Ripping DVDs with Linux

I just recently received a DVD which a relative of mine from Germany, had authored privately in 1994, and when I did, my first concern was not so much to watch the whole footage, but rather of archiving it. In 1994 it was very trendy, to compose our own menus for Movie-DVDs and so forth. But these days, optical storage may no longer be the ideal solution to archiving footage.

And so in principle, archiving means ‘ripping’, and then storing on some other medium, which I hope to be more permanent.

Under Linux, it is quite possible to rip DVDs. One way that has existed for a long time, has been just to use the Graphical User Interface of “K3b”, which depends on having the package ‘transcode‘ installed. But there is a recent behavior of K3b which many people have noticed. This program will only rip properly, to the ‘DivX‘ format. The ‘MPEG4‘ format is temporarily out of order within this application. And, DivX is known to be an inferior format.

And so one solution which worked for me, was first to use K3b in order to make an ISO File of the DVD, and after that to tell another GUI application named “Handbrake” to open that ISO File. For me, that did the trick well. Handbrake will offer to store the titles in M4V Files by default, which is just another naming for MP4 Files, that are H.264-compressed in either case. Or it will allow us to store them in ‘Matroska‘ (MKV) Files.