How to rip a DVD to avi using k9copy in Ubuntu

I have a DVD here that contained a video that was shot and burned by us. We wanted to upload it to YouTube as well as send a copy to a friend, but have since lost the original digital file. Fortunately there’s a fairly easy way to rip the DVD back to an avi file (which is accepted by YouTube) by using k9copy. This walk-through is for anyone who may find themselves in a similar situation and needs to rip a DVD back to their hard drive. I wrote this after trying dvdrip (DVD::Rip), VLC, and Avidemuxk9copy seems the easiest program to use of the bunch. UPDATE: Actually, I’ve had a better experience using HandBrake for DVD ripping. I’ve written up a how-to which you can read here.

Notice: This walk-through is not intended to encourage or facilitate piracy. It is the user’s responsibility to observe all applicable licensing and copyright laws.

If your DVDs are scratched or damaged (like mine was), you may have bad blocks on them and k9copy may crash during the ripping with a segmentation fault. You will need to use ddrescue to recover the good parts of the DVD.


If you need to use ddrescue, follow the instructions in this section. If your DVD is in good condition skip to the next section. You can always come back and use ddrescue later if you experience problems. However, you will not do any harm using ddrescue if you don’t need it, you will only add time to the process.

From Synaptic or command line, install gddrescue.

sudo apt-get install gddrescue

Rip the DVD into an ISO using ddrescue

ddrescue -n -b 2048 /dev/dvd output.iso

(If /dev/dvd does not work in this or any following example, try /dev/sr0 instead)

ddrescue isn’t a miracle worker. If your DVD is severely damaged, it may be unrecoverable.

k9copy assistant

Install k9copy using either Synaptic or via command line:

sudo apt-get install k9copy

Run the k9copy assistant using the launcher.

Note: If k9copy is available but k9copy assistant is not, run k9copy then click ‘Wizard’.

Specify the source location for your DVD extraction.

If you had to — or chose to — use ddrescue as previously described, choose ISO and select the full path to your ISO image (by clicking the disk icon). If you didn’t use ddrescue and want to rip directly from the disk, use ‘DVD Drive’ instead, and verify the correct drive is selected.

Select the titles to include in your encoded file.

If your DVD includes more than one title, select the ones that you want included in your encoded file. You can use the preview pane and controls on the right side to ensure you’re selecting the right title. You will likely only select one. Note that there is no audio in the preview — that’s not a bug, it’s by design.

Next, select the audio and, if available, the subtitle streams you wish to keep. If in doubt, the defaults are generally correct.

Make any other codec-specific changes you wish. If in doubt, accept the default.

If you are ripping a DVD which is in widescreen format, you can optimize the output file by clicking on the ‘detect’ button above. This will open a preview screen and another detect button. Play the preview stream, then on a frame with clear contrast between the video and black bars, click ‘detect’ again. This will auto-crop the stream and optimize the resulting encoded file.

Click the Finish button to begin the copy/encoding process.


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