proceed -- but we are going to fix that.) So, I searched google for how to install it "libdvd-pkg" thru the terminal.

I found a few related helpful forum posts, without which I would not have known what to do.
However, it took a bit more effort for me to get things working.  (Refer to these if the following does not work for you.)


This is where having a second Linux distro installed on another partition was helpful for troubleshooting - I knew the issue was not specific to Linux Lite. I was having the same issue with VLC in Lubuntu LXLE. Note that I have installed Linux Lite 3.4 & LXLE 16.04.2 -- both based on Ubuntu 16.04.2 and both use the lightweight XFCE desktop environment.

While in LXLE, I ran from terminal:

--- Code: ---sudo apt-get install libdvd-pkg
--- End code ---

and got the following error msg:

"libdvd-pkg: dpkg database is locked. You may need to use command "sudo dpkg-reconfigure libdvd-pkg".
libdvd-pkg: Building and installation of package(s) [libdvdcss2 libdvdcss-dev] postponed till after next APT operation."

Following the on-screen instructions, and based on the forum threads noted above, I ran:

--- Code: ---sudo dpkg-reconfigure libdvd-pkg
--- End code ---

to install the rest of the packages. And then:

--- Code: ---sudo apt-get update
--- End code ---


--- Code: ---sudo apt-get upgrade
--- End code ---


--- Code: ---sudo /usr/lib/libdvd-pkg/b-i_libdvdcss.sh
--- End code ---

I rebooted into LXLE and tested VLC with the same result.

I followed steps in one of the forum threads above to verify the dvd+rw was set to the correct region:

--- Code: ---sudo apt install regionset
--- End code ---

and with a dvd in the drive:

--- Code: ---regionset
--- End code ---

This confirmed it was set to Region 1, which is correct for North America.

I remembered that another user in one of the attached forum posts had noted success with Parole Media Player.
It is built for the GTK+ framework and the XFCE desktop environment -- used by both Linux Lite & LXLE.

LXLE provides the Lubuntu Software Center (Menu>Control Menu>Software>Lubuntu Software Center) and Parole Media Player is available for download and installation there.

After install, Parole Media Player now plays a dvd beautifully! I opened VLC -- it also plays dvd's and local video files!  :)


I rebooted into Linux Lite and repeated all of the install steps noted above for libdvd-pkg

After another reboot into LL, I opened VLC expecting success, but no such luck. I got the same black screen and white dots. Not to be deterred, I looked for Parole Media Player in LL.

Note that as of the time of this post, the Linux Lite "Lite Software" tool, while providing a bunch a killer apps, does not include Parole Media Player.
I found it and installed it via Deb package from this site: http://ppa.launchpad.net/ubuntuhandbook1/apps/ubuntu/pool/main/p/parole/, using the latest stable version, "parole_0.9.0-0build3~ubuntu14.04_amd64.deb".

Reboot and Parole Media Player now plays DVDs in Linux Lite!

Then I opened VLC again...and now VLC plays dvds and local video files in Linux Lite!

I am not sure why, but it seems that Parole Media Player may include some codecs that resolve the play issues with VLC.

My issues may have been specific to this model laptop, the HP Pavilion DV-8000 (8110us), or to the  Pioneer K15 dvd+rw.

Your mileage may vary.

I hope this helps you to save time and makes your Linux Lite install and configuration as smooth as possible.

For more info on VLC go to : http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html
For more info on Parole go to: [url:http://docs.xfce.org/apps/parole/introduction[/url]

Enjoy!  8)


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